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.

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

Friday, 4 May 2018

How to go from “Je m’appelle baguette” to acing a job interview in French

 It’s not a new trend that studying abroad provides plenty of cool opportunities to learn a new culture and language. Despite the fact that most universities offer lectures in English, it’s a good idea to step out of your comfort zone and get to know the basics of the local language. If you are planning to stay abroad for work, it is even more important to do so.

"’s a good idea to step out of your comfort zone and get to know the basics of the local language"

In some places, like the Netherlands or Germany, one can survive for longer periods with the aid of English only; in France this is not the case. Here, everyday activities such as grocery shopping or buying a transport card might become quite challenging, let alone finding an internship. In fact, one thing that is silently known but not openly admitted is the difficulty of finding a job in France without being fluent in French. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of companies that are willing to close an eye on this if the candidate’s profile is well fitting, but one should at least be able to interact with co-workers in their native language.

Therefore, for the sake of a smoother everyday life but also for the pursuit of one’s career, it is recommended to learn the basics of the French language before arriving to France. Although it might be hard to squeeze in French classes while preparing for the GMAT, applying to different master’s degrees, writing a bachelor thesis or completing an internship, it would be a small sacrifice that will yield results later on. Below are a few tips (that can be followed anywhere, at any time) to learn the language in an effective way.

" is recommended to learn the basics of the French language before arriving to France"

#1 Technology is your ally (apps, videos, etc.)

Today is probably the best era to learn new things, as we are surrounded by tools and techniques allowing a more personalized approach to acquiring new skills and knowledge. The good old flashcards can be useful but slightly unpractical, so apps providing quick exercises like Duolinguo, will boost one’s vocab in no time. Another precious tool is Easy French, a YouTube channel offering a plethora videos (with subtitles) for any type of user and interest.

#2 Know the Rules

Grammar is the bone structure of a language and although studying it intensely might not be the fastest way to master a language, having a rough knowledge of verb tenses and their uses might actually make the difference between making people giggle and being able to impress a recruiter. The Becherelle, a tiny (it fits in any medium-sized purse J) booklet on verbs’ conjugations and basic grammar rules, is definitely one’s best buddy on the journey to mastering the French language.

"...having a rough knowledge of verb tenses and their uses might actually make the difference between making people giggle and being able to impress a recruiter."

#3 Movies & series

It is true that one is a click away from changing the language settings on Netflix or from downloading a movie in another language, but one can use the study of a foreign language as an excuse to get acquainted with a completely new cinematographic tradition. Luckily, French cinema produced some masterpieces, ranging from the classic Amélie to the success of Intouchables. However, for those who enjoy the lightness of series, Plus Belle la Vie and Caméra Café should do the trick. Watching a movie in French with French subtitles can actually help the ear get used to the new words while training the eye to their spelling.

#4 Imagine a situation with Frenchies

Another extremely useful activity is to imagine an everyday situation, such as visiting a provider to get a forfeit and then translate the imaginary conversation on paper. This might sound weird to do, but it is actually very effective as it prepares to react to ordinary events without having the need to use the sign language.

#5 Wanted: French native speaker

Needless to say, feeling comfortable having a conversation in a foreign language is the hardest part of the whole process and yet probably the most crucial one, especially if the goal is to ace the interview and get the job. And here is where the greatness of social media comes in: believe it or not, people of any nationality living abroad will have a Facebook group in which they share experiences and tips. All one needs to do is to look for it (for example “Les françaises à Berlin/New York/Katmandu”) and share a post asking if anyone is willing to spend some time weekly over a coffee to chat in French. 

"...feeling comfortable having a conversation in a foreign language is the hardest part of the whole process and yet probably the most crucial one"

Most likely, those who come forward are glad to meet new people and to share their culture and in the best case scenario, they will be willing to check your homework or recommend you books and movies. This is not only much cheaper and more flexible than enrolling in a traditional language course, but also achievements will come more quickly and there’s the chance of making a new friend.

All these are just a few of the many ways in which one can learn a new language; however there are some key ingredients to a successful approach: commitment and motivation. They prevent from constantly postponing and from giving up once the first difficulties arise (rest assured, they will). One just needs to drop the excuses, the “I’m not a language person” idea and use downtimes fruitfully. By regularly practicing French when commuting on public transport, while waiting for the nail polish to dry or even during your workout routine, results will come sooner than expected.

"By regularly practicing French...results will come sooner than expected."

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