• ESSEC MSc in Marketing Management and Digital program links graduates to their dream careers.
  • The program equipped them with the skills and mental frameworks to thrive.
  • Offers a variety of options for students to gain real-world experience while in school.

Although Yue Ning Ng and August (Bagas) Danara are both ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s MSc in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) program graduates, their definitions of a dream career are vastly different.

Yue Ning, a Singaporean who graduated from the National University of Singapore and is passionate about marketing and the beauty industry, confidently declares: “L’Oreal has always been my dream company!”

“I’m very inspired by L’Oréal’s commitment to diversity and sustainability and their drive to become the world’s number one beauty-tech company in the world,” she adds.

Bagas, on the other hand, who grew up in both Indonesia and Singapore and graduated from Cornell University in New York, values an environment with diversity. A dream job for him would be in something other than marketing but in an environment that shares this value and allows him to merge his interests in business with human behavior.

Both have found a career of good fit. Today, Yue Ning, who graduated in 2021, works as a management trainee at L’Oreal—a role that allows her to apply her love for marketing in the travel retail segment. Bagas, who left ESSEC a year earlier, is at Grab, a company he believes is “one of the most diverse in Singapore” and successfully combines “the best of both Western and Asian values.”

Their success thus far, they say, is thanks to the ESSEC MMD program.

Lessons Carried from Classroom to Workplace

For Yue Ning, some of the most transferable lessons learned were from a Luxury Brand Management course, which taught volumes about protecting a brand’s heritage in the face of drastic digital changes.

“The professor always reminded us how critical it is for luxury brands to engage in powerful storytelling and to draw back to the brand’s codes, DNA, and heritage to create and maintain a halo of desire,” Yue Ning shares. “Even today, I remember this advice when creating my marketing campaigns.”

Baga’s story is different: In his role at the Group Corporate Strategy & Market Insights department, work centers around analysis and strategy, and he constantly needs to weigh factors like government regulations, competitors, industry partner relations, the latest innovation, and more in each decision.

“Connecting these different topics is only possible because of the diversity of courses I took at ESSEC,” he matter-of-factly states.

For example, he says that he gained a deeper understanding of documents like balance sheets and an ability to analyze competitors from his accounting classes. In contrast, he learned how to relate a company’s overall strategy to its financial results from corporate strategy classes. Together, these different classes helped him develop a framework for problem-solving.

“Having a broad perspective is important because most problems in business have more than one solution,” he says. “You need to have the right framework to look at different possibilities and consider the different options.”

Avenues to Practice Skills in the Real World

Notably, the MMD program goes beyond equipping students with the right skills to ensure they are prepared to face real-world challenges. This is done through programs like the Digital Marketing Challenge, which allows students to serve as junior consultants for industry partners like Decathlon, Richemont, and L’Oreal.

“It was a chance for us to showcase our abilities— what we can do, what we have learned, and how we will apply it,” Yue Ning shares. Although having real-life implications made the stakes higher, she found the pressure to be a great training ground, and the fact that she could work closely with industry professionals throughout the process was a true privilege.

“As students, to be given that amount of trust, that’s not something to be taken for granted,” she exclaims.

The Personal Touch Makes All of The Difference

It is also helpful that ESSEC offers resume-writing workshops and guides students on how to excel in interviews, Bagas adds, noting that he gained many insights on improving his attractiveness to recruiters.

“Our career adviser, Will Chang, was also always available to help, offer a different perspective, or listen to our concerns, no matter how trivial,” Yue Ning chimes in, noting that his support and encouragement had been “monumental” during her L’Oreal interview process.

Looking back at their respective ESSEC journeys, both Yue Ning and Bagas are grateful for the lessons learned and experiences gained. The school’s intimate community, depth and breadth of learning, and strategic location in a global business hub in Singapore have served them well so far—and early though it may be in their careers, they are assured with the MMD degree in hand, that they are more than equipped to stride towards brighter futures.