• ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus offers a diverse range of student life clubs.
  • Clubs provide opportunities to hone real-world skills in preparation for work.
  • Club presidents testify to how skills gained have supported their job search.

The ability to network, communicate, and work in teams are valuable soft skills regardless of which industry or role one chooses. This makes ESSEC Business School’s learning-by-doing approach so helpful—it ensures master’s students acquire these skills in preparation for their future careers.

The school’s emphasis on these skills can be seen outside the classroom through various student clubs and associations. Some of these clubs allow students to pursue their passions in music, art, and sports, while others have a business focus aimed at sharpening their skills and giving them an edge in the working world.

A Chance to Acquire Industry-relevant Skills

Take the ESSEC Consulting Club, for example.

As a budding consultant himself, Thomas Escalier from the ESSEC Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) program was immediately drawn to the club’s focus on bridging the gap between the classroom and consultant workplace.

By allowing him to network with consultants at industry events and participate in skills-development workshops, the club was more than a place to network with like-minded individuals—it was also crucial to his future.

“These are all events that can help students understand what consultants do, the lifestyle of a consultant, and, in turn, if consulting is a good fit for them,” Thomas explains.

The ESSEC Finance Club has a similar purpose. The club organizes seminars to educate students on areas like financial modeling, and members work together in groups to write articles covering finance topics like bonds and cryptocurrencies.

These activities help students acquire and refine their finance knowledge, and as articles are also shared on social media platforms, they can expose them to potential recruiters. Finance Club President Fabien Meyer from the Master in Finance (MiF) program shares.

Unlocking The Skills to Lead

As the presidents of their respective clubs, Thomas and Fabien have had the opportunity to hone various soft skills while running the club.

Since becoming president in 2021, Thomas has furthered the club’s offerings by spearheading a consultant training boot camp at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus.

Run in a modular fashion, the student-led workshops cover case preparation, public speaking, problem-solving, storytelling, and even tips for using software like PowerPoint and Excel.

“It’s an intense preparation program that covers different tactics one can use during the job search. Those who complete the program will have all the prerequisites and skills they need for the competitive consultant recruitment process,” Thomas proudly shares.

The experience was slightly different for Fabien, who started the Finance Club from scratch—a process he likens to opening his own business.

“I handled the marketing and human resources, built the website, developed slide templates, and created workflows to standardize the processes we use,” he recalls, adding that this was done alongside juggling his schoolwork and internships.

Challenging though it may have been, it taught him volumes about time management, people management, and the importance of being able to delegate instead of micromanage.

“You have to be diligent, motivating, and committed because if you as the leader are not committed, then the club may not be able to deliver,” he declares.

Rewards Found in the Working World

Ultimately, both he and Thomas have found that their hard work has been worth it.

“I believe that running the Consulting Club proves that I am really interested in the field and willing to dedicate my time to learning about the sector,” Thomas says, sharing that he has successfully scored a consulting-related job at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Fabien, who is an investment banking intern at Lazard, feels similarly. “I believe this experience has been key in differentiating me from other candidates during job interviews because there are not a lot of students in their twenties that will build an environment for others to learn without asking for anything in return for their time,” he declares.

As they prepare to pass on the mantle to the next generation of ESSEC students, they hope that the work they have put in will continue to pay off in the long run, contributing to the vibrant ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus life and helping others like them, forge ahead into the future.