How To Get Into A Top European Business School

As one of the world’s top business schools, ranked within the top 10 in Europe, one can expect the admissions criteria at ESSEC to be selective and demanding. The Student Ambassadors from its Asia-Pacific campus share their experiences applying and enrolling in this prestigious institution.

With three campuses in Singapore, France, and Morocco, exchange opportunities with over 170 partners across the globe, and at least ten months of professional experience integrated into the curriculum, ESSEC Business School offers its Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) students unparalleled global exposure and the opportunity to rub shoulders with top students across the world. 

Yet, with a cohort of fewer than 100 students in its Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore, access is exclusive and given only to a promising few – only those who are ambitious, passionate, and globally-oriented will make the cut. 


Entry requirements are different for those with an international high school diploma and those with a French higher education diploma. With an international high school diploma, one must submit an English test score, academic transcripts, entrance essays, two letters of recommendation, and a curriculum vitae (CV) to qualify for a round of interviews. 

Those applying with the French higher education diploma, on the other hand, must complete the Concours Sésame to qualify.

“The Concours Sésame is a competition that you need to go through to enter ESSEC,” third-year GBBA student Alexandre Loo shares. The French national, whose family lives in Singapore,  describes his experience as a grueling seven-hour exam that tested his abilities in multiple domains like Maths and English. It was an opportunity to test his mettle, for if anything, it made him value his spot in ESSEC more.

The challenge should not deter potential applicants, second-year student Louise Depuydt adds, explaining that all it really takes is practice like any other high school exams. 


In any case, admissions are not solely based on academic criteria, 18-year-old Elodie Gouellain clarifies. 

“Efforts in different causes that matter to us are also taken into consideration,” the French national shares, adding that she strengthened her application with her extracurricular activities, including but not limited to running charitable races against hunger and volunteering to help underprivileged women and children.

These experiences taught her empathy, commitment, and creativity, which shone at her ESSEC interview. 

Louise, who was worried about the interview phase, agrees: “If you have hobbies or ambitions, don’t hesitate to talk about them during the interview.”

Although she questioned if she could convince her two interviewers of her suitability for the institution, she found that they were surprisingly engaging and made her feel at ease. The potentially stressful experience, she recalls, ended up being very enjoyable.


As with the rest of the admissions, preparation for the admission interview is key. Louise rehearsed her pitch with her parents and attended webinars by ESSEC Student Ambassadors. These webinars were especially useful, as Student Ambassadors candidly shared their experience and gave her valuable tips.

21-year-old Ajrin Choudhury adds:“ The ESSEC Student Ambassadors and the faculty are always available. They reply promptly and won’t let any question go unanswered.” 

When applying to ESSEC, she enjoyed close support from a dedicated GBBA program advisor who guided her through the application process and addressed her queries. This enabled her to navigate the application process with ease. 

As a second-year student, she has found this level of support extended from her application through enrolment and even into her daily life at ESSEC. 

Her story, echoing that of other Student Ambassadors, is this: As selective as the admissions may be, it is paired with accurate advice and excellent service from a close-knit community at ESSEC’s campus in Singapore, all of whom are dedicated to helping you meet your professional and personal goals. At the end of the day, the process was worth it.


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

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