With the pandemic raging on, students from the ESSEC MSc in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) had a significant concern about the state of the job market. To help the cohort better understand the marketplace, the program has converted the annual study trip—an enriching avenue to understand the marketing strategies of renowned global organizations, to a local business week.

“I believed being at the front-line of contacting professionals would be a perfect way to get to know C-level ESSEC alumni, and I wanted to show them that I was the kind of student who takes initiatives and is not afraid of challenges,” shares student Bénédicte Courroye.

This motivated her and classmates Claire Petitjean, Marion Gaudichon, Filippo Montaldo, Danqi Mao, Emma Ying Zhang, and Jieying Pan to rise to the challenge and organize the business week.

Testing the MMD Mettle

Meeting the students’ expectations while grappling with prevailing restrictions was no mean feat. Still, the organizing committee took it in their stride, viewing the task as an opportunity to put their management skills to the test.

They decided to run four conferences at Fairmont Singapore to meet budget requirements and save the fifth day for team bonding activities. A survey was sent to their classmates to determine which industries the cohort was most interested in, helping them narrow their focus to luxury, marketing, and digital companies.

From there, a list of possible speakers was developed, and the team brought their marketing A-game to pitch their idea to potential companies.

Their efforts led to an impressive line-up of local and overseas speakers from companies like The Coca-Cola Company, SK-II, Christian Dior, Deloitte, and Lazada, to name a few.

Strengthening Dreams and Aspirations

What helped was that the team was flexible and gave speakers a choice about what they wanted to share, whether about their company, the industry, or their own personal journeys, Bénédicte explains.

This format also led to various meaningful experiences for the MMD students.

Marine Trouillez recalls enjoying the discussion about crowdsourcing and the subscription economy. At the same time, Ruchika Guria took away a vital lesson from Adrien Grosso, Dior’s General Manager for Southeast Asia and India, sharing “how an individual’s success is not defined by their achievement, but that of their peers and teammates.”

There were also moments of inspiration, like when Haresh Khoobanchandi, Vice President of Sales from Autodesk, encouraged students to “understand our purpose and the reason that drives us because that in itself is a form of growth,” Yue Ning Ng shares.

“As he strolled offstage, I felt inspired and raring to chart my personal and professional growth path,” she adds.

Building Bridges to a Brighter Future

Professor Tuck Siong Chung, the program’s academic director, praised the cohort for their adaptability. To create opportunities to network with industry professionals, “they invited various speakers and industry experts to our conference and gain privileged access to their brand heritage, product development, market strategies, and audiences,” he explains.

ESSEC’s career advisor also collected all of the student’s curriculum vitae to send to companies participating in the event, Kaiqi Sun recalls, adding that these factors combined made the business week “the perfect opportunity for students to extend their professional networks.”

“Many of us received job offers during or right after the business week,” she says. Her offer was from LVMH, and she secured a role at Acqua di Parma, one of the exclusive brands within the French luxury goods conglomerate.

Despite the event being conducted differently from previous years, its purpose—to enrich the students’ understanding of real-world operations—no doubt remained.

More importantly, the cohort showed the business world precisely what the MMD students are made of: Bold, adaptable, and unafraid of facing challenges head-on.