Before joining ESSEC’s International Business Education Alliance (IBEA) program, French-born Chinese Emilie Ung-Sun had never left France. Today, the aspiring consultant is at the cusp of graduation and brings an international profile of living, studying, and working across Germany, the USA, Singapore, and Brazil—thanks to the IBEA program. This is her story:

Tell us a little about yourself. Why did you take on the IBEA program?

I’m passionate about human psychology and understanding how cultural differences can translate into diverse behaviors and communication styles.

As such, my primary reason for joining the IBEA program was to explore the world.

Of course, I was also enthusiastic about the prestige of the program and the hands-on experience I would get through the four consulting projects!

Having been in Europe almost all your life, what was it like at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore?

My Asian roots made me feel comfortable here, and I was happy to help my friends navigate the transition. As the Singapore campus was more petite, our cohort lived as a family.

It had a very different atmosphere from Cergy. While the Cergy campus was large, where you always met someone new, the Singapore campus had a warm family vibe, and we were close-knit.

You’ll quickly become friends with everyone, including your professors.

Looking back, what are your biggest takeaways from the IBEA program?

When we all started the IBEA program, I felt we were perhaps full of ourselves because we were among the hand-picked “top students.” But after witnessing how truly capable, intelligent, and inspiring our classmates were, we all learned what humility meant.

Spending two years with incredible people challenged me in all aspects. Whenever I thought I couldn’t do better, I would quickly be put back in my place because there was always somebody who could do it better or differently.

That was true in the classroom, across my internships, and even in my hobbies. Professionally and academically, I obtained the best results ever because the program constantly challenged me to become a better version of myself.

What advice do you have for aspiring IBEA students?

You need to be curious about people, cultures, business, and how you can become a better version of yourself.

You’ll meet people who work in different but inspiring ways, and there is so much to learn, so stay open-minded.

Also, to get into the program, you have to devote your heart and soul as soon as you start at ESSEC!