• Students are drawn by the diversity of choice at ESSEC Asia-Pacific.
  • Internships build confidence in the workplace.
  • Living in Singapore has fostered independence.

Matteo Keller graduated from Kantonsschule Zürcher Unterland in Switzerland and plays the trumpet, bass guitar, golf, tennis, and cycles. He also co-founded a start-up providing environmentally friendly takeaway packaging solutions to food businesses in his home country, Switzerland.

Cecile Jean, of French-Polish descent, studied at Coral Reef High School in Miami before moving to Singapore. She has also lived in Warsaw, Madrid, Brussels, Versailles, and Shanghai—and is a trapeze flying artist with a brown belt in karate.

With diverse hobbies and backgrounds, the two Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA) Student Ambassadors sought an environment that allowed them to explore, grow, and pursue their passions. This led them to ESSEC Business School’s Asia-Pacific campus.

Diversity of Choice at ESSEC Asia-Pacific

“I believe that globalization means we must be polyvalent and adaptable no matter the situation—this is where ESSEC stood out for me because of its diverse program,”” Cecile shares.

For example, besides taking a comprehensive curriculum that addresses everything from marketing to geopolitics, students are also allowed to go on exchange at over 175 of ESSEC’s partner schools across the globe.

This is coupled with intercampus mobility that will enable students to study at ESSEC’s France and Morocco campuses in addition to Singapore.

International exposure aside, Matteo chimes in that he was drawn by the opportunity to choose from 200-course electives.

“I felt this would help me personalize my experience, specialize based on my unique traits, and eventually differentiate myself in the working world,” he explains.

He also appreciates how ESSEC encourages students to learn new languages and has added Italian to his German, French, English, and Spanish repertoire.

“I feel speaking multiple languages will be useful in the business world because understanding my clients’ language will help me build a better relationship with them,” he says.

Finding Opportunities to Flourish

Two years into their ESSEC journey, Cecile and Matteo have found that ESSEC’s diversity and flexibility have served them well.

True to how the GBBA program endeavors to give students an edge in the working world, Cecile scored an internship at the Innovation is Everywhere consulting firm.

This gave her a chance to put her GBBA skills to the test, researching and creating content for innovation-related newsletters, articles, presentations, and videos.

To date, she cites one of their most meaningful experiences when she independently secured an interview with the co-founder and CEO of a French e-commerce company for a story on carbon neutrality.

“Finding a potential interviewee, contacting him, setting up a meeting, interviewing him, and drafting the overall story really boosted my confidence in the professional world,” she recalls.

Conversely, Matteo secured two internships—one at Porsche Asia Pacific Pte Ltd and the other at OTSAW Swisslog Healthcare Robotics.

He also made it to the Dean’s List, which gave him priority for an exchange program, and received a place at UC Berkeley for a year-long exchange, all of which will contribute to a future career in the global workplace.

Like Cecile, he, too, found these accomplishments to be significant confidence boosters. More importantly, perhaps, it taught him the value of discipline and showed him that things he once saw as impossible—like getting on the Dean’s List—are within reach, so long as he puts his mind to it.

Reflecting on A Home Away From Home

To Cecile, this is transformation: “It’s about changing how we think, learn, and organize ourselves.”

She adds that moving to Singapore has been particularly transformational for her, exposing her to the perspectives of international students from many backgrounds.

It has also trained her to manage issues with housing, transport, banking, and more.

“The entire process of moving here has made me a more independent, and I feel much more prepared for the future,” she says.

Likening living abroad to the heights she scales while practicing new trapeze skills, she points out that “all challenges seem impossible when you first approach them.”

Her advice to others in Europe is to give ESSEC Asia-Pacific a chance. “Make conversation, learn about what others say, and listen to their stories because there might be lessons you can take away, too!”