Nikita Raman Gundala was 21 when she first stepped foot in Singapore. It was one of the first times the mass media student was traveling without her family, and it took just a few days of immersing in the island state’s culture for her to know she wanted to return.

She got her wish four years later when, after various stints in public relations and a marketing agency, the mass media graduate decided on ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s MSc in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) program as the next step in her career journey. This is her story.

Tell us a little about yourself. What are your career aspirations?

I’m interested in learning languages, music, social work, and geopolitics. I’m also a mentor at the not-for-profit organization, the Lighthouse Project in Mumbai, as I’m keen on supporting the underprivileged community in India.

In the future, I’d like to work for a luxury brand, at an FMCG company, or even an agency that runs marketing campaigns.

How would the ESSEC MMD program help you reach your goals?

To be honest, I didn’t find any top-rated programs that would allow me to focus on both digital and luxury marketing, except for the ESSEC MMD.

I was attracted by the companies I saw coming to recruit MMD students. I liked that the program is very project-intensive because it would teach me fundamental frameworks and how to apply them in a real-world environment.

Also, Singapore is one of the top places for business, marketing, and finance, so being able to come to the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus just felt like the right choice.

Now that you’ve started the program, what have you enjoyed the most?

The career services has conducted a fair number of networking events. They’ve helped me build my confidence and better equipped me to understand what I should or should not do when writing my resume or at an interview.

I’ve also noticed that ESSEC incorporates Singaporean culture well in its teaching pedagogy and uses many local examples.

It’s been a truly unique and immersive Asian experience.

Was it challenging to adapt to life in a new country?

No. Singapore is close to India and has a similar culture. It honestly feels like home!

That said, I love that there are many international students and opportunities for cultural exchange. Students are proactive in conducting various activities, and ESSEC supports us with funding if there are enough participants.

For example, there are music, climbing, and volunteering clubs so students can explore their talents and pursue their interests.

Recently, there was also a Global Village where students from different countries set up food stalls with dishes from their home countries.

It was an excellent environment for a beautiful exchange of cultures!

What are you looking forward to for the rest of your MMD journey?

The Digital Marketing Competition (DMC) will allow us to spend a month working on a real business case from an actual company.

There’s also a study trip overseas to visit companies in a different country and maybe a Business Week for key industry leaders to share insights with us.

I’m looking forward to interacting with the doyens of various industries—especially in marketing.

I also hope to be able to share more about Indian culture with present and future students.