What industries to join, which roles to pursue, and how to behave in the workplace are common concerns that fresh graduates may grapple with. However, as second-year students Singaporean Anush Gaur, Indonesian William Samuel Sebastian, and Cai Jiayin from China have found, these are all questions that ESSEC Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) has prepared them well to tackle.

Opportunities for Real-world Experience

Their confidence comes in part thanks to the GBBA program’s requirement that students complete at least three internships at ESSEC—one of which is at the end of their first year. This is why barely halfway through their GBBA journey, Anush has already completed two internships at financial services firms Suissebase and PulseiD, William has worked at RL Corp Services under the accounting department, and Jiayin at tech giant Bosch.

“I think early exposure to the working world is important for preparing us and giving us a good idea of what the job search process will be like,” Jiayin shares, adding that her foray into the workplace has given her a clearer idea of how businesses operate and more certainty about her future plans.

Anush concurs: As someone keen on the finance sector, working directly in the field and understanding new areas like cryptocurrencies and blockchain has been crucial to determining if he wants to pursue a career there.

But the biggest takeaway to date? The development of valuable soft skills, William declares. “Besides making me more versatile and adaptable, the tasks I took taught me to manage my time well and improved my communication skills with my teammates,” he explains.

Avenues to Develop People Skills

Significantly, these soft skills that one needs in the workplace—such as communication, collaboration, and teamwork—are already something that the GBBA curriculum emphasizes. For example, group work and presentations are a staple across classes, offering students abundant opportunities to learn to work together and improve their public speaking abilities.

This experience is only amplified by the fact that GBBA students hail from all over the world. For Jiayin, this has allowed her to experience the global world without even going on exchange.

“This is why I believe everyone at ESSEC is a global citizen,” she declares.

“I’ve greatly enjoyed meeting with people from across the globe and learning about their cultures,” William affirms. “Interacting with them and hearing their different perspectives has helped broaden my horizons and enriched my world views!”

People skills development continues outside the classroom through various student clubs and activities. While Jiayin chose to join the Foodies Club, Anush has participated in the Climbing Club and ESSEC Investors Club—the latter of which has helped him improve his network and professional knowledge for the future.

Reflecting on a Journey of Transformation

These experiences combined are perhaps why, when looking back on his ESSEC GBBA journey thus far, Anush muses that “if you are shy and timid, you can rest assured that you won’t be by the end of the program!” To him, the journey thus far has been “enriching and enjoyable,” he is excited by the prospects of developing further through other GBBA highlights like exchange programs.

William and Jiayin feel similarly pleased with their growth and decision to come to ESSEC Asia-Pacific in Singapore. Undoubtedly, there have been bumps along the way—adapting to a new environment, living alone, and more. But as Jiayin aptly puts it, “These are pathways to growing up.” And as she and her classmates have found, the ESSEC journey is worth it.