ESSEC Business School
École Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales
|Motto||L'esprit pionnier (French)|
Motto in English
|The Pioneering Spirit|
|AACSB, CGE, EQUIS, AMBA, University of Paris-Seine|
|President||Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi|
|Athletics||12 Varsity teams|
ESSEC's flagship program is the Master of Science in Management. The school is headed by Prof. Vincenzo Esposito-Vinzi following the appointment of Prof. Jean-Michel Blanquer as French Minister of Education in the Philippe Government of President Emmanuel Macron.
- 1 History
- 2 Campuses
- 3 Programs
- 4 International Orientation
- 5 Notable alumni
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The Foundation (1907-1913)
The École Supérieure des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (ESSEC) was founded in 1907 as the Economic Institute by Ferdinand Le Pelletier in Paris. Its creation is in keeping with other schools of commerce created under Catholic like HEC Nord (which will become EDHEC) by the Catholic Institute of Lille or ESSCA by the Institute Catholic of Angers. The Falloux law of 1854 has indeed allowed the rise of religious secondary education. The difficult context for the Church, which is marked by the Dreyfus affair (1895) and the law of separation of Church and State (1905), pushes her to seek to regain influence by diffusing moral values in the business world and by training a new generation of business leaders.
In this context of struggle of religious congregations, especially Jesuits against the secular and republican ideology of the state, ESSEC is a late Catholic response to the creation of HEC. It is located at the École Sainte Geneviève (created by Jesuits in 1854) in the Latin Quarter. ESSEC then has extensive material resources: small rooms suitable for work in reduced numbers and even a chemistry laboratory. The first class has 7 students and the studies last two years. In 1909, an optional third year was introduced.
The curriculum does not denote by its originality by structuring itself around a set of law / accounting / languages / technique. It is through the introduction of Christian moral values that ESSEC intends to stand out: students attend the apologetics conference each week at the Sainte Geneviève School Chapel. Technical education (calligraphy, shorthand, writing of commercial documents) is combined with scientific education (physics, chemistry, factory visits). It is possible to integrate the elementary section of the school by graduating first or by holding a non-scientific bachelor's degree, and to enter the first year if one holds a bachelor's degree or that the we come from the elementary section and we have passed an exam.
From 1913 to 1940
In 1913, the premises of the school were seized following the law of separation of the Church and the State of 1905, forcing ESSEC to join those of the Catholic Institute of Paris. ESSEC then takes its current name. Its resources are reduced: it only has an amphitheater lent by the ICP, the elementary section is removed and lectures are given by the faculty of the faculty. The disciplines taught, which will remain almost the same until 1960, are then languages, the history of commerce, commercial geography, political economy, law and accounting. An important place is given to languages, with 10 hours per week (4 hours of English and German, 1 hour of Italian and Spanish). With seven courses of law over two years, ESSEC struggles to distinguish itself from a law school and seeks legitimacy.
The school hardly survives the mobilizations of the war: in 1914, it counts only four pupils in first year and two in second. It is temporarily closed and reopened in 1915. The third optional year is closed and the school only regains financial stability from 1920 where it welcomes more than 50 students in first year and 150 in 1930. In 1923, alumni association is created: a solidarity fund for widows and orphans of war is being set up. In 1926, the first yearbook of graduates was published and in 1929, the first courses of business ethics were given.
The crisis of the 1930s comes to break this momentum: ESSEC must lower its tuition fees because students take refuge in values deemed more secure such as public service or law. The arrival of the hollow classes of 1914-1918 and the economic crisis further increase the difficulty of the situation. The school is obliged to accept baccalaureate, non-bachelors on exam and even free auditors who come to take courses without the diploma, for a tuition fee.
In 1932, the Student Office (BDE) was created and in 1937 the first scholarships were distributed, marking the beginning of a social aid policy.
From 1940 to 1960
The takeoff is done under the impulse of Camille Donjon (Father Donjon) from 1939 with the establishment of the selection at the entrance. A preparatory class for the exam was set up in 1941, which became a competition in 1947, the number of candidates permitting it. However, ESSEC refuses to join the unified system of écoles de commerce (ESC) established by the decree of 3 December 1947 the State now supports the implementation of preparatory classes on the territory (there were thirty at the time, for a twenty ESC). In exchange the ESC spend their schooling from two to three years and organize themselves into a network with tests and subjects common to the written competitions.
If HEC and ESCP join this system, ESSEC positions itself as a challenger and keeps its own preparatory classes and competitions. Two systems coexist as well. To be at the level of its competitors, however ESSEC passes its schooling from two to three years from the year 1947. This situation lasts until 1951, when ESSEC closed its preparatory classes to open to candidates of the public preparatory classes, more numerous, and thus avoid the marginalisation of its competition.
If the ESSEC management criticizes the university model, it understands that the legitimacy of the school goes through increased recognition of the state, which recognizes it in 1942 and aims to graduate from 1962. The school multiplies also the equivalences: French Railways and Bank of France in 1937, Postgraduate Diploma in Accounting (DESC) in 1967 and in 1970 ESSEC diploma allows to compete for ENA and CAPET.
Between 1945 and 1950, ESSEC innovates little and draws its academic credibility from the law, which meets the expectations of bourgeois families: 64% of students study law at the university in parallel with ESSEC in 1964. The Teaching methods are very academic and go through lectures. Pointers control the presence of students until the 1960s. Due to lack of resources and under the influence of the ICP, the initial promise of a pedagogy adapted to the rhythm of each one is not held.
In 1950, the first compulsory internship was set up. For a period of 3 months, it takes place at the end of studies.
From the 1950s, criticism is being heard against the guardianship of the ICP. ESSEC students claim their difference compared to other students in the faculty who do not form such a close-knit group. ESSEC does not have any legal or administrative autonomy of the ICP.
Associative life began in the early 1960s with the creation of the ESSEC Mardis in 1961 and the Junior Enterprise in 1967.
From 1960 to 1970
In 1960, Gilbert Olivier replaced Father Donjon at the head of ESSEC. The arrival of this layman at the head of the school, coupled with developments related to competition, will sway the Christian identity of the school. He begins by launching a survey of students on the content of courses and the pedagogy put in place: only 47% of first year students are satisfied, 21% of second years and 22% of third years. The poorly personalised pedagogy and the preponderance of the courses of rights taught by professors of the ICP is denounced. The survey highlights that 7% of the first years think that ESSEC is passive, 29% in the second year and up to 37% in the third year.
Given the results of this survey, a gradual reform is being put in place. Technical subjects such as chemistry and physics are abandoned, teaching content adapts to the company and the human factor is taken into account with the introduction of courses in sociology and human resources. In 1965, marketing classes appeared. Method conferences are set up, such as at HEC and Sciences Po, and programmed teaching is imported from the United States. Recruitment diversified with the opening of the Admis on Title (AST) in 1966 which also marks the opening of the school to women, preparatory classes not yet open to them.
The competition was reworked in 1969 with the disappearance of the tests of chemistry and physics and especially a remodeling of the oral one which aims now to test the logical reasoning of the candidates and more only their knowledge. Psychotechnical tests and personality interviews are introduced. Gilbert Olivier also tries to reform the program of preparatory classes to bring them closer to commercial education but must give up before the opposition of HEC and other ESC.
From 1970 to 1990
The numbers are growing and the school is running out of space. It now occupies three amphitheatres at the ICP and in 1971 administrative services moved to Boulevard Raspail. In 1965 a commission was set up to reflect on the possibilities of moving ESSEC. Projects are planned in Bagneux or Gentilly then abandoned. On July 5, 1967, an option was taken by ESSEC on a site in the new town of Cergy-Pontoise where the current campus will be built. At the same time, ESSEC emerges from the PKI. In 1968, the ICP recognized its financial and administrative independence. In 1969, the ESSEC group was founded, consisting of the school, CERESSEC (Research Center) and ISSEC (Institute of Executives). The ICP nevertheless retains one third of the seats of the board of directors and the appointment of the director of the school must be approved by the rector of the ICP, which also retains a right of scrutiny over ESSEC professors.
The move to Cergy-Pontoise is variously welcomed by the community: the students (600 at the time) deem absurd, especially since no train leads directly. You have to take a train to Nanterre and then a shuttle. It should be noted, however, that an aerotrain project was planned to connect La Défense to Cergy in less than ten minutes. It will be abandoned in 1975 and line L dessert Cergy since 1979 and the RER A since 1988. Some teachers fuel the controversy, aware that such a move necessarily entails a renewal of faculty. The students live together in the HLM of ALEGESSEC, contributing to their cohesion. The new school "extends over and includes a large amphitheater of 300 seats, eight small amphitheatres with 80 seats equipped with closed circuit television, a computer center, a large language laboratory, a library, a sports hall, a restaurant university and 48 classrooms ". The building is an anti-campus: the school is inserted in the city and open to the outside, mixing pupils and inhabitants unlike that of HEC in Jouy-en-Josas. Its reception areas (foyers, cafeterias, chapel) were to be available to the cergyssois. In exchange, the students had the equipment and housing HLM of the city.
Before 1971, ESSEC relies mainly on executives working in companies for its teaching. From its location in Cergy, ESSEC is setting up a permanent faculty. The grants awarded by FNEGE to finance studies in the United States of young professors or executives wishing to return to teaching to fill the French "management gap" allow ESSEC to build a pool of qualified teachers . In 1972, out of 20 professors, there were 9 former ESSECs having completed their training in the United States. The arrival of FNEGE Fellows, who have come back from the United States full of ideas, will initiate the reform of the curriculum. A common core is set up in the first year based on fundamentals while a course à la carte is introduced from the second year. It is still in effect today. A minimum duration of 12 months of internship is also set up, that the student can achieve when he wishes. The initial Jesuit project of a pedagogy based on the empowerment and individualization of studies thus returns in a secularized way.
The ESSEC selectivity is increasing significantly: from 700 candidates in 1960 to 2800 in 1973.
To move to Cergy, ESSEC, with no public funds, is heavily indebted to the Caisse d'Epargne and ANFESP (National Association for the Financing of Private School Equipment), the Council General of Val d'Oise vouching. The repayments amount to 4 to 5 million francs a year. These financial expenses represent 11.7% of the ESSEC budget in 1975 (compared to 5% for INSEAD). The operating budget exploded from 6 million francs in 1972 to 28 million in 1979. Tuition fees increased and reached Template: Unity in 1978-1979, double that of HEC. In 1979, the financial crisis erupted, exacerbated by a context of high interest rates and an economic slowdown related to the oil shock. The school has a deficit of 10.4 million francs this year. The apprenticeship tax, continuing education and the involvement of elders are considered as sources of funding, but still too weak to meet deadlines. The question of the nationalization of ESSEC and its attachment to the university is put on the table, ideas coming within the field of possibilities with the election of François Mitterrand to the presidency of the Republic.
Gilbert Olivier is strongly opposed to it, seeing it as a failure of the initial project of the school to emancipate itself from the higher education system.
From 2000 to Present
In 1999, the school decided to change the name of its Grande Ecole program to the name of MBA (Master in Business Administration), an Anglo-Saxon standard normally reserved for executives who already have many years of experience. ESSEC intends to highlight its accreditation by the AACSB (American accreditation body) and the 18 months of internships of its students, the highest figure of all French business schools. It is followed in this way by ICN Nancy and ESC Grenoble. ESSEC then reviews its international agreements to bring them to the MBA or Master level. A ESSEC student doing a double degree with a partner university can come back with a more traditional MBA (for executives who already have professional experience) issued by this partner.
This positioning of MBA is criticized by HEC, EM Lyon or University Paris-Dauphine, so much so that Ali Laïdi in his book Secrets of the economic war (2004) says that HEC would have mounted a destabilization operation ESSEC by attacking its MBA position. The case leads to an opening of investigation by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and a categorical denial is brought by HEC.
In 2005, ESSEC expanded its campus with the inauguration of the Nautile building for teachers and in 2007 with the multipurpose room of the Dome (2,700 standing capacity) and the Galion. The achievements are signed Marc Seifert, son of Ivan Seifert who designed the original campus in 1973. They are a continuation of existing buildings. In 2008, the library was enlarged and renovated as was the restaurant area in 2009.
In 2010, ESSEC presents its strategic plan for 2010-2015. The program portfolio is repositioned: the EPSCI (post-baccalaureate program) becomes the bachelor of ESSEC, the name of MBA is abandoned for that of MSc in Management. The group's communication is unified under the name ESSEC Business School. A fundraising of 150 million euros is planned. The aim is to be one of the 20 best Business Schools in the world, to join the 10 best schools in Asia and to make a lasting impression in the top 5 in Europe. The abandonment of the name of MBA is a real strategic break for the school. His program did not appear in the Financial Times ranking of Masters in Management since its creation in 2005 nor in the MBA because of its hybrid nature. The general manager of the time, Pierre Tapie, however, does not regret this decision in 1999, because he believes that the school has gained notoriety. In fact, in 2007, the Wall Street Journal ranked ESSEC MBA Template Grande École: 7th in the world, ahead of HEC and INSEAD.
The school multiplies double-degree agreements: with the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad in 2006, with Centrale Paris and the University of Keio in 2009, with the École du Louvre, ENSAE and Saint-Cyr in 2010, with ENS in 2011, with the University of Queensland and three South Korean institutions in 2014 or with Bocconi University in 2015.
In 2014, Jean-Michel Blanquer, the new director general of the school appointed in 2013, announced the strategic plan "ESSEC 3I 2020" (Internationalisation, Innovation and Involvement). The internationalisation goes through, among other things, a new ESSEC Asia-Pacific campus, which opens in 2015 and an ESSEC Africa campus which opens in 2017, innovation through a strategic alliance with CentraleSupélec, and involvement by the possibility for students to create their own courses and setting up mentors. The school launches its first MOOCs and inaugurates its fablab, the K-Lab.
In 2014, the school motto "The Pioneering Spirit" replaces the previous "You have the answer" (2010-2014). Throughout its history, ESSEC has indeed been illustrated by some innovations that were subsequently taken over by other business schools.
ESSEC was the first French business school to create a student forum in 1961, Les Mardis ESSEC, and a Junior Enterprise in 1967, Junior ESSEC Conseil. In the 1960s, it was also the first business school to diversify its recruitment with the admission on title (AST) of students not passing through the preparatory classes (in 1966) and to open the access of the school to women (in 1969). At the beginning of the 1970s, ESSEC was the first business school to set up an à la carte program for its students. Today, this flexibility is one of its hallmarks: students can choose 70% of their courses and place them at the time of their choice in their schooling. In 1975, the school supported the creation of the first bachelors in France by founding the EPSCI, which in 2010 became the bachelor of ESSEC.
In 1986, it was also the first French business school to partner with large companies to create corporate chairs. That same year, it was one of the first schools to launch a specialized master's degree, the creation of this label within the Conférence des grandes écoles dating from 1986 as well. In 1991, the school signs an agreement with ISUP allowing its students to obtain the degree of actuary, making ESSEC the only French business school offering the possibility to its students to become actuary. In 1994, it introduced the first business apprenticeships in higher education.
In 1997, it was the first school outside North America to be accredited by AACSB (the leading accreditation body for business schools).
In 2000, ESSEC is the first French business school to host a business incubator, called ESSEC Ventures, which is also a nursery and seed fund, after setting up its entrepreneurship sector in 1999.
In 2002, ESSEC is the first major school to set up an equal opportunities program with the PQPM program (A Great School, Why Not Me?). It was followed in this way by 80 grandes écoles and universities and contributed to the birth of Cordées de la Réussite in 2008.
In 2015, it became the first business school in the world to offer its students the opportunity to create their own courses.
In a more general way, the pedagogy set up is innovative with a first trimester focused on the preparatory class / school transition, SPOCs, MOOCs, inverted classes and learning by doing.
Deans of ESSEC Business School
|2017||Vincenzo Esposito Vinzi|
|ESSEC Business School, Cergy-Pontoise||ESSEC Executive Education at la Defense, Paris||ESSEC Asia-Pacific in Singapore|
ESSEC Global BBA
The undergraduate program was initially created in 1975 by ESSEC Group to prepare students to meet the needs of French firms launching operations on the international market. It was formerly known as EPSCI, "École des Practiciens du Commerce International", and is now referred to as "ESSEC Global BBA".
The Global BBA is designed for high-achieving candidates graduating from high school (in France "Baccalauréat"), and lasts for four years. The ESSEC BBA is ranked #1 post-secondary program in France, e.g. #1 in 2015 ranking of French news magazine Le Point for the 7th consecutive year, and was the first to obtain AACSB and Equis accreditations.
With a network of top-tier international partners, the ESSEC Global BBA offers its students wide international opportunities. At the end of the program, each student will have completed a minimum of 12 months of coursework abroad (each student will do 2 exchange programs abroad), a one-month humanitarian project and between 11 and 18 months of professional experience, which may also take place abroad.
Master of science in management - Grande Ecole
ESSEC's postgraduate programme is its master of science in management, designed for students with no professional experience (instead of managers with 3–5 years of experience like US MBA programs). It is the flagship program of the school as it was ranked 4th best in management in the world by the Financial Times in 2018.
The ESSEC msc in management has been historically designed for candidates who have completed French preparatory classes after high school diploma and passed a competitive entrance examination known as the concours, or have a university degree (Bachelor or Master). Application is now also open to non-French students: students with a university degree of 3 years or more received outside of France can also apply. Students from classe préparatoire will spend 2 to 3 years after Baccalauréat only to prepare for the national entrance examination of Grandes Ecoles which includes a written part (lasting 3 weeks) as well as an oral part (1 to 4 days for each grande école). It is commonly considered as the most prestigious path after High School in France (only 5% of a generation will be admitted to a prépa) with Law and Medecine, and consists in intensive courses in Mathematics, History and Geography, Economy, Literature, Philosophy, and 2 foreign languages. In 2015, among more than 20 000 students enrolled in classe préparatoire (business section), 5 614 applied to ESSEC concours (considered as one of the most difficult), only 890 were invited to oral examination and 380 were eventually admitted. This means an acceptance rate of 6,77%.
ESSEC was the first French institution to offer an à la carte program - whether following courses at ESSEC or at a partner institution, going abroad or focusing on an associative project etc.
In 2015, 70% of ESSEC msc in management graduates found a job before graduation and 95% within three months after graduation, with an average annual salary equal to $81,712. It has been ranked joint first in 2015 for salary among French business schools by Le Point. According to a survey published by Emolument in 2014, ESSEC graduates working as finance analyst in London earn on average more than graduates from Oxford University or Cambridge University (respectively €89,000 against €86,000 and €84,000). ESSEC graduates were hired in the following companies, among others: Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, L'Oréal, Procter & Gamble, Amazon.com, Google, etc. In Choiseul's 2015 French top 100 executives under 40 ranking, 16 graduated from ESSEC, the highest number among all French Business schools.
Master in Finance
The Master in Finance replace the old Master Techniques Financières since 2016. The Master in Finance is recognized by the French Higher Education and Research Ministry as Master Degree. The Master in Finance has a partnership with the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA).
There are two specialized tracks: the Corporate Finance Track and the Financial Markets Track.
ESSEC M.S. Advanced Masters
The Advanced master's degrees are accredited by the "Conférence des Grandes Ecoles" in France. These programs are specialised to allow students finishing their studies or young professionals to complete their initial training (usually scientific or engineering) by acquiring complementary knowledge.
List of ESSEC M.S. Advanced Masters Programs:
- Strategy and Management of International Business
- Marketing Management
- International Purchasing Management and Supply chain
- International Business Law and Management, dual degree with King's College London
- International Food Industry Management
- Urban and Real Estate Management (RICS accreditation)
- Technological Project Management, in partnership with TELECOM PARIS
- Entrepreneurship, in partnership with Ecole Centrale Paris
- Information Systems and Telecommunication Networks
ESSEC Global MBA
The Global MBA at ESSEC Business School is a 12-month, full-time MBA program with an emphasis on emerging markets and experiential learning preparing post-experience students for an international career. It offers six Majors allowing students to specialise in the following area: Luxury Brand Management, Hospitality Management, Strategy and Management, Digital Business, Finance and Entrepreneurship and Innovation.
PhD in Business Administration
The PhD trains future professors, researchers and consultants at the highest international level. The goal is to prepare students not only to master methodologies, but also to advance knowledge and play an active role in the international academic community. Before starting their dissertation work, students must follow a two-year program of courses and seminars that ends with Preliminary Examinations and a Dissertation Proposal. The curriculum starts with an intensive period of interdisciplinary training common to all students. This is followed by rigorous research training for the chosen field of specialization.
ESSEC Executive Education
More than 5000 managers participate in ESSEC Exec Ed programs every year, primarily at La Défense campus, located in the heart of Paris’ financial district, but also at ESSEC’s Singapore campus and at ESSEC’s partner institutions – located on all continents - throughout the world.
ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA
ESSEC and Mannheim Business School launched their common Executive MBA Program in 2004. Building on the excellent reputation as one of the first established Executive MBAs in Europe by ESSEC since 1994 several modules are proposed in Mannheim, Paris, Singapore and various other locations worldwide in renowned partner business schools.
ESSEC Executive MBA Asia-Pacific
Launched in Singapore in October 2014, the ESSEC Executive MBA Asia-Pacific is a modular programme designed to address the ever-changing demands on senior management operating in the Asia-Pacific region. With residencies in China and USA, the programme aims to provide participants exposure to an excellent global network of contacts and new insights from a strong faculty team to support them in developing their vision and strategy for Asia. "
ESSEC has developed partnerships with top universities all over the world for exchange and double degree programs, including Berkeley University, University of Chicago, Dartmouth College, Brandeis University, Cornell University, Peking University, Tsinghua University, Seoul National University, Keio University, National University of Singapore, IIM Ahmedabad, IE Business School, University of Mannheim, King's College London, Fundação Getúlio Vargas' EAESP, among many others.
Together with Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, Keio Business School in Tokyo, the School of Management of Fudan University in Shanghai, the Fundação Getúlio Varga in Brazil and the Business School of the University of Mannheim in Germany, ESSEC forged an alliance of leading business schools from all parts of the world in 2010 called "Council on Business and Society". The Council on Business & Society convenes a biennial forum that combines the expertise of faculty members from each of the partner schools with that of representatives of business, government, and non-governmental organizations from around the world. The inaugural forum, held in Paris in November 2012, focused on Corporate Governance and Leadership. The 2014 forum was hosted by Keio Business School in Tokyo and focused on Health Care Delivery. The next edition will be hosted by Dartmouth in Boston and will focus on energy and environment.
There are more than 100 student clubs at ESSEC—sports-related, entrepreneurial, humanitarian, and cultural. They include:
- Junior ESSEC Conseil: France's leading student consulting association. It provides companies with market studies, internal auditing, communication strategies evaluations, and more. Its revenue stands at €1,5 million/year, through about 250 missions per year;
- Les Mardis de l'ESSEC: The first and foremost student forum in France. Since 1961, the society organizes discussions with leading public figures from the political, cultural, economical and civil spheres. Participants have included current (and former) heads-of-state and ministers, as well as foremost intellectual leaders, and major businessmen and women;
- Melt: Melt is a student association that aims to bring together international students (more than 900) and ESSEC students in order to encourage and develop intercultural relations on campus. It organizes various activities for international students throughout the year;
- International student societies such as ESSEC China, ESSEC India, ESSEC Morocco, ESSEC Africa, ESSEC Korea, ESSEC Lebanon, ESSEC Japan, etc.
- Polo Marco: Polo Marco organizes each year several trips for students in European metropoles (such as Amsterdam, London, Barcelona...) at a very competitive price
- ESSEC Transaction : the finance association of ESSEC Business School. The organisation promotes finance related activities and careers throughout the students community (corporate conferences, day of careers in finance, trading game and formations to Bloomberg and Reuters...).
- UN'ESSEC is the association devoted to geopolitics, diplomacy and negotiation on the campus. Each year, its members fly to London and New-York to take part in Model United Nation (NMUNs), organize conferences on the campus, publish articles related to international affaires in newspapers and implement ESSEC's MUN (the "SimuNation").
- Extrem' ESSEC: Founded in 1995 by four thrill-seeking students, Extrem' ESSEC is the extreme sports association of ESSEC Business School. It organizes numerous activities on and off campus including surf, wakeboard, kiteboard, hiking the Mont Blanc and more.
- BDS (Bureau des Sports): sport association at ESSEC, offering more than 15 different sport courses and organizing each year the T5B tournament (literally Tournoi des 5 Ballons), largest student sport tournament in Europe gathering more than 800 people from all over the world
- Foyer des élèves (Foy's): Founded in 1973, the Foy's is a student-run pub located on the Cergy-Pontoise campus. It serves ESSEC students from noon to midnight, offering fresh sandwiches from Rani for lunch and a wide variety of drinks all day long. In addition to every day operations, the "Foy's" also organizes many themed parties, such as the "Bojo", the "Bonheur des Flûtes", etc.
- RACE: Founded in 1991, RACE (Racing Automobile Club Essec) organizes, among other major events, the biggest student go-karts trophy in Europe, the "24 heures Karting Essec".
- Reve FM: The school's student-run radio that produces various podcasts (talk-show, music, soccer, political, cinema, etc.) and records each year a 24-hour-long crazy broadcast;
- AVE: AVE is the video ESSEC association. Their main purpose is to film life on campus, to edit 50 minute long video news report with the main events of the last 3 months and to broadcast it in front of all the students. Those compromising videos are often dreaded by most student.
- Shamrock : The school's musical association that organizes concerts, and each year a musical festival in Paris ;
- PAO Bang : A professional student-run graphic design agency that creates logos, posters and webdesign for other clubs and external businesses;
- ESSEClive: ESSEC's community website, the first student website in France (by number of visits);
- Essec & Bab: Founded in 2009, Essec & Bab aims at bringing Cergy closer to the students by offering a yearly city-guide and proposing different on-campus events related to the city.
- EDI (ESSEC Développement International): Founded in 1996, this humanitarian association carries out various development projects in Latin America: microcredit, scholarships, renovation of ancient paths,...
- Elyxir : The oenology student club at Essec. Elyxir organizes wine tasting sessions and Week-end in Wine producing areas.
- Net Impact ESSEC: The ESSEC Chapter of the San Francisco-based Net Impact. This Chapter instills responsible leadership skills among its members through on and off campus activities, often under the mentorship of senior members and alumni;
- Michel Bon, CEO of Carrefour (1985–1992) and CEO of France Telecom (1995–2002)
- Patrick Cescau, former CEO of Unilever
- Pierre Nanterme, CEO of Accenture
- Joe Saddi, Chairman of Booz & Company
- Pierre Denis, CEO of Jimmy Choo
- Nicolas Bos, CEO of Van Cleef & Arpels
- Dominique Reiniche, CEO of Coca-Cola Europe
- Charles Bouaziz, former CEO of Pepsico Europe
- Mehdi Khoubbane, CEO of L'Oréal France
- Nicolas Hieronimus, President of L'Oréal luxury
- Heang Chhor, former CEO of McKinsey Japan
- Nicolas Lioliakis, CEO of A.T. Kearney France
- André Maestrini, CEO of Adidas France
- Thierry Peugeot, Chairman of the supervisory board of Peugeot-Citroën
- Pierre-André de Chalendar, Chairman and CEO of Saint-Gobain Group
- Gilles Pélisson, CEO of TF1, former CEO of Bouygues Telecom (2004–2006) and of Accor Group (2006–2011)
- Jean-Luc Biamonti, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs
- Jean-Luc Petithuguenin, CEO of Paprec Group
- Floriane de Saint-Pierre, Founder and President of Floriane de Saint Pierre & Associés, Ethics & Boards, Eyes on Talents
- Jean-Luc Decornoy, former CEO of KPMG France
- Serge Villepelet, former CEO of PricewaterhouseCoopers France
- Amadou Raimi, chairman of the board of Deloitte France and VP for Deloitte world
- Yann Le Pallec, president of Standard & Poor's France
- Momar Nguer, President of Total S.A. Marketing & Services
- Geoffrey Roux de Bézieux, president of the MEDEF since 2018, the most important French employer union
- Jerome Tafani, Chief Financial Officer for Europe, McDonald's
- Political figures
- Enrique Barón Crespo, Spanish politician and President of the European Parliament (1989–1992)
- Charles Konan Banny, Prime Minister of Côte d'Ivoire (2005–2007)
- Véronique Bédague-Hamilius, Former economist at the IMF and Principal Private Secretary of the French Prime Minister Manuel Valls from 2014
- Cécile Duflot, French Minister of Housing in the Ayrault Cabinet, formerly head of the Green party
- Fleur Pellerin, French Minister for innovation and digital economy in the Ayrault Cabinet
- Pierre Bédier, member of the National Assembly of France
- Jérôme Chartier, member of the National Assembly of France
- Charles de Courson, member of the National Assembly of France
- Édouard Courtial, member of the National Assembly of France
- Emmanuelle Mignon, Cabinet secretary of French President Nicolas Sarkozy from 2008 to 2012
- Alexis Kohler, Chief of Staff of President of France Emmanuel Macron
- Other well-known alumni
- Marie-José Pérec, former sprinter, three times Olympic champion
- Tony Estanguet, French slalom canoeist and Olympic champion
- Pascal Gentil, French taekwendo Olympic medallist
- Frédérique Jossinet, French judoka and Olympic medallist
- Nathalie Dechy, French tennis player
- Philippe Sollers, French writer
- Eric Ellena, French film maker
- Marielle Blanchier, French writer
- Gérald Caussé, Latter Day Saint religious leader
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