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Developing a global mindset

The term “global village” was first used by Canadian media philosopher Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s to describe the increasingly interconnected world we live in — and that cannot be truer today.

One must develop oneself and adapt a global mindset to excel in this environment, and Mr Keivin Cheng says his time at the ESSEC Business School has helped him achieve that.

“Being in ESSEC gave me an edge, and enabled me to gain the global exposure which I believe to be highly imperative in today’s globalised world,” says Mr Cheng.

He studied Business Management while on the ESSEC Pioneering Spirit Scholarship (which has since been replaced with the Academic Excellence Scholarship) and is now working with FDM Group Consulting as a business analyst. Throughout his four-year undergraduate course in France, the 25-year-old had the opportunity to learn French and Japanese, and go on an exchange programme to King’s College London.

This broadened Mr Cheng’s world view, and imbued in him a better understanding of global connectedness. “The course’s academic curriculum actively challenged me to think out of the box as a business-minded individual. It grounded my business fundamentals through constant practice, and helped me to think a little deeper each day,” says Mr Cheng.

Challenging experiences
As part of his curriculum, he also went through a unique module called the Kallystée Game. Developed for ESSEC, it provides students with a simulation of running a business based on past market data from an existing company.

Mr Cheng believes this experience gave him greater insight into real-life scenarios. It was also excellent for building up students’ strategic thinking on a macro and micro level. He had to analyse the decisions made by the company, as well as those presented by his classmates to learn what could have been done better.

The compulsory humanitarian and corporate internships also provided a unique learning experience that helped to further his personal development.

“I was placed in a small Japanese town in Ibusuki, Kagoshima, where I was a kindergarten English teacher for six weeks,” he says. “I was also placed in Cargill Singapore as part of my six-month corporate internship as a metals commodity analyst.

“These mandatory internships push students’ potential through practical real-world experiences in various directions, providing them with a comprehensive viewpoint to help them discover their underlying passion and purpose postuniversity,” he adds.