Ask the ESSEC Asia-Pacific Master’s students about the career services, and one name inevitably pops up: Will Chang.

Candidly, MSc in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) student Yue Ning Ng shares: “I always think of Will as a sage sage. He’s always there to give us a grounded perspective when we’re frantic or anxious!”

And while Will might not look or sound like Yoda, the calmness and warmth he exudes—coupled with the fact that he can remember almost all the names and career ambitions of the students in the MMD, Master in Strategy and Management of International Business (SMIB), and Master in Management (MiM) programs—makes Yue Ning’s description exceptionally apt.

Unassumingly, Will shrugs off this compliment, noting that knowing students is just part of his job.

“We have students from Europe, Asia, South America, and more—my role is to make sure they are exposed to how business is done in this part of the world so that they are prepared to look for employment,” he explains.

Connecting Students with Businesses

On a basic level, this means supporting students with resume writing workshops and mock interview sessions to prepare them for the hunt. It also means tailoring career counseling to meet the student’s needs.

For example, in 2020, Will held a new workshop on how to handle digital interviews. And because SMIB program students were keen on finding roles in Asia, he arranged a special workshop with alumni panelists to help them understand the regional job market.

When the 2021 MMD cohort held their first Business Week and invited speakers from different industries to share, he also ensured each student’s curriculum vitae was given as a “souvenir” to each guest.

“It’s the least we can do, right? To make sure the student’s CVs are exposed to potential recruiters,” he muses.

His gesture went a long way, with more than 10 percent of the cohort securing internships. And the students have noticed.

Journeying with Students Beyond the Job Hunt

“Will really tries to understand you—not just because he’s your career manager, but because he cares for you as a human and wants the best for you,” Yue Ning says.

This is why the students reach out to Will frequently, not just to discuss their resumes and upcoming interviews but also for advice on managing working from home and navigating their new roles.

Will is happy to help because students who have progressed to their internships are still “part of the school and still my students.”

In his experience, the first month of joining any company is crucial. To help students assimilate smoothly, he plans to launch a new workshop, training them on business etiquette and navigating their new social settings.

New Conversations to Fit the New Normal

Will believes the pandemic has altered the role of career services. “It’s no longer just about telling them how to find a role, but also about managing their hopes and encouraging them to stay patient and relevant in trying times,” he shares.

“We know students have to put in a lot of effort. I am here to make sure they don’t give up so easily and they know where to look for opportunities.”

So, while he can’t promise a dream job, what Will can attest to is that if you ever need that tap on the shoulder to draw you away from the dark side or to nudge you in the right direction, he will be around.