After graduating from Anglo-Chinese School (Independent), Zachary Tan made the unconventional choice of attending ESSEC Asia-Pacific so he could gain the benefits of an international experience while still enjoying the comforts of home. The Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) Class of 2021 alumni shares how this decision has been pivotal in his life and helped him in his career as a data consultant today.

Tell us a little about what you’re doing now.

I am currently working for a data consulting firm called Artefact in Dubai. As a data consultant, I help clients define their business needs and evaluate how data can address these needs. I also work with data scientists and data engineers to build and implement solutions that can help clients improve their business performance.

Was working overseas always your dream?

Part of my desire to work overseas was because of my experience at ESSEC! I gained a much greater appreciation for different cultures—especially how these differences affect group dynamics and working environments. I realized that there is just so much to explore and experience out there in the world, and decided to seek work opportunities overseas as I didn’t want to limit myself to living in the same country I grew up in.

How did ESSEC Career Services support you in finding this job?

ESSEC’s Career Services workshops gave me a good head start in the job hunt by equipping me with the valuable skills needed to find and conduct myself well at internships.

ESSEC’s requirement for students to complete several internships, and push for us to find these internships, also enabled me to gain valuable work experience and add value to my curriculum vitae.

Do you see the influence of your ESSEC education in your daily work now?

In Dubai, I interact and work with people from many different nationalities. As a consultant, a big part of my work is also to translate my thoughts into a framework that is easily understood by others.

I believe ESSEC has enabled me to handle these tasks well because of its diverse student body and emphasis on group projects. I’m now able to adapt to different ways of working, and am confident in presenting to different groups of people.

You speak a lot about diversity—how is ESSEC Asia-Pacific a diverse learning environment?

At ESSEC, there is a lot of emphasis on learning about different countries. This is reflected in all of our classes—from economics, to marketing, and even communication.

I think the friends I’ve made are probably the best testament why ESSEC is an international environment. When I’m having lunch at the cafeteria, there can be students from up to five different nationalities at the table with me. And even now, I have friends living all over the world so when I visit a country, I know I’ll always have someone to show me around the local haunts.

What advice do you have for students who are thinking of studying at ESSEC?

My advice is to come to ESSEC if you want to move outside of your comfort zone, take a hands-on approach to learning, and see what the world has to offer.

It might be slightly unconventional but it ended up being hugely rewarding for me, allowing me to work overseas, living a life that I never thought I would have. So take a chance, and you might just be surprised at how ESSEC can help you.