Optimistic and unassuming, 20-year-old Philippine Sarre did not think about the Dean’s List when she first started her journey at ESSEC. But in her quest to open doors and make the most of her time at ESSEC, the third year Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) student has made it to the list three times and counting, and secured a position in the exclusive International Business Education Alliance (IBEA) program — a joint cooperation between ESSEC and 3 prestigious partner universities - University of Mannheim (Germany), Fundacao Getulio Vargas (Brazil), and University of South Carolina (USA). She shares how she did it and why she still believes that grades are not everything.
You’ve gone from not knowing about the Dean’s List to staying on it for three semesters. What motivates you to keep this up?
I found out that getting on the Dean’s list was a prerequisite to secure a place in the IBEA program. At the end of my first semester, when I scored well enough to be both on the Dean’s List and get into the IBEA program, I started challenging myself to keep it up.
I also realized that getting on the Dean’s List can be a stepping stone in the professional world. During job interviews, stating that you are in the top 10% of the cohort of an already renowned business school is something that employers consider. It is almost a guarantee that you know how to work well and get results.
Is it a lot of work to stay on the Dean’s List?
Most of my friends consider me as a hard worker because I like doing a little bit of school work every day. On the other hand, I also like hanging out with my friends, traveling, and playing cards.
I manage my time by dividing the semester into two periods: the time with regular lectures, and another for midterms and final exams. When there are regular lectures, I work only on what is necessary, like prioritizing group projects. Before exams, I spend most of the day studying with little free time.
What are the changes you have seen in yourself since joining ESSEC?
ESSEC pushes its students to seize opportunities and try out new things. I’ve discovered that it is not all about the results — it is also about making mistakes, working in different fields, and growing other interests. This has led me to work in different companies, various fields, and a myriad of sectors. And with each of these experiences, my life and career goals became clearer. I’d say the grades are just a bonus.
How do your parents feel about your accomplishments?
My parents are very proud of my Dean’s List accomplishment — especially my father, who did not have the opportunity to go to university. What they are proudest of is that I am happy and developing in a positive environment.
What advice do you have for future students?
I think we all have a different view of what it means to do well in our studies. For me, it is about experiencing things, exploring different countries, and finding out what I like. Being on the Dean’s List wasn’t my primary objective, so, find yourself a goal that you want to pursue. You can see doing well as getting on the Dean’s List, or joining different student organizations, having your own start-up, or volunteering in charities. No matter what you choose, ESSEC always encourages you to chart your own path.