2024 SICC Awards: Nominations Now Open

Caroline Leung

Learn more about the awards

Submission deadline is on 3 June 2024

The 2024 Awards Ceremony & Gala will be held on 2 October 2024 at Marina Bay Sands in the presence of our Guest-of-Honor Mr. Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for Economic Policies. The winners will be announced at the Gala and will receive their awards from the Deputy Prime Minister.


About the 2024 SICC Awards

The SICC Awards are designed to recognize, celebrate and learn from the commercial collaborations between companies which work together to innovate to create new products and services and/or resolve barriers to capacity growth.

The SICC Awards are consistent with the Chamber’s belief that collaboration is often the quickest way for companies to innovate. They are also consistent with the Chamber’s support of the Government’s PACT program. Through its awards, the Chamber hopes to encourage more mutually beneficial collaborations between companies.

Winners of the SICC Awards will participate in a TV program “Collaborate to Innovate” to share the key lessons from their collaborations and how collaborating helped their businesses innovate quickly and achieve value for themselves and their customers.

2024 marks the ninth year that the Chamber is presenting these Awards. The Awards are open to both Chamber members and non-members.


SMIB Study Trip in Dubai: From Strategic Insights to Sustainability and Innovation

In a remarkable educational expedition, students from ESSEC’s Master in Strategy and International Business (SMIB) program embarked on an enlightening study trip to Dubai, a city synonymous with innovation, luxury, and business acumen.

What sets this study trip apart is the diverse industries explored and the depth of engagement with professionals and experts in each field. The SMIB students didn’t just observe; they engaged, questioned, and connected with leading professionals, gaining career insights, advice, and inspiration for their future paths.

From strategic consulting firms like EY-Parthenon and Roland Berger to the innovative spaces of AlphaSights and the Chalhoub Group’s Greenhouse Incubator, the trip was designed to offer a comprehensive look into the professional world that awaits these students.

The students’ visits to these companies provided a unique blend of practical knowledge and industry insights. Each stop on their itinerary was carefully chosen to expose the students to different facets of the business world.

Itinerary

Day 1: EY-Parthenon
Day 2: AlphaSights | Roland Berger
Day 3: Mundipharma | Accuracy
Day 4: McKinsey & Company | Chalhoub Group
Day 5: Monitor Deloitte | Enova by Veolia


Day 1: Kicking Off the Study Trip with Deep Insights


At EY-Parthenon

At EY Parthenon's office in Dubai.

On the first day of the Dubai study trip, the SMIB students visited the Dubai offices of EY-Parthenon. This visit gave them a unique opportunity to gain deep insights into the practices and business acumen of a leading strategic consultancy in the UAE.

Upon arrival at EY-Parthenon, located in Dubai’s financial center, the students were introduced to the firm’s senior consulting team. Through presentations and discussions, the students gained a deeper understanding of EY Parthenon’s consulting services, which cover all industries.

The visit concluded with an opportunity for the students to converse with EY-Parthenon’s professionals, further exploring career development and industry trends. This interaction enhanced the student’s understanding of the consulting industry and offered valuable guidance for their future career paths.

Overall, the visit to EY-Parthenon was an excellent start to the ESSEC SMIB students’ study trip in Dubai. It helped them get to know EY-Parthenon better and better understand the consulting industry in the UAE.


Day 2: Exploring Frontiers of Global Businesses


At AlphaSights

At AlphaSights' office in Dubai.

On the second day, our SMIB students embarked on an enriching journey during their visit to the AlphaSights office in Dubai. At AlphaSights, a prominent knowledge search firm, students delved into the vibrant global business world, gaining firsthand exposure to its dynamics.

Witnessing AlphaSights’ innovative problem-solving approach, students observed the seamless integration of cutting-edge technology and strategic thinking. This firsthand exposure underscored the paramount importance of innovation in today’s fast-paced business landscape.

Networking amidst Dubai’s bustling business hub proved invaluable for SMIB students. Engaging in insightful dialogues with associates and managers, they expanded their professional networks and gleaned diverse industry perspectives.

AlphaSights’ unwavering commitment to diversity and inclusion was palpable throughout the visit. Students were immersed in a culture that values cultural intelligence, recognizing its role in fostering collaboration and innovation as essential drivers of success.


At Roland Berger

At Roland Berger's office in Dubai.

On the same day, SMIB students visited Roland Berger’s Dubai office, located at the hub of innovation in Dubai. This visit was integral to their learning journey, giving them insights into the strategic consulting practices within the dynamic Middle Eastern market.

At Roland Berger’s Dubai office, the students were welcomed by a team that included two ESSEC alumni. The session began with an overview of Roland Berger’s global operations and strategic positioning in the Middle East, highlighting the firm’s commitment to driving innovation and excellence in consultancy services. The most exciting news is that RB will provide job opportunities for SMIB students in its offices in the UAE.

Moreover, the students had the chance to engage in discussions with RB’s consultants and alumni, gaining insights into the day-to-day life of a strategic consultant and the various career paths available within the consulting industry.

The visit to RB’s Dubai office encouraged students to think critically about the role of strategic consulting in shaping the future of businesses in the UAE. It also gave them a practical perspective on applying their academic studies to real-world scenarios and enhancing their readiness for future professional challenges.


Day 3: Diving into the Worlds of Pharmaceuticals and Financial Consulting


At Mundipharma

At Mundipharma's office in Dubai.

On the third day, the SMIB students immersed themselves in the world of pharmaceuticals at the Mundipharma office. This visit provided a unique opportunity for students to gain profound insights into the international pharmaceutical industry.

Mundipharma graciously shared its extensive industry knowledge, offering students invaluable insights into pharmaceutical trends, challenges, and opportunities. They patiently elaborated on their scientific and technical processes, bridging the gap between academic learning and practical application.

Witnessing Mundipharma’s dedication to innovation within the pharmaceutical sector was genuinely eye-opening for the students. They explored groundbreaking advancements and learned about the pivotal role of innovation in addressing global healthcare challenges, broadening their perspective on industry dynamics.

The visit showcased the power of global collaboration in the pharmaceutical realm. Students engaged with professionals from diverse backgrounds, gaining an appreciation for the importance of cross-cultural teamwork in driving industry success.


At Accuracy

At Accuracy's office in Dubai.

The SMIB students also visited the Dubai Accuracy office, a French financial consulting firm, on the same day. The Dubai office focuses on infrastructure consulting in the UAE region. This visit was a deep dive into the realm of infrastructure consulting.

The session started with an overview of the infrastructure industry, where students were introduced to the complexities and nuances of consulting in this field. The students gained insights into the multifaceted challenges and opportunities that define the infrastructure sector, benefiting from the firm’s extensive experience and strategic approach to projects in the UAE.

A notable aspect of the visit was that Accuracy boasts 35 ESSEC alumni within its global network, highlighting the strong ties between Accuracy and ESSEC. Furthermore, Accuracy’s commitment to providing employment opportunities to SMIB students was a significant highlight of the day.

The visit concluded with insights into the future plans for infrastructure development in the UAE, enriching the students’ understanding of the industry’s direction and the role consultants like Accuracy play in shaping this future.


Day 4: Engaging in Consulting and Entrepreneurial Excellence


At McKinsey & Company

At McKinsey & Company's office in Dubai.

On the fourth day of their Dubai study trip, the SMIB students visited McKinsey & Company’s Dubai office. McKinsey, a leading global consulting firm, provided the students a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in strategic consulting at the highest level.

During the visit, McKinsey professionals shared insights into their work across various sectors, emphasizing the importance of innovation, strategic thinking, and digital transformation in today’s business landscape. The discussions revolved around how McKinsey assists its clients in navigating complex challenges and capitalizing on opportunities for growth in the Middle East and beyond.

A significant aspect of the visit was the emphasis on McKinsey’s collaborative approach to solving clients’ problems. The firm showcased how it combines global expertise with local insights to deliver impactful results. The students were particularly intrigued by case studies illustrating McKinsey’s role in driving significant transformations in leading regional corporations and government entities.

Overall, the visit to McKinsey’s Dubai office gave the students a deeper understanding of the consulting industry’s dynamics and its critical role in shaping successful businesses and economies.


At Chalhoub Group

At Chalhoub Group's office in Dubai.

On the same day, SMIB students also visited the Chalhoub Group and explored entrepreneurship and sustainability, gaining invaluable insights.

At the Greenhouse, students witnessed Chalhoub Group’s support for startups, immersing themselves in an ecosystem fostering innovation. The Greenhouse’s commitment to sustainability was evident as students learned how it nurtures eco-friendly startups. Students also connected with the Chalhoub Group, opening doors for potential collaborations and future endeavors. From fashion tech to sustainable luxury, students explored groundbreaking startups, gaining a fresh perspective on business and sustainability.

This visit highlights the power of experiential learning in shaping future leaders in entrepreneurship and sustainability.


Day 5: Uncovering Digital Consulting and Energy Innovation


At Monitor Deloitte

At Monitor Deloitte's office in Dubai.

On the last day of their Dubai study trip, the SMIB students visited the Dubai office of Monitor Deloitte, an independent strategic consulting division in Deloitte. This visit was not just a conclusion but a pinnacle experience, offering deep insights into the forefront of digital consulting and artificial intelligence services, areas where Deloitte Monitor Dubai excels.

The engagement with Deloitte Monitor’s experts gave the SMIB students a comprehensive view of how digital innovations and AI reshape industries. The firm’s focus on leveraging cutting-edge technologies to drive business transformation was evident through discussions and presentations. Deloitte Monitor’s consultants shared case studies and insights into their work, illustrating the pivotal role of digital strategies and AI in solving complex business challenges and creating new growth opportunities.

This visit underscored the importance of digital fluency in today’s business landscape, highlighting Deloitte Monitor Dubai’s commitment to guiding its clients through digital transformation journeys. For the SMIB students, it was an invaluable opportunity to see how theoretical concepts learned in their program are applied in real-world scenarios to foster innovation and strategic change.


At Enova by Veolia

At Enova's office in Dubai.

The last stop was Enova’s modern and cutting-edge office in Dubai. Its commitment to innovation- and sustainability-oriented objectives were displayed as our students delved into the dynamic world of energy and facilities management.

Witnessing Enova’s state-of-the-art technologies and intelligent energy solutions was inspiring. Our students explored the intersection of innovation and sustainability, learning how Enova is pioneering change in the region’s energy management landscape. Their incredible use of software and hardware allows them to closely monitor energy use and identify technical problems within minutes.

Enova’s emphasis on sustainability wasn’t just a buzzword; our students saw firsthand how these principles are integrated into real-world projects. Enova’s environmental impact was tangible, from energy-efficient buildings to renewable energy initiatives.

Engaging with Enova’s professionals allowed our SMIB students to expand their network within the energy management sector. Conversations with industry experts provided valuable career insights and a deeper understanding of the skills required in this evolving field.


The SMIB Study Trip: A Global Learning Experience Unlike Any Other


The ESSEC SMIB students’ study trip to Dubai is a hallmark of experiential learning, bridging the gap between academic theories and the practical realities of the global business landscape.

This meticulously planned journey through the heart of Dubai’s business ecosystem offered the students an invaluable deep dive into the worlds of strategic consulting, pharmaceuticals, financial consulting, digital innovations, and sustainability.

Through visits to industry giants like EY-Parthenon, AlphaSights, Roland Berger, McKinsey & Company, and innovative companies such as the Chalhoub Group and Enova by Veolia, students not only expanded their knowledge but also cultivated a network of professional contacts that could shape their future careers.

The diverse array of companies visited provided a broad spectrum of insights into different sectors, from the cutting-edge fields of digital consulting and artificial intelligence at Monitor Deloitte to the innovative approaches toward sustainability seen at Enova by Veolia.

Each company visit was carefully selected to enhance the students’ understanding of various industry dynamics, highlighting the importance of innovation, strategic thinking, and cultural intelligence in today’s fast-paced business environment. The trip underscored the significance of practical, hands-on educational experiences, demonstrating how such interactions can complement and enrich traditional classroom learning.

Reflecting on the trip, it’s clear that the ESSEC SMIB students’ journey through Dubai was more than just an academic requirement; it was a transformative experience that equipped them with a clearer vision of their professional paths.

The depth of engagement with professionals and exposure to real-world challenges and opportunities has broadened their horizons and inspired them to pursue careers that make a meaningful impact.

As they return to their academic endeavors, the lessons learned, and the connections made in Dubai will undoubtedly influence their approach to international business and strategy, setting a solid foundation for their future success.


SMIB Students Tackle Hard Issues at the Hinrich Foundation Inaugural Sustainable Trade Challenge

31 January 2024 marked a significant milestone as the Hinrich Foundation launched the first-ever Sustainable Trade Challenge.

Against the backdrop of the ESSEC Asia-Pacific Singapore campus, the current Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) cohort enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to participate, signaling a new era in trade innovation and sustainability.

Following the launch, participants were immediately immersed in an environment that demanded high engagement and creativity. The excitement on campus was palpable as students, educators, and industry professionals gathered to kick off this pioneering challenge.

This initiative highlights ESSEC's commitment to sustainability and fosters a practical understanding of global trade dynamics among students.

The Sustainable Trade Challenge is an educator-directed, student-led immersive simulation plunging them into the competitive world of international trade policy consultancy as a team member from one of the world’s leading international sustainable trade consultancy firms.

Embarking on a Real-world Mission

As they embarked on this journey, the students quickly realized the complexity of their task. Each team spent countless hours researching global trade policies, sustainability practices, and innovative solutions to present compelling pitches.

This rigorous process was designed to mirror the real-world scenarios consultants often face, providing invaluable experience in tackling global challenges through sustainable trade solutions.

Students were grouped into teams through a random selection process and tasked with pitching strategies to government officials to elevate their country's sustainability rankings.

Fostering critical thinking about the intersection of economy and sustainability, the challenge prompted students to weigh trade-offs and consider the broader implications of their proposals.

This collaborative effort encouraged students to leverage their diverse backgrounds and perspectives, leading to a rich exchange of ideas and fostering a deeper understanding of sustainable trade practices.

The challenge was a powerful reminder of the collective action required to address global sustainability issues, inspiring students to envision innovative approaches that balance economic growth with environmental stewardship.

Professional Insights and Global Impact

"The SMIB international trade sustainability consultants faced tight deadlines and immense pressure and conducted deep dives into new subject matter enthusiastically,” says Alex Boom, Hinrich Foundation Program Director.

He added: “The government ministers panel was extremely impressed with each team’s pitch. We are confident that the world will be more sustainable with these ESSEC graduates in the workforce."

Reflecting on the event, Alex Boome expressed optimism about the future impact of these young professionals on the global stage.

Their ability to handle complex issues under pressure, combined with a passionate commitment to sustainability, bodes well for their potential to drive meaningful change in the world of trade and beyond.

This event has tested their capabilities and instilled a sense of responsibility toward contributing to a more sustainable future.

Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders

“The Hinrich Foundation Sustainable Trade Challenge Consulting Simulation has been an invaluable addition to our program,” says Srividya Jandhyala, SMIB Associate Professor.

She adds: “The immersive experience allowed SMIB students to delve into the competitive world of international trade, grapple with important real-world challenges, and hone business, analytic, and teamwork skills.”

Echoing the sentiments of the program director, Prof. Jandhyala highlighted the transformational impact of the challenge on the participants. She noted how the simulation facilitated a deeper engagement with the material, enabling students to apply theoretical concepts in practical, high-stakes situations.

This unique blend of academic rigor and real-world application exemplifies ESSEC’s innovative approach to education, preparing students to excel in a rapidly evolving global market.


The Practical Advantages of a Dean’s List Accomplishment

  • Getting on the Dean’s List gives students an advantage for exchange programs.
  • Highlight your Dean’s List experience when applying for internships.
  • It is not all work and no play.

At first glance, ESSEC Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) students Matteo Keller, Tommy Zhang, and Eun Li Seo appear like every other undergraduate student.

Speak to them a little longer, and you’ll notice that beneath their humble and unassuming exteriors, the three are highly determined and diligent—characteristics that have earned them positions on the prestigious Dean’s List.

They have found that although challenging, the journey has proven to be worth the effort.

Gaining An Edge For Exchange Programs

“I was able to secure my exchange with the University of California at Berkeley because I was one of the first students who got to choose where to go,” Matteo, who comes from Switzerland, shares, explaining that a significant advantage of being on the Dean’s List is that students have the first pick from ESSEC’s 175+ partner universities for their exchange program.

This is also how Eun Li scored one of the only five spaces in the competitive double degree program ESSEC has with the Guanghua School of Management at Peking University.

Acceptance to this double degree program also secures her position in Peking University’s “Future Leaders” program—which will equip her with the unique skills and knowledge to tackle the rising Chinese market in the future.

As the South Korean native has dreams of building her own coaching and mentoring company to develop talents in Asia, being part of the “Future Leaders” program is the perfect training ground for her to acquire the skills and experience she needs, she says.

Raising One’s Internship Chances

She adds that being on the Dean’s List also has benefits when one applies for internships. After all, “being on the Dean’s list is proof that I am diligent and responsible,” she explains.

Tommy, who hails from China, concurs. As a freshman, he needed more experience approaching recruiters in the competitive finance sector.

He shares that being on the Dean’s List was an essential feature of his application—and helped him secure his first investment banking internship at China Construction Bank (Asia) Corporation Limited.

Even later in one’s career search, when one has gained more experience, having been on the Dean’s List consistently can be helpful because “the capability to maintain high academic standards can translate in one’s professional life.”

What it Means to Wear the Dean’s List Badge of Honor

Tommy may be right because while the joy of making it onto the Dean’s List accomplishment may only last for a semester, the skills developed in the process will last a lifetime.

For example, while he learned volumes about how to work under pressure, Matteo became a master of organizing his time—he adeptly maximized his 45-minute bus ride to school to help him prepare for his lessons. He developed a good habit of working consistently in small amounts.

In Eun Li’s case, breaking big goals into more minor, bite-sized milestones has improved her planning skills, while learning to speak up whenever she has questions has boosted her confidence in public speaking.

All Work and No Play? Not if You are Organized

The students are also adamant that getting on the Dean’s List does not mean sacrificing other, more enjoyable aspects of undergraduate life.

“We are not nerds who study all the time and have no free time,” Eun Li candidly shares, adding that she, for one, spends a fair amount of time with her friends and enjoys both reading and dancing—the trick is simply to be present no matter what you do.

“When it’s time to study, I focus and remove any distractions, and when I am with my friends, I try to enjoy myself without worrying about my schoolwork,” she says.

“Everyone at school has the same workload; the difference is having a good system that allows you to work efficiently and stay on top of the work,” Matteo concurs.

Case in point: Working towards his academic goals has kept him from co-founding a start-up to improve sustainability in packaging, playing music and sports, or seeing his friends every week.

His experience in juggling the different facets of his life has taught him that the Dean’s List is not an elusive accomplishment, achievable for few, but a goalpost that is easily within reach for those who, unlike the rest, decide to put their mind and heart to it.


A Guide To Becoming An Outstanding Intern

Whether or not you’re angling for a full-time role at the company you intern with, it won’t hurt to turn heads and get noticed—in a good way! Find out from Janice Liu, Radhika Tandon, Simran Hathiramani, and Siyi Chen about the qualities that push an intern from ordinary to exceptional.

1 | Have the Courage to Speak Up

Speaking up at the right time and place can pay off. For example, when interning with Your-Comics, a visual communications company in France, Radhika saw an opportunity to add value to the organization’s global business expansion plans.

“My manager was quite impressed with my ideas and put me in charge of some international marketing and communication projects,” she recalls.

“People are looking for a fresh perspective, so I think if you feel there’s a process that doesn’t work, you should reach out.” Janice, who works in the human resources department at Unilever, concurs. She muses that interns may have difficulty doing this because they feel intimidated in a new environment or think they are too junior and should wait for a manager’s guidance before taking action.

“What makes an intern ‘good’ is when they are curious and take initiative,” she affirms. This brings us to the next point:

2 | Take the Initiative to Ask

How do you know what to do to add value to the team’s work? Sometimes, you just have to ask, Simran says. During her internship as a Sales & Trading Summer Analyst at J.P. Morgan, she took the initiative to ask each department head what asset classes they would be most interested in so she could support them with research.

“That little bit of initiative made all the difference. I understood exactly what they wanted from me,” she shares, adding that this helped her exceed expectations and build a strong network for the future.

3 | Own the Tasks You Take On

Siyi, whose experience spans multiple internships in product management, compliance, and investment banking, believes interns stand out when they show responsibility. “This means showing that you care about the task and want to do it well—not just finish it,” she clarifies.

Instead of taking instructions at face value and rushing through the work, understand the bigger picture of what and why something is needed.

“Do even the small things well, and you’ll gain the company’s trust, then they’ll be more likely to give you more important work in the future,” she says. Or, like in her case, maybe even give you the referral you need to secure a position at the next company you apply to!

4 | Demonstrate the Humility to Learn

Negative feedback can be demoralizing and make you second guess yourself, but look at it this way: “You’re just starting out and nowhere near the peak of your career,” Simran says. Instead of beating yourself up, take it constructively so you know how to improve.

Janice reiterates that for those eager to convert their internships into full-time job offers, remember not to be too hard on yourself. She recommends that you be realistic about your expectations and what you can do and be willing to reach out for help. After all, while working hard is essential, what may be more important is remembering what internships are for To learn.


GBBA Graduate Chengxiang Zhang: The Lasting Benefits of a Dean’s List Accomplishment

When ESSEC Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) Chengxiang Zhang hit his third year, he had gotten onto the prestigious Dean’s List four times in a row. He credits the Dean’s List for giving him an edge when applying for internships and believes consistency is critical to maintaining good grades. He shares his journey.

Getting onto the Dean’s List four times is no mean feat! Has this always been part of your plan?

I’ve been aiming to do this since I first joined ESSEC. There are two main reasons for this: First, academic excellence is necessary to break into the competitive financial industry.

Secondly, being on the Dean’s List will give me the first pick for an exclusive one-year exchange program at one of ESSEC’s partner universities, which I believe will be crucial in helping me maximize my international exposure.

You mentioned finance—is this where you hope to work?

I am highly interested in the finance industry. I’m passionate about the challenges of being in the finance sector and hope to find a role where I can work closely with other businesses. I’m looking at roles in investment banking, specifically those related to mergers and acquisitions or initial public offerings, private equity, and venture capital.

Have you seen your accomplishments on the Dean’s List pay off so far?

I felt it was extremely helpful in helping me secure my first internship in investment banking! As a freshman, I had limited experience, so the Dean’s List accomplishment was an important way for me to demonstrate my capabilities to the recruiters.

I believe being on the Dean’s List will continue to help me in the future because even though there will be other markers of my abilities, being on the Dean’s List consistently is a testament to how I can achieve yet maintain high standards simultaneously. If I’m able to translate the same rigor in my professional life, I’ll be able to find success at work.

What is the most challenging part about getting onto the Dean’s List?

I found it vital to remain humble and consistent each semester. Instead of dwelling on my previous academic achievements, I took every semester as a fresh start and a new challenge.

Other students have mentioned challenges juggling school work and their social life. What about you?

Actually, what I find challenging is to be able to juggle very diverse subjects—from marketing to finance—across each semester. Each topic requires a radically different approach and mindset! I’d recommend focusing on one thing at a time and prioritizing quality over the speed of completing each task.

Looking back, how have you changed to get onto the Dean’s List?

One of my biggest takeaways is how to deliver quality work under pressure. This will be extremely useful in the working world, where multitasking is required, and errors can be costly.

I’ve also found that getting onto the Dean’s List has continuously pushed me out of my comfort zone. I’ve seen innovative solutions to cope with the intensive research and steep learning curve—this capacity to absorb large amounts of information quickly will prepare me well for the fast-paced economy.


Five Tips to Secure A Dream Internship

To ensure Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) students are well-equipped to tackle the working world, ESSEC Business School has made it mandatory that they complete three internships: A three-month summer internship at the end of the first year, a one-month humanitarian or social work project, and a final, longer six-month internship nearer the end of their undergraduate journey.

But how do students with limited prior work experience go about securing these positions, especially those in competitive industries like finance or beauty?

We spoke to Janice Liu and Radhika Tandon, interested in the beauty industry, and Simran Hathiramani and Siyi Chen, keen on the finance sector, about how they scored their dream internships.

1 | Network, Network, Network

Siyi, who has at least four internships under her belt—and counting—across areas like compliance, product management, and investment banking in Singapore and China, recommends contacting ESSEC alumni for advice.

In her experience, they've been beneficial: While one gave her tips on improving her LinkedIn profile when she first started her internship hunt, another offered to connect her to a hiring manager for a potential position, she recalls.

Echoing her sentiments, Janice shares that she managed to score her dream internship at LVMH by networking at one of ESSEC's career fairs.

She adds, "I'd also recommend researching the team and people you're interviewing with so you understand their profiles before you meet them."

2 | Keep Your Connections Fresh

This is particularly important in ensuring you can build relationships with the people you network with and don't simply come across as "job-hungry," Simran chimes in.

With the wisdom of someone who has done nine internships, she advocates for following up with each connection and genuinely trying to get to know people, not just the role you are interested in.

After all, impact investing platform Bamboo Capital Partners had not been hiring when she first spoke to them. Still, they remembered her and eventually offered her an internship because she followed up. Her favorite internship, as a Sales & Trading Summer Analyst at J.P. Morgan, came for similar reasons: She had applied for a different role and, despite not being selected, reached out to thank them for their time—which impressed the hiring team enough for them to recommend her to another department, she says.

3 | Reach Out for Referrals

Experience has taught Simran that it helps to get referrals from people you have worked with in the past.

"People in the higher levels, especially in finance, might not take out much time for you if you don't have a referral," she muses, adding, "Try to get your past bosses to give you a letter of recommendation or even drop a note to the new hiring manager to vouch for your abilities," she recommends.

4 | Get Creative With Your Search

There are also many ways to catch a recruiter's eye. Radhika, for example, created a "web resume"—a three-page website—that helped employers get to know her better. This caught the eye of the French visual communication agency Your-Comics, and despite the weak job market during the COVID-19 pandemic, they took her on for a digital marketing position.

She believes that researching a company goes beyond just reading about it. To land her dream internship at L'Oreal, for instance, she took part in the 2021 L'Oreal Brandstorm Competition. This helped her better understand the organization's culture and values, and the fact that she won the contest at the national level only boosted her chances.

5 | Keep An Open Mind

Face it—you might not know what you like or don't like until you try it. After all, Siyi and Simran had no idea they would be keen on joining the finance sector when they first started their journey at ESSEC Asia-Pacific.

"My career service advisor, Cerella, told me not to limit myself, but I didn't believe her and kept applying for marketing positions," Siyi recalls. "When I didn't get in and ended up in product management, I began to realize she was right, and there were so many other things I could explore."

In the same vein, Janice, who today works in human resources (HR) at Unilever, also discovered her passion for HR because of an internship she had landed.

In the words of Cerella Sim, Global BBA Career Advisor: "Don't be fixated!" The world is your oyster, and whether it's advice on your resume, tips for your interview, or simply a listening ear, ESSEC Career Services and the community are here to help.


Top Ten Internship Questions Answered

With nine internships in the finance sector and experience with companies like J.P. Morgan, Credit Suisse, AllianceBernstein, and Bamboo Capital Partners, Simran Hathiramani is arguably an expert at the internship application process.

Her senior, Janice Liu, veered towards human resources and the FMCG market, securing internships at global organizations like L'Oreal and LVMH before finding her full-time role in human resources at Unilever.

And then there is Cerella Sim, ESSEC Career Services Manager, the Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) students' go-to person for advice on all things work-related.

Combined with their combined experience, they tackle some of the top questions about an internship.

I've never done this before! Where do I start?

ESSEC Career Services offers a wide range of workshops covering everything from resume writing to networking to get you started. "These workshops are also progressive and staggered across the year and timed to match the stages of the internship search," Cerella says.

What can career services help me with?

Simran shares that she benefited the most from the resume checks and mock interviews.

"The career advisor gave us a list of buzzwords that recruiters use to filter through resumes, and during mock interviews, we practiced answering questions about our key strengths, weaknesses, and motivations," she recalls. "As a freshman, this gave me insight into the recruitment process and how I should approach employers."

How do I know what resume format to follow?

Cerella advises that you should target your resume style to the industry you are applying to.

Companies like Netflix or Google may be more open to creatively designed resumes with pictures and graphics. However, if you're aiming for a finance, consulting, or hospitality role, stick to black and white and something more conventional.

What if I don't know where I want to work?

"You may not know what you want to do, but do you know what you don't want to do?" Cerella asks. She recommends narrowing down the options by removing the roles you know you have no interest in and then looking into the companies or industries you are attracted to.

"I'd also recommend going for as many interviews as possible for practice," Simran says. "Even if you don't think the job is the best fit, take the interview—you never know, it may surprise you." Being open-minded is vital because, as she and Janice have found, sometimes passion can develop in the new roles and industries you try.

How many internships should I take?

ESSEC students must complete at least three internships to graduate—but there's no reason to stop there.

"I found that people were more willing to hire me when I had more practical experience gained from my previous internships," Simran shares, adding: "The firms that were responding were also much better quality."

How long will it take me to find an internship? How many roles should I apply for?

"It's not actually about the number of applications you throw; it's also about the quality of your application and the places that you apply to," Janice says.

"You can probably apply to fewer companies and find an internship faster if you have a good idea of where your interests lie," she muses, explaining that this is because when someone is genuinely interested in something, their passion is likely to shine through during the application and interview process.

Is finding an internship hard if I am not from Singapore?

No, because ESSEC students have a valid Singapore student pass, and there is no additional paperwork to fill or quotas for companies to meet. In fact, Cerella notes: "Companies are actually very interested in hiring foreign students because of the different perspectives they bring to work!"

Big firm or small firm? Does it matter?

The tendency is for students to prefer more prominent and more trendy firms, but "sometimes when you start small, you have a more enriching experience and can learn more," Cerella says.

In Simran's experience, looking at the company culture and team is more important than just its size and reputation because "if you have a good team, you can make almost anything work."

How important is networking, really?

Extremely. Janice secured her internship at LVMH by networking during a career fair, and Simran has multiple stories of how networking has helped her build her career path. But what's more important than networking is networking well.

For Simran, this means following up each coffee chat or interview with personalized thank-you notes. Besides being good manners, "it also leaves the line of communication open, so you have a point of contact that you can speak to in the future if you need to," she explains.

Help! I'm having a tough time at my internship!

"Extreme stress, like when you are working crazy shifts, and sexual harassment are definitely no-nos that cannot be ignored," Cerella declares, adding that any student facing these issues should reach out to ESSEC immediately.

That said, wearing multiple hats during an internship is normal, and reflecting on her own experience, Janice shares that it is okay to ask for help.

"If you face a roadblock you cannot solve, speak to your managers about it. Setting extremely high expectations for yourself isn't productive because you're here to learn at the end of the day, right?"


GBBA Student Matteo Keller: Why the Dean’s List is Not Just an Accomplishment, But a Mindset Change

Second-year Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) student Matteo Keller from Switzerland shares how he went from believing that getting on the Dean’s List was an impossible dream to being able to say, “Achievement unlocked.”

What would you say is the biggest misconception people might have about getting onto the Dean’s List?

They might think of the Dean’s List as something off-limits to them because they are not good enough to be in the top 10 percent, but it’s actually doable and with dedication, a good learning technique and the right amount of motivation, you can achieve anything.

Was that your story as well—did you always plan to be on the Dean’s List?

Actually, yes. I went into my first year knowing about the Dean’s List, but I didn’t think I would be in the top 10 percent of the cohort. My class ranking at the end of the first semester was 65 out of around 600.

I was happy to achieve this with my “normal” efforts, and realized I could make it to the Dean’s List if I worked harder the next few semesters. I think you shouldn’t always think about the Dean’s List as something unreachable. You just have to be better than the rest, so work a bit harder than them, and you have a chance to be on it.

Do you think it’s all work and no play then?

No, not at all. I’m a very active person. I play the trumpet, bass guitar, golf, tennis and I cycle too. On top of that, I also go out with my friends! Of course, I only do these things on the weekends because I focus on schoolwork during the week.

Share a little about your routine. Any tips for other students?

The 45-minute bus ride to school is the perfect time for me to prepare and plan my day. I use this time to review slides and notes for the upcoming lecture. After each lecture, I also make sure to view my notes again. This small investment of time each day means I don’t have a whole mountain of lectures to go through before the final exams!

I think it’s important to be consistent across all of your subjects. It does not work if you are only very good in one subject—you have to do well in all of them, which can be challenging, since they are quite different from one another, especially the languages. Thankfully, I really like all my classes and enjoy studying each subject. I’m not just studying for the grades or the Dean’s List, but for myself, so I can learn more and gain from the enriching environment that I am in.

How do your parents feel about your accomplishment?

They are very proud! They’ve always believed in me and supported me as much as they can, so when they saw the Dean’s List letter, they were extremely happy to see that their support has paid off, and that I’m taking my classes seriously and working hard.

What about yourself? How do you think getting on the Dean’s List has benefited you?

Getting on the Dean’s List allowed me to be one of the first people to choose an exchange program, and I’m happy to say I’m going to UC Berkeley in the US for a year-long exchange! Beyond this, I think it has helped me overcome my own self-doubts, and taught me that as long as I put my mind toward something, I can achieve it.