Friday 4 July 2014

Student Interview # 7 & ESSEC Chair # 2 - Sandra Körger tells us about her international experience choices and being part of the Sales & Marketing Chair

Interview by Rafaela Echterdiek, 1st year MSc in Management student from Germany

Sandra Körger is a 23 year old German student who started the ESSEC MSc in Management in September 2013. Before coming to ESSEC, Sandra studied Politics and Economics at the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster in Germany. She is part of the Vente et Stratégie Marketing (Sales & Marketing Strategy) Chair at ESSEC. This month, Sandra will follow the Global Manager in Asia track on the ESSEC Singapore campus and then in October 2014 will participate in the Asian Strategy Project before starting an exchange at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad at the end of December 2014.

Why did you choose to come to ESSEC?

When I finished my Bachelor’s in Germany I wanted to continue a Master’s programme in France. I studied French at high school and I always wanted to live in France at some point in my life. When I researched Master’s programmes I was thrilled by the diverse possibilities the Master in Management at ESSEC seemed to offer. During my Bachelor’s in Germany I participated in an exchange programme in Norway. Working together with other students from different cultural backgrounds was very educational and arose my interest to seek further international experiences. ESSEC seemed to offer this internationality with all its partner universities and the campus in Singapore. I looked for a Master’s programme which gives you the most freedom in choosing your courses and going abroad.

How have you designed your programme so far?

Well, I started my Master’s programme in September and joined the ESSEC Vente et Stratégie Marketing Chair in January. It is a 6 month programme focused on sales and marketing strategy. In July, I will go to Singapore to participate in the Global Manager in Asia programme at the ESSEC Singapore campus in order to acquire more knowledge about doing business in Asia. This programme is followed by the Asian Strategy Project, which is a consulting mission. Immediately after finishing the Asian Strategy Project, I will start a semester abroad in India at the end of December.  

Wow, why did you decide to go to Singapore and India?

I want to make the most out of my stay at ESSEC. A couple of years ago, I participated in an exchange in Beijing, China which got me interested in Asia. Apart from my personal interest to learn more about this continent, I believe that Asia will gain more and more importance businesswise in the next decades. I hope that the Global Manager in Asia will give me a first experience in working and living in an Asian environment. The programme will certainly give me more insights into the Asian economy and culture and I ultimately hope that it will enhance my abilities to work in Asia and within an Asian environment. The strategy project afterwards in cooperation with CapgeminiConsulting (see video below) will allow me to put my theoretically learned knowledge into practice. I seek a career in consultancy and thus working on a project in Asia with CapgeminiConsulting will allow me to gain further experience in this direction.

Finally, I will go on a semester abroad to Ahmedabad, India. I have chosen the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad because it has an excellent academic reputation and an academic focus on strategy. Apart from the fact that India is a diversified and culturally affluent country which gains increasing importance within the international trade, I believe that living in India will help me better understand this nation and business philosophy.

What did you do during the chair?

The chair is a 6 month programme in cooperation with several companies such as Michelin, Renault and Xerox. The chair is subdivided into two main parts: university lectures and a project in cooperation with CapgeminiConsulting for one of the partner companies. In the project I am working on, we have been asked to develop a benchmark for the company and to segment and position their product in one European market. Ultimately, the company wants to gain an understanding of which products best fit the market and to which price. Adding to that, we are looking at their overall communication strategy. We meet every two weeks with the customer to discuss the progress of the project and CapgeminiConsuting have been very helpful in guiding our efforts and advising on our work. Because lectures are only given by experts, there is a close link to the “real world”. It is extremely enriching to be able to ask questions to people who have an extensive practical experience.

To learn more about the Chaire Vente et Stratégie Marketing
I think this project is very interesting for me because it gives me a first experience in the responsibilities of a consultant which is a career path I am interested in. It is also very beneficial for my French as I am challenged to communicate on a business level in French. During the Chair we also visited Michelin’s headquarter in Clermont-Ferrand. We watched how they conduct crash tests and learned more about their manufacturing processes and operations. It was a very interesting trip which allowed us to better understand the theoretically learned models and strategies.

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