The annual ESSEC MSc in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) study trip is a highly anticipated segment in the program that brings learning beyond the classroom, offering students a chance to travel and gain exclusive access to global companies. In 2021, students got the opportunity to create this experience locally.
To help the cohort better understand the marketplace, the program has converted the annual study trip — an enriching avenue to gain an understanding about the marketing strategies of renowned global organizations, to a local business week.
“I believed being at the front-line of contacting professionals would be a very good way to get to know C-level ESSEC alumni, and I wanted to show them that I was the kind of student who takes initiatives and is not afraid of challenges,” shares student Bénédicte Courroye, who led the organizing committee for the business week.
Testing the MMD Mettle
Meeting the students’ expectations while grappling with prevailing restrictions was a huge challenge, but the organizing committee took it in their stride, viewing the task as an opportunity to put their management skills to the test.
To meet budget requirements, they decided to run four days of conferences at Fairmont Singapore, and save the fifth day for team-bonding activities. A survey was sent out to their classmates to find out which industries the cohort was most interested in, helping them narrow their focus to luxury, marketing and digital companies.
From there, a list of possible speakers was developed, and the team brought their marketing A-game to pitch their idea to potential companies.
Their efforts led to an impressive line-up of both local and overseas speakers, from companies like The Coca-Cola Company, SK-II, Christian Dior, Deloitte and Lazada—just to name a few.
Strengthening Dreams and Aspirations
What helped was that the team was flexible and gave speakers a choice about what they wanted to share, whether, about their company, the industry, or their own personal journeys, Bénédicte explains.
This format also led to a variety of meaningful experiences for the MMD students.
Marine Trouillez recalls enjoying the discussion put forth about crowdsourcing and the subscription economy, while Ruchika Guria took away a strong lesson from Mr Adrien Grosso, Dior’s General Manager for Southeast Asia and India, sharing about “how an individual’s success is not defined by their achievement, but that of their peers and teammates.”
There were also moments of inspiration, like when Mr Haresh Khoobanchandi, Vice President of Sales from Autodesk encouraged students to “understand our purpose and the reason that drives us because that in itself is a form of growth,” Yue Ning Ng shares.
“As he strolled offstage, I felt inspired and raring to chart my own personal and professional growth path,” she adds.
Building Bridges to a Brighter Future
Professor Tuck S. Chung, Academic Director of the program praised the cohort for their adaptability.
To create opportunities to network with industry professionals, “they invited various speakers and industry experts to our conference, and gain privileged access to their brand heritage, product development, market strategies and audiences, ” he explains.
ESSEC’s career advisor also collected all of the students’ curriculum vitaes to send to companies participating in the event, Kaiqi Sun recalls, adding that these factors combined made the business week “the perfect opportunity for students to extend their professional networks”.
“Many of us received job offers during or right after the business week,” she says. Her offer was from LVMH, and she secured a role at Acqua di Parma, one of the exclusive brands within the French luxury goods conglomerate.
Despite the event being conducted differently from previous years, its purpose—to enrich the students’ understanding of real-world operations—no doubt remained.
More importantly, the cohort showed the business world exactly what the MMD students are made of: Bold, adaptable and unafraid of facing challenges head-on.
Credits to the Business Week's organizing team: Bénédicte Courroye, Claire Petitjean, Marion Gaudichon, Filippo Montaldo, Danqi Mao, Emma Ying Zhang, and Jieying Pan