23-year-old Raphael Lambert found himself at the crossroads of his career after completing a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Despite his solid qualifications and global profile—as demonstrated by his experience in the US, the UK, and Hong Kong—he struggled to enter his dream industry.

Nash Yang, who is 29 this year, was in a similar situation. He wanted to move out of the civil engineering sector and needed an opportunity to enter finance.

Today, Raphael has secured full-time employment as an investment analyst at one of Europe’s largest asset management companies. Nash is completing his summer internship with Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) and will move on to UBS for a year-long wealth management traineeship program.

Their ability to gain a foothold in the competitive sector is, in many ways, thanks to the ESSEC’s Master in Finance (MiF) program.

Tapping Into the Wealth of Resources

Credit is due to the ESSEC Career Services team, Raphael declares.

“The MiF career advisor was approachable and accessible and helped me review my resume early on in the program. The team also provided updates on job opportunities and training for behavioral interviews.”

Particularly useful to him was the mock assessment center designed to simulate conditions one would expect when interviewing for a competitive investment banking internship.

“The skills and materials could be applied to other interview sessions, and the resources from the school helped build my knowledge and confidence to secure my current position,” Raphael recalls.

He notes that in tandem with the evolving pandemic landscape, “ESSEC was quick to embrace the use of educational technology and to guide students unfamiliar with the learning platform, ensuring an environment that did not compromise on the quality of education.”

This focus on digital tools translated into workshops that trained students to handle computerized interview rounds. This included tips on how to present themselves and a list of questions they should prepare to answer, Nash adds.

He and Raphael also benefited from the regular career talks with industry experts.

Networking after one of these talks scored Nash a part-time role as a financial analyst at a project finance company. At another event featuring Eric Bramoullé, CEO of South Asia at Amundi, Raphael gained insights about the asset management industry and the company’s growing presence in Asia—paving the way for him to find his job today.

Reaping Long-Term Returns on Investment

Having adequately stepped into the working world, the two Student Ambassadors note that their investment returns in the ESSEC MiF are only becoming more evident daily.

“Several classes at ESSEC include the building of complex financial models—this modeling ability is key to helping you add value to any investment-related role,” Raphael shares, explaining that this has helped him immensely in his role as an analyst.

With the confidence developed at ESSEC, Nash also successfully organized and moderated an online panel discussion at SMBC covering workplace diversity and inclusion. He even tapped on his newly gained network at ESSEC to share at the event.

Looking back at his uncertainties about finding a job during the pandemic, Nash shares that he relates to students’ worries. His advice is simple: “Don’t give up, and start preparing as early as in the first few weeks of school.”

As Raphael aptly puts it, ESSEC will provide the training and the resources, but the outcome, eventually, depends on what you make of it.