Wednesday 28 May 2014

Student Interview # 4: Serge Imasdounian

By Rita Sisto, 1st year MSc in Management student, Lebanon

Name: Serge Imasdounian
Age: 23
Nationality/Country of origin: Lebanon
Previous Diploma: BE Mechanical Engineering

Hello, my name is Serge Imasdounian. I graduated in June 2013 from the American University of Beirut, Lebanon, with a Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering. While studying for my degree, I was also active in numerous associations that focus on sustainable development. My team and I have organized diverse social activities varying from large-scale food campaigns to reforestation projects and community work. This experience has always kept a balance between my academic development and my ability to interact with the people I am working with.

Why did you choose ESSEC? Why did you choose the MSc in Management program?
Given my bachelor degree most of the work experiences I had so far were in the engineering technical field. In the last year of my curriculum, my interests have shifted towards finance and I was looking for a degree that would enable me to make this shift. I chose the MSc in Management program because it adds to my analytical knowledge, and gives me access to the necessary financial knowhow that would qualify me to work in this field. For me, studying in an environment that has generated top executives in the finance sector was a crucial factor. Being a member of the ESSEC community gives me access to a network of alumni who have well positioned themselves in multinational firms.
What are your plans for the future?
I am currently looking for an internship in Private Banking, as it is a sector that balances profound knowledge in financial markets with exceptional interpersonal skills.
What do you like most about ESSEC?
Personalization – ESSEC offers its students the ability to customize the MSc degree to their own interests. This represents a unique privilege for students who wish to follow a particular track, as they will be able to handpick the courses which are of their interest without any administrative restrictions. In parallel, the program is also a melting pot for students from all over the world. I have met students coming from Germany, Italy, India and China, and while I discovered their cultures, I have learned to see things from different perspectives.
Why would you encourage prospective students to apply?
Well, in addition to what I have mentioned before, I think the diverse international opportunities ESSEC offers to its students makes the program richer. Whether its international exchanges or programs in ESSEC Singapore, students have the chance to tailor their degree by enhancing it with the advantages of unique international experiences. 

Thursday 22 May 2014

Student Interview #3: Ni Pan

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

Ni Pan is a 25 year old 1st year MSc in Management student at ESSEC. Originally from China, she did a Bachelor in English Interpreting and Translating at Nanjing Normal University. Thereafter, Ni completed a Master in Interpreting and Translating at Bath University (United Kingdom) and a Master in International Studies and Diplomacy at SOAS, University of London (UK). 


Why did you choose to come to ESSEC?

After I completed my studies in Interpreting and Diplomacy in the UK, I still thought that there are more interesting areas to explore. At the same time, I was thinking of going to a business school which offers multi-dimensional career choices and comprehensive training for business world beginners. Firstly, I focused my choices on France. The main reason for choosing France is for its delicate way of living, the beautiful language and its geographical location, which facilitate my understanding of the European mentality and culture as a whole.

Through research and insight conversations with people in different industries, I was looking for a higher education institution in France with outstanding finance courses or business courses in general, a great reputation and a strong alumni community. I actually applied for several business schools, and eventually I chose to come to ESSEC because the programme offers a lot of flexibility and freedom to shape my curriculum throughout my stay and the student-supporting environment. Also, ESSEC has a very good reputation in finance. Last but not least, I thought that being part of a community with fellow students who share the same ambitions and challenges will help me with my personal and professional growth.

Could you specify what exactly you mean with that?

Well, at ESSEC we have a career service centre which helps students to find a job, prepare application material and get ready for job interviews. We have a career website in which a lot of internships, apprenticeships and job offers are posted. In addition, we have regular job fairs with different focuses, attracting the best employers to come to recruit.

How do you like your stay at ESSEC so far?

I think it is one of the best decisions I made in my life! For people who don’t come from a business background like me, the first thing to acquire is the basics. I enjoy an excellent level of teaching at ESSEC. 

The first semester I had 8 pre-master courses providing the basics of business, which were challenging but rewarding as professors are not only informative but also engaging. The other thing I am personally very attached to are the services available at the school (chairs, career services, associations) which truly help me to adapt and grow.

In the second semester, I joined the Chair of Therapeutic Innovation which is a group of courses specialised in the healthcare industry. Its founder, Prof Katz, offers not only inspirational classes but also brings high-level industry networks into the class. To give you an example, we had 29 lectures covering all the different aspects of the healthcare industry. They are taught mostly by industry professionals with insightful knowledge and very often job offers for chair students.

Apart from classes and networks, we develop our friendship within the associations, chairs and classes. This is a strong point for ESSEC: I meet and work with many students from different countries and backgrounds. It is a miniature of real life environment. Learning how to reach out, make friends and word together are essential for foreign students. In other words, soft skills are able to develop given a diverse and international student body.

To sum up, I really enjoy my time spent at ESSEC and I am certain that more exciting experiences will come over the next two years!

What are your future professional ambitions?

Compared to other industries, I have developed a keen interest in finance. Therefore, I would like to orient my future job search and study in this field. At ESSEC, I have the choice to follow a finance track to strengthen my knowledge in this particular domain.

Apart from finance, I have genuine interests in different aspects in business. In order to explore more and take full advantage of the diverse courses provided by ESSEC, I am planning on taking courses like negotiation workshop, entrepreneurship, strategy management, health economics etc. At this stage, broadening my business horizons is more essential for me than to stick to only one career possibility. As far as I am concerned, business industries are intertwined, and you never know which knowledge you acquire today will come in handy in the future.

During my three years in the Grande Ecole programme, I have the flexibility to explore different business functions by doing internships. Currently, I am working for a consulting firm specialised in life sciences and for the next one, I would like to try finance. I believe that at the end of my studies, I will be more competitive and knowledgeable about my chosen career.

Wednesday 14 May 2014

Student Association # 2: Noir sur Blanc

By Rohit Bhalla and Alice Camporesi, 1st year MSc in Management students, India and Italy respectively

Noir Sur Blanc

Shruti Tyagi

What is the name of your association and what does it do?

I am a part of Noir sur Blanc, the photography association. We are a bunch of enthusiastic photographers who constantly seek to learn a lot from each other. Apart from organizing photo contests and photography lessons, we cover various events at ESSEC!
Describe briefly your experience within your association.

Marvellous! Needless to say, the association is very welcoming towards international students and has a very versatile atmosphere. As a new recruit, I was constantly encouraged to take up new tasks and within a few meetings I could feel the true sense of belonging.
And yes, the association weekends are amazingly fun!

Would you advise people be part of it?

Undoubtedly. If one is passionate about the unique art of photography and wants to explore it, enjoy it and dedicate a part of busy ESSEC life to it, Noir sur Blanc is the perfect platform.

You can find more information on the Noir sur Blanc ESSEC student club at: 

Monday 5 May 2014

Student Association #1: MELT

By Alice Camporesi, 1st year MSc in Management student, Italy


Interview with 
Pushkar Raghav

What is the name of your association and what does it do?

I am in MELT. The motto of Melt is to bridge the gap between the French students and the international students (both full-time and exchange students) and hence ensuring the complete integration of the international students with our school.

Describe briefly your experience within your association.

I was recruited a month ago, and I had genial experience during my interview as the recruiters were very amiable and understanding and encouraged me to reply in French although I only managed to speak in Franglais (as I am not good in French). For me it provides great opportunities to mingle with ESSEC students and know their culture. We just held International Day which is an event to promote cultures of many countries and a special booth on Brazil. 

Would you advise people be part of it?

Although it might sound funny (because we are an association for international students) but it’s an excellent opportunity to improve your French because we interact amongst ourselves in French since most members are French. The more obvious advantage is getting the opportunity to meet various international students with diverse backgrounds and be of service to them. So I would definitely encourage other students to be a part of it.  

Photos from International Day, 29th April, ESSEC Cergy campus

You can find more information on MELT ESSEC on their dedicated Facebook page.