• International exposure & learning by doing pedagogy ensures students sharpen their consulting skills.
  • The Career Services team is dedicated to ensuring students are well-equipped for the job hunt.
  • ESSEC APAC has a vibrant school community where students can explore their passions.

Creativity, analytical ability, collaboration, and a keen understanding of business world trends are all crucial to success as a consultant. Indeed, it is to hone these qualities that aspiring consultants Emilie Henon and Sébastien Tordo chose to further their education at the ESSEC Master in Strategy & Management of International Business (SMIB) program.

Exposure to Business in Asia

For both of them, the opportunity to study at a top French business school like ESSEC and the school’s Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore played a significant role in their decision.

Emilie, who first visited Singapore during an exchange program at Nanyang Technological University, fell in love with the vibrant business metropolis and saw ESSEC Asia-Pacific as an ideal platform to build her network and launch a career there.

On the other hand, Sebastien spent most of his life in France. He felt studying at ESSEC Asia-Pacific would be the perfect way to build his global portfolio—something necessary for anyone hoping to work in an international environment.

To date, he has been satisfied: Within his first semester at ESSEC Asia-Pacific, his cohort participated in a five-day study trip in Bangkok, where he met professionals from different sectors and learned more about how business is done in various industries and companies.

“This helped me understand the challenges businesses will face in the future, the areas of consulting I would be more interested in, and also which areas I should focus on for my career,” he shares, adding that this is one big difference between ESSEC and his previous schools—the fact that at ESSEC he has much more exposure to industry events.

A Curriculum Designed for Consultants

A second area of difference for him is the SMIB program’s emphasis on developing the skills of a consultant.

This is seen through the program’s specific consulting track, as well as its numerous group projects and case studies, all of which impart not just knowledge but also train students in the interpersonal skills needed for a role in consulting.

A significant highlight for Sebastien and Emilie thus far was the Asian Strategy Challenge (ASC), where they were tasked to work as consultants and solve a real-world business problem for an honest company.

While Sebastien appreciated being able to hone his skills in benchmarking, competitive analysis, and database management, Emilie found the experience valuable for exposing her to the sustainability issues businesses face.

“As sustainability becomes a bigger challenge in the decades to come, I believe having completed the ASC will give me an edge on my resume and during job interviews,” she says.

Unparalleled Job Search Support

“Compared to my other schools, ESSEC puts a strong focus on preparing its students for the professional world, and I have been pleasantly surprised by the emphasis the school puts on developing our networking and public speaking,” Emilie continues, noting that much of this emphasis is seen in the comprehensive Career Services support SMIB students have.

Besides career preparation workshops and career fairs, students at the ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus also have an eight-month mentorship program where students are paired with alumni who can advise them on their careers. The more intimate size of the cohort also means more attention is given to students who require added assistance from the career services advisors.

“I believe the Career Services team is unparalleled in network, opportunities, and overall dedication to helping students,” Emilie affirms. Sebastien’s experience is similar—in fact, thanks to the Career Services support, he secured his first internship at the luxury brand CELINE within his first semester.

Additional Avenues for Professional Development

Significantly, career preparation continues even outside of the classroom through the wide range of ESSEC student clubs, like the Investors Club or the Entrepreneurship Club, which can help students further their professional goals.

True to her passion for consulting, Emilie joined the ESSEC Consulting Club. This organization provides more networking opportunities with SMIB alumni in consulting. It offers a platform to prepare her case study skills in anticipation of the rigorous consulting interviews.

“I truly love the SMIB experience,” she enthuses, adding that she is confident with these experiences—both in and out of the classroom—she will graduate more than ready to take on the consulting world.