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.

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