• The ESSEC Master in Finance program equips graduates with a strong foundation in finance.
  • Emphasis is on both hard and soft skills for the finance world.
  • Offers opportunities to network and become job-ready.

Where do graduates from the ESSEC’s Master in Finance (MiF) program—ranked fourth globally by the Financial Times in 2021—end up?

Despite the pandemic rearing its head, Yixuan Shi, from the class of 2021, is now Assistant Vice President at Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation (SMBC) Asia Pacific, while her classmate Winston Lau is at the Risk & Performance Management Department at GIC.

Minh Canh (Dendi) Nguyen, who graduated in 2020, has moved from private equity firm Affirma to become a strategy analyst at Neuron Mobility, a global rental e-scooter company and micro-mobility technology developer.

A Foundation that Cuts Across Sectors

Undoubtedly, the alumni have landed their roles because of the stellar finance foundation built by the MiF.

While Yixuan testifies to how the classes taken served her well in the technical portion of her interview process, Winston shares that the knowledge he’s gained is used daily as he performs risk assessments and that the broader business knowledge acquired allows him to understand the lingo of different departments he interacts with.

Even Dendi, no longer in the finance sector, still relies heavily on the skills gained during the MiF.

“I changed jobs because as much as I enjoyed working in private equity investments, I wanted to be making decisions. I realized I didn’t want to evaluate other companies’ decisions; I wanted to be on the front line,” he explains.

Yet today, as he analyzes factors like market performance, product features, and more to determine the possible returns on investments, one thing rings true: “It still all ties up to finance knowledge!”

Focusing on Hard and Soft Skills

Dendi adds as his company has offices in 25 cities, he needs to work with people across Australia, Canada, the UK, and more—so ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s international student body and focus on group projects have also prepared him well to work in global teams.

Winston, who, like Dendi, graduated from Nanyang Technological University, and Yixuan, who was from the National University of Singapore, feel the same.

“Being at ESSEC Asia-Pacific was the first time I interacted with European students, and it taught me how to work with people from very different cultural backgrounds,” Yixuan says. “Now that I work for a Japanese company, the lessons learned have helped me adapt well.”

Invaluable Insights and Connections

Another highlight of the MiF program is the number of guest talks from industry professionals who openly share their daily work and the company culture.

This is important because “as much as we think we know what we want to do, whether corporate finance or financial markets, at the end of the day, we also need to know about the company and people we work with,” Winston shares.

Dendi adds that these talks are also an opportune time to network—in fact,  he received his first internship offer by reaching out to the head of finance of one company after a talk.

He muses that in addition to these talks, “ESSEC also has a network of alumni who are very friendly and were open to speaking to me even before I started the program.” One connection landed him an internship at asset management firm Ardian, even before he started the MiF—and a colleague at Ardian eventually introduced him to his full-time job at Affirma.

Write Your Formula to Success

Dendi’s story perhaps encapsulates the true benefit of the MiF: Like many other life investments, the benefits can be surprising and unpredictable.

Yixuan concurs. Reflecting on her journey, she shares that she left a successful career as a commodities pricing analyst to come to ESSEC and had every intention to return to the commodities sector upon graduation.

“But throughout doing the MiF, I realized there are many other options, like the financial markets, that I could pursue,” she explains.

Her advice? “Have an open mind,” she encourages. With ESSEC’s brand name and the support of the ESSEC Asia-Pacific community behind you, the possibilities are endless—both within and outside of the world of finance.