Tete-a-tete Education

Digital focus to meet challenges

Aarti Ramaswami, PhD, Academic Director, Global MBA programme and Associate Professor in Management at ESSEC Business School, has been with ESSEC, in France, for eight years now. With the school’s Asia-Pacific campus in Singapore, (www.essec.edu/asia) shifting there has been a seamless transition for Aarti. “The Global MBA programme is offered from the Singapore campus for the first time, and both the school and I felt that it is an opportune moment for me to integrate into the system here,” she says.

ESSEC has been in Singapore since 2005 but its Asia-Pacific campus here was inaugurated two years ago.

When I last met Aarti, she was an Associate Professor at ESSEC Business School and an Academic Director of the ESSEC Global MBA Mentoring programme in France. But today, at ESSEC Business School, Asia-Pacific located in Singapore, she heads the entire MBA programme.

Aarti’s papers have been published in several international, peer-reviewed journals. So as an associate professor, is research still on her agenda? “Of course,” she reiterates. Besides teaching Leadership, People Management, Cross-Cultural Management, International Human Resource Management in various master’s, MBA, and executive education programmes, her research focuses on systems used to identify, select and develop managerial and executive talent.

In September 2017, ESSEC will introduce a fresh programme, and Aarti will be leading it. “The programme is based on our academic strengths and has been devised to suit the needs and demands of the market. Under this re-designed Global MBA programme, students can choose among six majors across our Cergy-Pontoise (France) and Singapore campuses. At Cergy, we offer four majors — Strategy and Management, International Luxury Brand Management, Hospitality Management, and Finance, while at the Singapore campus, it’s three — Strategy and Management, Digital Business, and Entrepreneurship and Innovation. The programme is designed to help students meet the challenges of an increasingly digital future. We draw on our educational savoir-faire and our close ties with major companies around the globe to offer an intensive one-year MBA programme.”

How is this Global MBA different

“Our thrust is on Digital Focus, Global Footprint, and Multidisciplinary Ethos. From the beginning of the year, students will be exposed to key courses such as Fundamentals of Digital Business and Digital Disruption. Students majoring in Digital Business will further take courses like Digital Business Models, Design Thinking, Business Analytics, Digital Marketing Strategy, Cyber Security, and Project Management for Digital Initiatives. During the Digital Week Competition, students from both campuses will work for a week in Paris, in interdisciplinary teams, on a real corporate digital challenge,” Aarti explains.

“We offer a bi-campus, bi-continental experience and also lay emphasis on understanding international markets, businesses, and cross-cultural interactions. Students learn about companies around the world through case studies, make international field trips to witness cross-cultural business practices in action, and at the end of the year, do an eight-week capstone project. They are continuously exposed to peers, faculty, and staff who themselves represent multiple cultures,” she adds. But it looks like three of the six majors have to be done only in France, I note. “You are right. Finance, Luxury Brand Management and Hospitality Management will be offered entirely in France. But what better place than Paris to learn about Luxury and Hospitality,” she quips.

Hence, if you are armed with three years of work experience, good GMAT scores and have proved yourself in a test of English language proficiency, entry into ESSEC, Asia-Pacific or Cergy, could be a cakewalk.

On completion of the programme

“Our alumni work in leadership positions in over 45 countries representing a variety of industries and sectors. Accenture, Bayer, KPMG, Amazon, EDF Energy, HSBC, Orange S.A., Elizabeth Arden, Henkel AG & Co., L’Oreal, Lancôme, Marina Bay Sands, Tiffany, top international hotel chains...the list is endless. Some of them turn entrepreneurs too. And age is no criterion, though our students’ ages are between 26 and 35.”

Aarti can be contacted at ramaswami@essec.edu.

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 5:29:09 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/digital-focus-to-meet-challenges/article19093431.ece

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