• Students choose ESSEC Asia-Pacific for its focus on the region.
  • Opportunity for internships and industry experience through the Asian Strategy Challenge, a boon to their CVs.
  • ESSEC Career Services offers a comprehensive range of career preparation programs.

At first glance, Faith Melgar from the Philippines and Howie Chia from Singapore seem to have different interests.

Faith studied psychology at the undergraduate level, while Howie took a course in Aviation Business Administration. Now, she’s interested in a role that combines consulting, sustainability, and the luxury fashion industry, while he hopes to return to a career in aviation.

Both were looking for a place where they could pursue their passions and gain skills that could be applied across industries.

Despite their different interests, this led them to the Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) at ESSEC Asia-Pacific.

Designed to help students grasp the complexities of the global world, the SMIB program provides a solid foundation in business management.

The broad curriculum covers strategy, finance, marketing, and more functions. As a result, graduates can take jobs in a variety of industries.

Viewing Asia from a Global Lens

For both, the opportunity to study at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore was a big part of the program’s appeal.

“Studying at the Singapore campus was the logical choice for me because it allows me to immerse myself in the Asian market while meeting people from other cultures,” says Howie, noting that it would align with his goal of working in aviation.

Faith echoes his sentiments, “Since I am interested in an international career, I thought this global focus would be beneficial because it would allow me to learn about different industries, acquire the skills to succeed in a multicultural environment and build a strong network,” she says.

She adds that one highlight of her journey thus far was the study trip to Bangkok, an annual event where SMIB students travel to another Asian country to visit top companies and learn more about their business practices.

Besides giving students a glimpse of the different careers they may want to pursue after graduation, the trip also allows them to network with professionals.

“At the networking event, I could have one-on-one conversations with company representatives and ESSEC SMIB alumni! It was a great opportunity for me to ask questions about my fields of interest, which helps me in my career discernment process,” Faith shares.

Opportunities for Real World Working Experience

A second point of attraction was the “learning by doing” pedagogy that is typical of ESSEC. Group projects and presentations are an integral part of the curriculum, giving students ample opportunity to apply their classroom knowledge while learning valuable soft skills.

“This training has exposed me to different cultures and working styles that my previous schools can’t match. This has given me the chance to view things from different perspectives,” Howie shares, adding that he believes this will give him an advantage in the working world.

Significantly, SMIB students also have the opportunity to gain experience working with real businesses, either through a six-month company mission or the Asian Strategy Challenge (ASC), a project where they consult for companies and help solve real-world business problems.

Faith points out that many other schools would not afford their students opportunities like the ASC: “The chance to be a real consultant even before graduating is one of the top differentiators of this program,” she says.

Support from ESSEC Career Services

Since joining the SMIB program, Faith and Howie have found ESSEC Career Services extremely helpful in their job search.

“They have hosted many coaching classes and networking events where we have learned how to make our resumes stand out, build strong professional networks, and highlight unique and desirable qualities about ourselves to hiring managers,” Howie explains.

One-on-one coaching sessions are also available for students who wish to do so, and students at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus can look forward to an additional mentorship program with ESSEC alumni.

For Faith, these have been valuable opportunities to get the guidance and advice she needs for her next steps.

This is why, although she and Howie may differ in ambitions and goals, they are united in one belief: That joining the SMIB program is one of the best decisions they have made and will carry them far in the future.

“It is a rigorous program, but it pushes me to challenge and surpass my limits,” says Howie.