Monday, 26 June 2017

The Secrets of Scholarship Application





With tuition fees on the rise, it is no secret that more and more students are looking for scholarships to reduce the sweat of paying the ever-rising cost on getting a degree. 

In this blog, we will cover the hows and whats of scholarship application, as well as what ESSEC Business School  recommends students to do in order to cover their tuition costs.

"...it is no secret that more and more students are looking for scholarships to reduce the sweat of paying the ever-rising cost on getting a degree."

First of all, what are scholarships?

There are a number of options open to ESSEC Business School students looking to help to pay their tuition fees. The government wants to ensure that university is open to students from all financial backgrounds – to ESSEC, brains matter the most, not money.

So, this translates into the fact that you as a prospective student are eligible for a scholarship or bursary depending on your circumstances. Yay!

The 101 on how to find scholarships:

As lots of potential students are looking for funding at the start of the academic year, it’s super-duper important to evaluate all of the options available to you. ESSEC Business School lists a number of different departments and schemes about financial aid and scholarship assistance that you can find here.

"...it’s super-duper important to evaluate all of the options available to you."

If you are planning on going to ESSEC Business School (you totally should), the website www.essec.edu is a great place to start. There, you will find lots of specific information concerning your program.

Apply Early:

As we host many prospective students coming to ESSEC, it is paramount that you apply to your scholarship early on. The application process can take a long time so we strongly advise you to apply as early as possible! Remember, the early bird always catches the worm.

If you want to have your scholarship money or funding before or right at the beginning of the academic year, apply as soon as you know the shortlisted results of admission.

"The application process can take a long time so we strongly advise you to apply as early as possible! Remember, the early bird always catches the worm."

Since there is also increasing competition of these scholarships amongst students, applying early is the best strategy and will give you the best possible chance of being approved.

Prepare all of your Financial Info:

Many scholarships and funds depend solely on your financial information and household income. It’s more than likely that you will need to provide data about your personal money issues, so get ready!

As the stats usually relate to all of the members in your household (mums, dads, sisters, brothers, uncles, your awesome aunt that always cooks you soup), you will need to ask your legal guardians for some financial information to complete your app.

"It’s more than likely that you will need to provide data about your personal money issues, so get ready!"

This is another reason why it is sensible to try and do this process as far in advance as possible to avoid having to scramble to get key financial info at the last minute. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Tailor you Application to Suit you:

Each scholarship is unique and will have unique requirements. So, treat your application like an haute couture dress – it’s incredibly important to read through each application to form and tailor your answers to each.

If you are a superhero and applying to multiple scholarships at the same time, this might take a fair amount of time as you might be asked to write a personal essay for each app.

"...treat your application like an haute couture dress – it’s incredibly important to read through each application to form and tailor your answers to each."

However, take time to read and fill out everything!!! Taking the time to read the forms and answer all of the questions to the fullest possible extent will give you the best possible chance of getting funding for your degree.

Speak to former Scholarship Heroes:

Candidates who have received scholarships or funding are your buddies. It is always, always helpful to get advice from people who have successfully landed a funding heaven.

Search online to find ESSEC alumni who you can stalk and message on Facebook, asking them about how they approached their scholarships in a friendly neighbourhood way. ESSEC students are nice, we don’t bite! It’s always good to ask before doing.

"It is always, always helpful to get advice from people who have successfully landed a funding heaven."

The Take Away:

Be aware. Be savvy. Be an early bird. Be prepared. Be tailored. Be friendly.

Go get ‘em tiger. 

Thursday, 8 June 2017

From the other Side of the Desk - Part 2


Are you ready to convince the interviewer that you are the best person for that job? Then, follow these tips and keep in mind that the interview is not a challenge but a way to demonstrate your value! In this second part, we we will give you tips on how to behave and what to do on the day of the interview, as well as hints about what to avoid. Part 1 focuses on what employers want and how you can best prepare for your interview.

“The STAR technique will allow you to find evidence of what you’ve done that will meet your employer’s needs”

AT THE INTERVIEW

1.      Dress appropriately: the way you dress is a signal of yourself and of your competence… first impression matters!  Dress appropriately to the organization in question.
2.      Bring everything you need:
·         Your passport, the invitation at job interview, copies of certificates…
·         Questions, facts and figures to include in the meeting
·         Copies of updated CV
·         Notebook and pen

3.      Now it’s the time to sell yourself! A good way to express your ideas in a clear and coherent way is the STAR technique: it will allow you to find evidence of what you’ve done that will meet your employer’s needs. 
      
      It can be used answering questions that involve examples on your leadership skills, your initiative and teamwork abilities. The STAR technique organizes your thoughts around:
-          
      The Situation: which was the setting?
-          The Task: what did you have to do?
-          The Action you took: how did you behave? Which was the action you took that lead to an excellent outcome?
-          The Result: which was the positive outcome of the situation, thanks to what you did?  

"...find evidence of what you’ve done that will meet your employer’s needs."

4.      The Closing: Ask smart questions:
·         What would a typical day be like?
·         What will be the challenges in the developments of this position in the future?
·         What’s the next step in the procedure?
·         What are the qualities you are looking for in this position?

TIPS: HOW TO PERFORM WELL AT THE INTERVIEW

  1. First impression and first contacts are very important - be polite to everyone you meet!
  2. Be enthusiastic and positive - don’t complain about the bad weather, the horrible ride an don’t denigrate anyone.
  3. Non-verbal signs – remember to:
    1. Speak clearly
    2. Look in the eye
    3. Don’t cross legs and arms
  4. Listen more and speak less
5.      When asked: “Did you apply to other jobs to other companies?” reply with a company that  is in the same sector, and choose the best one.

  1. Follow up after the interview - send a thank you email right after the interview or the day after.
  2. Have a back up plan - if you don’t get the position, it is important to ask a feedback on where you should improve and where you fell short

“Listen more and speak less”

KEY INTERVIEWING ERRORS

And to conclude, here is a list of what you should avoid!
  • Late to the interview
  • Inappropriate personal appearance
  • Limited eye contact
  • Bad attitude and arrogance
  • Poor oral communication
  • Distracting body language
  • Lack of preparation and company research
  • Vague responses to questions
  • Indifference and enthusiasm
  • Being desperate for the job
  • Lack of career directions
  • Badmouthing people
  • Asking about salary, benefits and perks
  • Dishonesty / evasiveness
  • Failing to ask questions


We are sure that by following these tips you’ll nail your next interview! Good luck J

From the Other Side of the Desk - Part 1

This blog is a sister to the previous 'How to Rock your Interview' Blog, discussing how to perform well in your interview and to land that dream job.

To further develop the tips and advice that ESSEC Business School can give you to be successful in your interview endeavours, one of our very own, Lucia Casagranda, has had the opportunity to gain in on some secrets from the HR director and headhunter of PWC (PricewaterhouseCoopers). 

Here the advice she has been able to compile for the yoda of HR himself, Mr. Edward Bryant - so, read on, grab your pencil for some notes, and go get 'em tiger. 


Congrats, you’ve been called to sit a job interview! Now keep calm and don’t stress, as only 4-5% of applicants are called to sit the interview. Now it’s time to demonstrate what you can do for the employer. Your focus, from now on, is how to impress the employer and show what you can do for them not the other way around! 
"...only 4-5% of applicants are called to sit the interview"
Are you ready to convince the interviewer that you are the best person for that job? Then, follow these tips and keep in mind that the interview is not a challenge but a way to demonstrate your value!

In this first part, we will focus on what employers want and how you can best prepare for your interview. In part 2 we will give you tips on how to behave and what to do on the day of the interview, as well as hints about what to avoid.

WHAT EMPLOYERS WANT

First of all, it’s important to know what employers want. They are looking for evidence. In particular, they are looking for three elements:
  • Motivation for the role: are you passionate and enthusiastic about the role?
  • Can you adapt and adopt the organization’s vision? Can you fit into the team? Do you have the soft skills, social skills, empathy needed? These are things that you don’t learn at school or at university!
  • Do you have the skills abilities to do the work? Evaluate not only current skills, but you’re your ability to develop them.
“Employers are looking for motivation for the roles, soft and hard skills.”

PREPARING THE INTERVIEW

Before sitting the interview, it is crucial to prepare the following aspects:
  1. Logistics - what type of interview will it be? How much time will it take? You need to be aware of what the program is for the day, and try find out who are the people who will interview you. Moreover, don’t be late, as this will show a lack of responsibility and interest towards the post.
  2. Self-assessment: You are the product that you are selling, thus you have to know yourself.  It is important, thus, to carefully review what you know and what you want.

“You are the product that you are selling, thus you have to know yourself”.

 WHAT YOU KNOW:
-          Your skills: what are you good at? Ask yourself: “What are my greatest accomplishments?” Make a list and then try to find common threads to see which were your skills and which were your interests. Moreover, define which are your strengths and your weaknesses.  

WHAT YOU WANT:
-          Your interests: what do you enjoy?
-        Your values: what is important in your life? Is it helping other people? Work-life balance? Or rather appreciation and power? Examples of questions to be asked are: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What do you want to do in life? What are your values? What is important to you?

It is also important to learn and identify your gaps. An effective way to tackle questions on experience or competences you don’t have yet is: “I don’t have this particular competence that you need, but I talked to / took a course / read about / went to conference… and learnt that ….”.

"It is important to learn and identify your gaps."


  1. Do your homework: It is important that you research about the company, about the sector and about the job. Here are some tips!
    • Look at the website of the company: look at the publications, annual reports, publications, intelligence reports not only of that company but of others in the sector.
    • Know the Job description: if you don’t have it, ask for it! Which are the competencies required for the specific job?  
    • Learn about who are the key posts at the company, who is the competition, learn about market trends, numbers and figures.
  1. Practice practice practice… and get feedback!

The Ultimate Guide to Flat Hunting in Paris

Part 2: Living in Paris 
Written by Lucia Casagranda, 2nd year Msc in Management student 




Welcome back for the second part of our blog post series “Housing in Paris”. This post is targeted to all those ESSEC students that plan to live the true Parisian life in the heart of the city.


Living in central Paris has many advantages. You will be close to the main Parisian attractions such as the Louvre, Champs Elysees and the Tour Eiffel, but that’s not it! You will have the chance to dive directly into the French culture by discovering the different sides of the city of lights

Moreover, You will have the opportunity to run along the River Seine and to take an aperò with your friends in Le Marais, enjoy an art exhibition at Grand Palais and try famous French pastries at the patisserie at the corner of the Rue

Of course, it has also some disadvantages, the biggest one being distance from the school: in fact, it will take a 45-50 minutes train ride to reach ESSEC, which is located in Cergy, at the end of the RER A. 

STEP 1: What do you need?

First of all, you need to know that most of the time you need to provide the agency or the landlord with a series of documents that constitute your dossier. These documents are the following:

·         -ID
·         -Enrolment Certificate at your school
·         -ID of your guarantor
·         -Payrolls of your guarantor
·         -Convention de Stage or last 3 payrolls

STEP 2: Which area?

The second step is starting to check out apartments online, based on your preferences. Here, you need to be aware that Paris has 20 districts (arrondissements) that are organized in a snail-like formation, the 1st arrondissement being the center of the city (near the Louvre) and the others are around it. 

The very heart of Paris includes arrondissements 1 to 9 and arrondissements 10 to 20 form the second ring. 

Rue Montorgueil, Paris
Each arrondissement has its own personality: the Latin Quarter (5th) is a charming, lively arrondissement that is quite expensive. The 3rd arrondissement (Le Marais) is a trendy and touristy area, with excellent restaurants and shops.  Bastille (11th) is a residential area, which is also popular for its nightlife. For more information about the different arrondissements, click  here

Arrondissements in Paris





Studying at ESSEC means taking the RER A to reach Cergy. The RER A can be taken at the following stations: La Defense, Charles de Gaulle Etoile (8th), Auber (9th), Chatelet Les Halles (1st), and Nation (11th). It's a wise choice to find a flat near one of these stops, or at least near one subway stop that will allow you to reach one of these stations quickly. 

STEP 3: Finding a room - List of Awesome Agencies! (Click on them for more info)



If you prefer sharing a flat with someone, you should check out these website for house sharing. These solutions are good to avoid agency costs and to find new friends! 


Facebook Groups are also a good idea!



GOOD TO KNOW:

      Some landlords would prefer you having a French guarantor, that is a relative of yours that live in France and that can guarantee your lease. Some agencies and landlord don’t require the guarantor to be French.

      If you are a student and below 26 years old, you are most likely entitled to have a housing subsidy from the French state. The amount you get depends on the location of your flat, the size and the rent. Normally, it’s between 100 to 220€ a month. More info here

      Visit before renting! Although Paris is not known for scammers, it is good practice to visit an apartment before signing a contract or paying a deposit. It will allow you to check that the room is decent and that the area is safe and nice! 



Good luck with your search! :) 








The Ultimate Guide to Flat Hunting in Cergy

Part 1 : Living in Cergy

Written by Lucia Casagranda, 2nd year Msc in Management student 


Welcome to the first part of our blog post series “Housing in Paris”. As opposed to the series “Housing in Singapore”, this post is targeted to all those ESSEC students that plan to study on the French ESSEC Campus, located in Cergy (Paris area). This series of post aim at helping you choose the best option given your preferences and what the city and the campus have to offer!  

Make your choice!

First, where to stay? Is it better to stay in Cergy near the campus, or to live the Parisian life in the heart of “la ville lumiere”? 


"First, where to stay?...Every choice has its pros and cons, as usual. Living on campus, in one of the residences offered by ALEGESSEC, allows you to meet easily other students and to be close to the school."

Every choice has its pros and cons, as usual. Living on campus, in one of the residences offered by ALEGESSEC, allows you to meet easily other students and to be close to the school. You can take advantage of campus life to the fullest: this means attending events on campus, joining an association and going to dance classes and football matches at the school’s gymnasium. 

Living in Cergy on campus (ALEGESSEC residences)

What international students normally do, is staying for at least the first term (and even the second one), in one of the student residences offered by ESSEC: this choice will make life VERY easy for you in the most difficult early few days, help make loads of friends and enjoy the residence life to the fullest for a while at least, and you can start looking for accommodations once you are well settled and among friends here! 

ALEGESSEC, the student residence office, provides different types of accommodation in three residences in Cergy. There are three residences you can choose from: Cergy Le Haut, Le Port and Les Linandes. Cost-wise Cergy le Haut (CLH) or Les Linandes are more or less the same. 


"ALEGESSEC, the student residence office, provides different types of accommodation in three residences in Cergy. There are three residences you can choose from: Cergy Le Haut, Le Port and Les Linandes. Cost-wise Cergy le Haut (CLH) or Les Linandes are more or less the same." 

Cergy Le Haut has the largest number of student staying here, and is automatically the most international out of the 3 residents. The residence is two stops away by RER (train) from ESSEC. Residence Le Port is 10 min walking from ESSEC, but is priced higher. 

I have personally lived both in Cergy Le Haut and Le Port, and both experiences were great! My time at Cergy Le Haut was a bit more fun than at Le Port because of all the international friends I made, dinners and parties ;) 

You can have more info about the residences as well as compare prices and types of rooms by clicking here.


Living in Cergy in a flat

An alternative to the student residence is renting a flat with other students in Cergy: you can use the Facebook group of admitted students to find other people interested in this choice, and then check out the apartment available in Cergy that other ESSEC students are leaving by joining these two useful groups:

- Appart ESSEC click here
- ESSEC click here

Dorm in the Cergy le Haut Residence

The Residences are equipped with a gym, study rooms, laundry rooms and leisure rooms

Residence Cergy le Haut



Thursday, 1 June 2017

How to Rock your Interview



After sleep-less nights and stressed out days of submitting your CV, searching for jobs and listening to depressing music, you have finally landed an interview.

So, what to do?

Sure, you can chill out for a day and appreciate the hard research you have done in writing your CV and being constantly on the prowl for your job hunt, but just like Julius Caesar, you need to come up with a strategy for domination.

Since this is the last step of the recruitment process, you need to be sure that you are ready, steady, and concentrated, as if you were the great Caesar himself.

"ESSEC Business School has tips to help you rock your interview hard, just like Nirvana, and trust me, you’ll need all the help you can get."

ESSEC Business School has tips to help you rock your interview hard, just like Nirvana, and trust me, you’ll need all the help you can get.

This advice will not only help you shine when speaking with the panel, but calm your nerves and makes you sane – the last thing you want to have is a fight club episode with yourself.

Preparation is the secret Ingredient.

Don’t wing it. Ever. When passing an interview, you need to make sure that you know everything there is to know about the company or school you are applying to.

Get familiar with the entity you want to work or study at – stalk them, prowl their social media websites to know the recent gossip, news, events, make coffee dates to find out about the company or school from alumni or current employees or students – anything that will help you understand the company or school in a better light.

Know exactly about which programme or job position you are applying to, especially its’ missions, paths, and strategical implementations.

"...make them see that you are not only offering your 
skills but the company or school you are applying to will 
offer you something in return." 

It’s also a big plus to have a set goal in mind of what you want to achieve and how you want to grow in position you want – make them see that you are not only offering your skills but the company or school you are applying to will offer you something in return.

It’s Okay to Practice

Talking out loud to yourself might seem like you are crazy at first, but in fact, it will help you practice for the real thing.

Preparing for a Q&A sesh is a fantastic way to get ready for that important interview, especially when you know that the panel will ask you something like, “So, tell me about yourself”.

Though this seems like a piece of pie, once you actually sit in front of those judging eyes, you want to be well rehearsed, without all of unnecessary stage fright.

"...you want to be well rehearsed, without all of 
unnecessary stage fright."
When you are repeating your answers to yourself in front of a mirror, (I know, it’s weird, but go with it), work on putting your best foot forward – make sure that your answers are logical, well thought out, confident, and reflect your self-potential and the added value that you are sure to bring.

Communication is key in an interview – work on communicating clearly, with a good rhythm – work that groove that you got going on and the panel might start to break dance. 

 "...work that groove that you got going on and the panel 
might start to break dance." 

Body Language is not only Precious, it’s Transparent

Your body is a vessel of words. The way you sit, look, and walk will be judged. So, there is no need to say that putting your feet up on the desk is disastrous.

When sitting in an interview, make sure to always make eye contact with the person speaking. Never cross your arms, always cross your legs, and make arm gestures that seem inviting, open, and willing to listen.

"...Your body is a vessel of words."

This will not only let the jury know that you are an open and trustworthy person, but that you are confident in what you are saying, while being attentive to the other party.

Ask as a River of Questions

It is never good when an interviewee does not ask questions at the end of the session. This makes the candidate not only seem uninterested in the position or entity, but uninterested in the people that he or she was interviewed by.

This is definitely a big mistake – prepare to ask some questions the day before your interview, as to make sure that you seem very interested and enthused by the position offered.

Questions signify interest – interest creates a good impression.

"Questions signify interest – interest creates a good 
impression."

Be Yourself!

Perhaps the most important thing to remember is to be yourself. Recruiters and judge panels like originality – it is paramount to them that the candidate can bring a fresh pop and new creativity to the team.

So, talk about why you are unique, what makes you you, and why your path of life has pushed you to apply for this position. Don't make a soap opera, of course, but differentiate yourself from the other candidates by preparing a personal story of some kind of why you are here and what this position means to you. 

"Recruiters and judge panels like originality – it is 
paramount to them that the candidate can bring a fresh 
pop and new creativity to the team."

Personal struggles and achievements are gold - this lets the panel see your potential, uniqueness and color. 

And….Don’t Stress

The people interviewing you are just people, like you. Remember that they too have fears, goals and dreams.

During your interview, it is important that you attempt to relate to them in a human way, and build a connection. They will appreciate the anthropological side of you.

"...it is important that you attempt to relate to them in a human way, and build a connection."

With that said, go knock ‘em dead.


Go get ‘em tiger.