Monday, 15 June 2015

Apprenticeship - one of the best options to combine study and work



ESSEC offers its students a variety of opportunities to gain valuable professional experience, not only pure academic understanding of business. Moreover, it is required for a student to validate at least 18 months of professional experience before graduation. Among classical work opportunities for students such as internships, ESSEC, as well as some other French business schools, offers a very attractive option called an apprenticeship.

Apprenticeship is a contract between a student, the school and an employer, lasting for 2 years. During this period, the student combines studying at the school and working for the employer. The position is considered to be full-time, and thus is treated even more valuable than an internship on the student’s CV. The reason is because working as an apprentice the student has an opportunity to be exposed to more long-term projects than any intern.


Apprenticeship offers different scheduling options: for example, the student can work for 6 months and study for next 6 months, or they may work for 3 days per week while other 2 are dedicated for the courses. The schedule is absolutely flexible, as is the whole ESSEC curriculum. Furthermore, the employer covers all of the student’s tuition fees and pays a monthly salary as well. It is an excellent opportunity to both finance your studying and gain valuable professional experience.

Of course, the decision to follow the apprenticeship has to be considered very carefully. It is a 2-year contract, which means that student should be absolutely sure about selected area and a position – it is extremely difficult to break a contract. Therefore, most of the ESSEC students join companies as apprentices after one or two internships.

In addition, one may say that it is absolutely necessary to speak French fluently since the apprenticeship program is available only in French companies. However, from my personal perspective, as a person who didn’t speak good French and still managed to get an apprenticeship offer – nothing is impossible. In my case, a large French bank had a position that required a candidate, on the contrary, to be able to work in English due to the international exposure of the department, and so French proficiency was not mandatory.

To sum up, an apprenticeship is an excellent opportunity for any student who is looking for long-term corporate experience and/or financial assistance during their studies.

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