When life as a student comes to an end

by Manuela Scognamiglio

As the end of my last semester in the Master in Management at ESCP Europe approaches, I am starting to reflect on what kind of person I was when I started and what I have become, now that I am almost done.

What will it be like to launch a career? Before starting my new life (or a big part of it, anyway), this is the first time I will be selling myself to a company for a full-time position, or more generally, truly putting myself on the line for something.

So before looking at the companies/organisations I want to work with, or the position I want to hold, I have taken a moment to think about what “product” I have become and how I will be able to sell it in the best way (metaphorically, but that is the idea). This is also fundamental to clarify whether the job I am applying for is the perfect fit for me or not. As my father used to tell me when I was a little girl, there are two elements one needs to consider while choosing a job:

Passion: it has to be a job one likes;

Talent: it has to be a job one is good at.

Identification of talents is, indeed, one of the major tasks of universities.

ESCP Europe is an important part of who I am and what I am becoming, since it is the last stop in my education. When in a job interview, I will be asked who I am, where I want to go and why. Why should they hire me and not someone else? What is my unique value proposition?

A good way to answer all these questions is to start from my experience at ESCP Europe: how has it contributed to my growth and why has it made me unique?

I would underline 4 main benefits of the student journey at ESCP Europe:

1) ESCP Europe students are flexible

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We spend two or three years of our life changing campuses, environment, cities, countries, cultures, and people to relate with – at least three or four times. This, done at our mature age, contributes to enhance our open-mindedness and curiosity, forces us to exchange with international students and keeps us from remaining in the same group for the entire time.

2) ESCP Europe students are sociable

Nowadays, it is easier to establish consolidated contacts with a wider and international community of mates, but ESCP Europe stimulates us to do even more: to restart your life every semester obliges us to develop an extraordinarily open attitude and, at the same time, the capacity of being independent and able to manage yourself.

3) ESCP Europe students are good managers under pressure

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Courses are challenging, but the source of the most stress is dealing with many issues simultaneously: house-hunting, adapting to a new city, deadlines, group projects, exams, internship applications, interviews, then house-hunting all over again. Everything needs to be done in a very short time.

4. ESCP Europe students are Europeans

Not every international school conveys European values to the students so clearly. I have got the feeling, over the course of my studies, that ESCP Europe’s DNA is more European than coming from any one individual country. I feel proud to have belonged to this community, where we have shared a common culture, common feelings and aspirations.

At the end of the day, though, I will keep in mind one thing: if I don’t get the job of my dreams for whatever reason, with all the contacts I have made, and the experience with relocating to new countries, I could be an excellent real estate agent!

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