• Rigorous curricula paired with a learning-by-doing pedagogy ensure students master skills taught in the classroom.
  • The ASC and JCE are opportunities for students to understand what consultancy is like.
  • Students develop multicultural skills through campus diversity and exchange programs or double-degrees abroad.

What makes a job in consulting so highly coveted? For many, it is the diversity of the work. Every day is different, and besides working on projects from many industries, consultants also get to travel extensively across the world.

Yet, however dynamic and rewarding the profession may be, to find success, one needs to have not only excellent analytical and project management abilities but also the necessary soft skills to manage and build relationships with clients.

This is where ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) and Master in Management (MiM) programs provide the training and opportunities for aspiring consultants to develop their hard and soft skills.

Here are three ways the programs do this:

1 | Consultant-specific Training

The SMIB and MiM programs have rigorous curricula that equip their students with comprehensive knowledge of foundational business theories, such as strategy, finance, marketing, and more.

These allow students to become well-rounded and knowledgeable in several fields—traits necessary for consultants whose work cuts across diverse sectors and involves working in interdisciplinary teams.

However, as an additional benefit, there are also specific offerings, such as the Strategic Consulting track or the Consulting specialization, for SMIB and MiM students, respectively.

“If you want to be a consultant, the Strategic Consulting track will prepare you for the interview process in the consulting industry,” Professor Anne-Flore Maman Larraufie, SMIB Program Academic Director, says, explaining that with a 25-hour course on Case Cracking and classes like Soft Skills on Consulting, SMIB students have the added advantage of better preparation for the rigorous consulting interview process.

Training continues outside the classroom through the ESSEC Asia-Pacific’s Consulting Club. The club hosts skill development workshops and other events—all excellent ways for students to network and boost their understanding of the industry.

2 | Real World Consulting Experience

ESSEC also offers students the advantage of having actual consulting experience through the SMIB program’s Asian Strategy Challenge (ASC) and the MiM program’s Junior Consultant Experience (JCE) or Asian Strategy Consulting Project (ASCP). These are all exclusive to the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus and, as their names suggest, allow students to act as consultants for real businesses.

“Students can see what they have learned in the classroom at ESSEC being put into practice, and while they are guided by a mentor, these projects require autonomy, professionalism, and responsibility. They will also understand how to act as a team,” Arijit Chatterjee, Associate Professor, Management Department at ESSEC, says.

“As an intern, you’re mostly involved in the company’s operations. Your manager would rope you in for strategic work if you’re fortunate. The ASC gave us that opportunity and a voice to share our views,” SMIB alumna from the class of 2020, Pauline Glever, adds of the main differences. While she worked on a project for LVMH, other recent batches have partnered with Johnson & Johnson, Heineken, and more—all reputable names that add weight to one’s resume.

3 | Multicultural Skills Development

Last but not least, ESSEC also ensures students are adept at building relationships and managing clients by emphasizing developing soft skills and cultural awareness.

This is achieved through the diversity of the campus: students and faculty hail from all over the world, exposing one to a myriad of different cultures from one location. This diversity is arguably only enhanced by the school’s emphasis on group work, ensuring students develop teamwork and collaboration skills in a multicultural context.

Those who wish to take this global learning even further can also opt for exchange or double-degree programs with ESSEC partner universities worldwide.

With these global perspectives and unique learning opportunities, it is perhaps no wonder that SMIB and MiM program graduates excel in the consulting field, with almost a third of them landing their dream positions at consulting firms across the globe.