ESSEC Global MBA community project with Splash Projects


As a part of their integration, the ESSEC Global MBA Class of 2022, spent their first weekend building a recreational facility for kids. They started by giving back to the community and making a real, tangible difference to people's lives. #Together, they delivered a new facility for the charity in collaboration with Splash projects.

The Splash Projects are experiential in their nature and aim to provide a forum for the ESSEC students to get to know their peer group before embarking on their MBA journey.

Throughout the experience, they developed team building skills and problem-solving skills in a true creative environment. Worked in groups, which allowed them to get to know one another and build strong relationships right at the beginning of their #ESSECGMBAExperience, as well as developed how they will work as a team.

Roomly Mohapatra, Global MBA participant shares with us her experience of the weekend.

Staying at an allegedly “Haunted chateau” that did not have the basic amenities (like electricity and decent washrooms) made me realize that privileges are completely relative and the more we compare the more we fret.

Even though I could not sleep the entire night given the cacophony of voices of extremely enthusiastic batch mates and colleagues who were just as excited as I was about the project. We were all looking forward to the idea of working together, to learn more about each other and leaving a lasting legacy. The excitement and enthusiasm to do something good made the stress to do manual labour the last thing on our minds as we pulled up our socks and tightened our belts to make something magical.

This experience added a new life skill for all of us and we realized that we are capable of so much more than they ever imagined. All of us just met a night before, but having power tools in our hands made us feel more responsible towards each other at work and that is something we will take ahead with us in the MBA as well. We learnt how to put forth our thoughts and actions and make the most out of a situation that seemed challenging (almost impossible) at first. Finally, together, we gave our all to finish the task before time and bring the project to reality.

The word “charity” has always been confusing for me when I try to interpret it according to Maslow's hierarchy. Tabloids have made us believe that it is a matter of self-esteem as we are helping people who have fewer privileges than we do. The hard work we had put in there was not for the kids at the hospital but was actually for us to realize what it means to give back to the community.

Thank you, ESSEC Global MBA team for collaborating with Splash projects to help us center our energies, and splash for making us confident about building new things and getting to know each other in a way we will cherish forever." 

Learn more about the Global MBA at ESSEC Business School.

Talk to the Global MBA Admissions Team

Luxury Brand Management : L’Ecole des Arts Joailliers by Van Cleef & Arpels Visit

by Ana Carissa Daez , Global MBA Ambassador 2020-2021, Luxury Brand Management France

This July the cohort paid an in person visit to L’Ecole des Arts Joailliers by Van Cleef & Arpels the esteemed haute jewelry brand. Founded in 2012 the mission of the L’Ecole is to share with people the art of jewelry. It goes beyond just the history and work of Van Cleef & Arpels and focuses on educating and developing an appreciation for the craftsmanship, heritage and beauty of fine jewelry as a whole. The school offers 20 different initiation courses across two campuses, one in Paris and another in Hong Kong.

The Paris campus is situated on a street parallel to Place Vendome the famous home of many French haute joaillerie brands. On the afternoon of our visit the cohort enjoyed two classes one on the history of Art Nouveau and its impact on jewelry design and the other on “Trying Out the Jeweler’s Techniques” which dealt with the savoir faire of jewelry.

During the savoir faire course we met with two master jewelers and a lecturer who trained us in stone setting, metal cutting, and wax carving and molding. We donned white lab coats before entering the classroom which was setup with desks and tools that were exact replicas of those used by the craftsmen at the workshop of Van Cleef & Arpels a few floors above us. Over the course of two hours, we were put to work pressing, sawing and polishing metal and carving wax. Working with our hands we experienced first-hand the attention to detail and intricacy involved in crafting fine jewelry. It helped us develop a deeper appreciation for jewelry pieces and what it takes to make truly exceptional work. The master jeweler’s who guided us stressed that it took weeks to months of training for them to master these techniques.

When the bell tolled (it is a school after all) we handed in our lab coats and adjourned to the salon for a quick 10-minute break before climbing the stairs once again for our Art History class. Taught by two professional art historians the history of Art Nouveau came to life before us. One lecturer likened the period to a shooting star, a brief shining art movement that lasted only 20 years but paved the way for some truly memorable jewelry creations. To give us a better understanding of the backdrop against which Art Nouveau in France developed, we traced the history of the industrial revolution, colonialism and the belle epoque. We learned about the inspirations for the period in unusual flora, fauna, and feminine ideals. These inspirations were reflected in the intricate jewelry designs of the time, many featured unusual flowers or animals like thistles and daisies or frogs, bees and bats.

Japanese culture was another big inspiration. The school has in its possession a collection of books on Japan that was published in France during the time of Art Nouveau. As a special treat our lecturers donned black satin gloves and lifted two of these aged books from the mantelpiece of the classroom to show us.  It was an enchanting way to bring to life the colors and thinking of the time period. Notable in the books is the use of pale colors that are typical of the Art Nouveau style.

Once we had finished examining the books we transitioned to learning about the life and work of notable jewelers of that time from Rene Lalique to George Fouquet and Paul and Henri Vever. We than closed with receiving our certificates for both courses and an invitation to stop by the new free exhibit happening for the next few months or to drop by the school library should we wish to learn more. All in all, a truly educational afternoon.

Learn more about the Luxury Brand Management track of the Global MBA

Get in touch with Ana Carissa Daez to hear her #essecgmbaexperience 

Talk to the Global MBA Admissions Team

Global MBA Luxury Brand Management: Conference with Guillaume de Seynes, Managing Director Hermès International


On the 6th of July, the ESSEC GMBA Luxury Brand Management Track had the pleasure of a conference with M. Guillaume de Seynes, a 6th generation member of the Hermès family, and member of the executive board. In addition to being responsible for production for the Hermès brand, he is also CEO of the smaller companies within the larger Groupe Hermès, including the storied shoemaker John Lobb, and cristallerie Saint-Louis.

Official photo by Alexandre Guikinger

Few but the cognoscenti are familiar with the latter marques, and it is a testament to the discreet and self-effacing good works of the Hermès group that they have stayed that way. Many were rescued from the precipice of extinction over the course of the last few decades, in order to preserve crucial pieces of European artisanal patrimony. Cristallerie Saint-Louis, for instance, traces its existence back to 1586, when it became the first glassmaker in France, and in 1781, the first crystal glass maker in continental Europe. The Paris shop of John Lobb was purchased in 1976, and continues the finest tradition of shoemaking by hand to this day.

This quiet passion for artisanal excellence and support for the craftspeople who make it possible was evident in everything M. de Seynes was kind enough to share with the class. On the topic of production, the inevitable question of the (in)famous Birkin waitlist, and the eye-watering prices commanded by these iconic handbags, naturally arose. Walking us through every detail of their manufacture, including the rarity of the materials used, the years of training required to make a single piece, M. de Seynes demonstrated categorically that the price of Hermès products correspond directly with the care and meticulousness in their fabrication, and not, as is wont with other luxury brands, a “marketing price”, as he called it, based on considerations of image and demand. 

The other hot topic of discussion was of course sustainability. Was Hermès worried about the growing scrutiny of leather as an unsustainable material? Was mushroom leather really the future for the brand? As M. de Seynes explained, Hermès products are a priori sustainable, as they are made with the robust durability that enables them to be passed down over generations. Combined with other innovations in sourcing and fabrication, which have allowed the brand to cut waste to the minimum, he pointed out that this approach was much more sustainable (and luxurious) than making something from a subpar material that would degrade and need to be replaced.

Inspired by this hour of conversation, we came away thoroughly charmed, feeling the same emotions experienced by all who step into one of the 306 Hermès boutiques worldwide, where this singular vision of beauty and quality is brought to life.

Learn more about the Luxury Brand Management track of the Global MBA

Talk to the Global MBA Admissions Team

Ecole Lesage Paris visit: Global MBA Luxury Brand Management


by Arvind Raman , Global MBA Ambassador 2020-2021, Luxury Brand Management France

Earlier this month, the GMBA Luxury Track had the opportunity to visit the storied atelier of Maison Lesage, suppliers of fine embroidery to virtually every major name in haute couture in Paris. 

La Maison Lesage in fact belongs to Paraffection SA, Chanel's collection of fashion workshops established in the late 1990's to preserve their heritage.

It was a three-and-a-half-hour visit, starting with a tour of the atelier, where industrious petit-mains were deep in concentration, bent over a personal project or a special request from a client, in a room brightly lit by afternoon sunshine. It was quieter than it was last week, we were told, when the last of the haute couture orders were being completed in a frenzy before their presentation this week!

Of particular interest was the archive. When Albert and Marie-Louise Lesage took over the embroidery atelier Michonet in 1924, it came with its collection of historical designs and prototypes, dating back to its founding in 1858. It was fascinating to see the evolution of embroidery styles from the days of the legendary Charles Frederic Worth (demure and ladylike) through to those of the iconic Elsa Schiaparelli (powerful and vibrant) and beyond.

The visit concluded with a lesson in embroidery at the École Lesage, where we laboured over a tiny square piece of beaded embroidery, each line utilizing a different technique expertly taught by the instructors. An hour of wonky needlework later, we were the proud owners of both bona fide Maison Lesage embroidered patches, and a sincere appreciation for the skill of the petits mains that are such a vital though hidden part of haute couture creation process.

Learn more about the Luxury Brand Management track of the Global MBA

Get in touch with Arvind Raman to hear her #essecgmbaexperience 

Talk to the Global MBA Admissions Team

Visit to Louis Vuitton House & Museum: Global MBA Luxury Brand Management


As part of the Savoir-faire series the ESSEC Global MBA luxury participants had the pleasure of visiting the Louis Vuitton family home and Galerie in the quiet rural town of Asnières. The Louis Vuitton family home carries an iconic legacy within its walls and past residents.  

ESSEC Global MBA Participants
at Louis Vuitton house

The luxury cohort had the privilege of gathering around the historic living room styled in Art Nouveau beside the unforgettable bright blue enameled fireplace while the Maitresse de Maison narrated the story of Mr. Vuitton’s Asnières workshop dating back to 1859. This facility remained the core of Louis Vuitton, where trunks, special orders, exotic leather bags, and limited-edition runway pieces are still made to this day.

Unfortunately because of Covid-19 restrictions the cohort was not able to enter the workshop, however the private tour continued into the Galerie where students saw antique pieces from the Louis Vuitton archives. The time capsule exhibit upstairs went through the evolution of innovation reminding guests of the brand’s heritage of creativity.

Finally, a beautiful movie featuring the craftsmen of the Asnières workshop played to illustrate the great detail put into every handmade Louis Vuitton creation. To end the day everyone was gifted a sweet keepsake of honey from the Louis Vuitton beehive. 

Learn more about the Luxury Brand Management track of the Global MBA

Get in touch with Anita Ehui to hear her #essecgmbaexperience