• ESSEC SMIB program helps graduates secure dream jobs.
  • Learning by doing pedagogy ensures students are equipped with relevant, real-world skills.
  • Alumni networks and career services are pivotal in changing the job hunt.

We’ve all had moments where we’ve questioned our paths in life and wondered if we are where we are meant to be. For Amanda Eu, that moment came while in the hospitality sector. Two years into her sales role, she began to find the work repetitive—definitely not something she could see herself doing in the long run.

Hong Kong native Becky Chau, on the other hand, whose experience spanned working at telecommunications firm China Mobile International and later as an executive officer for the Hong Kong government, began to doubt her path when she set her sights on a commercial role in the technology industry.

“I felt that I was at an early stage of my career and needed more solid knowledge to secure a job I was interested in,” Becky shares.

Today, the pair have successfully pivoted their careers. Amanda has leaped into the world of luxury as a merchandiser with luxury retailer Louis Vuitton. Becky works as a channel development representative at one of the world’s leading cybersecurity companies, Fortinet.

They say this is a credit to the ESSEC Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) program.

A Program that Meets Diverse Needs

Both chose the SMIB program partly because they could complete their education at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus.

Amanda was keen on the luxury industry and drawn to ESSEC’s connections with crucial fashion houses—but having done her undergraduate degree overseas, she was not ready to move abroad so soon, making the Singapore option perfect.

Becky’s story is slightly different. She sought to deepen her understanding of the business ecosystem in Asia to find work in the region after graduation.

The SMIB program’s focus on the Asian business landscape and digital transformation was, therefore, a good fit.

“Attending courses taught by industry veterans helped improve my business development abilities, and I found many opportunities to practice these newly acquired skills through class projects,” she explains.

Solutions to Real-world Challenges

As one challenge new job seekers face is demonstrating they have the relevant experience for the role, Becky found ESSEC’s focus on providing students with real-world experience to be a huge benefit.
Her industry experience came from the Asian Strategy Challenge (ASC), a six-month project for those who opt for the Strategic Consulting track.

Becky supported an environmental consulting firm in developing their certification business in Singapore, which taught her volumes about business and client management in Singapore, ultimately helping her secure an internship at a digital agency, Niji.

She observes that even today, the lessons learned from the ASC serve her well as she strives to help her company strengthen its go-to-market capabilities and boost channel sales.

Amanda, who worked with Foodpanda as her partner company, shares these sentiments. The experience helped develop her analytical skills and allowed her to see how theories translate in the real world—all of which she finds helpful in her current role, she says.

Career Services that Go Above and Beyond

Yet, as any seasoned professional will tell you, securing a dream job relies on far more than paper qualifications. It also takes the right network and, at times, the tenacity to keep the search momentum going.

This is where the ESSEC Career Services comes in.

The professional talks they arranged inspired Becky to stay firm in her job search despite the raging pandemic. Upon noting Amanda was keen on the luxury sector, one career services manager even connected her with an industry professional for mentorship.

“This allowed me to gain insights into the luxury industry and truly understand if it was a sector I’d like to explore,” Amanda shares, adding that when she made up her mind, it was also the support from career services that helped her land interviews at various companies.

“It’s important to know what you want to achieve and take away from the program,” she advises. Also, look beyond academic rankings, as that is but one part of the story.

She and Becky have found that what truly defines a Master’s experience is not what you learn but how you learn it—it depends on the people you meet and the perspectives you gain, all of which can last a lifetime.