Keivin Cheng is an alumnus of the first batch of ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) students. Reflects on his groundbreaking journey with ESSEC, a choice that propelled him into international exposure while staying connected to his roots.

Born and raised in Singapore and an alumnus of Raffles Institution, Keivin is making strides at BP Singapore. He credits ESSEC for enhancing his intercultural communication skills—a pivotal asset as a business analyst, where he navigates the intricate world of oil and gas with a keen eye on renewable energy sources.

Keivin shares his experiences, from the decision to join ESSEC, the invaluable skills he acquired, the highlights of his academic and social life, to the profound personal and professional growth he has experienced.

We understand you were among the first batch of ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s GBBA students! What made you take the chance on ESSEC?

As I was born and bred in Singapore, I wanted to pursue an educational experience that would give me international exposure. At the same time, I also wanted to be close to home. ESSEC Asia-Pacific offered me the best of both worlds: I could pursue a globally recognized program and immerse myself in an international community of students from different cultures while building my local network in the comforts of my home country.

Has it paid off? Where have you gone on to work since graduating?

I am currently working as a business analyst at BP Singapore. I support the organization in managing oil and gas-related digital projects and initiatives to ensure we can remain competitive and reduce our carbon footprint to become a net-zero company.

This aligns well with my interests because I’m passionate about new and renewable energy sources! I believe that for the good of mankind, the world needs to transition faster from using traditional forms of energy, and I hope to do my part to make this happen.

How did ESSEC help you secure or excel in your role today?

I benefited from the one-on-one curriculum vitae (CV) review sessions and mock interviews that helped me prepare for any challenging and technical questions I might face during the interview process.

ESSEC also taught me to communicate well with people from diverse cultures. I’ve learned to build a strong rapport with just about anyone I meet, which has served me well in my project management role, where I liaise with multiple stakeholders.

Looking back now, what are the highlights of your time at ESSEC?

Definitely my international friends. Over the years, we’ve learned so much about each other’s cultures and lifestyles, and today, they are still my pillars of support despite all of us being located across the world.

Being able to learn Japanese and French was also a highlight. ESSEC built a robust environment conducive to practicing and using different languages. Because of this practice and my peers’ motivation, I can now communicate in both languages on at least a conversational level!

Was it difficult to adjust to the French education system?

Not really. The academic rigor required was similar to the junior college system, so I was familiar with what to do and could cope well with the pressure.

What are the changes you saw in yourself since studying at ESSEC?

ESSEC pushed me out of my comfort zone and taught me how to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. My experience taught me that accelerated growth comes from overcoming obstacles, and I’m much more comfortable taking on challenges and overcoming setbacks today.

What do your parents think of your transformation?

My parents are proud that I have grown up to become a mature adult who has a positive outlook and is always looking to find new challenges and experiences to learn and understand the world we live in. They’ve seen how ESSEC has opened my mind to a world of possibilities.