Wednesday 23 April 2014

Student Interview # 2: Alessia Perego on finding her apprenticeship at Dior

By Alice CamporesiMSc in Management 1st year student, Italy

Alessia Perego is an Italian student attending ESSEC Business School's MSc in Management. She graduated previously from Bocconi University and joined ESSEC in September 2013. Since then, she has found an apprenticeship at Parfums Christian Dior, part of the LVMH Group.

·         Why did you join ESSEC?

I wanted to come to France because my dream career was to work for a luxury fashion company and I know France is a leader in this industry. Moreover, I was aware of the fact that ESSEC has good business relations with many companies of my interest and offers great opportunities to introduce its students to the luxury industry, such as the LVMH chair, and so I chose to apply for ESSEC. I also applied because of the opportunity to go to Asia, to the Singapore campus.

But honestly I had not realized how amazing the program and the school is until I actually started here in September 2013. I could not have made a better choice. I love Paris, I love the flexibility that ESSEC offers, I really enjoy the connections with companies that ESSEC has, and I love the mentality of the ESSEC students.

·         Now, tell us about your apprenticeship.

I am working at Parfums Christian Dior as an Internal Controller. I work 3 days a week and am on campus for the remaining two. 95% of my job is conducted in English, so I had no problem with the language. I really like it: I love the company, the people and the position. Next year, if I learn fast, I could even go abroad with my team to do some internal auditing missions!

·         Was it hard to get?

I did not feel it was hard, but I think I also had luck on my side. I was not looking for an apprenticeship since I thought I needed a better level of French to work for a French company, but then I saw the job offer on ESSEC career service website and the position and the company were what I really have wanted to do for years: it was my dream and I wanted to try.
At midnight I wrote a motivation letter in 10 minutes, thinking that I would have never been accepted, but the next day I received a phone call for the interview!
I had to pass 3 hard interviews before getting the position, but with hard work, and ESSEC people’s support I made it!

·         Did ESSEC help you? What about your tutor?

Yes, they helped me a lot. First of all, as I said, I found the offer on the ESSEC website. Second, I asked for many suggestions from some professors and from the career service to get well prepared for my interviews, and they all were very helpful.
This is what I really like about ESSEC: the people who work there are not just “employees” of the school, but they really care about motivating you and helping you succeed. For example, I spent 2 hours at one of my professors’ office and he was just glad to be useful and helpful. My tutor also knew the company well, so she gave me many useful tips and advice too.

·         Are you satisfied with your choice?

Yes, working and studying at the same time really opens up your mind. You can apply what you see at work on a daily basis in business cases in class, or vice versa. I am economically independent, I feel part of the company but at the same time I keep being a university student, and I am building very strong relationships with Dior. Working for two years in a company helps you a lot to really know the work environment surrounding you and it allows the company to invest in your training more than it would do for an internship since you are a long-term investment.

·         Would you change any of your choices if you had the chance?

No, none.

Wednesday 16 April 2014

Student Interview # 1: Paul Meunier, 1st year MSc in Management

By Rafaela Echterdiek, MSc in Management 1st year student, Germany

Paul Meunier is a 25 year old first year MSc in Management student at ESSEC. He is half French and half Japanese. He did his Bachelor of Science in Finance at Santa Clara University (San Francisco Bay Area). In the following, he answers various questions about his application at ESSEC, his current studies and his future professional goals. 

Why did you choose to come to ESSEC?

I chose ESSEC because it gives me the possibility to customize my own curriculum. After my Bachelor in Finance I wanted to specialize in corporate finance in the health care industry (become a financial health care analyst in health care). ESSEC offers a corporate finance track which I plan to follow in January which will allow me to get an in-depth insight into this area. 
Apart from that ESSEC offers a “Therapeutic Innovation Chair” sponsored by GSK, Roche and Celgene; three main players in the medicine industry. I spoke with former participants of the Chair who told me that the Chair gave them a remarkable understanding of the health care industry. The teaching methods consist of case studies, role plays and various guest lecturers from the industry. This close interaction with the industry also gave them great opportunities to approach the companies and gain internship or work possibilities.
I could not find similar health care specific tracks at other Universities and as I want to start my career in health care I thought this program would give me the best foundation to realize my future professional goals.
I also chose ESSEC because it gave me the possibility to study in English. I did my Bachelor in the U.S. and I believe that having an international outlook is essential for anyone who wants to have an ambitious career.
ESSEC has a campus in Singapore where it is possible to follow a corporate finance track. I believe that Asia will play an increasing role in the global economy in the coming years and getting the possibility to study in Singapore will allow me to gain a better understanding of the Asian market and provide me with valuable experiences on this continent; but to be honest I have not decided whether or not I should apply to Singapore next year.

Why not?

Well, ESSEC has actually a lot of very good partner Universities all over the world, including Asia. I think it is not easy to choose from all the possibilities the one which will be best for me. But you know, that is the great thing about ESSEC, if I want to, I could just go to Singapore in January, do the finance track there and then continue with a semester abroad at Kellogg Graduate School of Management (Northwestern University Evanston, IL) in the US.
However, another reason why I applied to ESSEC is that the school is one of the most prestigious Grand Ecoles in France. Getting accepted into this program allows me to build a professional network which I think will be very valuable in my future career.  

How do you think ESSEC can help you to achieve your future goals?

During the past 6 months I have been studying at ESSEC we had 3 career days in which the best companies of various industries came to the campus to promote their company. First of all, it allowed to asked questions and learn more about individual companies. Secondly, it was a great way to apply for internships and start building a professional network. Apart from that, we have an online job center. Every week there are new internships or work offers posted.
ESSEC also has a career service center which frequently offers tutorials on writing a CV or cover letter or preparing for an interview. I of course don’t manage to go to all of these events but the ones I went to gave me some good tips on how to improve my current CV.

How do you like your studies at ESSEC so far?

I think that coming to ESSEC was the right decision. I am currently part of the Therapeutic Innovation Chair which totally meets my expectations. I believe that this Chair perfectly prepares me to start a career in health care. I feel that I gain a competitive advantage compared to other future graduates as not a lot of students get the possibility to interact with the industry so closely during their studies. The cases are often real world past problems and during our class we often get to discuss these cases with people who have actually participated in the real life negotiation in the past.