After graduating with a Master’s in engineering, Tibere Simonnet spent a year working in Luxembourg as a business manager for a digital consulting firm, Cat-Amania. Recognizing the need to hone his business acumen, he found his way to ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) program in 2020—a decision motivated by the program’s specialized consulting track and the opportunity to experience Asia.

Today, Tibere is a Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) analyst at global investment bank Equiteq’s Singapore office. He credits the SMIB program and its unique mentorship component for his success.

Tell us a little about your role at Equiteq.

I support my clients in their acquisition and fund-raising ambitions. This is done by helping them find the right acquirer or by guiding them in raising capital to support their company’s growth.

My role spans the entire transaction process lifecycle—from business development and realization of the proposal to building transaction materials and the business models to facilitate the process, finding the right acquirer, managing the due diligence,e and even participating in the drafting and negotiation of the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA).

It fits my career goals perfectly, giving me a 360-degree view of corporate strategy and financial management. It also enhances my soft communication, negotiation, and stakeholder management skills. I believe that these skills will allow me to transition to a strategic position, a financial services position, or even a consulting role down the road.

How did your mentor contribute to you finding this role?

I was undecided between investment banking and M&A or consulting or strategy. Although I was interested in the former, I felt my profile would be more suitable for the latter.

My mentor advised me to focus on M&A because it would enable me to improve my financial skills more than in a consulting role while still giving me a deep understanding of corporate strategy. He also explained how the work was meaningful and life-changing for clients and stakeholders.

He helped me understand how working in M&A would allow me to pursue future roles such as in-house corporate development, private equity, and more.

Beyond this, my mentor guided me through my career search and advised me on Singapore and Asia-Pacific markets.

How has your experience shaped your views on mentorship?

Having a mentor isn’t about a free internship or job—after all, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. Instead, I see mentors as people who can guide one’s career choices, connect one with the network to find the right job and share their expertise in the Singapore or Asia-Pacific markets.

A mentor is a great person to gain insights into the economy and employment market and can be the starting point of a longstanding friendship. One of my best memories with my mentor is our kayaking session from Pasir Ris to Pulau Ubin!

What should other SMIB students do to make the most of their internship?

Be yourself. Be humble and straightforward about what you’d like to know from your mentor,r and think about how he or she can support you in your career.