Friday, 9 February 2018

3 Lessons about Food for the Mind: “Studio ergo edo”



Mental activities burn around 300 calories per day and every day at ESSEC, numerous brilliant young minds spend hours burning calories in the library and in the classrooms. But where do these calories come from? Or more simply put: what and where do ESSEC students eat? Luckily for them, the campus offers a good array of options to maintain a balanced diet.




Lesson no. 1: Go beyond your comfort zone

The first place one discovers when beginning his or her studies in Cergy, is the DeliMarché (aka, the    university canteen), located next to the cafeteria and therefore also the closest and most comfortable option. This is especially convenient during days when the lunch break is squeezed in between two classes. One would think that in 2017 university canteens would have mastered the art of providing tasty meals to students, but unfortunately this is not the case. I will soon be clear that finding a meal that is not soaked in butter, overcooked, or accompanied by some mysterious sauce is a rare event but hey, somethings got to give!

Should you look for something a bit more refined, you might want to try out the canteen upstairs. Be warned though, higher quality means higher price, and the seats are reserved to professors and MBA students by right of seniority.

After getting acquainted with the surroundings, you will find out that in the park behind ESSEC there is the Restaurant Universitaire (or Resto-U). Despite its name, it is a dark and gloomy canteen offering student-ish meal deals: you can purchase a full meal, from appetizer to dessert, for the bargain price of 3.25! After a few meals here, you will understand that being hungry is pretty much like being in love: exterior appearance is not that important after all.

Lesson no. 2: Get creative

In the era of Pinterest and Tasty, being creative in the kitchen has never been so easy. So why not investing a couple of minutes in chopping and mixing some fresh ingredients at home so to have a perfectly instagrammable takeaway lunch for the next day?! The greedy looks of your friends will make your day!

Lesson no. 3: Explore the surroundings

When sitting in the cafeteria, you will also see several people carrying a red or a brown paper bag and you will also notice that those bags smell reeeeeeally good. In fact, right across ESSEC’s main entrance, there is Pomme de Pain (literally the “Apple of Bread”) and a little further you can find Cezam (literally meaning the ‘brown bag’). These two heavenly places are best friends to hungry students. The first one offers a variety of pretty-much-healthy sandwiches and tempting viennoiseries to be packed in a red paper bag to go. The latter one instead is more like a yummy fast food and believe me, you might want to keep it for those afternoons in which you can afford to be sleepy.

When you’ll feel brave enough to go even further and will have a long lunch break, you can explore the little brasseries and cafés located in and around the shopping mall “Les Trois Fontaines”. Thai, French, Italian, and many more types of different cuisines can be discovered in these hidden places, you just need to look for them. The walking distance (a few hundred meters) might discourage the laziest students on campus, but we all know that it is important to include some physical activity in our daily routine, so why not?

Finally, before going back to studying, you should never forget to conclude your meal with a coffee and something sweet from the DeliCafé, the cafeteria: after all this food you wouldn’t want to fall asleep in the middle of a lecture, would you?


Written By : Costanza Poser, 1st year MiM, MsC in Management Grande Ecole student

Monday, 26 June 2017

The Secrets of Scholarship Application





With tuition fees on the rise, it is no secret that more and more students are looking for scholarships to reduce the sweat of paying the ever-rising cost on getting a degree. 

In this blog, we will cover the hows and whats of scholarship application, as well as what ESSEC Business School  recommends students to do in order to cover their tuition costs.

"...it is no secret that more and more students are looking for scholarships to reduce the sweat of paying the ever-rising cost on getting a degree."

First of all, what are scholarships?

There are a number of options open to ESSEC Business School students looking to help to pay their tuition fees. The government wants to ensure that university is open to students from all financial backgrounds – to ESSEC, brains matter the most, not money.

So, this translates into the fact that you as a prospective student are eligible for a scholarship or bursary depending on your circumstances. Yay!

The 101 on how to find scholarships:

As lots of potential students are looking for funding at the start of the academic year, it’s super-duper important to evaluate all of the options available to you. ESSEC Business School lists a number of different departments and schemes about financial aid and scholarship assistance that you can find here.

"...it’s super-duper important to evaluate all of the options available to you."

If you are planning on going to ESSEC Business School (you totally should), the website www.essec.edu is a great place to start. There, you will find lots of specific information concerning your program.

Apply Early:

As we host many prospective students coming to ESSEC, it is paramount that you apply to your scholarship early on. The application process can take a long time so we strongly advise you to apply as early as possible! Remember, the early bird always catches the worm.

If you want to have your scholarship money or funding before or right at the beginning of the academic year, apply as soon as you know the shortlisted results of admission.

"The application process can take a long time so we strongly advise you to apply as early as possible! Remember, the early bird always catches the worm."

Since there is also increasing competition of these scholarships amongst students, applying early is the best strategy and will give you the best possible chance of being approved.

Prepare all of your Financial Info:

Many scholarships and funds depend solely on your financial information and household income. It’s more than likely that you will need to provide data about your personal money issues, so get ready!

As the stats usually relate to all of the members in your household (mums, dads, sisters, brothers, uncles, your awesome aunt that always cooks you soup), you will need to ask your legal guardians for some financial information to complete your app.

"It’s more than likely that you will need to provide data about your personal money issues, so get ready!"

This is another reason why it is sensible to try and do this process as far in advance as possible to avoid having to scramble to get key financial info at the last minute. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Tailor you Application to Suit you:

Each scholarship is unique and will have unique requirements. So, treat your application like an haute couture dress – it’s incredibly important to read through each application to form and tailor your answers to each.

If you are a superhero and applying to multiple scholarships at the same time, this might take a fair amount of time as you might be asked to write a personal essay for each app.

"...treat your application like an haute couture dress – it’s incredibly important to read through each application to form and tailor your answers to each."

However, take time to read and fill out everything!!! Taking the time to read the forms and answer all of the questions to the fullest possible extent will give you the best possible chance of getting funding for your degree.

Speak to former Scholarship Heroes:

Candidates who have received scholarships or funding are your buddies. It is always, always helpful to get advice from people who have successfully landed a funding heaven.

Search online to find ESSEC alumni who you can stalk and message on Facebook, asking them about how they approached their scholarships in a friendly neighbourhood way. ESSEC students are nice, we don’t bite! It’s always good to ask before doing.

"It is always, always helpful to get advice from people who have successfully landed a funding heaven."

The Take Away:

Be aware. Be savvy. Be an early bird. Be prepared. Be tailored. Be friendly.

Go get ‘em tiger. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

From the other Side of the Desk - Part 2


Are you ready to convince the interviewer that you are the best person for that job? Then, follow these tips and keep in mind that the interview is not a challenge but a way to demonstrate your value! In this second part, we we will give you tips on how to behave and what to do on the day of the interview, as well as hints about what to avoid. Part 1 focuses on what employers want and how you can best prepare for your interview.

“The STAR technique will allow you to find evidence of what you’ve done that will meet your employer’s needs”

AT THE INTERVIEW

1.      Dress appropriately: the way you dress is a signal of yourself and of your competence… first impression matters!  Dress appropriately to the organization in question.
2.      Bring everything you need:
·         Your passport, the invitation at job interview, copies of certificates…
·         Questions, facts and figures to include in the meeting
·         Copies of updated CV
·         Notebook and pen

3.      Now it’s the time to sell yourself! A good way to express your ideas in a clear and coherent way is the STAR technique: it will allow you to find evidence of what you’ve done that will meet your employer’s needs. 
      
      It can be used answering questions that involve examples on your leadership skills, your initiative and teamwork abilities. The STAR technique organizes your thoughts around:
-          
      The Situation: which was the setting?
-          The Task: what did you have to do?
-          The Action you took: how did you behave? Which was the action you took that lead to an excellent outcome?
-          The Result: which was the positive outcome of the situation, thanks to what you did?  

"...find evidence of what you’ve done that will meet your employer’s needs."

4.      The Closing: Ask smart questions:
·         What would a typical day be like?
·         What will be the challenges in the developments of this position in the future?
·         What’s the next step in the procedure?
·         What are the qualities you are looking for in this position?

TIPS: HOW TO PERFORM WELL AT THE INTERVIEW

  1. First impression and first contacts are very important - be polite to everyone you meet!
  2. Be enthusiastic and positive - don’t complain about the bad weather, the horrible ride an don’t denigrate anyone.
  3. Non-verbal signs – remember to:
    1. Speak clearly
    2. Look in the eye
    3. Don’t cross legs and arms
  4. Listen more and speak less
5.      When asked: “Did you apply to other jobs to other companies?” reply with a company that  is in the same sector, and choose the best one.

  1. Follow up after the interview - send a thank you email right after the interview or the day after.
  2. Have a back up plan - if you don’t get the position, it is important to ask a feedback on where you should improve and where you fell short

“Listen more and speak less”

KEY INTERVIEWING ERRORS

And to conclude, here is a list of what you should avoid!
  • Late to the interview
  • Inappropriate personal appearance
  • Limited eye contact
  • Bad attitude and arrogance
  • Poor oral communication
  • Distracting body language
  • Lack of preparation and company research
  • Vague responses to questions
  • Indifference and enthusiasm
  • Being desperate for the job
  • Lack of career directions
  • Badmouthing people
  • Asking about salary, benefits and perks
  • Dishonesty / evasiveness
  • Failing to ask questions


We are sure that by following these tips you’ll nail your next interview! Good luck J

From the Other Side of the Desk - Part 1

This blog is a sister to the previous 'How to Rock your Interview' Blog, discussing how to perform well in your interview and to land that dream job.

To further develop the tips and advice that ESSEC Business School can give you to be successful in your interview endeavours, one of our very own, Lucia Casagranda, has had the opportunity to gain in on some secrets from the HR director and headhunter of PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). 

Here the advice she has been able to compile for the yoda of HR himself, Mr. Edward Bryant - so, read on, grab your pencil for some notes, and go get 'em tiger. 


Congrats, you’ve been called to sit a job interview! Now keep calm and don’t stress, as only 4-5% of applicants are called to sit the interview. Now it’s time to demonstrate what you can do for the employer. Your focus, from now on, is how to impress the employer and show what you can do for them not the other way around! 
"...only 4-5% of applicants are called to sit the interview"
Are you ready to convince the interviewer that you are the best person for that job? Then, follow these tips and keep in mind that the interview is not a challenge but a way to demonstrate your value!

In this first part, we will focus on what employers want and how you can best prepare for your interview. In part 2 we will give you tips on how to behave and what to do on the day of the interview, as well as hints about what to avoid.

WHAT EMPLOYERS WANT

First of all, it’s important to know what employers want. They are looking for evidence. In particular, they are looking for three elements:
  • Motivation for the role: are you passionate and enthusiastic about the role?
  • Can you adapt and adopt the organization’s vision? Can you fit into the team? Do you have the soft skills, social skills, empathy needed? These are things that you don’t learn at school or at university!
  • Do you have the skills abilities to do the work? Evaluate not only current skills, but you’re your ability to develop them.
“Employers are looking for motivation for the roles, soft and hard skills.”

PREPARING THE INTERVIEW

Before sitting the interview, it is crucial to prepare the following aspects:
  1. Logistics - what type of interview will it be? How much time will it take? You need to be aware of what the program is for the day, and try find out who are the people who will interview you. Moreover, don’t be late, as this will show a lack of responsibility and interest towards the post.
  2. Self-assessment: You are the product that you are selling, thus you have to know yourself.  It is important, thus, to carefully review what you know and what you want.

“You are the product that you are selling, thus you have to know yourself”.

 WHAT YOU KNOW:
-          Your skills: what are you good at? Ask yourself: “What are my greatest accomplishments?” Make a list and then try to find common threads to see which were your skills and which were your interests. Moreover, define which are your strengths and your weaknesses.  

WHAT YOU WANT:
-          Your interests: what do you enjoy?
-        Your values: what is important in your life? Is it helping other people? Work-life balance? Or rather appreciation and power? Examples of questions to be asked are: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do in life? What are your values? What is important to you?

It is also important to learn and identify your gaps. An effective way to tackle questions on experience or competences you don’t have yet is: “I don’t have this particular competence that you need, but I talked to / took a course / read about / went to conference… and learnt that ….”.

"It is important to learn and identify your gaps."


  1. Do your homework: It is important that you research about the company, about the sector and about the job. Here are some tips!
    • Look at the website of the company: look at the publications, annual reports, publications, intelligence reports not only of that company but of others in the sector.
    • Know the Job description: if you don’t have it, ask for it! Which are the competencies required for the specific job?  
    • Learn about who are the key posts at the company, who is the competition, learn about market trends, numbers and figures.
  1. Practice practice practice… and get feedback!

The Ultimate Guide to Flat Hunting in Paris

Part 2: Living in Paris 
Written by Lucia Casagranda, 2nd year Msc in Management student 




Welcome back for the second part of our blog post series “Housing in Paris”. This post is targeted to all those ESSEC students that plan to live the true Parisian life in the heart of the city.


Living in central Paris has many advantages. You will be close to the main Parisian attractions such as the Louvre, Champs Elysees and the Tour Eiffel, but that’s not it! You will have the chance to dive directly into the French culture by discovering the different sides of the city of lights

Moreover, You will have the opportunity to run along the River Seine and to take an aperò with your friends in Le Marais, enjoy an art exhibition at Grand Palais and try famous French pastries at the patisserie at the corner of the Rue

Of course, it has also some disadvantages, the biggest one being distance from the school: in fact, it will take a 45-50 minutes train ride to reach ESSEC, which is located in Cergy, at the end of the RER A. 

STEP 1: What do you need?

First of all, you need to know that most of the time you need to provide the agency or the landlord with a series of documents that constitute your dossier. These documents are the following:

·         -ID
·         -Enrolment Certificate at your school
·         -ID of your guarantor
·         -Payrolls of your guarantor
·         -Convention de Stage or last 3 payrolls

STEP 2: Which area?

The second step is starting to check out apartments online, based on your preferences. Here, you need to be aware that Paris has 20 districts (arrondissements) that are organized in a snail-like formation, the 1st arrondissement being the center of the city (near the Louvre) and the others are around it. 

The very heart of Paris includes arrondissements 1 to 9 and arrondissements 10 to 20 form the second ring. 

Rue Montorgueil, Paris
Each arrondissement has its own personality: the Latin Quarter (5th) is a charming, lively arrondissement that is quite expensive. The 3rd arrondissement (Le Marais) is a trendy and touristy area, with excellent restaurants and shops.  Bastille (11th) is a residential area, which is also popular for its nightlife. For more information about the different arrondissements, click  here

Arrondissements in Paris





Studying at ESSEC means taking the RER A to reach Cergy. The RER A can be taken at the following stations: La Defense, Charles de Gaulle Etoile (8th), Auber (9th), Chatelet Les Halles (1st), and Nation (11th). It's a wise choice to find a flat near one of these stops, or at least near one subway stop that will allow you to reach one of these stations quickly. 

STEP 3: Finding a room - List of Awesome Agencies! (Click on them for more info)



If you prefer sharing a flat with someone, you should check out these website for house sharing. These solutions are good to avoid agency costs and to find new friends! 


Facebook Groups are also a good idea!



GOOD TO KNOW:

      Some landlords would prefer you having a French guarantor, that is a relative of yours that live in France and that can guarantee your lease. Some agencies and landlord don’t require the guarantor to be French.

      If you are a student and below 26 years old, you are most likely entitled to have a housing subsidy from the French state. The amount you get depends on the location of your flat, the size and the rent. Normally, it’s between 100 to 220€ a month. More info here

      Visit before renting! Although Paris is not known for scammers, it is good practice to visit an apartment before signing a contract or paying a deposit. It will allow you to check that the room is decent and that the area is safe and nice! 



Good luck with your search! :)