The 2017-2018 Global MBA Class

The 2017-2018 Global MBA Class

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

My journey in the ESSEC Global MBA

By Abhinav IYER, ESSEC Global MBA Class of 2017


Around this time last year, I was in India grappling with the dilemma of whether I needed to do the MBA. A critical life incident involving my family had made me question my choice.

In situations involving no easy answers, I took the plunge based on what my family and well-wishers at work recommended. One could argue that "free will" was suspended and I decided to come to ESSEC amidst several cobwebs in the mind, full of questions and with some anxiety.

Perhaps, I kept telling myself that time would simply fly past me and transform the journey into a surrealistic blur.

As I reflect, the time has indeed whizzed by and I take this opportunity to articulate what this experience, especially this group, has offered me.

1) A humbling voyage

Despite having had experience of working in multiple groups and contexts over 10 years, the MBA experience was humbling as it signaled that past records and experiences could not earn the seat at the table. One has to start from a clean slate, continually operating in a "learning mode".

As I write, I recognize the limits of my ignorance. This humbling experience may not have always been offered to me if not for this MBA, and I might have simply been operating in auto-pilot mode in my job.

2) The Mirror offered by an internationally diverse cohort

I kept asking myself - "What does having 18 nationalities in a batch really mean?" Beyond the fluff around diversity or global outlook, what does a diverse cohort truly offer?

Based on my experience, such a diverse group shows one “the Mirror”. I recognize that this Mirror is always available for one to view, but may not always make for pleasant viewing.

Thanks to such a diverse group, I could experience first-hand multiple realities within a group. There is no standard way of influencing, processing a message, interpreting a "yes" or building trust. I stumbled many a time, often bemused by my gaffes.

Each project experience was a greenfield venture that provided new insights into interpersonal intelligence.

I have had a good hard look at this Mirror over months and gleaned one idea, amongst several others:

I could work more on developing warmth - it has never been a core aspect of my persona; I must confess that I had become too certain about it, something that might have prevented me from working on it. However, I have become more actively cognizant of the need to take action.

3) Several Lindt Moments

France has spoilt my culinary palate. The fromage, the desserts, and the chocolates have been delightful for the tastebuds, but not easy on the body's geometry. Nonetheless, there have been several sweet "Lindt" moments. I will cherish profusely the deeply illuminating conversations with so many people, the excursions, late night tea conversations in the room...Those moments of delirious joy that suspended me from the anxieties and dilemmas that were circling around me like ravenous vultures.

I will remember the efforts of Josiane and Claire who have been intimately associated with the GMBA. Josiane's diligence, empathy, responsiveness and the role of an academic mother of sorts is inspirational. Claire's generosity, the spirit of abundance and sensitivity have struck a chord with me. If I could emulate even a quarter of their qualities, I would be blessed.

4) What RoI?

When I started the MBA, I was asked in India about how I would gauge the "return on investment" (RoI). I was even advised about increasing the RoI by looking for jobs in Europe as the adjusted salaries would account significantly.

But that logic makes the assumption that both the input and the output would be indexed in financial terms. But then, how do you measure the RoI when the output itself is non-financial and deeply intangible - such as cherished relationships, greater self-clarity, renewal, enhanced cultural intelligence, honing of the global mindset etc. I like to believe that I have built substantial muscle during this period with the cognition that eureka moments may occur further ahead as well. Therefore, how can one really even measure RoI? Is it even a relevant measure?

To my mind, the Global MBA is essentially an investment, not an expense, that will keep blooming continually in myriad ways. For which, I am thankful to ESSEC, all my colleagues, the faculty members who invested in us, Aarti, Jeanine, Eric, Sandie & the career staff and the administration for holding us together.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

6 GMAT tips from an MBA recruiter

By Eric Lucrezia, Recruitment Manager, ESSEC Global MBA

The irony about the GMAT is that it is usually the thing that people spend the most time stressing about, yet it is probably the least important component of your application. Your interview, essays, references, career goals, and soft skills will all play much more into the admissions final decision; however, a competitive score can yield some great scholarship offers. All of the GMAT tips shared below also apply to the GRE and are useful resources to anyone preparing for an English proficiency test such as the IELTS or TOEFL. A great GMAT score is just one of the many elements that make a successful application. Keep things in perspective, follow these key steps, and do your best.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Meeting Google at ESSEC

by Gianluca Errico, ESSEC Global MBA Student Ambassador 2017-2018 | Finance Major
On Tuesday, 14th November, the students here at ESSEC - on both the Cergy and Asia-Pacific campuses - had the wonderful opportunity to experience one of the most innovative companies in the world right in our school. Google employees, or “Googlers” as they call themselves, joined us at the campus for a presentation to share more information about what it is like working at one of the world's most desired employers. We learned where Google had its origins from, as well as that the first processor was built out of lego bricks because it was the cheapest way to get the company started when Larry Page and Sergey Brin first started out.

Designing Your Future: An Innovative Approach to Career Development

By Vanashree Shende, ESSEC Global MBA Student Ambassador 2017/2018 | Strategy & Management Major
As the MBA students at ESSEC gear up for the upcoming recruiting season, the Career Services Team at ESSEC has come up with an innovative approach to better equip the students in choosing their career paths. The “Design Thinking Your Future” workshop has been designed in sessions that will act as a funnel for students' aspirations.
Global MBA students participate in a workshop
Jonathan Kwan of Kwantum Leap leading a session for the Global MBA students

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Visit to DHL Innovation Center

by Alwyn Loh, Global MBA Student Ambassador
Thanks to the Career Services Team at ESSEC Asia-Pacific, we were lucky to have the opportunity to go on a private tour of the DHL Innovation Center in Singapore. Located at DHL’s Asia headquarters, the Innovation Center is the second of its kind in the world, and first outside of Germany. Innovation manager Tamara Sanchez led us around, explaining in extensive detail DHL’s current thrust to integrate cutting-edge technology across its operations. With the increasing pace of digital transformation and technological disruption, it was interesting to note that even a giant in the global logistics industry is not immune to such changes and has to make a concerted effort to renew itself in order to remain economically competitive.