One of the greatest perks of the ESSEC Master in Management (MiM) program at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus is the Junior Consulting Experience (JCE).

For three months, the JCE allows students to serve as consultants for MNCs, local SMEs, startups, and nonprofits to solve real-world business challenges.

Contrary to its name, the JCE is not just for those aspiring to a consulting role. Benefits abound no matter what industry or role one hopes to take. Here are three ways the experience can help.

1 | Credible Real-World Experience

A significant benefit of the JCE is that it offers students real-world experience to add to their portfolios, giving them an edge over other graduates.

Partner companies change each year, and past cohorts worked with names like Accor Hotels, Edenred’s services and payments platform, and even the global leader in international transport and logistics, Bolloré Logistics.

What remains the same is that students are treated like professionals, and the project challenge has real-world implications.

“Our work focused on analyzing competitors’ offerings and market trends before providing recommendations on warehousing and digitalization,” Yuchen Wu, whose team was paired with Bollore Logistics, recalls, adding that the challenge helped his development “tremendously.”

Those in the 2023 cohort who are working with startups echo these sentiments.

“We are implementing what we propose,” Nikita Masurkar’s team worked with an artist to devise strategies to reduce glass waste.

“We’re directly talking to the people in charge who will execute and discuss our solutions with them. That makes a lot of difference in our learning.”

2 | Lessons That Classrooms Can’t Teach

Worth noting is that the JCE goes beyond giving students a platform to put their textbook knowledge to the test. It also offers abundant opportunities for on-the-job learning, where they pick up valuable tips and tricks no classroom can teach.

“I learned the importance of using industry parallels to develop new innovative solutions. It is important not just to restrict research to the industry in focus but to look into related or similar industries to seek leverage for solutions,” Yesho Gupta, who did the JCE in 2021, shares.

He adds that these skills have served him well in his roles at ENGIE and Botify. “I also realized the importance of developing easy, practical solutions that have the potential to create a large impact,” he concludes.

3 | Networking and Soft Skills Development

Last, the JCE is an opportune time to build one’s network and cultural awareness. Working closely with an Asian company can offer insights into the cultural nuances associated with doing business in the region, which is an asset for those who hope to work there.

However, it is also because the diversity of the MiM cohort translates to diversity in the JCE project teams. For instance, Lucas Le Brazidec from the 2023 JCE shares that his team comprises students from India, China, and France with different industry backgrounds.

“We have people who have worked in business and marketing, as well as engineers like myself. So it’s exciting to work together and learn from each other as we do our best for the client,” he says.

Comparing this to his past internships as a data scientist and engineer, he notes that the experiences and lessons learned from the JCE are genuinely unique!