The St Cyr Experience: Leadership Boot Camp

By Constanza Barrena, Global MBA 2014-2015, Chile

After only two weeks in the Global MBA, we have had a roller coaster of experiences and incredible learning. After experiencing the first week of classes doing CRASE (Cornell Restaurant Administration Simulation Exercise) with the charismatic and energetic Professor Peter O’Connor, we knew that our learning experience would not only come from the classroom. It would also come from group interactions and the exchange of cultures we have in this incredibly diverse group… And our visit to the French military academy St Cyr Coëtquidan for a leadership bootcamp helped reinforce this discovery.

We arrived at St Cyr on Monday around dinner time not knowing what to expect. We left our bags at the barracks and headed to the cafeteria to share a meal with the soldiers who live there. Over the next two days, we were divided into two teams to face several challenges together. The goal was to learn how to work together to achieve an objective, how to become a leader, but most importantly, to be humble, to plan, and to learn to work as a team.

After a lot of planning, thinking, delegating, climbing, crawling, rescuing soldier Willy (who kept getting in trouble), falling into water, and a couple of bruises (sometimes more than a couple), partnership and cohesion emerged as we learned to listen to each other instead of talking over each other, and that we could rely on our peers to fulfill the goal. By understanding “the method” by which soldiers work together, some of us even overcame fears and others were able to achieve what they believed to be impossible.

St Cyr was not about experiencing life at military boot camp for three days, though we did do that. It was about becoming a team, a unit that from now on can overcome whatever comes our way. For me, it was a life changing experience that helped me to get to know my classmates and myself in a completely new and deeper dimension. Leadership and companionship were definitely achieved… both incredibly useful for the challenging year ahead in the Global MBA!

First Impressions of the Global MBA

By Saket Pandit, Global MBA 2014-2015, India

After many months of preparation, we are finally here! Having spent some gruelling months with the GMAT, several application essays, getting letters of recommendation and the interview, it feels good to actually be at ESSEC.

My first impressions about ESSEC started forming at the Welcome Centre, which was amazingly well organized. The team from ESSEC had all our documents ready, from accommodation to student IDs to helpful information about Cergy. After a long flight, it was indeed great to see things in place and be able to quickly move into our respective studios.

Friday, 05 September was a formal induction for all three MBA programs. The day started with a warm welcome from Mr. Jean-Michel BLANQUER, who is the President of ESSEC Business School. He spoke about the pioneering spirit at ESSEC and how we all can contribute to a truly meaningful year ahead. Right after that we got a glimpse of the bundle of fantastic energy called Peter O'CONNOR, who is the Dean of Academic Programs. It was wonderful to see him speak and I am sure we all will learn a great deal from him this year. Jeanine PICARD and Claire GAUDISSART, Director of Studies and Career Services Manager, respectively, also welcomed us.

My very first impression about the Global MBA program was how truly Global it is. In a class of 21, we have 11 nationalities represented! I would say that is phenomenal. We have amongst us an automobile enthusiast from India, an English graduate from Japan, a lawyer from Peru, a psychology major from Canada, a military engineer from Chile and many more interesting people. I am really looking forward to sharing with and learning from my peers.

We are all going to be working in highly dynamic and international business environments, and to be able to interact with such a diverse bunch of people is a massive learning experience.

Another Global aspect of the MBA is the breadth of the international exposure. We have a mandatory academic term in Singapore, a study trip to another country and a consulting project in a third country! That means we would all have seen a good deal of the world by the time our Global MBA ends next year.

This coming week we are all off to the French Military Academy in St. Cyr for a Leadership Camp. We will spend three days at St. Cyr developing our leadership skills. I hope it is fun for everyone!


Global MBA 2014 Graduation

On September 3rd, 2014, the third class of ESSEC's Global MBA graduated at the Maison des Arts et Métiers in Paris.  Enjoy these photos and videos of the event and congratulations to the Class of 2014!