If you asked ESSEC MSc in Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) Student Ambassador Yue Ning Ng what her career goals were a year ago, she would have said, without a doubt, that it was to work for L’Oreal.

“L’Oreal has always been like my dream company of sorts. I’m very inspired by L’Oreal’s commitment to diversity and sustainability and their drive to become the number one beauty-tech company in the world,” she exclaims.

Today, that dream has come to fruition—she joined L’Oreal as a management trainee before graduation in July 2021.

Her classmates, Kaiqi Sun and Marine Trouillez, are similarly ending their ESSEC MMD journeys on a high: Kaiqi is interning at LVMH’s Acqua di Parma, and Marine at IWC Schaffhausen, a Swiss luxury watch company under the Richemont Group.

Industry-relevant Classroom Lessons

Yue Ning credits her accomplishment to the carefully curated curriculum at ESSEC. For example, a module on applied strategic management helped her see things “not just from a marketer’s perspective, but also the managers’ point of view.”

A luxury brand management class allowed her to develop a marketing strategy for the Asian Civilisations Museum, and the annual MMD Digital Marketing Challenge (DMC)—which matches students with partner companies to solve real-world business problems—let her add Decathlon to her portfolio of clients.

“These projects were a chance for us to showcase our abilities and gave us the rare opportunity to really get to know a company’s real needs from the inside,” she recalls.

Flourishing in the New Normal

As an added advantage, these industry-driven projects, which were done in teams, meant that although students were only on campus on alternate weeks, they had plenty of opportunities to interact, Kaiqi shares.

Adapting to the pandemic, therefore, was easier than expected. While online learning gave Marine more flexibility in her schedule, Kaiqi gained immensely from being able to review classes through the recordings made.

Restrictions also brought new avenues for learning: The process of transforming the study trip into a Business Week and inviting prominent speakers from companies like Coca-Cola, Lazada, and SK II, taught volumes about the various industries and gave insights into the current trends.

The program’s career advisor, Will Chang, also stepped in to collect all the students’ CVs and send them to all the speakers who participated in the Business Week, Kaiqi says, adding that thanks to his help, “many of us, including myself, received our interview opportunities during the Business Week.”

Unparalleled Support from Career Services

It may seem like an extraordinary effort from the career services side, but according to Marine, this is characteristic of ESSEC’s support.

“Our career advisor made himself available whenever we had questions or needed guidance. I scheduled phone calls with him throughout the semester for one-on-one counseling and mock interviews,” she shares.

This was on top of the workshops held throughout the year to teach students how to improve their LinkedIn profiles and write a strong curriculum vitae (CV) and webinars organized for students to connect with industry professionals and learn more about the different career options.

Looking ahead, Marine believes two skills will carry her through the future: “Empathy—the ability to be able to listen and communicate with clients and work with teams actively, and creative problem-solving to adapt.”

ESSEC has trained her and her peers well in these areas. So, while they may only be at the start of their careers, with the MMD experience in their arsenals, they have much to look forward to.