Students from China secure impressive internships in global companies
ESSEC Business School helped shape their goals and ambitions
The Asia-Pacific community and environment is conducive for personal and professional growth
German multinational engineering and technology company, Bosch, financial institutes like Morgan Stanley and Deutsche Bank are just some of the places that Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) student Siyi Chen has interned over the course of her four years at ESSEC Business School.
Third-year student Laura Cao has equally impressive names on her portfolio—BMW Group Asia and multimedia conglomerate Tencent. Even Zhiyun Gou, who has just completed her first year, has already made her first foray into working life through a sales and marketing internship at A&N Luxury Group.
Work placements are a key feature of ESSEC’s GBBA program and for students like Siyi, Laura and Zhiyun, are one of many examples of how the school’s learning by doing pedagogy is enabling them to develop their career aspirations.
A Place Where Exploration Piques Interest
Siyi, who graduated from No.1 High School of Doumen, Zhuhai, for example, initially felt that she would never want to work with numbers and that she might be suitable for marketing. Cerella Sim, ESSEC Career Advisor, however, encouraged her to explore other industries and learn about other roles before making up her mind. She took this to heart—and a good thing too, because otherwise, she would not have stumbled into investment banking and realized she liked finance, she says.
Zhiyun, on the other hand, who was from Chengdu Experimental Foreign Languages School, had not even considered studying business until she heard about ESSEC Business School. The allure of the learning by doing approach, and opportunity to travel the world via exchange programs, as well as ESSEC’s three campuses in Singapore, Morocco and France drew her in, and the more she has learned, the more keen on business she has become.
Working on the inaugural Singapore Watch Fair as part of her internship, for example, has let her put the teamwork skills gained at ESSEC into practice, and as she collaborates with different parties involved in the event, she has developed an interest in consulting.
It helps that ESSEC students are exposed to a broad curriculum, covering everything from geopolitics to accounting and marketing in their first two years, before they need to specialize, Laura, who was from Shanghai Yichuan High School chimes in. This, she testifies, gave her ample time to explore different facets of business to find one that resonated best.
“If you asked me when I first joined ESSEC what I wanted to do in the future, I’d have told you I don’t know, and I would just go with the flow,” she admits. “Now, I know I'm interested in finance, and am considering doing the ESSEC Master’s in Finance after graduation!
Joining a Community that Encourages and Motivates
Laura adds that her clarity today is in part thanks to the wisdom imparted by ESSEC Master’s program students she has met, something that was made possible by her work as a Student Ambassador and the intimate size of the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus.
“I’ve realized I actually prefer being at a smaller campus,” she declares. As someone who chose Singapore campus because of the country’s reputation for safety, its closeness to home, and her belief that the large population of Chinese would make it easier for her to adapt, she has been pleasantly surprised by how the campus has fostered connections with people of different ages, backgrounds and countries.
Seniors gave her advice on her future, ESSEC alumni stepped in to refer her for jobs—which so far, is how she secured both her internships—and simply being part of a motivated and dedicated community has spurred her on to achieve more, she says.
In addition, her friendships with French students have also taught her volumes about the culture in France and offered her a solid support network for when she eventually heads to the ESSEC Cergy campus in future.
Zhiyun agrees. “The school cares about each student’s progress and needs,” she says, noting that she, too, has received tremendous support not just from classmates and faculty, but also the Career Services team, who organize regular networking workshops and events, and even offer one-to-one coaching to help students with their job search.
Find the Right Springboard to the Global World
This is perhaps why Siyi, Laura and Zhiyun recommend students from China to choose ESSEC Asia-Pacific. Aside from being one of the top schools in Europe, what makes ESSEC truly stand out is its environment—everything from the curriculum to the community seems designed to help them succeed.
No doubt, with each person’s unique interests, desires and goals, it can be difficult to make that “one right choice”.
As such, Siyi’s advice is as follows: “I think if you are not sure what you want to do in the future, it’s important to choose the best platform—one that can give you the best training and introduce you to the best people.” For her, Laura and Zhiyun, that has been ESSEC Asia-Pacific.