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Nurturing a global mindset

Essec’s location in one-north gives students a unique opportunity to build their professional network. (Right) Associate Professor Aarti Ramaswami, Management Department & Academic Director of the Global MBA, Essec Business School.
Essec’s location in one-north gives students a unique opportunity to build their professional network. (Right) Associate Professor Aarti Ramaswami, Management Department & Academic Director of the Global MBA, Essec Business School.PHOTO: ESSEC

French business school Essec trains its students to become influential leaders in the newly redesigned Global MBA programme

IN AN ever-competitive business environment, managerial practices are constantly changing.

Simply being business-savvy is no longer enough. The impact of the digital revolution on different sectors not only requires future business leaders to be equipped with advanced digital competencies, it also asks for inter-cultural and cognitive skills as they keep up with rapidly changing environments.

To help various professionals to meet the challenges of an increasingly digital future, Essec Business School, which was established in Paris in 1907, has redesigned its Global MBA programme.

The revamped programme aims to impart a strong management culture and a deep understanding of issues related to digital business and innovation.

In this new programme, Essec leveraged its global capabilities to offer six majors across two campuses in France and Singapore, which include Strategy & Management, Digital Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Finance, Hospitality Management, and International Luxury Brand Management.

During the one-year full-time programme, three majors — Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Strategy & Management, and Digital Business — will be offered in its Singapore campus located at one-north. Previously, the programme commenced and ended on Essec’s campus in France.

Come September, students who have chosen the above majors will start term 1 in Singapore, and have the option to undertake term 2 in France or Singapore, and complete term 3 in Singapore.

On average, a student possesses six years of work experience prior to enrolling in the programme. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including professionals who have worked in pharmaceuticals, IT, financial services, banking, fast-moving consumer goods, consulting, and start-ups.
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR AARTI RAMASWAMI, Management Department & Academic Director of the Global MBA, Essec Business School

The Global MBA is designed for high-potential professionals looking to make a career leap, says Associate Professor Aarti Ramaswami, Management Department & Academic Director of the Global MBA, Essec Business School.

She notes that 90 per cent of Essec students are from outside of France.

“We have 15 to 20 nationalities represented each year and their age ranges from 26 to 35 years,” she says.

“On average, a student possesses six years of work experience prior to enrolling in the programme. They come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including professionals who have worked in pharmaceuticals, IT, financial services, banking, fast-moving consumer goods, consulting, and start-ups,” she adds.

Digital revolution

Across the three majors offered on the Singapore campus, students will cover a wide range of topics with a strong emphasis on skills development and practical application.

The modules include Key Trends in Digital Business, Digital Business Models, Design Thinking, Business Analytics, Digital Marketing Strategy, Cyber Security, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Asia and Geopolitics in Asia.

Prof Ramaswami says the school’s location in one-north also helps students to tap the growing entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region.

“one-north is an innovation cluster of clusters comprising Biopolis, Fusionopolis, Mediapolis, and LaunchPad. This gives students a unique opportunity to build their professional network through the mentoring, coaching, and funding opportunities developed with the Action Community for Entrepreneurship, the CIO Academy Asia, and the PwC Global Financial Services Innovation Center,” she says.

As students undergo the intensive one-year programme, they will build strong mental representations and critical analysis of themselves, their team, and their work — not just by knowing but also by doing, failing, revising, and doing again.

“A large part of our training is rooted in the ‘learning by doing’ philosophy,” Prof Ramaswami explains.

One example is the Digital Week Competition, where students work for a week in interdisciplinary teams on a real corporate digital challenge.

“Their Capstone projects span eight weeks, further immersing them in an international consulting experience and enabling them to deal with complex situations arising from the digital revolution,” she adds. 

Corporate exposure

In addition, Essec organises company visits to help students build close and important networks by giving them exposure to professionals in the organisations that they would like to work in, or whose career paths they would like to follow.

“These connections allow our students to gain a better understanding of the work involved, as well as the trends of those industries,” says Prof Ramaswami.

“In the past, our international field trips to Dubai, Hong Kong, and Shanghai have enabled students to gain access to key professionals in emerging markets, and to personally witness cross-cultural business practices in action. Similarly, internships help students gain more sector-specific knowledge and cross-cultural competencies and skills that will help them successfully launch their careers,” she adds.

Essec has collaborated with leading companies across multiple industries, including Accenture, BNP Paribas, Burberry, Barclays, Calvin Klein, Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Google, HSBC, IBM, KPMG, LVMH Group, McKinsey & Company, Microsoft, Morgan Stanley and Marriott International.

To date, recent graduates of the Global MBA programme have secured employment in new roles, performing a wide range of functions including business development, product development, project management, consulting, operational marketing, law and regulation, retail management, revenue management, e-commerce, digital marketing and social media and financial services.

Companies that have recruited its graduates include Accenture, Bayer, KPMG, Amazon, Coca-Cola, DSP Merrill Lynch, HSBC, Louis Vuitton, and Marina Bay Sands Singapore.

“Many of our students also choose to become entrepreneurs, launching their ventures soon after graduation,” says Prof Ramaswami.


Visit www.essec.edu for more information.

Download PDF version of the Postgraduate Studies I supplement