Global MBA Graduation 2013

On September 20th, 2013, the second class of ESSEC's Global MBA graduated at the Maison des Arts et M├ętiers in Paris.  Enjoy these photos and videos of the event and congratulations to the class of 2013!

Relive the 2012-2013 year with the student video created for the evening.  Thanks to Reita Hutagalung for putting it all together!

Finally, some students reflected back on their year in short video interviews:

What was your most memorable experience during the Global MBA? #1

What was your most memorable experience during the Global MBA? #2

Describe the Global MBA in 15 seconds # 1

Describe the Global MBA in 15 seconds #2

What was the most valuable lesson you learned in the Global MBA?

A Snapshot of Renewable Energy in India

By Reita Hutagalung, Global MBA student 2012-2013, Indonesia

My final IIP project in India is related to renewable energy, so I’d like to share some facts about the current state of Indian renewable energy. As India’s economy experiences rapid growth, its energy consumption is likewise increasing rapidly: it increased 64% from 2001/2002 to 2011/2012 and, according to the Indian Planning Commission, it is projected to grow an additional 72% by 2021/2022. India’s current energy supply, primarily made up of fossil fuels (majorly dependent on coal) can’t keep up with the fast growing demand, as both the local reserve is thinning while importing coal is becoming more expensive due to the increase in coal prices. The energy deficit is growing as evidenced by regular power cuts (as much as approx. 15% daily). Also, the so-called “Great Indian Outage” happened on July 30th and 31st, 2012. It stretched from New Delhi to Kolkata and occurred due to the failure of the northern power grid. It was said to be the world’s largest blackout, since it caused nearly 700 million people to be without electricity.

As the price of fossil fuels increases, non-polluting, renewable sources of energy are becoming good options, economically and environmentally, to meet future demand for electricity. Renewable energy is also advantageous in that it allows decentralized distribution. In the case of India this is beneficial to meet rural energy needs, as most of the population is still living in rural areas and don’t have access to electricity.

One of the biggest hurdles India is facing is its lack of an overarching energy strategy — states regulate their policies separately. These policies result in varied expansion capabilities for the renewable energy industry. Some renewable energy developers also complain that the policies are not consistent; with a change in authority, regulations could also change following political forces. These hurdles disrupt the possibility of the industry to mature quickly in India. This is unfortunate, as India has a large potential for its renewable energy resources. Solar is the main source of inexhaustible energy available consistently throughout the year. Due to its location, India is blessed with bright sunlight year long, constituting about 5,000 TWh of solar insolation every year. Utilization of a tenth of this potential could end India’s power problems! India’s wind energy industry is also quite developed, more than its solar industry, and has strong potential for harnessing the strong onshore costal area and offshore wind.

Even with the above obstacles, Indian renewable energy industry is growing rapidly. India is among the world's leaders in wind power and it has a "national solar mission" that aims to turn India's development-stage solar industry into a full commercial stage, thus able to create thousands of jobs. Let’s hope the renewable energy industry grows even faster to be the sustainable answer for India, environmentally, economically and socially. Keep the spirit!

Where are they now? Interview with alumnus Lesley Green ‘12

Where can ESSEC’s Global MBA take you? A year after graduating, alumnus Lesley Green ’12 shares her experience on the MBA blog.

What drew you to study with the Global MBA?

I was living in the USA at the time and I decided that I really wanted to get my MBA. However, 95% of programs offered in the USA are 2 year programs and I didn't want to be unemployed for that long. Also, gaining international experience was at the top priority on my list. The program at ESSEC was too great to pass up. I spent 5 weeks learning in Singapore, a month in South Africa doing my International Immersion Project, a week in Russia learning about their business prospects and a week doing an exchange in Germany, along with the rest of the year in France! It doesn't get any more global then that!

Could you describe your career path after your graduation from ESSEC? What is your current role and responsibilities?

After studying at ESSEC for a year I knew that I wanted to stay in Europe. I moved to Munich, where my job prospects were high, took a few months of German and got a great job as a Product Marketing Manager at hybris software, an SAP company. Currently, I'm in charge of managing our customer stories and content for the marketing and sales teams.

Was there anything particular about the Global MBA that helped prepare you for your career path or qualify you for your current position?

I've had the chance to work with many of our clients all around Europe and in the USA and without the GMBA I wouldn't have been as prepared for the cultural differences. Also, the MBA filled out my business background. I was mostly focused on Marketing and Sales before the MBA, but since graduation I have a much better understanding of overall business strategy. I've been able to use my acquired skills to think about the bigger picture when making everyday decisions.

What advice would you give to our new students just entering the program? What advice would you give to our new graduates who are beginning their job search? 

For the new students: Network as much as possible! Take advantage of the opportunities to explore all these new places. Take some time to understand the differences of the European and Asian cultures. Make friends with your professors and get to know the GMBA team, they're a very useful resource when you finish!

Eid el Fitr in Ethiopia

By Michael L’Heureux, Global MBA student 2012-2013, Canada

After 30 days of fasting, the end of Ramadan, the 'Eid el Fitr, came as a relief on August 7th. For Matthias & me, this meant a few days off work and a chance to learn more about the Horn of Africa with a 4-day trip to Ethiopia.

Contrary to images of war, starvation and strife that most people would associate with the region, what we found in Ethiopia was a country rich in culture, people and potential, if not in wealth. Ethiopia is the cradle of humanity: where the first fossils of human ancestors have been found and also home to a rich and ancient culture, descended from the kingdom of Axum, which ruled during the time of the classical Romans and Greeks. It was also the only Sub-Saharan African country to never have been colonized by a European power.

With a young population of 80 million in a territory twice the size of France, Ethiopia is poised to become a powerhouse in Africa. Leaving behind its troubles of the 20th century, Ethiopia is set to boom in the 21st, with major new infrastructure being built, helping to complement its traditional agricultural exports with hydroelectric power generated by new dams on the Blue Nile and increasing tourism.

Ethiopia is a bit off the beaten tourist track, but shouldn't be. We visited several well-known tourist sites, but were surprised to hardly see any foreign faces during our time there. The sights, though, were world-class: 16th-century monasteries with original paintings, manuscripts and artifacts intact; wild hyenas, monkeys and other African wildlife; incredible mountain vistas and hikes; not to mention excellent, cheap and spicy Ethiopian food every day.

The lush green landscape of Ethiopia and the fresh, even slightly cool, weather, was a welcome relief from scorchingly-hot Djibouti!

Our first stop, brought us to the city of Dire Dawa, the mid-point between Djibouti and the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. We were well-received by Idriss, the financial manager of the Economic Development Fund, who had a house and family in the city and invited us over for a traditional Somali Eid breakfast of yellow flatbread and sweet yogurt.

Next stop was the ancient fortified city of Harar, nestled in between low, terraced mountains and coffee fields. The old city of Harar is an incredible place to wander, with over 110 historic mosques & tombs of Islamic saints nestled among the narrow, twisting alleys between its walls. In Harar, we were invited to lunch at the home of our guide. He was an Orthodox Christian and his sister had married a Muslim, so everyone came together to celebrate the 'Eid. We enjoyed an excellent Ethiopian meal, followed by a traditional coffee ceremony and shisha.

Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee and the drink plays a very important role in the local culture. The mother of the family prepared coffee for us in the traditional way: starting by burning frankincense over a briar, then roasting the green coffee beans over the same coals, filling the room with a lovely smell. After grinding the freshly roasted grains, she boiled them in a long-necked ceramic pot an served us each a small cup of some of the nicest coffee I'd ever tasted, topped with a sprig of a local fragrant herb.

Once night fell in Harar, we headed back to just outside the city walls to watch locals feed wild hyenas. Apparently they do this traditionally to prevent the hyenas from coming into the city at night. It was quite a sight: the hyenas came out from the fields, they were definitely very wild-looking, very big and very imposing. There were other tourists around to watch, and we even got to feed the hyenas a few scraps of meat ourselves... a bit scary, though, as we wondered why the hyenas didn't realise that they could get more meat by eating all the bystanders instead. We were told there were two kinds of hyenas in Ethiopia: the black ones which weren't dangerous and the yellow ones, which were. The ones which we fed were the yellow ones.

The next day, we hopped on a flight to Bahir Dar, passing by Addis Ababa. There, we spent the day on a boat on Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, visiting several ancient Ethiopian Orthodox monasteries on islands on the lake. At the Ura Kidane Mehret monastery, we were guided by a local deacon who explained the meaning and the history of the 15th-century frescos inside, before inviting us to taste some locally-brewed "tej" (Ethiopian honey wine).

We got back to the city just in time to catch a bus to Tis Abay, were a hike through the mountains led us to the Blue Nile falls: the second-largest waterfalls on the African continent.

We returned to Djibouti a couple days later, a bit tired out from an intense schedule, but glad we'd gone.



Ramadan in Djibouti

By Michael L’Heureux, Global MBA student 2012-2013, Canada

My first month in Djibouti was a difficult one: this year the fasting month of Ramadan fell in July, meaning no food or drink for most of the people I was working with, in the 40˚+ summer heat. For me, this meant nothing open during the afternoon: no restaurants and not even any shops to buy bottled water or anything else! Most Djiboutians spend the time sleeping, then stay up all night with their friends until the call to the fajr prayer just before dawn. Its a rhythm that was tough to get into. Try as I might, I couldn't bring myself to sleep in the afternoon, stay up late at night and then be fresh and ready for work in the morning. With the work day starting at 7:30 every day, getting to bed relatively early was important, especially with no coffee at the office all day!

I did manage to get out in the evenings with new-found friends in Djibouti (albeit heading home quite a bit earlier than they did!). I also promised my friends I'd join them for a day of fasting on the 27th day of Ramadan, Leilat el Qader ("The Night of Destiny"), which commemorates the anniversary when the first verses of the Quran were recited by the Prophet Mohammed and is considered the most important day of Ramadan. That day, I started off by waking up at 4 am with the call of the adhan to eat breakfast, then spending the whole day without food or drink. By the end of the workday at 2pm, I had a bad headache and was completely parched: the Djiboutian strategy of an afternoon nap was a welcome respite.

In the evening, my classmate Matthias & I joined all of our colleagues at the Economic Development Fund to break the fast at the office. We were treated to traditional fried sambusas (samosas) and fritters as well as dates, fresh fruits and French and Arab-style sweets and pastries. After we'd had a the chance to have a few bites (and more importantly a few glasses of water & juice!), the management team said prayers in Somali, Arabic and French, thanking God for their successes and for the opportunity to bring everyone together. The general director in his dua', reminded the staff of their duty to earn their pay through honest hard work and effort, as is required of them in Islam.