For many, undergraduate education is a rite of passage—a time of exploration and self-discovery, where they define their passions and carve out aspirations for the future.

Their growth is forged through interactions with the diverse school communities, the international exposure from exchange programs and travel at ESSEC Business School, and the professional experience gained during internships.

Within just the first year in the Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA) program, the school’s mandatory internship requirement brought Giulia Gwendolyn Martinuzzi to Luxembourg’s flagship airline carrier, Luxair, Vivien Cotier to pharmaceutical company Sanofi, and Solène Delzeve to five-star luxury hotel, Swissotel Singapore.

Gaining Insights and Developing Independence

Despite the diversity of sectors and roles, all three share that these experiences offered them meaningful opportunities to put their classroom lessons into real life.

Far from tackling administrative duties, students work closely with their teams to contribute to the organization’s goals.

“I enjoyed learning so much and finding that I was able to put the theories learned in class into practice,” Giulia shares, adding that despite being an intern, she found herself involved in a variety of projects across the company.

Witnessing these projects launched in the real world brought her great pride, she says, explaining: “It is rewarding to say that you contributed to a company’s work.”

Vivien, too, testifies to being deeply involved in significant initiatives like planning the company’s yearly budget.

Besides allowing him to put his financial accounting skills to good use, he was also able to “discover the Singaporean work life”—no doubt a helpful experience if he chooses to pursue a future career in the country.

“It was interesting to get a real look at work conditions and grow in a luxury hotel environment,” Solène chimes in.

For her, interning is a great avenue to meet different people, build one’s professional network, and gain clarity about the most suitable roles for those unsure of their career aspirations.

ESSEC Support Paves the Way Forward

But with little to no prior work experience, was it difficult for Vivien, Solene, and Giulia to adapt to working life or even to find these internships?

The answer is no—the GBBA program’s broad curriculum ensures students have the essential business knowledge they need to cut across sectors. The school’s emphasis on group work also trains them to collaborate well in multicultural teams.

In addition, Giulia adds: “When I mention ESSEC, people have heard of the school and its reputation—this is an advantage in the job search.”

True to its reputation as a top business school, ESSEC also receives over 16,000 offers for internships and apprenticeships per year, which translates to an abundance of opportunities for students.

And for those unsure how to start their applications, the ESSEC’s Career Services is here to help.

“The Career Services office helped me prepare for the internship by teaching me how to craft my resume, how to prepare for an interview, how to secure a job during an interview, how to write a cover letter and more,” Vivien recalls.

Besides these workshops, students can also look forward to company presentations and business conferences, which allow them to familiarize themselves with different companies and sectors they can join.

Developing a Competitive Edge for the Future

Reflecting on their journeys thus far, the three concur that the internship experience gained has been a time of personal and professional development, helping clarify their interests and adding credibility to their CVs for the future.

In fact, Solene has already leveraged her experience to secure a part-time job, something she feels is crucial to helping her “experience Singapore to its fullest.”

“Having these diverse experiences is a good way to develop the mindset you need for the business world. It’s important to mix theory and practice, and I believe the ESSEC GBBA program is all about this,” Vivien says.

To other GBBA students, his advice is: “Trust that you are in an excellent program and take the opportunities given to you. It is a great way to achieve your dreams and get your desired career.”