The ESSEC Global MBA offers students the chance to visit to Singapore to build contacts and explore career opportunities in the Asian hub.
We caught up with student Matthew Werner in the final week of this year's trip to find out about MBA life in the city.
In a nutshell, “Life in Singapore is quite nice”, said Matthew. Of course that’s to be expected given that the school was extremely helpful in making sure students are accommodated in a nice apartment block in the city centre. A taxi ride to class or around town takes 15 minutes on average.
At 33 to34 celsius and almost 90 per cent humidity, it is ideal t-shirt, shorts and flip-flop weather, so it’s quite hard to don professional attire.
“Everyone speaks English so it’s easy to network and because there are so many foreign workers people are more open to meeting new people”, said Matthew.
The MBAs arrived in Singapore in mid-February and have spent four weeks attending classes. This final week is dedicated to careers. They’ll be making company visits and meeting with ESSEC alumni to discuss career progression.
In China Town
Matthew told us that they already went to the Port Authority in Singapore, one of the largest ports in the world. They were given a tour of the fourth largest shipping vessel in the world which was docked at the port.
They also visited Louis Vuitton Maison, a flagship LV store and learned about the firm's operations worldwide. They’ll be paying visits to BNP Paribas and to Google on Friday.
Matthew doesn’t think he will work in Singapore or in Asia when he graduates. As an American who has spent the last ten years establishing a career in France, he would like to remain in Paris.
He’s looking into Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as it's “An interesting way to integrate business skills to make a change in the world”.
Back at the campus in France, Matthew has taken courses on society and sustainability that have had a big impact on him.
The professor in charge of Business Sustainability and Society often brought in industry professionals to speak on the case studies they were addressing. It was a great networking opportunity and gave Matthew the chance to meet with the President of Unilever foods.
A few of the other companies he’s eyeing are Danone, L’Oreal and AXA and he would like the roles to be based out of France.
Because Singapore is so international, most of the ESSEC alumni the Global MBAs have met still maintain close ties with France and are happy to make introductions where possible.
For Matthew, the best thing about life in Singapore is that there’s so much to explore. Sure, there are assignments and exams but there are also bars, great food, and it's the perfect location to visit other South East Asian countries.
Enjoying the local cuisine
Matthew has already gone to Jakarta to visit a friend’s family and plans to make a stop in Thailand before heading back to France. Classmates have also spent weekends in Hong Kong, Bali and Viet Nam.
There’s even more travelling on the schedule during the Global MBA including a trip to South Africa in May to study the emerging market in context, and the International Immersion Project where students get to live and work as consultants in different parts of the world.
ESSEC Global MBAs at the Groundbreaking Ceremony
The final piece of exciting news is that future ESSEC Global MBAs will get to study on the new ESSEC Campus in Singapore, that should be ready by 2014!
Read more stories about students, alumni and programmes at ESSEC Business School, here.
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