The first 100 days of my GLOBAL MBA at ESSEC

By Shriram Venkatasubramanian, Global MBA student

Time flies fast when you are an MBA student. It is a remarkable experience that pushes you out of your comfort zone to explore new horizons. I have penned down a few C’s to reflect my thoughts on the student life at ESSEC so far.

Cergy – Cosy Corner!

Cergy is a relatively new town in the north-western suburbs of Paris. The main advantage I have living in Cergy is that I am close to the school. Most of the students live in the residences here and so it is very convenient to work on the group projects. However, there are not many places to hang out in Cergy and I miss the opportunity to experience “la vie parisienne”. Still, I have no worries; Paris is just 40 minutes by RER A.

Cohort – Small global village!

My class has students from 12 countries sharing their experiences, beliefs, and knowledge. Also, most of us have studied or worked outside the home country and these varied experiences add value to the discussions that happen in the class. Be it an engineer or a lawyer or a consultant or an art gallery manager or a mountaineer or an army officer, you name a profession - I have someone in the class from that background. Such is the diversity that aids peer to peer learning.

Courses – Real life lessons!

I took 9 courses in the first term – Accounting, Marketing, Written Analysis, Statistics, Decision making and Negotiations, Strategy, Leadership, Finance and Macro Economics. Professors adopt both class room lectures and case studies to teach us assess business situations and make vital decisions. These trigger an amazing exchange of ideas and I gained valuable insights doing a variety of assignments – video resume (self-branding), new product development ideas, strategy cases on almost all industries, economic crisis outlook, statistical analysis, capital budgeting, equity valuation ….. and the list goes on. I am also taking the French language course. Though you can manage with only English inside the campus, knowledge of French makes your day-to-day life much easier. “Vouloir, C’est Pouvoir” and so am working hard to hone my French skills.

Coëtquidan – Soldier for two days!

Camp Coëtquidan is the French military academy where we had our leadership workshop. The enriching individual exercises, team based rescue operations and role-playing games helped us learn about situational intelligence and the personality traits that make a good leader. We received valuable feedback from army commanders and learnt what it really means to be a leader in an unusual setting.

Career - A lot done, a lot more to do!

On the career front, we attend information sessions at ESSEC’S other campus in the famous CNIT building at La Défense, the business hub of Paris. We usually don’t have classes on Wednesdays and so we plan our team meetings and career sessions then. Career assessment tests, CV Book and cover letters are some areas we have worked on.

Celebrations – Fun, Friends and Foy’s!

Parties at ESSEC add spice to the student life. In addition, Diwali, Thanksgiving and New Year are some festive occasions we enjoyed celebrating together. But wait, you don’t always need a reason to celebrate and so whenever we find time, Foy’s (student-run pub in the campus) is the place we stop by to chill out and relax.

That’s all for now. Looking forward to the new term and the study tour to “Scintillating Singapore”.

Best wishes to everyone for a happy and prosperous new year 2012!

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