• An ESSEC Business School qualification makes graduates attractive to recruiters.
  • Cross-cultural experience gained is an asset in international firms.
  • An intimate cohort size supports the development of lasting relationships.

Jamie Alcantara and Vanessa Soria, both alumnae from the ESSEC MSc Marketing Management and Digital (MMD) program, have seen firsthand how a master’s degree is a boon for those seeking career growth.

Jamie, who comes from the Dominican Republic, used the MMD program to help pivot her career from public relations to marketing. After graduating in 2018 from ESSEC, she scored a stint at Southeast Asian e-retailer Zalora before taking on the post of marketing manager at DB Schenker’s Miami office.

Vanessa from the class of 2021 has a similar experience. The Ecuadorian, who came from a background in market research, has moved back to her home country to fill the position of Consumer Marketing Manager at Nestlé.

“ESSEC taught me to build brands,” Vanessa testifies. “We did a project in the luxury brand management module where I learned to execute an all-rounded campaign and realized that brand management is the path I want to follow—today, that’s exactly what I’m doing.”

But relevant MMD curriculum aside, for those embarking on careers in the Americas, is there a value in completing the MMD program at a French School and in Singapore?

The Power of An ESSEC Qualification

Jamie and Vanessa believe the answer is yes. For one thing, anyone who is part of the ESSEC family will gain access to a strong alumni network across the globe.

Case in point: Jamie graduated believing that her time at ESSEC Asia-Pacific would open doors for her in Asia or Europe. To her surprise, when interviewing for jobs in Miami, various companies and recruiters had either studied at ESSEC or knew of people from ESSEC and valued the school’s reputation.

“It was precious to me that ESSEC could open doors for me in the United States as well,” she declares.

Vanessa agrees. “It appealed to my boss that I had done my master’s degree in Singapore as she believes international experience helps form and forge people’s characters,” she chimes in, noting that she has personally found there to be truth in those words.

The Global Advantage of Studying in Asia

After all, one of the most significant advantages of being at ESSEC Asia-Pacific is that students hail from all over the world, offering exposure to a diverse range of European and Asian cultures.

“My experiences in Singapore have broadened my horizons and enabled me to analyze customers and their needs with an open mind and from different perspectives,” Vanessa says.

Jamie adds that this cross-cultural experience was augmented by her time at Zalora, where she worked with colleagues from all around Southeast Asia and even collaborated with influencers from many different backgrounds—giving her exposure to a market with other religious beliefs, languages, and even ways of working from what she was used to.

Reflecting on her life now across the world, she admits that managing a country as big as the United States and doing so for a German company has been exciting and challenging.
“But one of the things that has prepared me for this was being exposed to the ways of working across many different cultures in Singapore,” she says.

The Gains from a Diverse ESSEC Community

The two also saw the intimate ESSEC Asia-Pacific class size as a benefit.

Moving from class to class with the same group of 10 to 20 people allowed them to foster close bonds with their peers. Jamie shares these bonds, cemented through regular group work, an MMD study trip to Shanghai, and frequent weekend holidays to explore the region.

Being part of a smaller group also made it easier to build rapport with professors. She recalls how her luxury brand management professor, Sonja Prokopec, went beyond the textbook definitions of luxury marketing to share in-depth information about her industry experience.

“I loved talking to her and learning from her experiences. In a way, I’d consider her to have mentored me, and I think that that’s something I wouldn’t have the opportunity to get if I were part of a bigger classroom,” she states.

It is undeniably challenging to quantify the exact benefit of such interactions. Still, listening to Jamie and Vanessa share, one thing is clear: ESSEC Asia-Pacific has been imperative in shaping their perspectives and growth as people. Returns on the investment continue to accrue, and this growth will likely continue to be an asset no matter where they land.