Saturday, 12 January 2019

Why should you learn French before arriving at ESSEC?


“You live a new life for every language you speak. If you know only one language, you live only once.” – Czech proverb

Let’s be honest. Boarding a plane, travelling thousands of kilometres to finally land in Paris to join the Masters in Management Grande Ecole at ESSEC is not an easy ride. It involves some inherent form of courage, a great curriculum and definitely a clear willingness to improve your future in every possible way. It means being aware that it is finally time to think big and walk the talk.

This is why, when you finally board that plane holding your admission letter in one hand and the heavy luggage in the other, you may be tempted to think that it is finally done.

 
Everything has been handled with great care. There is a flat waiting for you close to ESSEC, VISA and passports ready to be stamped and, finally, you have clothes for every season.

But there is something you forgot to pack: a basic knowledge of the French language.

You are not convinced? Let me better explain. ESSEC is an International Business School, meaning that your future studies will be entirely in English. On the campus everyone speaks English. You can write emails and communicate with people expecting a fluent level of English from their side.

But outside ESSEC you will not always find people speaking fluently English. This is particularly true if you want to experience the real culture of France and not only the most famous touristic spots in Paris.

So, what do we do now? Let’s assume we can go back in time and let’s check out our options to learn some basic French before landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport.

Duolingo


If you want to maximize the ROI and have fun during the process the app Duolingo is the perfect choice for you. It is divided in levels, and it focusses on lexicon and basic grammar, but also on pronunciation. You can use it wherever you want, and you can even compete with your friends. It helped me a lot during my first weeks in Paris.


SLOWLY


When I was studying English, I remember that my teacher suggested having a “pen pal” as a mean to learn faster. Thanks to the app Slowly, you can have many French pen pals matched to your interests (art, science, culture) and practice written French. Your “message in the bottle” will take the same amount of time that it normally takes to physically go from your country to France and this is done to incentivize users to write long, well-written and interesting messages.

French Cinema


According to research on neurosciences & learning behaviours, you learn faster when you associate a word in a new language to an image or an emotion instead that just to its translation in your own native language. Cinema is the perfect way to do so, and in addition French cinema is full of interesting directors and genres (who said la Nouvelle Vague?). To start, try this list of great French cinema masterpieces.


Alliance Française


If you have time and if you want to start your experience at ESSEC in the best possible way, one of the options could be to follow some class at Alliance Française. There are “ateliers” for every level of language and for every topic like grammar, oral speaking, listening… If you live in a big town, you can probably find an Alliance Française near-by. If you are far from an Alliance Française, you can always follow their onlinefree MOOCs.

Real Life



No need to exaggerate and over-study. After all, the best teacher is real life. When you will arrive in Paris, your level of French will definitely improve much faster. Of course, the best way of learning French is by talking with French people, exploring the country and its history and experiencing the Parisian life and everything it can offers. I call this last technique “learn by living”!

Written by A. Carletta, Student Ambassador for the MiM program

Saturday, 15 December 2018

The future of business schools is Agile


A very old lecture (University of Bologna)
We have all experienced the hurdle of being in a huge class, with hundreds of fellow students, trying to capture the very top-down key learnings of a far-away professor speaking about entrepreneurship and new frontiers. We all know the sound of all the scratching pens copying some confused and over-loaded slides on a confused and overloaded paper notebook. This basic pedagogy did not substantially change for hundreds of years since the first modern universities popped out in the world around the 11th Century AD. 

ESSEC promotion of 1909
Then, at some point in the 20th Century, someone in the US came out with a revolutionary idea: the modern MBA. The idea behind every MBA is to offer a course strongly based on case studies and experiential learning. In order to do that, MBAs typically relies on small classes to foster participation and discussion and on much teamwork to « learn by doing ».

This MBA-approach was then adopted in all the modern business schools, like ESSEC, in many of their programs like, for example, the flagship Masters In Management. But how to further develop the 21st Century pedagogy to equip the leaders of tomorrow with the necessary skills to succeed?

Someone who spends a good amount of his free time to read literature and specialized press on managerial topics will surely come across, from time to time, with the word Agile. The Agile approach was originally developed to revolutionize project management for software development. The original idea behind Agile is that software development is often unpredictable and that therefore this unpredictability has to be tackled thanks to incremental, iterative work sequences and transversal problem-solving.

After some time from the invention of this revolutionary
approach, it turned out that the modern macro-environment, including customer shifts, climate change and demographics trends are much more unpredictable than software.  


Therefore, the necessity to achieve Agility in real-life management situations started to arise. Some business schools took up the torch of this pedagogical revolution and started to propose Agile curriculums during their programs. How?

Take the flagship Masters in Management at ESSEC. Every trimester, you have to face a choice: exchange, professional experience or courses. Let’s say that you pick courses. What happens in almost every university in the world is that the university will choice the courses you have to follow and if you are lucky enough you will be able to choose a couple of extra classes during a 2-years program. This is not how Agile works. Let’s come back at ESSEC. One month before the trimester starts, you will be able to choose up to 7 courses from more than 200+ classes covering everything from finance, ethics, marketing to strategy. This unlimited freedom to shape your curriculum will allow you to develop your knowledge dynamically depending, for example, on which internship you want to do first or on which project you are working on (you can find the full list of courses here).



ESSEC Asia-Pacific classes
Let’s say you want to go in exchange. You have 10 double degrees all around the world. You have ESSEC Singapore and ESSEC Rabat with their exclusive paths and programs. You have hundreds of exchange destinations both at MBA and MSC level. Do you want to do all those things? It turns out that you can!

Finally, what if you chose professional experience? Being on the top business school in the world will allow you to find great internships both in Europe and outside. You will be able to do an apprenticeship if you prefer to have a more flexible schedule, studying 6 months and working for the rest of the year.




In conclusion, all this unprecedented freedom has been carefully designed to give to ESSEC students the capacity and the tools to face the big challenges of our modern world. In short, to make them Agile. 


Written by A. Carletta, Student Ambassador for the MiM program

Saturday, 24 November 2018

Five Reasons to Join the Master in Management at ESSEC

Deciding to start a Master in Management at ESSEC is a big decision for aspiring managers. Is pursuing a Master in Management program offered by a top business school like ESSEC worth the time? Are the financial investment and the demanding entry requirements worth it?
If you're preparing to enter the competitive business world of today, I believe it is.

An MiM graduate degree will offer you a wealth of advantages.

Getting a high salary after graduation, landing a management position, or even becoming your own boss are just a few other advantages. 

1. Get free access to a large business network
As an ESSEC MiM student, you have great networking opportunities. You’ll get to interact with colleagues, professors and teaching staff (business people with great management experience). And this context will accentuate your business management capabilities.


Finally, you gain access to the extensive alumni network of that particular MiM programme. Your connections will give you a great overview of the business world. Be ready for a deep understanding of the slightest changes in the business environment. You can reflect on some big business issues, and make connections between various global events and world affairs.
At ESSEC, you will have access to a network of 50’000 alumni all around the world. 



2. Higher salary for working professionals
The average salary for an MiM graduate is much higher than an employee with a regular Bachelor. You can expect to earn twice as much as what you would expect from a regular university degree. The average wage after three years for ESSEC students (according to the Financial Times Ranking) was 93’461$ in 2018, growing faster on a year to year basis.


3. Start your own company from scratch

Many students choose an ESSEC MiM because they want to become entrepreneurs and learn how to run a business. They have a big dream and want to know how to turn it into reality. An ESSEC MiM will help you acquire business practices needed to start a new business or help existing ones grow. At ESSEC, you will be able to access 2 incubators that already raised 300M in Equity, financing 400 start-up with a success rate of 72% (compared with the 30% market average).



Many MiM graduates end up starting their own business. Those who don’t, land middle-level or top-level management positions within big companies. Just imagine how becoming your own boss would feel like.





4. Experience a new place and culture
By earning an MiM abroad, you will gain a new perspective on how businesses are handled and get to live in a foreign country. This will broaden your cultural horizon and your business career prospects. In case of ESSEC, you will have the opportunity to study in Paris, Singapore and Rabat or to go to hundreds of possible exchanges both at MBA and MiM level.
 

5. The Learn By Doing Approach 
At ESSEC, you will be able to choose between more than 200 courses every trimester, including many Specializations and Chairs. Those particular programs are unique partnerships with companies, and allow you to really understand how to implement what you have learnt at school. Classes and lectures are often based on real-life cases that very often are presented and discussed by ESSEC partner enterprises. In this way, you will be able to develop tangible management skills.

Sunday, 11 November 2018

ESSEC Association Guide: Delta ESSEC

When I exchange, almost every single day, with students interested in the Master in Management program at ESSEC I often answer to questions related to career prospects, academics or double degree programs. However, almost everyone asks: “How is the student life at ESSEC?”.

I love to answer to this question, mainly because for me student life at ESSEC was something totally new compared to my previous university. When I arrived at ESSEC, I started to wonder how incredible is that students are so involved in initiatives that are not necessarily linked with their professional career or with their academic path. Associations at ESSEC are a big part of the whole experience and they are a great way to learn, to meet new people and, of course, to have fun. There are many associations both in ESSEC Paris and in ESSEC Singapore.

Associations at ESSEC can be divided in 5 big groups: Humanitarian Associations, Professional Associations, Sport Associations, Cultural Associations and Free-time Associations. Globally, there are more than 100 associations at ESSEC and I guess it will be a real challenge to talk of all of them in just an article. This is why, in the next months, I will write specific articles on the best associations of those 5 groups.



But I want to start with my very experience at Delta ESSEC. Delta ESSEC is a humanitarian association that collaborate with a South African NGO, called Swa Vana (“For the children”), to promote access to education and basic care for the children of a rural community in South Africa. Swa Vana is a multi-purpose centre in Huntington, 500km East of Johannesburg, where children come after school to play, eat something and learn.
 

Delta 2018 members with the NGO's permanent volunteers
The association action plan is very simple and it consists of 9 months of fundraising in France, mainly thanks to corporate partnerships & crowdfunding, followed by a 5 weeks mission in South Africa.

But what was the action plan for the 2018 mission?

First of all, we funded 2 scholarships to the 2 bests students in the Swa Vana centre to allow them to access tertiary education. Unfortunately, in the rural area where we worked, called Mpumalanga, access to quality education is extremely difficult and students tend to withdraw from school when they are still very young. 


This is why we also worked for 5 weeks in the village high school and primary school, teaching Mathematics and English in buildings that were mere containers with more than 40 children for class. Here we understood the unique challenges that the government and local NGOs have to face to guarantee a better future to the local population.

Teaching in an high school class inside a container
But we also spent our time visiting and helping local families in their daily tasks. This, in particular, was an incredible way to understand the struggle of living in such a poor village, a place where mothers, sometimes alone and abandoned, often confess you they believe there is no future for their own children. Such a sense of hopelessness really motivated us to do more and more, and this is why we worked on the improvement of the Swa Vana centre to help them meet the government requirements needed to receive public funding. This was extremely important to guarantee the future economic sustainability of the NGO.

A child playing with the threads used by his grandmother to make a living 
Finally, we partnered with a local entrepreneur to build a dormitory part of a learning centre for children with handicaps. The families of those children cannot afford the cost of sending them to special schools. For this reason the children have no opportunity to learn and they are marginalized by society. By building this facility, we granted access to basic education to 14 children with disabilities. Of course, building a 100 square meters structure in just 4 weeks was definitely a crazy project... but luckily, we were able to make it thanks to the collaboration of local workers and building experts!


The building site
Even if we made the most of our 5 weeks, a lot has still to be done! This is why Delta is already working on the general fundraising plan for the 2019 mission. The improvement of the Swa Vana library with digital resources, for example, is a real priority to guarantee better education to the local community. In addition to this, we are working on a project that involves the creation of a little task force to clean the village from all the trash and plastic that heavily pollutes the environment. 

(Are you a member of an associations at ESSEC? Would you like to help future students to find their perfect association? Write us on the Facebook Master in Management Page!)

Written by A. Carletta, Student Ambassador for the MiM program

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

How to find the best internship while studying at ESSEC

Finding an internship while being a student at ESSEC requires good strategy and a clear vision of your future, but with some good insider tricks you can really boost your chances!
 

1. Book an appointment with ESSEC Career Center


If you’re reading this article you are probably a student at ESSEC, and if you’re lucky enough to be enrolled in one of the top business school in the world why not using one of the greatest services ESSEC offers: career consulting.

"Never understimate the importance of talking to experts"
Here you will get unique insights regarding the industry and the top skills required. You can easily book on MyESSEC a 1h meeting with a career booster in consulting, finance or maybe luxury and dramatically increase your chances of getting the internship you want!



2. Networking


Now that you have the best insights on a company or on an industry, you still need to gather internal information from that company. This will help you say and do the things the HR expects from you. But how can you get this kind of exclusive insights? Luckily, being at ESSEC means being part of a family, and you can always search on LinkedIn some ESSEC alumni who worked for the company you like and send them a message. In addition to this, you will have access to an incredible database of alumni experiences that you can consult every time to gather useful information.



3. Career fairs


Being enrolled in the 4th MiM worldwide (Financial Time ranking 2018) means that top employers are naturally attracted by you, and they will come multiple times a year to the Campus in order to present their company, their values and their working opportunities.

"Sometimes you will find 10 applicants for 1 single position"
Company presentations and fairs at ESSEC are happening every week. Dress elegantly, print some CVs and start networking!



4. CV and Cover Letter


Now that you gathered so much information, both internally and externally, it’s time to fine tune your CV. Technically, you should have a CV that highlights the specific top skills required for each job you’re applying for. For what concerns the cover letter, don’t forget that it is nothing more than your “selling pitch”, meaning that you need to use it to “sell yourself” and your skills and to show why you’re so unique between the other applicants. You can find very useful career suggestions on the MyESSEC Career Center.



5. Apply!


Very often, applying on LinkedIn means being 1 in 1'000 applicants, thus lowering your possibilities of getting noted by a large extent. Do you know that on average, an HR takes only 6.25 seconds to screen your CV (even though, it still takes 2 full hours to screen 1’000 applicants)? Much better to apply through Job Teaser, the ESSEC Career Service portal. Here you will find exclusive opportunities from partner companies that are carefully selected for ESSEC’s students.
"You're the perfect fit for our company...Welcome aboard!"



6. Prepare your Interview


Now that you have your interview you finally have the opportunity to show your skills and why you’re the best candidate. If you want exclusive insights on how to crack your job interview, write us a comment and we will prepare another article on this!

Saturday, 6 October 2018

5 Reasons to be part of the ESSEC Leadership and Diversity Chair with L’Oréal

"Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality"
We live in a world where complexity and change constantly shift our objectives and finalities. Many “modern” companies still rely on teams that are not diverse at all to face those new challenges. Research and experience, together with the opinion of the biggest banks and consulting firms, suggest that this wishful thinking is a huge strategic error. But managing diversity requires a strong leadership and a clear vision of the future. Thus, how can the manager of tomorrow develop those essential skills? The ESSEC Leadership and Diversity Chair in partnership with L’Oréal is the answer to this challenge. Here you will find 5 reasons to be part of this highly selective program:
  1. You will learn how to work with people from all over the world and you will learn how important is to build an inclusive culture in modern companies.
  2. You will develop essential management skills like negotiation and mediation. In addition to this, you will also learn how to deliver and perform an engaging public speech. And in order to do so, you will benefit directly from the know-how of L’Oréal that, according to many rankings, is one of the most diverse, ethical (and successful) companies in the world.
  3. You will learn how to listen, value and summarize the different points of view of a flexible team and you will feel empowered by the freedom to propose and lead new successful projects.
    By doing so, you will develop great content and a strategy that will inspire change in people all over the world. You will have to use your brainstorming and problem-solving skills to understand our market and the best strategy to reach our objectives.
  4. You will travel with your engaged team in another country for the annual Chair trip and you will learn from diversity’s champions during companies’ visits.
  5. You will have an unique opportunity to participate to the One Young World, the most important forum for young leaders in the world.

If you enjoyed reading this periodic issue on ESSEC Business School, write a comment and let us know which Chair/Association/Specialisation you would like to know more about. We will gather information and prepare an article on it.



Written by A. Carletta, Student Ambassador for the MiM program


Monday, 4 June 2018

Time Management 101 - How to be an Organized Student


1 week has 7 days, 168 hours, 10,080 minutes. That’s a lot of time. 

If we consider that one is supposed to sleep on average 8 hours per night, that leaves 112 hours for awake time. Which is still a LOT of time. Why is it then that it often seems like the day ran by in a second and we didn’t get anything done?! 



Time management is a really important skill and most job descriptions show requirements such as well-organized, precision, multitasking, able to work under pressure (among various other superpowers) so, how is it possible to practice these mysterious abilities in the everyday life to get ready for the real game? How can one organize their time?

Being organized leads to have a better perspective not only of what needs to be done when and how, but also provides a sense of priority to our duties and most importantly, prevents us from wasting time.


 In fact, there is nothing more precious than time and when beginning a new task, it is much more efficient to spend a couple of minutes figuring out what are the steps to be followed and the possible options, than wasting an hour trying to tackle the issue switching from one perspective to another. So in the end being organized translates also in being more effective in completing a task. 

Below are 3 golden tips to help disorganized but motivated people achieving the organizational nirvana.

#1: Write things down


Post-its, to-do lists, calendar apps, more traditional pen and paper, color codes. Anything, literally anything will do, as long as there is commitment and precision on one’s side. Although some of these methods might seem a bit old-school and boring, there is a recent trend, a bit hipster-ish and very instagrammable, to help boost one’s productivity and organization: the Bullet Journal. 

A bullet journal is nothing else than an empty notebook that one can fill on a daily basis in with the to-dos, rendez-vous, and the likes that have to be ticked once completed (spoiler alert: leaving to-dos non-ticked can be very annoying). What makes it cooler than a regular calendar (and more instagrammable) is that being its pages completely white, it is highly customizable and thus it is up to the owner to organize, decorate and make colourful. 

YouTube and Pinterest are full of inspirational material about how to structure it and how to doodle it (according to seasons and moods) and of useful tips about what kind of charts one could use. For example, a person who is on a training program might want to measure their progress and thus will be able to create a personalized tracking chart to visualize it. 

This bullet journal has three main benefits: i) helps not to forget about deadlines and duties, ii) it has a “chromotherapy” effect, as the decorating and doodling part helps to relax and be creative for a little while, iii) it can act as motivation thanks to the possibility of tracing one’s behaviour and progress over time.

P.S.: in extreme cases people use it to plan their daily meals, so they don’t waste time at the supermarket or deciding what to cook. J

#2: Keep yourself busy


The saying goes “If you want something done, ask a busy person”, implying that busier people are more likely to carry out unexpected duties. Since student life is so beautiful and professors often come up with last minute extra credit assignments that overworked students have to squeeze in between an essay, a sad sandwich (full of butter because hey, it’s France) and other uncountable group projects (all this without skipping the association’s meeting or the volleyball training), being busy might actually be beneficial. 

In fact, having a tight schedule helps becoming more prone to take on new projects, and more flexible in switching from one task to another.

A little tip to help coping with these tasks coming up, it is nice to schedule the day in such a way that one has always more or less one hour “free” (so to say) to dedicate to those unexpected duties (this helps especially when working in a fast-paced environment, when this happens almost daily, like in start-ups).

#3: Always be one step ahead


This is probably something we have heard ever since we were kids: do not postpone to tomorrow what can be done today. Even more, we should take advantage of today’s spare time to start working on tomorrow’s homework. This old-but-gold pearl of wisdom is actually really important even as grown-ups, although it requires a lot of discipline. 

In fact, when finishing earlier than expected our to-dos or when nothing unexpected comes up (and we have that extra hour scheduled for unexpected stuff), one would be tempted to collapse on the couch watching the latest episode of some Netflix series. 

However, since we are being trained to become managers and everybody knows that managers need to have a long-term perspective, a strong-willed student would just pick one of the to-dos scheduled for the weekend and do it in that idle time. 

By taking advantage of these moments, it is possible to create longer room for leisure later in the week and thus to watch more of those Netflix episodes at once (this technique was bingewatcher-tested). J

P.S. Also, this will come in handy especially during an internship, as completing a task a day or two before the deadline might actually make the difference between a farewell with a pat on the shoulder at the end of the contract and an enthusiastic hiring proposal.

Being a student can be tough, but with a few tricks it can actually get way easier!

Written by: Costanza Poser, 1st year MiM Grande Ecole Student