Highly-ranked business school ESCP Europe is offering undergraduates and recent graduates two three-week courses this summer.
These two courses - Finance in London and International Management & Marketing - provide students with a strong core of essential business knowledge, plus plenty of opportunities to acquire and practice professional skills.
We spoke to ESCP Europe professor Terence Tse, who teaches on the course, to find out more.
Introducing the summer courses
The courses are open to any undergraduate or recent graduate interested in a business-related career.
"The courses are very intensive," says Terence, but precisely because they fit so much into a short space of time, they're likely to be a valuable investment for anyone in this position.
They're are not aimed at students with particular previous experience, and there are no entry requirements beyond a good academic record, an interest in business, and a willingness to work hard.
"The students I've had in the last couple of years have come from lots of different backgrounds," says Terence.
"Some were finishing undergraduate degrees, had discovered they had an interest in business, and wanted to find out more about their options."
"Others had studied business already but wanted to consolidate and build on their knowledge to help them get a job."
The first week of both courses is spent on a general management training programme.
During this time all students are taken through a real-life case study and given communication tips, careers advice, and techniques for effective presentations.
"The students work together using methodologies similar to those used by leading strategy consulting firms," explains Terence.
"It's very different to traditional education where a professor lectures and the students sit there and listen."
"Here they have to work together to crack the business problems we set them - it's a great way for everyone to get warmed up for the rest of the course."
In the second two weeks, students get to focus on their chosen specialism - either International Management & Marketing or Finance in London.
Terence teaches on the Finance in London course, where students learn about topics including mergers and acquisitions, financial strategy and project finance.
Meanwhile on the International Management & Marketing side, students will study strategy, project management, entrepreneurship and digital marketing.
The teaching approach
Both sides share an emphasis on giving students practical experience related to what they're studying as well as technical knowledge.
Students in the Finance in London stream get to try out ESCP Europe's trading room, a simulator environment that gives students a taste of working on a trading floor.
All students have access to careers advice and sessions on key professional skills like making presentations.
Whichever specialisation they choose, students are helped to progress as far and as fast as possible to get the most out of their short time at ESCP Europe.
"I try to get all students up to the same speed quickly," says Terence. "If I'm teaching someone who doesn't know as much about a certain area as others, I'll make sure they get some extra training."
"The aim is for everyone to be able to really jump in to what we're thinking about so we can work fast together.
My experience on an ESCP Europe Summer Course
Eduardo Anllo is a recent graduate in architecture who took part in an ESCP Europe Summer Course in 2013. After completing it he enrolled on ESCP Europe's Master in European Business programme, from which he'll graduate in summer 2014.
When I came to ESCP Europe, I wasn't doing anything to do with business or finance - I was studying and working in architecture. But I'd always been interested in it, which is why I decided to do a Summer Course.
It's a great experience for people who are interested in business and finance, but don't have a background in them - you learn a lot.
I found both sections of the course really useful - both the first week of management training and then the second two weeks of specialised modules. I was in the Finance in London stream and particularly enjoyed the day we spent in ESCP Europe's trading room.
One of the things that I really liked was how good the professors were - some of the best I've ever had. They really changed the way I think about business and my career.
The course is also an opportunity to meet new people from all over the world - there were students from more than twenty different nationalities in my intake. There were lots of European students, but some from places as far away from London as Australia and Angola!
It was great to be in such an international environment - such a mix of different people, cultures and backgrounds. Because we worked together in groups a lot, we really had the opportunity to learn from each other. We also organised lots of social activities between ourselves - we had dinners, went out together, and even the weather in London was good!
After I finished the course, I decided to change direction from a career in architecture to focus on business, and came to ESCP Europe to study as a postgraduate student.
I'm not sure yet exactly where I'm going to end up after I finish, but I'm hoping to work in something related to finance and real estate, maybe in investment banking.
Coming to ESCP Europe for the Summer Course was a great decision - I learnt so much and gained so many new perspectives on my career.