Opportunities in a Time of COVID: Confidently Embracing Change

Back in the 8th grade, Avantika Dube was about to perform on stage when her fear got the best of her and she backed out. Today,  the third-year Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA) student is confident, poised and comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. She shares how her time at ESSEC has helped her develop her confidence and grow both professionally and personally.

You’ve come a long way from having stage fright! How has ESSEC helped you develop your confidence?

The curriculum at ESSEC encourages interaction through case study discussions and group presentations. This developed my speaking skills, presentation skills and my self-confidence.

But what really helped was the multicultural environment. Although I was shy at first, I gradually became more sociable and open to interacting with my classmates. I really like the saying “diversity drives innovation”—because ESSC is a hub of diversity, the school really brings together a variety of viewpoints that allows for new ideas to emerge!

How would you recommend students make the most of this diversity?

You can participate in student associations to learn more about the culture in different countries. ESSEC has various student associations that are based on the traditions in different countries. You can also attend events to celebrate cultural festivals, like Chinese New Year, Diwali or Thai Pongal.

Finally, try partnering up with students from different countries for group projects. Working in teams with members who come from different backgrounds can improve your adaptability, creativity, and train you to work in diverse teams, which is important for the business world!

With the pandemic raging on, are there still opportunities to mingle and experience campus life?

Yes! I became a Student Ambassador during the pandemic, and I was still given several opportunities to connect and network. I hosted my first webinar and collaborated with another Student Ambassador, Niklas Muennighoff from the Cergy campus in France, to address questions from students interested in the GBBA program.

A few of the Student Ambassadors also came together to develop a monthly newsletter to help the freshmen understand campus life at ESSEC. These experiences allowed me to network and connect with students not just from the Singapore campus, but also those in Cergy.

Did you manage to do any internships?

I interned for two months at a leading clinical laboratory, CORE Diagnostics, in India. As a marketing intern, I had the chance to work on social media posts, evaluate the email marketing effectiveness in the organization, analyze the industry social media plans and work on programs for employee productivity.

Despite completing the internship online, I found it a wonderful experience that gave me insights about different departments and helped me understand what I am most interested in.

It sounds like a fruitful year! Were there any challenges?

Staying physically active during the pandemic was extremely difficult as I fell into a routine of attending classes, eating, sleeping and repeating the cycle over and over again.

Thankfully, my mom got me back on track by working out with me early in the morning. Some days we did yoga, other days we did cardio or weight training. Slowly but steadily, my routine began to improve and I found I was feeling more fresh and energetic.

Looking back at the year, how have you changed and what have you learned about yourself?

The past academic year was challenging but also extremely eye-opening. Although we have very supportive professors looking after us, we still had to set our own boundaries, construct our own schedule, and motivate ourselves to stay on track.

It taught me to become more assertive, self-reliant and flexible. I have also become better at multitasking, and more equipped to adapt to changes, the latter of which I believe is a skill that will serve me throughout my life.

Ultimately, I think we should accept that the world is evolving. As a business school student, what will define us is our ability to adapt and work in different environments and circumstances!

For more information about the program, please visit: https://www.essec.edu/en/program/global-bba/global-bba-international/

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