Student Ambassadors Manon Portha, Mingyue Ma, and Patsachon Niyomthai were barely one semester into their ESSEC MSc in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) journey when they were tasked with developing a marketing campaign for perfume brand Maison21G.

It is worth noting that this was no classroom exercise—they were also expected to present their ideas to Maison21G management afterward.

They say such opportunities for learning by doing are characteristic of the MMD program’s pedagogy and one way the program will prepare students for the real world.

Opportunities to Apply Lessons

“The hands-on approach at ESSEC is genuinely distinctive, and it sets the school apart from my previous educational experiences. We don’t just learn the theories, but also put them into action in the real world,” Manon, who comes from France, shares.

“It’s an amazing opportunity for us to contribute to the learning process actively.”

Patsachon, who comes from Thailand, agrees. She shares that for the Maison21G project, students were also invited to the company’s workshop to speak with employees and learn more about the brand and work processes—getting an insider’s view of the industry that no textbook can offer.

Learning from Industry Professionals

All three students believe they have exclusive access to companies because many of their professors are industry professionals with connections in the field.

Mingyue, who hails from China, cites Gautam Kiyawat, their marketing professor, as one such example.

Having run media and content-driven businesses across Asia and the USA, Prof Gautam brings a wealth of experience into the classroom.

“His unique teaching style blends rigorous academic theory with practical business insights. I particularly appreciate how he encourages critical thinking and fosters a dynamic classroom environment,” Mingyue explains.

Manon agrees wholeheartedly. “I like how he connects with students and shares key insights and real-world examples that resonate with us as Gen Z. This relevance makes the class educational and incredibly engaging.”

As an added perk, Gautam also brought guest speakers to the classroom to help illustrate concepts to the students.

“Hearing from guest speakers from Meta and TikTok was insightful for us, and I liked that we got to connect with the companies when they came down to speak,” Patsachon testifies.

Emphasis on Collaboration and Inclusion

A final feature of the MMD program that Manon, Mingyue, and Pataschon have found value in? Diversity.

“Being surrounded by diverse students from every corner of the world enhances creativity and turns our classes into vibrant idea-sharing spaces,” Manon says.

“We are required to work in teams for each module, and I feel this diversity prepares us for the future as most of us will be working in international settings with people from various backgrounds and cultures.”

Mingyue echoes these sentiments. “I believe this exposure to diverse viewpoints and problem-solving approaches is invaluable and has equipped me with the skills needed to thrive in today’s global business landscape,” she concludes.