The 2017-2018 Global MBA Class

The 2017-2018 Global MBA Class

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.

I was amazed at the amount of effort that DHL has taken to streamline and optimize its overall operations across every stage of the package handling process. From smart sensors integrated into the engines of its delivery vehicles that would reduce servicing downtime; to the use of augmented reality eyepieces in its warehouses to eliminate human-misplaced packages; to the increased adoption of robotics with object-recognition capabilities into its sorting process; to specially designed shipping containers for critical cold supply chain or explosion-prone flammable cargo; and even designing and building its own durable last-mile electric delivery vehicle. It was very insightful, to say the least.

To top it off, all of these advancements are taking place under the corporate challenge of becoming a completely carbon neutral company by the middle of the 21 st century. In addition to logistics, DHL has also taken steps to market its in-house, real-time risk-management data to external parties as an early warning tool for potential product chain disruptions. We saw how DHL continues to be vigilant against challenges to its business model in a sea of technological disruption in the logistics industry. At the same time, DHL has also quickly integrated such advancements to bolster its operational capabilities. Overall, it was an impressive overview of how DHL tackles classic logistical challenges with renewed vigor.

Visit to Amazon Web Services in Singapore

By Ms. Hang Nguyen, ESSEC Global MBA Student Ambassador

Global MBA students were recently invited for an office visit at Amazon Web Services in Singapore. With a warm welcome from the AWS APAC Business Development team, we had a chance to learn more about Amazon's overall culture as well as their cloud computing department. As Amazon is a leading technology giant, we were extremely excited to have the opportunity to interact directly with the team and understand their experience of working there. During the visit, we also had the chance to meet other MBA students neighboring institutions in the area.

During the sharing session, our presenter focused on Amazon’s mission of becoming the most customer-centric company along with their global and regional strategies. The company achieves their goals through a combination of leadership principles, which the management team and every employee is expected to live by, and a culture of continued innovation.

As the conversation went along, the team helped us to clear up some preconceived notions of working in a tech firm. Even though Amazon Web Services and cloud computing may sound very technical, their team members have a  wide variety of backgrounds, beyond just computer science or engineering. They are composed of individuals coming from psychology to mathematics or might even have an MBA or experience in marketing, etc. A personal passion and a strong culture fit is what makes a solid team at Amazon.

The discussion was concluded with a networking session, where we had the opportunity to mingle with other MBA students and Amazon staff from different teams. Their complex yet exciting daily work, as well as enthusiastic energy, truly inspired us. Between continuous efforts to expand strategically, handling cross-continental teamwork over late nights in the office and serving customers in a timely manner, they sure remember to squeeze in some real fun.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Visit to Louis Vuitton’s Time Capsule Exhibition in Singapore

by Mr. Alwyn Loh, Global MBA Student Ambassador 2017/2018

The Global MBA students were specially invited to partake in a tour of the Louis Vuitton Time Capsule at ION Orchard Singapore. A special exhibition series being held in select cities across the world. It showcases a sliver of the extensive history of one of the world’s most valuable brands. As a powerhouse in luxury management, it is no surprise that an ESSEC alumnus welcomed us and guided us through the nuances of the heritage pieces on display.

At first glance, it was easy to see the superb craftsmanship of the 19thcentury Louis Vuitton traveling cases on display. They were beautifully designed, ornately decorated, designed with the practical purpose of an extended overland journey in mind and reminiscent of a period when quality meant that an item was truly built to last for more than a lifetime.

Other pieces on display were created to suit particularly niche markets for their time. A folding backgammon board built for rail travel, an unpickable jewelry case created for the social travels of the rich and famous, and even a portable and luxurious tea ceremony set made for the Japanese domestic market. If Louis Vuitton’s intention was to showcase its design prowess, heritage and ability to adapt to a variety of markets with culturally specific and practical items, they have certainly managed to do so.

One piece that particularly caught my eye was an entire standing wardrobe built within the confines of a luxury travel hard sided luggage. The purpose was to free the frequent traveler (and changer) from the need to constantly pack and unpack clothes. Although more than a century old and looking like it had been on several African safari adventures, it would not be that much out of line on a cruise ship or adventure tour if put back into service today. Another interesting piece was the bed trunk, which was essentially, a lie-flat foldable bed that fits nicely into a vintage Louis Vuitton hard luggage.

The exhibition, whilst small, ended with a showcase of some of Louis Vuitton’s latest creations – one of them being a line of handbags created in collaboration with Jeff Koons, as well as other older handbags built with previous collaborators such as Marc Jacobs, Takashi Murakami, Richard Prince, and a skateboard with Supreme. Whilst pushing the boundaries of incorporating modern artists into their classic designs, Louis Vuitton continues to stay true to its heritage and churns out pieces of impeccable quality and durability, just like it did almost two centuries ago.

Learn more about the ESSEC Global MBA at this page.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Discovering the world of Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Learning

by George Thomas, Global MBA 2017-2018

As part of our course on the Fundamentals of Digital Business, we had the opportunity to hear from Mr. Jean-Philippe Desbiolles, Vice President, Cognitive Solutions, IBM Watson Group, about key digital trends such as Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Learning.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

4 takeaways from my Saint-Cyr experience

by George Thomas, Global MBA 2017-2018

Before arriving at the ESSEC campus in Cergy, I had heard from several seniors that the boot camp at Saint-Cyr was one of the key highlights of the Global MBA program. I had attended several boot camps in my corporate career, so I had hoped this to be nothing too different except that the facilitators would be military instructors. Little did I realize that signing up for this leadership program would end up in one of the most challenging, exhausting, gruelling yet enlightening and rewarding experiences of my adult life.

I'll jump right in and talk about some of my key takeaways from this program.