• ESSEC Master in Management students testify that the program is a good fit for their future goals.
  • Curriculum offers the right balance of rigor and flexibility.
  • ESSEC community spirit holds strong through pandemic challenges.

For Ajjay Muthukumar and Yesho Gupta, graduating from fields like engineering and computer science, respectively, were sufficient to give them a head start in the working world. But as their careers grew, they found their interests began to shift.

“I was put in an engineering management manager role, where I had a team of my own and to supervise and assist a lot of people,” Ajjay, who worked at global MNC Reliance Industries, recalls. “I realized I was a better fit for management.”

Similarly, after two years at Cisco, Yesho adds: “I realized I wanted to make decisions and be involved from initiating the product to it being released to the customer—the entire cycle.”

To bridge the gap from their technical specialties into the world of business, they chose the ESSEC Master of Management (MiM) program.

The Perfect Fit to Develop a Career in Asia

When deciding, Yesho compared the ESSEC MiM curriculum with that of a Master in Business Administration (MBA) and found them to be on par. However, he noted that an MBA required gaining more work experience—which would be counterproductive to his new career goals—making the MiM a clear winner.

ESSEC’s Asia-Pacific campus was also a huge pull factor as it enabled him to learn more about the Asian market before completing the program in France—something he felt was crucial to helping him in his long-term plan of starting a business back home in India.

Ajjay, who also hopes to become an entrepreneur, shared these sentiments, citing the Business Management in Asia track and the Junior Consultant Experience (JCE)—both exclusively offered at the Asia-Pacific campus—as what sealed the deal for him to join ESSEC.

While the former offered him frameworks to understand businesses in Asia, the latter gave him the chance to consult with a leader in the global dairy industry and a Southeast Asian NGO.

“It really gave me a platform to practice thinking and analyzing situations strategically, so now, before taking on any tasks, I can come up with a stronger plan of action,” he shares, noting that the learning experience was far superior to any case study or regular class project.

Flexibility to Explore and Grow at Your Pace

The MiM’s signature flexibility has served the two well as they carve out unique journeys to fit their dreams. Unlike other programs, which must be completed within a year or two, the MiM allows students to take up to four years to finish their degree.

This flexibility has allowed Ajjay to develop his interests in Web 3.0 and blockchain without needing to rush to find internships and allowed Yesho to juggle a part-time business development internship at enterprise software company Botify while still fulfilling his MiM course requirements.

“There were no restrictions like needing to take a certain number of courses each semester, so I could prioritize school and work based on what was more important at each particular phase,” Yesho explains, adding that he is continuing to work part-time for the company today while in France.

Finding Community in the Time of COVID-19

But what was it like pursuing a Master’s degree overseas during the pandemic? “I don’t feel like I missed out on anything,” Yesho declares, adding that credit to this goes to the ESSEC community.

For example, when the students online had difficulty hearing what their peers were saying during blended learning lessons, the school quickly responded by providing each person in the room with a mike.

To help students adjust to Singapore during their mandatory Stay Home Notice (SHN) period, Thanneermalai Lakshmanan, Senior Manager of Campus Experience, arranged online games and coffee chats to keep students engaged.

“It felt hot and welcoming, and personally, I felt like I had a home away from home to support me through tough times,” Yesho recalls.

The same support was again extended when looking for a job.

“You can request one-on-one meetings with a career services advisor, which is so helpful to develop your action plan, and there are career fairs both in Singapore and Paris for us to network and find new opportunities,” Ajjay shares.

The career services team is also incredibly responsive and reassuring. Yesho chimes in, adding that networking with alumni and learning their “best practices” was also crucial in helping him land his job at Botify.

Reflecting on his time at ESSEC thus far, he muses: “You will be challenged, but I think coming out of your comfort zone will help you develop the best version of yourself.”

No doubt, it may be too early for him or Ajjay to fully see the results of their Master’s degree—but to date, they can safely say there are absolutely no regrets.