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A closer look at ESA’S spe­cial­ized master’s in mar­ket­ing & com­mu­ni­ca­tion

Launched over 18 years ago, ESA Busi­ness School’s Spe­cial­ized Master’s in Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion ranks among the most pres­ti­gious grad­u­ate mar­ket­ing pro­grams in Le­banon and the re­gion. Pri­mar­ily tar­get­ing young pro­fes­sion­als with an av­er­age of five to six years of work ex­pe­ri­ence, the pro­gram is run by an in­ter­na­tional fac­ulty of renowned mar­ket­ing ex­perts and of­fers two diplo­mas. Arabad sat down with Pro­gram Man­ager Rima Souei­dan for an in­side look at the struc­ture of the pro­gram and the var­i­ous learn­ing out­comes it en­tails. A Le­banon-based Pro­gram with a Stark In­ter­na­tional Fo­cus

When asked about what dis­tin­guishes ESA’S Spe­cial­ized Master’s in Mar­ket­ing and Com­mu­ni­ca­tion from its coun­ter­parts, Souei­dan was quick to cite the dual-diploma as one of the pro­gram’s main strengths. “Our grad­u­ates re­ceive two diplo­mas upon com­ple­tion of the pro­gram, one Le­banese diploma from ESA and an­other French diploma from ESPC Europe, which holds both a his­tor­i­cal and aca­demic sig­nif­i­cance as the world’s first ever busi­ness school,” she ex­plained.

“In fact, the pro­gram al­lows stu­dents to ben­e­fit from a full-fledged Euro­pean­stan­dard learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence with­out hav­ing to sac­ri­fice their day­time job or move away from their fam­ily and home coun­try, which makes it all the more valu­able to Le­banon­based pro­fes­sion­als seek­ing to deepen their knowl­edge of the nec­es­sary mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools for the evo­lu­tion of their re­spec­tive func­tions,” she added.

In or­der to en­sure that the in­ter­na­tional out­look of the pro­gram is ful­filled, all cour­ses are taught by care­fully slected in­ter­na­tional mar­ket­ing ex­perts, many of whom run their own con­sul­tancy firms on top of their aca­demic po­si­tions. “We rely on sea­soned mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion ex­perts, con­sul­tants and speak­ers to de­liver qual­ity knowl­edge to our stu­dents, all while keep­ing them up­dated on the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in the field,” Souei­dan noted.

In ad­di­tion to their port­fo­lio of clients and doc­u­mented ex­per­tise in their re­spec­tive fields, pro­fes­sors are es­sen­tially se­lected based on the

Oc­to­ber 2017 aca­demic in­sti­tu­tions they hail from, be it ESCP Europe, HEC Paris or the Cnam among oth­ers. No­table names in­clude dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing con­sul­tant Nathalie Lem­monier, ESCP Europe pro­fes­sor and se­nior con­sul­tant Max Poulain and renowned strate­gic brand man­age­ment ex­pert Benoît Heil­brunn among oth­ers.

But why would such a glob­ally-fo­cused pro­gram be of­fered strictly in French? Souei­dan re­lates it back to school’s ini­tial es­tab­lish­ment whereby all pro­grams were de­liv­ered in French, with English only be­ing a re­cent ad­di­tion to se­lect pro­grams such as the MBA and Ex­ec­u­tive MBA.

“This mostly de­pends on the au­di­ence seek­ing to en­roll in the pro­gram, which has been rel­a­tively steady through­out the years, with an av­er­age of 18 to 22 stu­dents in ev­ery pro­mo­tion,” she ex­plained. “This be­ing said, we would still con­sider in­tro­duc­ing a pro­gram in English if we see a higher de­mand for it in the fu­ture.”

Turn­ing Mar­ket­ing Pro­fes­sion­als into Suc­cess­ful Team Lead­ers

Although the fun­da­men­tal struc­ture of the pro­gram has not been sig­nif­i­cantly al­tered over the years, the cur­ricu­lum is con­stantly evolv­ing to adapt with the new­est mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion tools and de­vel­op­ments, thereby pro­pel­ling dig­i­tal mar­ket­ing to the fore­front of all given cour­ses in re­cent years.

“We have made sure that ev­ery pro­fes­sor struc­tures their course with a main fo­cus on dig­i­tal, all while re­ly­ing on in­ter­na­tional-scale prac­ti­cal cases in­stead of mere the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge to hone the stu­dents’ pro­fes­sional skills and equip them for tak­ing on lead­ing po­si­tions in their field,” Souei­dan as­serted.

And while many of the stu­dents come from an agency back­ground in mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the pro­gram also caters to graphic de­sign­ers and man­age­ment pro­fes­sion­als who have been work­ing in an agency en­vi­ron­ment and are will­ing to ei­ther level up within their ex­ist­ing work en­vi­ron­ment or go on to es­tab­lish their own busi­ness.

“A large part of the pro­gram is about train­ing stu­dents to be­come suc­cess­ful team lead­ers and grow to man­age teams in the heart of the agen­cies they work in, but we also aim to cul­ti­vate their en­tre­pre­neur­ial spirit as many of them move on to launch their own firms and busi­nesses af­ter grad­u­a­tion,” Souei­dan noted.

The pro­gram also en­tails a yearly in­ter­na­tional sem­i­nar or­ga­nized by ESPC in Lon­don dur­ing the month of June. “In the short span of four to five days, par­tic­i­pants do not only get to min­gle with for­eign ESPC stu­dents and en­large their net­work of con­nec­tions, but also take on a full-fledged re­tail sa­fari by which they visit and ex­plore some of the big­gest mar­ket­ing and com­mu­ni­ca­tion firms around the city,” Souei­dan ex­plained.

“In ad­di­tion to the above, what sets this par­tic­u­lar master’s apart is the ex­ten­sive pro­fes­sional net­work that stu­dents are pro­vided with through­out the du­ra­tion of the pro­gram and af­ter grad­u­a­tion, which al­lows them to weave valu­able con­nec­tions and thrive in their ca­reer,” she con­cluded.

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