• Faith Melgar testifies to how ESSEC Asia-Pacific offers multiple student opportunities to explore their interests.
  • ESSEC Asia-Pacific stood out from other schools because of its global focus.
  • Career-oriented focus seen through comprehensive career services support.

Not all students enter the ESSEC Master of Strategy and International Business (SMIB) with a straight career path already in mind.

Some, like Faith Melgar, who have seemingly uncoupled interests spanning fashion, sustainability, travel, and even healthcare, are looking to explore different options and build transferable skills to cut across sectors.

The ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s SMIB program fits the bill: Within her first semester, exposure to various industries through the international study trip and guidance from her mentor have helped Faith explore different career possibilities while becoming equipped with the business acumen and skill sets she needs.

She shares her ESSEC journey.

Could you tell us about your career aspirations?

At the moment, if I had to choose an industry where I would build my career, I feel drawn to the luxury fashion space. Fashion as a medium of self-expression has always been a passion of mine and is one of the tools I use to assert my own identity in the world.

My dream is to find a position that will combine artistry and sustainability, with the opportunity to travel extensively as part of my work and the chance to closely interact with visionary personalities.

Being a consultant fits the criteria, so fingers crossed I could be a consultant in the luxury fashion space with a guided focus on sustainability!

How does the ESSEC SMIB program align with your goals?

ESSEC Asia-Pacific offers students the best of both worlds. As a French institution, its courses have integrated unique French values and perspectives.

Meanwhile, the Asia-Pacific campus’ location in Singapore means that we are strategically placed at the heart of one of Asia’s most successful economies. These factors are what make the ESSEC experience such a global one.

As I am interested in pursuing an international career, this global focus would be beneficial. ESSEC will also bring me closer to my goals by exposing me to different industries, equipping me with the skills to succeed in multicultural environments, and helping me build a strong network.

Could you tell us about your experience with the SMIB study trip to Bangkok? What were some highlights for you?

The study trip was a hectic week filled with activities. Our call time was at 8 o’clock each morning, and we had to deal with Bangkok traffic while rushing between company visits—I’d say it was quite the introduction to being an international businessperson! In between the visits, I would use the time in the van to prepare for the next meeting, either by drafting potential questions I may want to ask or by synthesizing my notes from the previous company talk.

My favorite part was the networking event, which allowed me to talk one-on-one with representatives from different companies and ESSEC SMIB alumni.

I used this event well to gain insights about job functions and industries I’m interested in. Meeting alumni who are kind and willing to share has made me feel more secure about the future.

Overall, the study trip helped me get a glimpse of a week in the life of my future self. The travel, the need to think on my feet and adapt to situations in real-time, and the excitement—of experiencing all of these things have motivated me to work hard toward my goals.

Apart from the study trip, how else has ESSEC helped you grow professionally?

Through the Career Services programs. The Career Services team has hosted several career workshops to teach us how to prepare our CVs, use LinkedIn effectively, and perform well in job interviews.

I’ve also contacted the career services advisor, Theresa Chew, for individual advice and guidance on career prospects and internships. In addition, I’ve really appreciated the help my mentor has given me through the SMIB mentorship program!

We understand the SMIB mentorship program is one of the highlights of being at ESSEC Asia-Pacific. How has your mentor supported you?

I’m very passionate about mental health, and my Bachelor’s degree was in psychology. As I decided to take a business master’s program, I thought I could only exercise this advocacy outside my professional life. However, my mentor showed me that might be different.

He comes from the digital health industry—an industry I thought I might not join because I perceived it to be very technical. However, he explained how I could use my pre-medical undergraduate degree and my new skills from business school to help companies achieve their goals.

This was a valuable revelation to me, and I’m glad to know that so many options are open to me, including working towards advocacy for mental health!