Wednesday 9 July 2014

Student Interview # 8 - Wenjing Feng on French student life and combining work and study at ESSEC

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

Wenjing FENG is a second year MSc in Management student from China. Before coming to ESSEC, Wenjing studied International Political Economics in Beijing. This year she was part of the student board (BDE) being responsible for the international students. Wenjing is currently doing an apprenticeship at Arkema as Business Analyst. 

Why did you join the student board (BDE) and what was your experience?

I joined the BDE because I wanted to really experience all parts of a typical French student life. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get to know French students. BDE organizes a lot of different events and parties for ESSEC students. Especially in the beginning, language was a challenge for me. However, a relaxed atmosphere like student parties made it easier to get to know people and to integrate. Special association songs and dances helped as well to feel fully integrated in the community. This year has been a great experience to understand and learn about the similarities and differences of studying in France. It also helped me a lot to improve my French.

Why did you come to ESSEC?

After my Bachelor in China I wanted to do a master's degree in business abroad. I searched for the best programs offered abroad and found that ESSEC has one of the best Management Master Programs worldwide. When I read more about the school I was intrigued by the opportunities ESSEC offers its students and by the flexibility every student has to design his/her own curriculum. I also felt that it was a good opportunity for me to learn another language. Hence, when I came to France I started studying French and thanks to my high involvement within the student association I am able to speak it now quite well.

How did you design your curriculum at ESSEC so far?

Well I am now doing an apprenticeship with Arkema, a leading Speciality Chemicals and Advanced Materials company. I hold the position of Business Analyst. So far I have enjoyed this experience very much. It is a good way to gain experience in the working world. I have interesting projects and get to work with low and high level managers. The company has a flat business structure which allows me to learn valuable soft skills. Apart from that I learned a lot of task specific skills which will help me in my professional life. I like the mix between going to university and working in a company because it gives me the possibility to apply concepts I learned in the classroom.

What are your next steps at ESSEC and after graduation?

Next year I am going to do an exchange at Mannheim University in Germany. The university has a very good reputation and I am already excited about living in another European country to see what it is like. I also chose Germany because I can imagine starting my career in Germany and I want to use this exchange to discover more about the German culture and its business practices.

After I graduate from ESSEC I will probably stay in Europe for a couple of years to gain more work experiences. ESSEC has a good professional network which will help me to find the right job for me. Although my apprenticeship circles a lot around finance I am probably going to look for a job in operations. I followed a lot of classes in this direction already at ESSEC, so I believe that I will be well equipped to start my career upon graduating from ESSEC.  

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