In eighth grade, Avantika Dube was about to perform on stage when her fear got the best, and she backed out. Today, the third-year Global Bachelor in Business Administration (GBBA) student is confident, poised, and comfortable speaking in front of a crowd. She shares how her time at ESSEC has helped her develop her confidence and grow professionally and personally.

You’ve come a long way from having stage fright! How has ESSEC helped you develop your confidence?

The curriculum at ESSEC encourages interaction through case study discussions and group presentations. This developed my speaking skills, presentation skills, and my self-confidence.

But what really helped was the multicultural environment. Although initially shy, I gradually became more sociable and open to interacting with my classmates. I really like the saying “diversity drives innovation”—because ESSC is a hub of diversity. The school brings together various viewpoints that allow for new ideas to emerge!

How would you recommend students make the most of this diversity?

You can participate in student associations to learn more about the culture of different countries. ESSEC has various student associations based on other countries’ traditions. You can also attend events to celebrate cultural festivals, like Chinese New Year, Diwali, or Thai Pongal.

Finally, try partnering up with students from different countries for group projects. Working in teams with members from different backgrounds can improve your adaptability and creativity and train you to work in diverse teams, which is important for the business world!

With the pandemic, are there still opportunities to mingle and experience campus life?

Yes! I became a Student Ambassador during the pandemic and was still given several opportunities to connect and network. I hosted my first webinar and collaborated with another Student Ambassador, Niklas Muennighoff, from the Cergy campus in France, to address questions from students interested in the GBBA program.

A few of the Student Ambassadors also developed a monthly newsletter to help the freshmen understand campus life at ESSEC. These experiences allowed me to network and connect with students from the Singapore campus and those in Cergy.

Did you manage to do any internships?

I interned at a leading clinical laboratory, CORE Diagnostics, in India for two months. As a marketing intern, I had the chance to work on social media posts, evaluate email marketing effectiveness in the organization, analyze the industry’s social media plans, and work on programs for employee productivity.

Despite completing the internship online, I found it a wonderful experience that gave me insights into different departments and helped me understand what interests me most.

It sounds like a fruitful year! Were there any challenges?

Staying physically active during the pandemic was extremely difficult as I fell into a routine of attending classes, eating, sleeping, and repeating the cycle repeatedly.

Thankfully, my mom got me back on track by working out with me early in the morning. Some days, we did yoga; others, we did cardio or weight training. Slowly but steadily, my routine improved, and I felt fresher and more energetic.

Looking back at the year, how have you changed, and what have you learned about yourself?

The past academic year was challenging but also highly eye-opening. Although we had very supportive professors looking after us, we still had to set boundaries, construct our schedules, and motivate ourselves to stay on track.

It taught me to become more assertive, self-reliant, and flexible. I have also become better at multitasking and more equipped to adapt to changes, a skill that will serve me throughout my life.

Ultimately, we should accept that the world is evolving. As a business school student, what will define us is our ability to adapt and work in different environments and circumstances!