Created in 1907, ESSEC has never ceased to innovate to anticipate the challenges of the future. Very early on rooted in the heart of the ESSEC identity, the pioneering spirit constitutes the common thread to this story steeped in history.

1907: Creation of the Institut Economique within the Ecole Sainte-Geneviève. The first student intake counted 7 students. In 1908, the two student years of the Institut Economiques counted 25 students. A third, optional year, was created in 1909.

1913: The Institut Economique became the Ecole Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciale (ESSEC). The School was based within the Catholic Institute of Paris and moved to rue d’Assass, Paris, in 1915.

1921: Creation of an internship department. By the end of the First World War, the ESSEC Alumni Association had grown in numbers: a solidarity fund was created, notably allowing the support of widows and orphans. The first graduate directory was published in 1926

1929: The first lessons in business ethics: the humanist ambitions of the institution found their expression in the pedagogy and values it wished to transmit to the students. The concern to blend theory and practice was already sketched out with the organisation, since the beginnings of the institution, of company visits and study trips.

1932: Creation of the first Students’ Association. Students began to give names to the various student intakes to the School: the first, in 1937, took the name of the aviator Jean Mermoz.

1937: First student grants, thus marking the beginning of a social assistance policy. At the end of the 1940s, a competitive examination replaced the entrance exam and studies were enlarged to 3 years. The School became increasingly attractive and recruitment increasingly selective.

1961: Creation of the Mardis de l’ESSEC (“ESSEC Tuesdays”), the first student debating platform in France.

1963: Creation of the Research Centre. Initially destined to tighten links with the academic world and the academic field, in 1969 it became the CERESSEC (Centre d’Études et de Recherche en Sciences Sociales, Economiques et Commerciales), the first research structure attached to a business Grande Ecole.  This period also marked the creation of the ESSEC permanent faculty body.

1967: Launch of ESSEC Executive Education, which took up residence at the Cnit, in the La Défense business quarter, in 1989.

1967: Students created the first European junior enterprise, carrying out studies, surveys or polls for their company clients.

1966: Admission in the 2nd year of studies, on examination of academic results and via an interview, inaugurated a parallel access track to the School. Initially, it included a large majority of engineers.

1970: Opening of the School to female students. Initially admitted on qualifications, the entrance exam was opened to them in 1972. Today, one ESSEC student out of two is female.

1973: ESSEC left rue d’Assas in Paris and moved to the heart of the Cergy-Pontoise new town. This period was also marked by the growing liberty of choice offered to students in the building of their academic path and the increasing importance placed on professional experience during studies.

1975: Creation of the Ecole des praticiens du commerce international (EPSCI), which became the Bachelor in Business Administration in 2010 and the ESSEC Global BBA in 2015.

1981: Creation of the Institute of International Hospitality Management (IMHI) with Cornell University and the launch of an MBA in Hospitality Management (IMHI). 

1985: Creation of the 1st Specialised Master’s, a one year programme destined for higher education teaching graduates. The first MS was consecrated to Financial techniques. Others were rapidly created: marketing management, design and management of information systems and decision frameworks, supply chain engineering management, etc.. 

1986: Creation by Professor Daniel Tixier of the first teaching and research Chair. This Chair was consecrated to Mass Consumer products. Today, ESSEC counts 21 teaching and research Chairs, designed and developed in close partnership with partner companies. 

1993: Setting up of the apprenticeship scheme. ESSEC was the first school of management to propose its students an apprenticeship track.  Currently, 30% of students in a given year of the Grande Ecole undertake apprenticeships as part of their curriculum.

1995: 1st student intake for the MBA in International Luxury Brand Management.

1997: ESSEC became the first school accredited by the AACSB outside of North America. ESSEC obtained EQUIS accreditation in 2003.

2003: Faithful to its humanist tradition and its commitment to equal opportunities and diversity, ESSEC launched its equal opportunities programme “Une grande école: pourquoi pas moi?” (A top business school: why not me?), to enable secondary school pupils of modest social background to dare and succeed ambitious higher studies.

2003: Launch of the Executive MBA programme. Thanks to the strategic alliance with the University of Mannheim, Germany, it became, in 2004, The ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA. In 2014, an Asian-Pacific track opened in Singapore. 

2005: Setting up of activities in Singapore. ESSEC progressively developed its activities in full-time studies, executive education and research. At the beginning of the 2010s, the School commenced the construction of its own campus.

2014: Launch of the first two ESSEC MOOCs dedicated to decision making in complex environments with Edgar Morin, and social entrepreneurship.

2014: Presentation and beginning of the implementation of the ESSEC 3i strategic plan aimed at 2020. The development of ESSEC will lie in three major thrusts: innovation, involvement, and internationalisation.

2015: Inauguration of the ESSEC Singapore campus. Located at Nepal Hill, in the heart of an area in full development dedicated to research, entrepreneurship and teaching, the 6,500 m² building can welcome up to 1,500 students a year.

Source: Michèle Juste, ESSEC, 100 Years of Innovation, 2007

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