Etudes, Singapore
Debjani Roy, Singapore

Can you introduce yourself and explain briefly your studies and your experience?

My name is Debjani Roy and I am from India. I chose ESSEC to study Luxury Brand Management for 2 main reasons. First that it was in France, and second it is the best luxury management course available. I have a professional background in the luxury beauty industry and for me this course was the natural progression in my career. I am passionate about living and imbibing new cultures and about the luxury market. I love all things French and really wanted to experience this once in a lifetime experience.

Why have you been to France to study ?

For me Paris has always been an aspirational city. Since I was a child I have always wanted to get to Paris. I studied French in school and also as I am from an International school we studied a lot of French history. So when I heard of this course I knew it was the perfect course for me and I knew I had to get there no matter what.

Can you describe your stay in France? 

Well ESSEC is in Cergy – Pontoise which is just outside Paris. For the first 8 months I lived in the school dorms at Cergy. For our course we were each allotted a separate studio room with a kitchenette which was convenient. Also it helped forge some very strong friendships. All of us living together spent a lot of time after class together and made the most of it. We studied together and we played together. It was also helpful in saving time when the workload piled up. But when the classes became less frequent and we were doing more group assignments and finally our final project, I moved in with a classmate of mine in central Paris. That was an amazing experience as well. I was very lucky to have been able to really experience Paris for a few months as well by living in the heart of the city.

What about your school and the quality of the program?

The school I went to is ESSEC which is a highly respected and reputed Grand école. I was very satisfied with the quality of the program and the quality of the instructors. I did a highly specialized MBA in Luxury Brand Management. This course exposed us to a lot of important and influential people from the industry as well as giving us an opportunity to see how the industry works. Our program was able to deliver a comprehensive understanding of the industry.The program also exposed us to other markets and took us ‘behind the scenes’. For e.g. we were able to visit Louis Vuitton and Fendi Workshops. The faculty were experienced professionally and academically. They were supportive and able to guide us when we needed them to. 

Can you tell us if studying in France helped you in finding a work ? 

Studying in France did not help me find the work I thought I wanted but it did steer me in a completely different direction and gave me the confidence to diversify in my career. 

What have been the main challenged you had to face in France? How did you manage to face them?

One of the challenges I faced was with bureaucracy. The processes and red tape take a very long time and are quite inefficient. However as I was from India I was a little more used to how long things took to get done. So just have to plan paperwork well in advance and double check with more experienced people to see if everything is in order.

The other main challenge would be with safety issues. One has to be very careful about one’s belongings no matter what the location. 

What are the main positive points in this experience?

One of the main positives is simply being in Paris. Experiencing the culture, meeting people from different nationalities, and learning from all of it. It is enriching and fulfilling and honestly one of the best times of my life.

Do you have an advice ?

Be open- minded. A different country means it is not familiar and people do things differently. Soak it all in and jump right into living it. Try to learn as much of French as you can. Mix with as many different people as possible.