To cultivate youth interest in business education, ESSEC Asia-Pacific opened its doors to high school students in July for its first ESSEC Business & Leadership Immersion Program for Youths.

Led by the Recruitment and Marketing department, the program attracted 21 participants from various countries—hailing from established institutions such as the International French School of Singapore, Singapore American School, Australian International School, Marlborough College Malaysia, XCL World Academy, Canadian International School, Lycée Français de Hong Kong, International School Altdorf, and Bangkok Prep International School.

Across the five-day program held from 3 to 7 July 2023, participants experienced the taste of business education via workshops led by Professors Gautam Kiyawat and Rick Marchese, as well as external trainers Abhilasha Krishnan and Brice Degeyter.

A Hands-on Experience

True to ESSEC’s learning-by-doing pedagogy, the students got to apply their learnings to a project challenge targeted at revitalizing Pizza Hut’s TikTok page and marketing its latest Melts product range. On the last day of the program, all teams had the opportunity to present their ideas to Jayss Rajoo, Director of Marketing at Pizza Hut.

“It was a great call to seek the students’ assistance in generating content ideas for TikTok as it’s a social platform they are familiar with,” Jays shared. Impressed by the quality of the research and solutions provided by the participants, Jays expressed her intention to implement all ideas presented and even offered internship opportunities to the students.

Reflecting on the partnership, Jayss added that working with ESSEC Asia-Pacific allowed Pizza Hut to engage with students and seek their input for a real-life business challenge. “Kudos to the ESSEC team for coaching the next generation of marketers!”

“Presenting at Pizza Hut was amazing for me as it made me feel like I was really part of a marketing team trying to come up with creative solutions,” French-Taiwanese Emma Dang, whose group won the project challenge, chimes in, adding: “Feeling like my opinion mattered was also a great source of motivation.”

Career Insights on a Global Stage

Besides the workshops and project challenge, participants attended a career exploration session led by Leo Tan, Head of Career Services, Alumni & Corporate Relations at ESSEC Asia-Pacific. Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA) graduates Megan Chong and Clara Tusin also took the stage to share their respective ESSEC experiences and career journeys.

“I realized that ESSEC graduates stand out because they already have working experiences, which puts them at an advantage when searching for a job or business-related opportunities. The program has inspired me with new motivations, and I am glad I can confidently say that I would like my future career to be business-related,” reflected Emma.

For French-Lebanese student Yann Chraiteh, his biggest takeaway was honing his business acumen and intercultural communication skills. “I liked that we were developing practical skills throughout the business camp. I believe that the insights offered by the various trainers will give me a glimpse of the corporate world in the future,” he shared.

This inaugural initiative received a good or excellent rating from the cohort for the overall experience and garnered positive feedback from their parents. We would like to thank all the professors and trainers who delivered the workshops, and we look forward to hosting the second run in July 2024!