Established in 1819, ESCP Europe is the world’s oldest business school. Among the 1 per cent of business schools triple-accredited by AACSB, AMBA and EQUIS, it prides itself on having educated generations of forward thinkers across its five European campuses. To find out more about the opportunities available at ESCP Europe, we spoke to two of its 40,000 alumni in professional positions and a student who has just started at the school.
Graduate: Master in Marketing & Creativity (MMK), 15 months
I graduated from HEC Geneva with a master degree in business management, after which I worked in private banking and asset management with Credit Suisse for two years. I felt that I wasn’t passionate enough about finance to stay in that line of work – if you want to be among the best you need to love what you do. I wanted to do something more creative and the MMK stood out as the perfect route to a career change. The MMK was a new course the year I enrolled, but given ESCP Europe’s strong reputation, I was confident that it would be a high-quality programme.
The MMK lasted for 15 months, and during that time I was immersed in an amazingly creative environment. I studied at the London and Paris campuses, and also spent time at the renowned Institut Français de la Mode, a leading French fashion and design school in Paris. The programme was heavily geared towards employability: the aim was to equip us with the necessary tools to approach a marketing role in a holistic way. I graduated with an understanding of how fundamental marketing and creativity are to business and corporate strategy.
The programme is focused on real-life business. We worked on a range of creative seminars and case studies involving exciting global brands and had guest speakers from Lego, Cartier, eBay, the World Bank and many more. Some of my former classmates are now employed at the likes of Pernod Ricard, Procter & Gamble, Electronic Arts and Ernst & Young. I work in the channel development team at Apple, facilitating the European, Middle Eastern, Indian and African marketing programme implementation. The creativity of the MMK along with the practical business knowledge it provided was great preparation for my job: I was able to make a real contribution from day one.
Graduate: Master in European Business (MEB), One year in two countries
I did a master in politics in France, majoring in risk management. I gained professional experience at investment banks in France, but felt that my education had not covered the basics of business extensively enough. A friend of mine had completed the MEB at ESCP Europe before starting work for Amazon in Paris, and his success convinced me to apply too. I started the course in September 2010, finishing in August 2011.
In line with my professional goals, I decided to take the first semester in London and the second in Paris. However, I could have chosen to study in Mexico, Russia, India, Thailand, Spain, Italy or Germany. In London, the approach was very pragmatic; there were plenty of integrated teamwork and practical projects. In Berlin, it was more theoretical. My time at the two campuses complemented each other very well. The diversity of people on the programme impressed me a lot. In my group tasks, I worked with people from Iran, Russia, Germany, Italy and South America, as well as people from different academic and professional backgrounds, so there was always a real mix of experience within any team in which I worked. It was exciting and eye-opening.
Among all the positive aspects of the MEB, what stood out most was the quality of the teaching. I had one professor who used to be a bond trader; another who had held a very senior position within an accounting firm. These people know their subjects and the jobs market very well; their advice prepared us for life after the MEB. I’m now working in the wealth management department of the Swiss investment bank UBS. I think the content of the MEB, along with its multicultural nature, set me up perfectly for joining a huge, global organisation like UBS. I would highly recommend it.
Student: Master in Management (MIM), Two or three years in up to three countries
I started at ESCP Europe this September. I had already worked in the corporate finance team at German car company Daimler in both Stuttgart and Tokyo, where I spent much of my time with consultants. I found their work interesting and wanted to get into this field, which is why I decided to apply for the MIM. A lot of consultants from leading firms lecture at ESCP Europe and the school was highly ranked by the Financial Times, both of which convinced me to join the programme.
So far, the MIM has struck me as being very practical. Of course, in some financial modules you can’t avoid theory, but we’re learning how to do a job as well as the concepts behind it. A lot of our work is based around case studies and the projects are challenging, which makes it feel like we’re working to a very high standard. Later in the year we choose which areas to specialise in from a list of around 20 options. Given my experience and my future plans, I think I’ll opt for corporate finance and M&A, but there are lots of interesting options in areas like marketing and sustainable development too.
I’m spending two semesters in London, one in Paris and one in Berlin, which shows potential employers that you’re willing to move to another country to achieve your professional or academic goals, and your flexibility and adaptability. I’ll also do two three-month internships in at least two different professional environments. At the moment I’m interested in strategic management and financial advisory consulting, but haven’t decided which path to take yet. But I know the MIM will give me plenty of great options.