Mohamed Asad was studying engineering at a top university in Singapore when he pivoted to join the ESSEC Global Bachelor of Business Administration (GBBA) program.

He hasn’t looked back since Just a few semesters in; he’s already completed an internship at tech company IDEMIA.

He’s taken on roles as class representative and Student Ambassador. He’s also begun getting experience in consulting through the ESSEC Junior Development Singapore.

The Singaporean national shares his motivations for the switch and how he’s benefited.

What motivated the switch to business and ESSEC Asia-Pacific?

I realized I wasn’t that interested in a scientific degree and felt business might be a good choice as I am more people-oriented.

ESSEC stood out from other schools as its cohort would be more diverse.

It was also an advantage that exchange programs are part of the curriculum as I would get to travel.

As I’d like to pay for my studies, it was also more financially sensible to stay close to family first and be able to travel further down the line.

How does studying at ESSEC compare to your previous schools?

It’s more practical-based, and we have many opportunities to practice our skills during projects or competitions the school organizes.

For example, my friends and I signed up for the ESSEC Case Competition for Future Leaders 2023.

It was our first semester in school, and we knew little about business, but through the different workshops and conversations with our mentors, we learned so much!

Also, we must do an internship in our first year. I did mine at a tech company, IDEMIA, and it helped me understand how companies operate, what office environments are like, and how a business is structured. It was a great learning experience.

Having experiences like this is very important in business school because you won’t understand the impact of what you’re learning until you go into the real world and understand how things are being handled.

What other opportunities are there to grow personally or professionally?

I’m helping set up ESSEC Junior Development Singapore, which entails getting clients for us to consult.

Besides learning about consulting, the experience is like setting up an honest company.

ESSEC also offers many opportunities for leadership roles.

As a student representative for my cohort, I present issues that students have or improvements they hope to see to the administration.

As a Student Ambassador, I work with the school’s marketing department to help “market” the program.

Best ESSEC memory so far?

During our induction week, we had a fantastic race across Singapore.

Even though I’m familiar with the country, I was able to explore it again and experience it with people who had never been here before.

We went to places like Chinatown and Little India—places locals go to for errands but don’t explore.

It was great to see it from the perspective of my peers.

How have you changed since joining?

I’ve developed my critical thinking skills and can now analyze things faster.

I’ve also improved my presentation skills. Before coming to ESSEC, my parents and I had a long discussion about the significant change I was making, but having seen me flourish over the last few years, they’re very proud of me!

Why should other Singaporeans consider the GBBA at ESSEC Asia-Pacific?

The diversity. At some point, you’re likely to be working with someone who is not Singaporean, and you need to understand how to interact with them and what might be a faux pas.

When you grow up meeting people from different cultures, it becomes ingrained in your mindset to be more open-minded and quickly adapt.