Knowing how to make the right decisions for your future is not always easy. Maybe you’re deciding on the school you want to go to or the bachelor or master’s degree you want to enrol in. Perhaps you’re simply thinking ahead and want to make sure you make the right choices for your career.
In this article, we will discuss the most important decisions that any ambitious student will need to make.
Choosing the right school
No matter what your ambitions are, getting the right education is a stepping stone in your career.
You’ll first need to know what you want to study. Even if you are still unsure about your professional orientation, write down the three broad topics that you are interested in. Then, check the schools or online programmes that best seem to fit your needs.
We asked Sara Faris, a Paris-based BCG consultant and ESCP alumna, how she chose her business school :
“ESCP was my dream school because they have a campus in London and one of my dreams was to study and live there. ESCP is a European school. They have campuses all over Europe and you get to meet fellow students from all over the world. I think this openness to the world is something really strong about the school and it clearly impacted my decision to study there.”
The flexibility of the ESCP masters degrees allowed Sara to live, work, and study in various countries while maintaining an outstanding academic record.
Choosing the right internships
Internships are extremely valuable because they are your first opportunity to put what you learnt at school into practice.
Internships are also a great way to get to know a new industry and see if that’s the right choice for your career. Try to get as many internships as you can and take them as seriously as if you were joining the company for a long-term position.
ESCP allowed Sara to intern in diverse industries in France, the UK and Morocco. Thanks to these experiences, she built an international network of people she could reach out to.
She also learnt how to be a great team player in culturally-diverse environments. This kick-started her career and helped her to become a consultant in one of the most prestigious international consulting groups.
“During my double degree in management and law, I did internships in law firms, I worked in investment banking in Goldman Sachs, in private equity, and in marketing at L’Oréal,” said Sara Faris.
“During my internship at Goldman Sachs, I was contacted by a VP who was an alumna of ESCP. She became my mentor for the time I was there and I learnt a lot from her”.
Working on your soft skills
In addition to getting the right education and professional experience, it is essential that you cultivate your soft skills. One of the ways that you can do this at ESCP is through workshops run by the careers services teams.
In a fast-changing work environment, learning the right soft skills will help you to increase your career opportunities. People who are open, adaptable, and have great communication skills are always in demand in the job market.
One of the things Sara most enjoyed about her master’s degree is the emphasis that was put on developing one’s soft skills such as negotiation, ethics and sustainable management.
Following your passion
Intuitively, you already know what is right for you. Trying to fit in or choosing a career based on someone else’s recommendation will never work in the long term.
“If I had one recommendation to make to current students regarding making the right choices for their future, I would tell them to follow their passion,” said Sara Faris.
“Know yourself. Know your strengths. Know what you like and be honest about these things. Then, simply go for the career, the job or the entrepreneurial project that enables you to use those skills.”
Choosing a career path is rarely a straightforward process. Following your passion seems to be the most reliable way to stay motivated in the long run and to have a fulfilling career.