What a whirlwind 4 months it’s been. I still vividly recall the days spent holed up in Hotel Armstrong in the 20th (which has the best dining room music and punch-card room keys).
Now classes have ended, a farewall cocktail is planned and the inevitable goodbyes loom in the horizon.
Given the end of classes, I figure it’s the best time to reflect on my courseload. I chose classes that were interesting and unique to ESCP, which means they probably won’t transfer back neatly.
Strategic Marketing – One of the most practical courses I’ve ever taken. We used Markstrat, a marketing simulation where teams selling Sonite and Vodite products compete for global domination over 9 periods. I’m a bit of an analytics junky, but being overloaded with information challenged me to analyze only the most information to refine our strategy and tactics.
Positional Bargaining: Negotiation Workshop – Definitely recommended. While we started off with cases that had a few points to mull over, we eventually moved onto the final behemoth of a case which had 10+ points to negotiate, leading to a very dynamic discussion. The class is completely student driven so what you give is what you get. Being the one of the lead negotiators for 3/3 cases meant a lot of preparation before the hard fought international battles to reach a collective win-win outcome for both parties. Nothing like celebrating over a beer with your arch rivals in the ESCP courtyard after class.
Business Law – An informative look at the American and British business environment and its relationship with the law. It’s definitely advantageous to be exposed to the different legal systems and business implications given the global nature of ESCP.
Buying Your Own Business – While I wanted to love the course, I felt it was to short to deep dive into any topic. As a 5 week “sampler” course, the professor scratched the surface on many topics but didn’t go in depth in any. My key takeaway was a better understanding of the sale process in small/midsize business and the buyer/seller emotions. You really need to be a little bit crazy to be an entrepreneur!
European Integration & Management – A crash course seminar giving insight into the political, social and economic forces that’s shaped Paris (and Europe). This is mandatory for everyone that studies at ESCP and it was very interesting to see alternative management philosophies and cultural differences between Vancouver/Canada and Paris/France.
International Consulting – A short but succinct course giving an overview of international consulting and some consulting methodologies. While there were some interesting sessions by former consultants, what I really enjoyed was working on an optional consulting project. Being paired up with 3 other ESCP students and 4 MBA students from the Technion university in Israel to research and analyze innovative Greentech for use in Paris and Tel-Aviv/Haifa has been very interesting.
The Big Management Fads: Tools and Lessons – Despite the slightly ridiculous name, one of the professors for this class only teaches the EMBA program and is an former management consultant. From what I’ve heard, it’s actually a very interesting course.
Should We Manage Young People And Seniors With The Same Approach? An Insight For Managing People And Understanding Consumers – Yes, you read it correctly. Imagine this gem on your CV. Instahire.
The Best Class I Never Took
Stratégie et Marketing des Industries du Luxe – Taught by Christian Blanckaert. Need I say more? I heard that he would be critiquing shops inside Printemps so I dropped by to see what the fuss was about. The man commands such a presence while effortlessly deconstructing a shop’s customer experience, all from a mere glance. While the course is taught exclusively in French, I’m confident this course, moreso Christian Blanckaert, will at least peak anyone’s interest in luxury marketing.
What I love about the course system at ESCP is the flexibility. Some courses run until the first half of the semester and others start midway during the semester. On the other hand, course registration is not done online, but manually. While you choose courses on the intranet, somebody manually registers you into these courses depending on space, prerequisites etc. This means not knowing what your courses you’re in until the very beginning of the semester.