ESSEC and Paris: First Impressions

Mousse au chocolat

Mousse au Chocolat at Chez Janou

It’s been officially one week since I landed in Paris and classes are already in full swing at ESSEC. This year, our MBA class has 35 students, hailing from all different parts of the world. I’m one of two Americans and it’s a really interesting experience to be with such a diverse group of people. While we come from various backgrounds, we’re all drawn to the world of luxury and I see the same passion and drive in everyone. Everyone is so friendly. I’m really appreciative of the French speakers in our class, who have been so patient in helping and translating things for the us, the foreigners (merci beacoup!).

Notre Dame

Notre Dame at Night

I am so grateful that one of my closest friends from USC, Christophe, just moved to Paris a few months ago. It’s a little taste of home when we hang out and it’s really comforting to know that he’s there for me. He already surprised/spoiled me with amazing chocolates from Joséphine Vannier— a chocolate “book” box filled with an assortment of chocolate pieces!

Josephine Vannier Chocolates

Josephine Vannier Chocolates (the “book” is made of solid chocolate)

We’ve had three days of classes, but I feel like we’ve already accomplished a lot. Our very first day of class was actually a team building day. We had a teacher lead us into various activities that helped get to know one another. One activity was that we had to draw a “representation” of ourselves on a piece of paper and then explain it to our classmates. Even though I’m a horrible artist, it was a lot of fun seeing what other people picked to describe themselves and getting to know them in a deeper context. We had to do other activities too (involving singing and dancing), but I will not torture you with the melodic stylings of our class.

My Representation

Nope, this is not a drawing from a five-year old. I’ll leave any interpretations up to you.

One of the major perks of the MBA Luxe program is that we drink wine in class. Yes, you read that correctly. We just started our wine courses where we learn about the different grape varieties and the process to make wine. We tried six wines from around the world, three red and three white, and also drank from different wine glasses. You get to taste and smell the difference of drinking in various glasses. You wouldn’t think the type of wine glass would make a huge difference, but it really does! I was shocked.

Wine tasting

Trying the Riesling (which was my favorite of the whites)

It’s been a fantastic few days of school and I’m learning so much. I’m really happy that I decided to go to ESSEC; I chose the right school. And, so I end this post with my new favorite obsession from France (besides chocolate mousses the size of your head)– sirops from Teisseire. My French teacher in the U.S. introduced them to me and I’m so glad she did. They’re these amazing syrups that you can add to flat or sparkling water. They aren’t that sweet (you choose how much you want to pour), but they’re flavorful and refreshing. They have a million flavors and I think it’s my new goal to try all of them during this year abroad.

Sirops Teisseire

Sirops Teisseire (Lime and Grenadine)

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8 thoughts on “ESSEC and Paris: First Impressions

  1. Which drawing is yours? The bridge (Golden Gate, I think) or the piece of cake? 😉 And btw, that book of solid chocolate looks HEAVENLY!!! I am tres jealous!

  2. I have a friend who graduated from ESSEC last year. What a neat experience! I’d think about applying if I spoke more French. And Chez Janou is right around the corner from chez moi! I’m so glad to have found your blog. We should get coffee or drinks sometime, if you’re up for it.

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