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  • Writer's pictureSANDRINE GELIN G&L SHIFT

"It is to be wrong to be right too soon" ... Or not

On Thursday, September 29, QS published its Global MBA and Business Masters ranking 2023. ESSEC Business School confirmed its position as an academic institution of excellence with five programs ranked, among which the Master in Strategy and Management of International Business (SMIB). The Master SMIB (pre-experience and post-experience) was ranked 2nd in the world among Masters in Management programs and 1st in Asia. The ranking is based on multiple criteria, among which employability, thought leadership, alumni outcome, diversity, and the ROI.

I remember vividly when I joined the SMIB program's second cohort in 1997. The program had not yet made its way through the international charts. Other M.S programs were far more "well recognized" and "bankable" at the time. Chosing the SMIB program was a kind of long shot, as nobody knew how it was going to grow ... or not. But whatever the future would hold, it felt right with what I was determined to explore and build : an international life-work path.

I soon became one of the cohort's 35 students coming from various countries - Belgium, France, Germany, Lebanon, Morocco, Ukrain - and backgrounds : ingineers, law, political science, business. The program soon developed a reputation of having a crowd of students that knew how to think out of the box collaboratively and generatively. In many ways, the students were empirically building a DE&I culture before its time!

10 years later, I came back to the SMIB as a president of selection board and a course lecturer, talking to the now 150 students present in the auditorium about entrepreneurship skills and mindset, inter-personal communication and building closer relationships through cooperation. I could see how the program had developed into an entire new ball game. 10 years later, it is at the top of the charts, having deployed further its very core DNA.

It so occurs that we have ideas or make choices that do not seem so obvious. And more often than not, we feel a pressure - socially, internally, family wise, friends wise - not to embrace them because they seem out of reach, dangerous, or even crazy. When this happens to me, I often step back and think about Marguerite Yourcenar's quote : "It is to be wrong to be right too soon" and I quickly flip it to "It is to be right to be intuitive early enough".

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