ESSEC Master in Management: a top-ranked MiM program in France
Ranked third in the latest FT ranking for MiM programs, the ESSEC Master in Management (or the Master of Science in Management, as it is formally known) is a top emerging option for students looking at Masters in Management programs in Europe. The program has been high on the popularity lists of MiM applicants with above average GMAT scores because it offers some truly unique features. A dual campus in Singapore, exchange programs with dozens of schools abroad, and extensive industry integration are only some of those aspects. The program is highly rated in France, and is considered second only to the HEC MiM program in that region. With early-career applicants increasingly looking at MiM programs as an excellent career option, the ESSEC MiM is seeing a rising number of applications.
ESSEC MiM average GMAT scores and placements
One of the key issues that applicants to the ESSEC MiM program look to address is the average GMAT score at the ESSEC MiM program. While ESSEC does not put out the averages, and instead states that a GMAT score of 600 and above would make an applicant competitive, a score of 660 and above is generally required to do well in the admissions process. This is just an estimate, and people with lower scores regularly get admissions offers from ESSEC MiM (applicants with higher scores are rejected too, so a higher GMAT is no guarantee of admission to the prestigious ESSEC Master in Management). Given the pool of applicants for the program, though, which is getting more and more competitive each passing year, a good GMAT score is going to be an important parameter going forward.
What does ESSEC look for in MiM applicants?
As a top-ranked program, ESSEC receives applications from around the world. A large number of Asian candidates also apply, especially after the Asian campus started operations. Like other schools, ESSEC looks for strong academics and good GMAT scores as minimum criteria for its future students to fulfil. It also looks at an international outlook (prior international academic experience is a plus), leadership potential and experience, and the ability to work in teams to accomplish shared goals. These might not seem very different from what many MiM and MBA programs look for, but for ESSEC applications, they acquire increased interest.
ESSEC MiM applicants therefore tend to be academically excellent leaders, who have clearly demonstrated their potential to succeed at academics and well beyond. As most candidates applying to ESSEC do not have work experience (indeed, the ESSEC MiM is one of the most popular options for college seniors), activities outside academics in college, as well as work done in internships acquires increased importance.
ESSEC MiM Admissions success stories – what it takes
Niti Rastogi, Jatin Agarwal, and Aditya Vijay come from very different backgrounds, but they all have one thing in common – the desire to excel in what they do. While Jatin has an educational background in Finance, Aditya and Niti are engineers (non-IIT). They have different strengths, experiences, internships, and college projects to talk about. Jatin, in fact, decided to apply to ESSEC just a week before the application deadline, but he had the intensity and the desire to ensure that he put in his best into his application in that one week. Each one of them worked closely with GyanOne in preparing their ESSEC application, refining their work through GyanOne’s input and suggestions.
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One of the key areas where applicants struggle on the ESSEC application is in articulating their career goals and discussing how the ESSEC MiM program can help them. Jatin and Aditya, for example, had many different ideas on what they wanted to do, but they were not sure how they could use their ESSEC education to achieve these goals. Similarly, many international applicants want to know not just the prospects for a career immediately after the program, but also how their career will shape up later, and if they can hope to return home in a few years. GyanOne consultants worked closely with Jatin and Aditya in helping them understand the landscape for their careers after the program, and also the facilities that they could leverage at ESSEC. Of course, being diligent applicants, Jatin and Aditya took no time in researching these on their own and coming up with their own connections with ESSEC.
Niti was different. She had a clear idea in terms of what she wanted to target, and was very clear about it. Instead, she wanted to ensure that she had a strong connect with ESSEC, understood the school and the program, and had a clear plan for the program and beyond. She discussed the resources available at ESSEC, and how they could help her achieve her goals. She also compared and contrasted ESSEC with other top MiM programs before deciding that the ESSEC MiM suited her goals best.
The role of MiM Admissions Consultants
Should one take the services of a Master in Management Admissions Consultant? How can an Admissions Consultant really add value to applicants to top MiM programs? Some of these questions are ones that many applicants tend to face. So did Aditya, Jatin, and Niti in the beginning. By the end of the process, their own words spoke for themselves.
Each of Aditya, Jatin, and Niti stated that consulting with GyanOne had helped them take their applications to the best they could possibly be. As college seniors, one of them said, they did not have a strong idea of the landscape for applications, how their career objectives could be realized, what possible options they had, as well as how they could use ESSEC resources to grow as they studied there.
In terms of the ESSEC MiM essays, each of them worked closely with GyanOne in shaping and refining their essays. In particular essay 1, which asked applicants to share the values and experiences that made them the people they are, was a challenging one for them. Which achievement is too trivial, and which one is just right? Should personal details be included or should only academics-related things be discussed? These issues were discussed at length, and the results can be summarized through this quote from one of the applicants – “I don’t think I could have ever found my most illuminating qualities without your help. This is me, and my work, but you helped me really take it to a new level altogether!.”
ESSEC MiM essays are not templates. Each needs to bring out the personality and interests of the applicant. For example, while Niti derived her strengths and learning from a stint living abroad as a student and through her research work, Aditya derived a lot of learning from his excellent internships done abroad instead. There are different elements that fit each different applicant.
ESSEC MiM interviews – preparation and common questions
All three applicants also worked with GyanOne on interview preparation for their ESSEC interviews (and their interviews for other schools). MiM interviews are fairly atypical as compared to MBA interviews, in that they tend to focus more on the applicant than on the applicant’s experience (as most applicants have none). The personal qualities and characteristics that the applicant brings, the applicant’s goals and understanding of the program, as well as the key learning that the applicant hopes to gain from the ESSEC MiM are all important components that go into an MiM interview.
No interview is typical. Interviewers do not have list that they go through. Accomplished admissions staff members at ESSEC are far too experienced to follow a template. They follow a thoroughly professional approach designed to explore the potential of each applicant and judge him/her as a future student. While there are no typical questions, some of the following are helpful guidelines in terms of areas that potential ESSEC MiM interview candidates should focus on:
– Questions on career goals, why your particular goal, what you hope to accomplish
– Questions on the ESSEC MiM program, your choice of the program
– Your personal strengths and weaknesses, key experiences
– Instances of failure or mistakes you have made and what you have learnt from them
– Internships and what you have learnt in each role and position
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The answers to these question are not meant to be typical templatized responses. Each one of these questions is an opportunity to bring out your potential and individuality. They should draw from your unique strengths and the unique experiences that you have. Interview preparation for the ESSEC MiM program is a very important final step as the final selectivity after the interview is fairly low.
As time goes by, the unique features of the ESSEC MiM program will help it to maintain a high ranking, and possibly even rise to top spot (though the competition there is intense). Knowing French is not a requirement for applying to the ESSEC MiM, nor is it needed for studies at the school (the ESSEC MiM is taught in English) though applicants would do well to learn the language to manage better outside campus in France.