Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB)

A Word from the Academic Director

Being SMIB is not only a label that you get when joining the academic program. It is a real mindset, attitude and way of living that will stick to you all along the years. I can assert this, not only as the appointed Academic Director of the program, but also as a former SMIB myself.

This page is a perfect summary of this SMIB-spirit: business-oriented, open-minded, bold and authentic. Being open-minded is not an advertising catch phrase for the SMIB program. We really live diversity in our daily life: when on campus, through the various nationalities represented in the program; when on business seminars; when at work, through the many chosen expatriation paths that SMIBs are in…

So how do we do it? Simply because our focus is on excellence, in whatever we do. And to be excellent, one needs emotional, cultural, theoretical and practical intelligence. So if you are not fully convinced, read on!

Anne-Flore Maman Larraufie (PhD)
Academic Director of the Master SMIB

The SMIB Experience

Strengths of the SMIB program

Be prepared to join the global job market with this internationally-focused program, which includes:

- A professional business mindset in all aspects of the program
- 100% of courses taught in English
- Choice of a specialized track in France or in Asia, each with a specific career goal in mind
- Exchange and double degree opportunities with leading academic partners (Depending on your track choice)
- An international business seminar
- The possibility to learn French, Mandarin or Spanish as a foreign language
- Integrated professional experiences
- Tailored experiences to help you excel in the job market
- The chance to mix with a highly diverse class and teaching faculty

What does the SMIB look like?

The duration of the Master SMIB is 2 years (Master 1+Master 2) or 1 year (Master 2 only), depending on your background and latest degree.
If you have or are currently pursuing:
- A 3-year Bachelor or a Licence 3 (In any discipline) at the minimum: You will complete the program in 2 years (M1+M2)
- A 4-year Bachelor or a Master Degree (In any discipline) at the minimum: You will complete the program in 1 year (M2)
If the commission board finds that your background is strong but not complete enough in some required aspects, we may ask you to complete the program in 2 years (M1+M2) instead in order to build up your strengths and ensure your success.

Master 1 (M1)
A year to grasp the prerequisites of strategy and decide where to specialize during the M2

Academics + Professional Experiences + Languages

Master 2 (M2)
A year to choose your track and gain specialized knowledge and experience, integrating critical thinking about sustainability and responsible leadership




Focus on Western Countries

Focus on Asian Countries

Focus on Western Countries

Focus on Asian Countries


Option to do an Exchange/Double Degree

Academics + Professional Experiences + Soft Skills

A professional and business-oriented program

Benefit from a career-focused academic curriculum

Anchored in a case-based approach, the pedagogy presents students with international business situations thanks to the Faculty that blends academic and professional perspectives for teaching excellence, with the majority of lecturers holding a Ph.D., thus being experts in their field, and representing more than 20 different nationalities.

Year 1 (Master 1; M1)

At ESSEC France (Cergy)

Depending on your background and latest degree, you will start the program in M1 and the total duration of the program is 2 years (M1+M2).

You will begin the program with courses which will help you build your foundations in strategy and understand how international complexity impacts business conduct. Through this first year, you will also discover your professional interests, to help you decide on which track to choose in Year 2 (M2).

Examples of courses include:

  • Business & Society
  • Fundamentals of Marketing
  • Introduction to Data
  • Strategic Tools for Strategy Building
  • Sustainable Development and Managerial Challenges

You will do a 3-month company mission at the end of M1.


Year 2 (Master 2; M2)

At ESSEC France (Cergy) or ESSEC Asia-Pacific (Singapore)

Depending on your background and latest degree, you will start the program in M2 and the total duration of the program is 1 year (M2), or you will continue with the second year of the program (M2) if you started in M1.

Choose a track and immerse yourself in a Western or Asian business environment through ESSEC Business School’s campuses in France or Singapore, based on your professional goals.

You will delve into track-specific courses tailored to equip you with the specific competencies required for your career:

Apply to the track which best suits your goals:

Download the brochure to learn more about the courses offered in each track.

Whatever track you decide to follow in France or in Singapore, you will not be thrown in at the deep-end but first gain all the necessary knowledge and skills via the fundamental and core courses such as:

  • Intercultural Communication
  • International HR Management
  • Introduction to Research for Managers
  • International Negotiation

You will start the year with team building and cover various topics taught in professional and dynamic formats including interactive seminars, simulation games and workshops.

Students beginning the program directly in Year 2 (M2) will participate in Refresher Courses at the start of the program.

Acquire professional experience

At ESSEC Business School, students are in constant interaction with the business world, putting them in the best position to successfully build their careers.

Year 1 (Master 1; M1)

Depending on your background and latest degree, you will start the program in M1 and the total duration of the program is 2 years (M1+M2).

3-month (minimum) Company Mission

The 3-month company mission takes place at the end of Year 1 (M1). This integrated professional experience allows students to put the knowledge and skills they have learned to practice in a real-life context.

M1 students from the 2021 intake obtained internships in companies such as Accenture, Air Liquide, Amazon, BCG, Chanel, Deloitte, DHL International, Euler Hermes Services, JLL China, Hermès, L'Oréal, Louis Vuitton, Paypal, and The Estée Lauder Companies. Examples of their functions include Business Analyst, Business Developer, Consultant, Financial Controller, Marketing Analyst, and Product Manager.

Year 2 (Master 2; M2)

Depending on your background and latest degree, you will start the program in M2 and the total duration of the program is 1 year, or you will continue with the second year of the program (M2) if you started in M1.

4 to 6-month Company Mission

For students based at ESSEC France (Cergy) in the Corporate Strategy or Strategic Consulting track or students at ESSEC Asia-Pacific (Singapore) in the Corporate Strategy track who do not choose the Asian Strategy Challenge mentioned below.

The 4 to 6-month company mission takes place at the end of the program, and is designed to facilitate students’ professional integration. It enables them to apply their newly acquired skills and knowledge to hands-on experience in an organization.

Companies hiring last year’s SMIB students for the Company Mission include Amazon, BCG, ENGIE, Richemont, Sanofi, Société Générale and many others...

7-month Asian Strategy Challenge

For students based at ESSEC Asia-Pacific (Singapore) in the Strategic Consulting track. Students based at ESSEC Asia-Pacific (Singapore) in the Corporate Strategy track have a choice between the 7-month Company Mission or the Asian Strategy Challenge.

This 7-month consulting mission is mandatory for students following the Strategic Consulting track in Singapore, and is the best way to put in practice all soft and hard skills needed to become a qualified consultant. Students have to act as a real consulting team, under the supervision of an ESSEC coach, on a mission that is proposed by a company or an economic cluster located in the Asia-Pacific region.

Examples of companies which propose projects include: Abbott, Capitaland, Decathlon, Engie, Schenider Electric, Van Cleef & Arpels, etc.

Year-long Digital and Innovation Mission

For students based at ESSEC France (Cergy) in the Managing Digital Transformation & Innovation track. 

This year-long consulting mission in partnership with Kxiop is mandatory for students following the Managing Digital Transformation & Innovation track. Students work under the guidance of a team of consultants at Kxiop on a real client case throughout the academic year.

Build your professional network

Whether you study in France or in Singapore, you will benefit from numerous opportunities to meet with industry professionals to help you deepen your understanding of your target industry and expand your network in the field.

One-Week International Business Seminar

A one-week international business seminar is included in the program and is the perfect opportunity for you to meet with locally-based companies and professionals. Depending on the destination, which changes each year, you will be able to discover a wide range of sectors and delve into local issues.

In the past few years, students have visited Bangkok, Berlin, Geneva, Ho Chi Minh, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, London, Mexico, Milan, San Francisco or Shanghai. Companies visited include Accenture, Chanel, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, L'Oréal, Mercedes-Benz, Roche, etc.

Career Day - "What is my job?"

On Career Day, numerous sector professionals are invited to come and present their career path and what their current position involves. Through their sharing, you will gain a better understanding of what various jobs and functions truly entail, and be able to refine your professional project accordingly.

Regular professional talks with industry professionals

Talks on both fundamental and trending topics are regularly organized to keep you up to date with the latest developments in the industry.

Job Preparation Workshops

You will be immersed in workshops or training sessions designed to help you master the recruitment process for consulting, strategy or jobs in digital transformation, depending on your track choice. These sessions will equip you with the skills and tips to excel in the selection process.

Innovating & Doing Business in France Seminar

A tailored optional seminar to discover the reality of innovation and digital transformation in various industries. In the past, companies visited include L’Oréal, Michelin, Centre France, etc.

Mentoring | Only at ESSEC Asia-Pacific (Singapore)

You will be paired with a mentor based on your interests, prior work functions or industries and career objectives. Through your exchanges with your mentor, you will be able to grasp the opportunities and challenges as well as shifts in the job market, and gain the necessary tools and techniques for the job search.

Broaden your international exposure

Students from the Corporate Strategy track at ESSEC France (Cergy) or ESSEC Asia-Pacific (Singapore) who wish to specialize in Financial Management of International Projects, International Trade & Investment, Entrepreneurship or Doing Business in Africa have the opportunity to do an exchange or double degree program. These experiences will further broaden your international perspectives and immerse you in a different business environment, allowing you to grasp the specificities of doing business in different countries.

Exchange Program

  • Smith School of Business, Queen’s University, Toronto, Canada | Focus on Financial Management of International Projects, January-April
  • ESSEC Africa campus, Rabat, Morocco | Focus on Doing Business in Africa, January-June

Double Degree

  • Master in International Business, Darla Moore School of Business - University of South Carolina, Columbia, United States | Focus on International Trade & Investment, January-May
  • MBA, EGADE Business School, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico | Focus on Entrepreneurship, January-August

Learn more on this page

French Experience Week

For students based at ESSEC France (Cergy)

The French Experience Week is designed for non-French speakers who would like to boost their French-speaking skills or for French speakers who want to discover how innovation and digital matters are concretely implemented within factories and companies in France.

Apply what you’ve learned throughout the program

In line with ESSEC Business School’s unique pedagogical approach of learning-by-doing, you will participate in a range of activities where you will interact with students from other programs and benefit from different perspectives brought about by diverse backgrounds and experiences. Such learning environments prepare you for the global workplace of today and tomorrow, where adaptability and cultural sensitivity is key.

Digital Week Competition (DWC)

At ESSEC France (Cergy), Elective Course

Live a unique, enriching and stimulating experience developed based on the learning-by-doing approach.

The Digital Week Competition (DWC) is a massive one-week competition involving students across different programs.

75 teams of students play the role of digital consultants, combining the strengths and expertise of each individual. They are asked to develop a digital strategy based on a brief from one of 25 partner companies.

The DWC is a unique opportunity to address the topic of digital transformation in companies and discover the true potential of a multidisciplinary team.

Companies involved in last year’s DWC include Novartis, BFM TV, Christian Dior, Henkel, Servier, Club Med, L’Oréal, and many more.

Sustainable Week

At ESSEC Asia-Pacific (Singapore), Elective Course

Balancing growth and sustainability has become key for businesses across all industries. Through the Sustainable Week, you will be immersed in sustainability topics to strengthen your awareness and sensitivity towards related issues.

Get involved through SMIB student activities

Students can get involved through various student associations and activities, including:

Stratngo Consulting

An internationally-recognized institution

Accreditation by Recognition

The Master in Strategy and Management of International Business (SMIB) program is authorized by the French Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation to award a recognised BAC+5 degree, Master’s Grade, to its students.

Upon completion of the program, students would have accumulated a total of 300 ECTS to obtain a Master’s degree:



'Welcome to France' - 'Bienvenue en France'

ESSEC Business School has been recognized by Campus France and the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Innovation for the quality of its international students’ welcome. The school received the highest level that can be obtained from the "Bienvenue en France" certification, which is the third level. This certification recognizes the quality of ESSEC's reception in all the criteria provided:

  • The quality and accessibility of information
  • The welcoming of new international students
  • The academic offer
  • Accommodations
  • Campus life
  • The quality of post-graduate follow-up
Triple Crown Accreditation

The academic excellence of ESSEC’s programs is recognized through its international standards in management training, and it holds the prestigious ”Triple Crown“ of accreditations: EQUIS, AACSB, and AMBA. 

Find out more

Download the brochure

Get in touch with our students

Jigyasa, Julia, Soraya, Giorgio, Howie, Sébastien, Émilie, Faith and Xinyu, current students, will be more than happy to answer your questions.
Contact them

Ready to join us...


Talk to our advisor

Discuss your professional & individual goals and find out if this program is right for you.
Contact us
toggle Help Me Choose a program