Opening New Doors to the Financial World


Since its establishment in 1907, ESSEC Business School has developed into one of the top business schools in Europe. Today, ESSEC’s Master in Finance (MIF) program has become a launchpad for students of various backgrounds to pursue a career in the dynamic financial world. Read about how the top-ranked program is helping current student Minh Canh Nguyen get closer to his career goals.

Gaining clarity can often occur later in life, as is the case with Vietnamese student Minh Canh Nguyen (Dendi). After attending high school in his hometown Hanoi, Vietnam, Dendi flew to Singapore to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree at a public university.

During his first few years in Singapore, Dendi had the opportunity to undergo several finance-related internships. It was then that he realized his passion for this highly practical and dynamic field. Upon graduation, Dendi began searching for top-ranked postgraduate programs that could propel him into the finance industry. Ranked among the top five Masters in Finance worldwide by the Financial Times, ESSEC’s MIF program had been a clear choice for Dendi.



“Besides being a top-ranked business school, ESSEC is known for helping students of engineering and science backgrounds to make a smooth transition into the financial sector. In fact, many of the school alumni are now working in reputable financial institutions,” said Dendi.



Asia’s Competitive Advantage

While the thought of studying in France may sound exhilarating, Dendi appreciates being in ESSEC’s Asia-Pacific (APAC) campus in Singapore. Ranked as the fourth most competitive financial center in the world in the recent Global Financial Centres Index, Singapore remains the Asian destination of choice for many businesses.

With Singapore’s first-rate infrastructure, FinTech-friendly regulatory framework, and flourishing startup ecology, it is easy to see why the island city-state has experienced rapid economic growth in the past several decades. This growth presents business students and graduates in Singapore with a wealth of opportunities.

“With many fast-growing countries in South-East Asia and a convenient geographic location close to both China and India, Singapore has become a commercial hub for the region. Many big companies are now establishing their APAC headquarters in Singapore and hence, studying here will provide plenty of exciting prospects.

“Students and graduates will get to network with top-of-the-industry professionals and be exposed to many lucrative career opportunities. We’ll also get to learn more about Singapore’s success story, which is an eye-opening experience for students from developing countries in South-East Asia,” added Dendi.

Global Exposure

Another key advantage of pursuing the MIF program at ESSEC’s APAC campus is the strong international dimension it brings. As ESSEC welcomes industry experts, professors, lecturers and students from all over the globe, the campus environment is rich in diversity and cultures. This enables students to learn from different perspectives and adapt to a multi-cultural setting – much like what one would experience in an increasingly globalized, modern work environment. 

“I get to know students from countries such as Korea, China, Taiwan, Italy, Morocco and France. Everyone here is very friendly and willing to help each other out in class. We will always try to interact with everyone, regardless of where they come from,” quipped Dendi.

In addition, students have the opportunity to gain more international exposure through two study trips to major financial centers, namely London, New York and Hong Kong. Students may also opt to spend time in the ESSEC France campus to immerse themselves in European markets & cultures.

Career-Oriented Focus

The intensive 15-month MIF program is designed to equip students with robust technical and analytical skills to succeed across major areas in finance.

The curriculum offers flexibility for students to specialize in several tracks. The Corporate Finance Track is designed for those who want to pursue a career in areas such as mergers & acquisitions, financial analysis, transaction services, and equity capital markets. On the other hand, the Financial Markets Track is suited for those keen on front and middle office roles, such as sales and structuring of financial products, traders, and quantitative finance.

Most excitingly, ESSEC’s APAC campus has also introduced the FinTech & Analytics Track for its MIF students. This track is designed for students who want to enter quantitative asset and risk management, data-based market making and trading, quant hedge funds, and jobs automating legacy finance functions through technology and analytics.

Corporate visit in Hong Kong

While students can expect to gain an in-depth understanding on core courses like corporate financial management, financial markets, and economics, they will also dive deeper into the practical aspects of their specialized tracks. Besides lectures and seminars, students in the MIF program will get to hone their software skills and partake in case study analysis, real-world projects, and in-class exercises. Lecturers will also draw references from current events to ensure that students are kept abreast of breaking financial news and trends.

“The program has equipped me with valuable practical knowledge, which is necessary for me to succeed in my future career. I have had the privilege of being taught by wonderful lecturers who care about their students’ academic journey and future,” said Dendi.

Beyond the classroom, students have access to comprehensive career support and resources. Students will get to attend career orientation workshops and recruitment events that host over 500 of ESSEC’s partner companies. The school’s strong ties with financial institutions also means that students can access global internship opportunities.

“The school has a well-rounded approach that covers both technical knowledge and soft skills. Students can even engage in regular networking sessions to meet with professionals from Europe, as well as the global ESSEC alumni,” added Dendi.

A Highly Selective Program

Quality is paramount at ESSEC. Given the vigor and prestige of the MIF program, ESSEC pays special attention to the caliber of its students. When considering high-potential candidates, the school assesses various factors, such as excellent academic records, leadership potential, and being internationally oriented.

The stringent selection process and program intensiveness certainly bear fruit. After all, many ESSEC graduates have attained high-level positions in renowned financial institutions, such as Goldman Sachs, Barclays, Deloitte, Deutsche Bank, EY, and J.P. Morgan.

For Dendi, he has his sights set on the investment banking route, which he admits is highly competitive and challenging. Therefore, he strongly advises aspiring finance professionals to choose the right business school – one that can provide you with the best curriculum and support to break into the field.

“Be very clear of what you want to do and find out how ESSEC can help you in achieving your goal. Getting into ESSEC is just the beginning but it's a necessary step to take you to the finish line

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