• Master in Strategy & Management of International Business students found opportunities in Singapore.
  • ESSEC staff and faculty smoothen the transition to a new life.
  • Diversity on campus inspires, encourages, and prepares one for the workplace.

Living overseas is an exciting opportunity to develop one’s global profile, but it inevitably comes with challenges. Students new to a country may worry about finding accommodation, adapting to new regulations, navigating foreign cultures, and more.

But for ESSEC Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) program students Damien Chanjou, Roshan Mallepati Shrestha, and Yuting Shu, these concerns were quickly put to rest by the community at ESSEC Asia-Pacific.

The ESSEC Asia-Pacific Spirit Shines

After all, when asked, SMIB students from the Asia-Pacific campus—many of whom choose to start in Singapore because of the country’s reputation as a global business hub— are quick to identify community as one of the campus’ most exceptional features. Damien, Roshan, and Yuting are no different.

“The staff are all warm and passionate,” Yuting, who comes from China, exclaims. Although she had not faced significant travel restrictions, she found the comprehensive information provided by the school helped smoothen her entry permit and student pass application process.

While still in Nepal, Roshan was already in touch with the ESSEC family through weekly check-in emails and virtual activities like coffee chats and yoga sessions organized by Campus Experience Manager Thanneermalai Lakshmanan to help the new students adapt.

“His efforts made me feel like I was part of the community even before I arrived,” Roshan shares.

Upon reaching Singapore, any struggles one may have about finding a place to live are alleviated by the range of resources available. Damien chimes in, adding that when he worried about his housing contract, Lakshmanan took the time to help him review it.

He says it may have been a small gesture, but it supported the French national in adapting to his new life in Singapore.

Finally, for those concerned about finding a job—rest assured that similar assistance is available from the Career Services team. Besides matching students with mentors, the team offers personalized career advice and organizes various career fairs to connect students with potential employers.

In fact, for Yuting, it was at one of these fairs that she secured her first internship at a healthcare consulting firm.

Diversity Breeds Creativity

Support aside, what really makes the ESSEC Asia-Pacific so enriching is the diverse student body, Damien shares.

“In class, we have people from South America, France, America, China, and more, and they each have different approaches to the same situation. I really enjoy exchanging ideas with everyone,” he enthuses.

Roshan concurs, explaining that it was through conversations with his peers that his career goals began to change: While he once thought he would support his family business, now he is inspired to start his own and build a company that can digitally transform life in Nepal.

Damien predicts these benefits of diversity will be helpful in the multicultural workplace. Adapting to different working styles can be challenging, but if it is as they say— practice makes perfect—then there is no better place to do this than at the diverse Singapore campus, he declares.

Industry Experience a Notch on One’s Belt

Significantly, ESSEC’s learning by doing pedagogy means that practice occurs in a real-world context through programs like the Asian Strategy Challenge (ASC).

This is an opportunity for students at the Singapore campus to test their consulting skills with a real-world business problem. But unlike ordinary class exercises, it is done in partnership with a business that may implement the students’ strategies.

Damien, who worked with French food services and facilities management company Sodexo to reduce its waste, found the sustainability-driven topic aligned well with his career goals in the green energy sector. Therefore, the experience went beyond honing his skills to offer relevant industry experience he can add to his resume.

Reflections from the Gateway to Asia

With interests in sustainability, entrepreneurship, and healthcare, respectively, Damien, Roshan, and Yuting entered ESSEC Asia-Pacific with different goals and will likewise leave to chart vastly different careers.

Yet, what remains the same for each of them is that their hopes remain high, and for good reason—because, as far as their dreams are concerned, ESSEC Asia-Pacific has delivered.

“ESSEC gives you everything you need. They’ve given us the support, and now it’s up to us to build our careers,” Damien says. His advice? Leverage the opportunities, take charge of your future—come to Singapore.