These days, the idea of “jack of all trades, master of none” no longer holds water. In the modern knowledge economy, people with “too many interests” are way more likely to succeed than those with highly specific skills. In fact, take a look at some of the most successful people, like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Steve Jobs. What do they have in common apart from their riches and success? It’s the fact that they’re all polymaths – individuals whose knowledge spans a substantial number of fields from science to technology and the arts.
Elon Musk considers himself a designer, engineer, technologist, and even wizard. Bill Gates considers himself a scientist and not just the technologist and businessman we know he is. Jeff Bezos built his empire via the “10,000 experiment” rule, which is the relentless pursuit of information. Steve Jobs famously combined design with hardware and software.
Do you find similarities between yourself and these polymaths who aren’t bound or defined by one discipline? If you too are a polymath who can’t decide what to focus on, then all you need is a little guide to help you make the most of all your skills.
The business of business
What makes people like Musk, Gates or Bezos successful isn’t their multiple talents, but their business-related skills that helped them turn ideas into profit. Being a polymath is great, but to make a meaningful impact on the world, you’ll need structure and discipline.
You too can walk in the footsteps of successful polymaths with just the right type of education, like the ESSEC Global Bachelor of Business Administration (Global BBA) program which boasts a thorough business school curriculum with added international exposure.
While Elon Musk is a “jack of all trades,” it’s not his vast knowledge of engineering or technology that propelled him into the billionaire ranks. It was business savviness. The companies he’s founded are as varied as his interests – from electric cars (Tesla) to rockets (SpaceX) and transportation (Boring Company). Musk has proven that it’s not only possible to be a generalist, but it’s also very profitable.
Learning how to capitalise on your skills
Apple probably wouldn’t be this successful without its marketing strategy. Microsoft built the world’s largest software business with keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics. All these innovations prove that no matter how good the original idea or product is, they can only be successful with a solid business foundation.
Want to tackle sustainability? Fancy making the next big app? Have a calling for a social enterprise? A business education gives the ultimate flexibility to make the most out of any talent or aspiration you have.
At ESSEC, you’ll be trained in managerial, economic, geopolitical, social, environmental (in particular, on climate change issues) and technological issues. In addition to developing in-depth knowledge and a critical mind in each major management field, you’ll be able to link them up in an interdisciplinary manner and with respect to ethics.
ESSEC adopts a “learning by doing” discipline, with plenty of internships aimed at honing your theoretical skills. Your first operational internship lets you experience the inner workings of a corporate entity, which culminates in a 6-month decision-making internship where you’ll be tasked with greater responsibilities.
The next step is to take advantage of ESSEC’s high-level credentials – its impressive network of corporate partners and alumni translate not only to career opportunities, but also important connections in your future entrepreneurship endeavors.
The future belongs to generalists
Many schools of thought have been hammering home the idea that people value specialists more than generalists. While it’s true that people like plumbers, forensic accountants or programmers are highly sought-after for their specialist skills, the future career is one that can adapt as the market evolves.
Gone are the days where one “particular set of skills” is enough to sustain our interest and career longevity well into retirement. These days, we hanker to change job scopes and even industries, as the economy and our interest evolves.
Take Jeff Bezos, for example, who transformed an online bookstore startup into a multi-billion dollar diversified company that deals with not just books, but also cloud services (AWS), entertainment (Amazon Prime), and even space travel (Blue Origin).
Luckily, with a business degree, the lessons learned aren’t weaved into a specific skill, but impart a “big picture” knowledge of how to take advantage of whatever trends come by.
Speak like a local wherever you go
We live in a world where even the entertainment we increasingly consume is not in English – globalisation makes us realise that despite English being the lingua franca, the world is still divided by language. But learning a particular language is more than just being able to understand your favourite idols or actors – more importantly, you can open many doors in diverse new markets – from the far reaches of South America, to booming China, the EU, or even far flung parts of the French-speaking world.
This is why the ESSEC Global BBA’s curriculum includes mandatory language classes – they ensure that all their students are fluent in at least 3 languages so that upon graduation, they’ll become true global citizens.
Languages aren’t the only global skills ESSEC grads will possess by the time they graduate. With the number of international internships weaved into the curriculum – not to mention a solid education in geopolitics, international trade, business law, and economics – you’ll be ready to pound pavement wherever you end up in the world.
Being exposed to many languages and cultures, both in the classroom and in the real world through internships, you’ll be exposed to a truly global business-training experience. It is these soft skills that will help you capitalise on opportunities across cultures, borders, and language barriers.
Ready to flex your skills?
We know that the future is about constant upskilling – what you study now could be obsolete tomorrow. However, a business education doesn’t just teach you a skill, it imparts a life lesson so you’ll know how to flip that switch and take advantage of new opportunities as they come along.
If you’re interested in taking advantage of what your skills can potentially bring to the world today and into tomorrow, check out how ESSEC’s Global BBA can help you get there.
This article was originally written and published by Campus Magazine.