Forum: School selection (2 Comments)


  • Posted by - KateG1302 - on 4 March 2013 - 8:03pm


    After all the fantastic advice about applications, interviews, etc, I finally got 2 offers - one from ESADE and one from ESSEC! I'm very happy but I can't really decide.... here are my thoughts:

    ESADE: MSc International Marketing + CEMS

    • I love Barcelona, it seems to be closer to the city center than ESSEC, possiblity to learn Spanish (I am thinking about moving to Rio after my MSc so Spanish would be the first step on the way to Portuguese)
    • My undergrad is in International Business and Management, so Marketing would be a different kind of course content (I want to go into Brand Development & Event Management, possibly also to do with Hospitality & Sponsorship - hence Rio - Olympics 2016).
    • I felt really comfortable at the interview
    • CEMS programme is a brilliant opportunity
    • Small class size of only 80 people
    • However, ESADE doesn't seem to be very popular as a school even though they have done quite well in recent rankings...?
    • Also, I am a bit worried that the perception of the school might be worse because the economy in Spain is not exactly great at the moment.
    • I haven't been to the campus so it could be a let-down

    ESSEC - Grande Ecole

    • Paris is great, I did my A Levels in French so I could perfect my French skills
    • Guarantee to go to Singapore and possibly another campus to do a double degree
    • However, the course structure is not very clear to me (they said in the interview that most students take 4 years to complete their MSc!) and I would have to re-do some courses that I already did in my undergrad (as Grande Ecole is more generalised I think)
    • It's 45 mins outside of Paris - when I went there for the interview, I thought the train journey would never end
    • 70% of all students are French and because they take 600 students, I don't have a feeling that there will be a sense of community?
    • Only heard good feedback, especially when talking to students there
    • Higher up in the rankings than ESADE
    • I felt really uncomfortable in the interview (I think it was their style of interviewing, everyone I've talked to said the same!)

    ... any thoughts?! I am so bad at making decisions and really don't know how to tackle this one...
    I am also still waiting to hear from St. Gallen but they said I have to be patient, so I guess I'll have to give that one a miss.


    • Posted by - Thomas Graf - on 4 March 2013 - 11:58pm

      Hi Kate,

      first of all, congrats to these two offers. And also congrats to your analysis. It is amazing how well you balanced the pro’s and potential con’s of both schools as you perceive them – and I think this is the best preparation to eventually find a decision, even if it may take a bit more patience and time. The other point I wanted to make is: There is no need for saying that you are so bad in making decisions, I think. Choosing a Master is a big decision and a huge investment – so please allow yourself to take your time for finding the right decision for you.

      In general, you mentioned some doubts on both schools – so I recommend that you clear these doubts first.

      Let’s first talk about ESADE:

      • You mentioned doubts on the ranking positions. Have a look at the FT Master in Management Ranking – they are on position 7.
      • As for your doubts on the school’s reputation, I don’t think that the crisis in Spain affects the school’s reputation. But to be save, you can do three things: First, talk to employers that you like of where you would like to work for. Contact the HR departments and ask what they think about ESADE. Second, try to find out – for example, by asking the ESADE career service, which firms come to campus to recruit graduates. Third, ask the ESADE team to bring you in touch with alumni and ask them about their impression on the ESADE career service.

      About ESSEC:

      • Clear the question about the curriculum. I guess that it only takes 4 years for the MSc if you don’t have a bachelor degree. But clear this in advance and also what you may need to repeat. Repeating courses because of formal guidelines would take your time and money and may be boring. So, make sure that you know exactly what you can expect.
      • As for the sense of community, ask the ESSEC to bring you in contact with current students and also ask how they are organized socially, if there are student clubs, for instance, and if you could talk to them.

      Once, you have cleared these doubts you may feel the right decision already emerging. If not, there are two more things to consider:

      • Visit the Barcelona campus. It takes you 150 or 200 EUR more but for such an important decision it may be worth it.
      • Finally, if you really want to go to Rio then ask yourself: Which program allows me to find a job in Rio easier and faster? Try to take some time to think about how you can find this out.

      Best wishes