• Students from Europe selected for master’s programs with a good ranking, strong alumni network, and global exposure.
  • The Master in Finance program’s campus mobility offers them the best of the East and West.
  • Career-focused aspects are bound to give them an edge in the working world.

A master’s degree may give one an edge in the competitive finance sector, but how does one choose the right program? Some look to the school’s international ranking and alumni network. In contrast, others select those that offer industry exposure and can add to their resumes—all factors that can enhance one’s chances in the job market.

However, to carve out a career in the globalized world, there may be one more factor to consider: Programs that offer an international experience. This equips students with cross-cultural understanding and intercultural communication skills—arguably an increasingly valued trait in a client-oriented line like the financial services sector.

Significantly, this global study made the ESSEC Master in Finance (MiF) program stand out and drew Aaryan Agrawal from Germany and Elisa Magrini from Italy to join the 2022 cohort.

Access to the Best of the East and West

Elisa, who graduated from Bocconi University with a bachelor’s degree in economics and management, shares that she was most attracted to the program structure, which enables students to study at the ESSEC Cergy and Singapore campuses.

“I’m fascinated by Asian culture and wanted to understand the perspectives of both the Western and Asian markets,” she says, explaining that she felt this knowledge of two critical regions would support her goals of finding a role in the equity capital markets, ideally in London.

Aaryan, who prioritized school reputation and international exposure in his search, agrees. The MiF program’s ranking of fourth in the world by the Financial Times reassured him that he would receive a top-notch education, while the fact he could complete the program in Singapore met his criteria for global study, he shares.

Having done his undergraduate business degree at ESCP, he is no stranger to the diversity of an international environment. But what the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus offers him, then, is access to a whole new range of cultures.

“Being part of the MiF ESSEC Asia-Pacific cohort has given me more insights into Asian culture, something that I did not have the opportunity to experience in Europe,” he shares.

Arguably, with Asia’s rise as an economic power and Singapore’s reputation as a leading financial hub, this Asia-specific knowledge will be helpful for finance professionals, no matter the role they end up in.

A Curriculum that is Built for Industry

Elisa and Aaryan share that they appreciate how career-focused the MiF program is. Aaryan, for example, has found a variety of classes that offer development in the skills needed for his ideal career in private banking or asset management.

The ESSEC Career Services team also started preparing them for the working world almost before the school term started. Workshops were held to educate students on writing their curriculum vitae, behaving at interviews, and networking at events. There have also been a series of guest talks with industry professionals.

“These programs enriched my knowledge on specific sectors and the skill sets needed,” Elisa shares, adding that this exposure can be helpful for students to both gain insights and build their networks.

The ESSEC alumni network, which stands at around 65,000 members spread across the globe, has also been incredibly supportive, with many returning for networking events with the new students. “I definitely recommend going to all the events and talking to as many people as possible,” Aaryan says, testifying to how he has had multiple coffee chats with alumni to understand more about different sectors and roles in finance.

His advice to those hoping to maximize the returns on investment of their master’s degree at ESSEC Asia-Pacific is to “use the environment to their advantage.”

Elisa agrees. “ESSEC’s strength is that it provides you with the tools to jump into the marketplace successfully and offers you a highly stimulating international environment that you can learn in,” she concludes.