With six languages in his arsenal and experience in Europe and South America, French national Guillaume Auneau looks and speaks the part of a global citizen.

For Becky Chau and Mayriem Meddah, the former spent her life in Hong Kong and the latter in France. Despite their differences, they had one thing in common: A desire to learn more about the Asian business market and launch international careers.

The ESSEC Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) program was therefore perfect.

Viewing the World from the Lens of Asia

Choosing to embark on the SMIB at the Asia-Pacific campus meant a chance to live in Singapore and immerse oneself in Asian culture. The double-degree options offered also enabled Guillaume to complete part of his studies at Darla Moore School of Business in the USA, adding Asia and North America to his global profile.

More importantly, perhaps, is that both the specialized tracks offered, Corporate Strategy and Strategic Consulting, are tailored to the Asian market.

Passionate about the technology sector, Becky notes that “these courses, many of which were designed and taught by industry veterans, helped me understand the field of digital transformation in the context of the Asia business landscape.”

Tools to Dissect How Businesses Function

She adds that the career-focused curriculum in ESSEC ensured she had plenty of opportunities to put her newly developed skills to the test.

A major highlight for her was the Asian Strategy Challenge (ASC). In this seven-month consulting project, students in the Strategic Consulting track act as consultants to help businesses in the Asia-Pacific resolve real-life business challenges.

Becky assisted an environmental consulting firm develop its certification business in Singapore and gained clarity about local policies through the process. Through this project, she also got the opportunity to pitch and create a food waste solution with a luxury hotel, Grand Hyatt Singapore.

Mayriem, on the other hand, was paired with L’Oreal to develop an e-commerce strategy.

“I learned how to profile the client and consumer, where to find the data, and about the tools and platforms I could use,” she shares. “I also learned how to ask the right questions and to reformulate what the client says to ensure we are aligned.”

For someone with a background in pharmacy, it was an invaluable experience that put her in good stead for the business world.

Unlocking Doors to the International Market

But how did these lessons translate in the turbulent job market today?

True to his international profile, Guillaume has a range of interviews lined up for roles worldwide. In contrast, Becky has secured a business development internship at an IT firm in Singapore—a role that aligns with her career goals in digital transformation.

With expertise in pharmacy and business, Mayriem will start work in Abu Dhabi as a product specialist for global pharmaceutical giant AbbVie, a “dream opportunity” she found through one of her professors.

“My professor connected me to a professional who eventually became my mentor. My mentor advised and challenged me and eventually put me in contact with someone from HR at a pharmaceutical company,” she explains.

While the resources and connections came from the school, Mayriem emphasized: “I worked hard for the opportunity, too!”

It took her six months of searching, a process that, although challenging, was softened by the generosity of the ESSEC Asia-Pacific family.

ESSEC’s career advisor, Will Chang, always made time for her if she needed help, and an ESSEC alumna who had a similar pharmacy background stepped in to share advice and job-search strategies, all of which were tremendous support, she says.

At the end of the day, it was worth it. “I’m a better version of myself, and I know that if I give it my all, anything is possible,” she muses. This self-belief may be her biggest takeaway yet, giving her the strength to power through any obstacles as she takes on the global world.