Isaac obtained an MSc in Energy Management (MEM) with ESCP Europe - the world's first business school, with campuses in six European countries. Discover what the course involved and how he has benefitted from his studies
Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Prior to the MEM programme at ESCP Europe Business School, I earned a dual Bachelors degree in international management from the Neoma Business School and the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. Since graduation I've been working as an in-house consultant at E.ON SE, one of Europe's largest utility companies. I worked first as a visiting consultant, then full-time, and now as a senior consultant.
Why did you choose ESCP Europe?
Following my Bachelors degree I had the opportunity to discover the energy industry by working for China Petroleum and Petrochemical Corporation, commonly known as Sinopec. While working there I developed a passion for all things related to power, energy and the technologies that fuel our way of life.
After this experience, I knew that I wanted to transition from my operative role to a more strategic position. The MEM at ESCP Europe seemed like an obvious choice, as it offered the perfect mix of in-depth management studies and broad energy outlook.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
Diversity is the key word for the MEM. The programme provides a great mix of lectures, case studies and simulations. The course also addresses a diverse range of topics, from a technical introduction to power generation technologies to studies of the impact of global energy policy on customer behaviour. I never had a dull day on the programme, and each student really had the opportunity to find a topic that they were really passionate about.
Without a doubt the thing I enjoyed the most, and will always remember from my time at ESCP Europe, was the camaraderie that developed between fellow MEM students. I know for a fact that many of the friendships I formed there will remain for life.
How did the diversity of the class influence your learning experience?
The diversity was a blessing, as it allowed for richer exchanges and the chance to gain a broader perspective. I remember a discussion where an American student defended the benefits of fracking, while a Polish student highlighted the importance of investing in clean coal technologies and a French student explored the potential of new generation nuclear power. Most of us disagreed with each other, but we left the discussion feeling more open-minded and with more knowledge than before.
Did the professional expertise of the academic team benefit you?
Having the opportunity to learn directly from professionals is so valuable, as it allows you to gauge your own fit to one or the other profession. Discussing my options with several of our consultant professors convinced me to give consulting a try. I haven't regretted my decision since.
What events did you attend at ESCP Europe? What made them interesting?
I organised and attended several energy conferences. For curious minds, having the chance to dive deeply into a topic with a panel of respected experts is a unique experience. Each of the MEM and external participants added to the quality of the discussion thanks to the diversity of their professional and cultural backgrounds.
Did you find the Research Centre for Energy Management (RCEM) useful? If so, how did you use it?
The RCEM was a great tool as it provided us with many of the experts who participated in our conferences. It was also a great source of insight, especially for technical topics or topics related to the geopolitics of energy.
How have you used the knowledge acquired during the MEM in your current role?
As a management consultant, I apply the skills and learnings I gained during my time at ESCP Europe on a daily basis. Not only do I use the tools and frameworks of my professors, but more importantly I believe my time at ESCP has increased my capacity for strategic thinking and my ability to consider situations from different angles.
Use three words to sum up your experience at ESCP Europe.
The experience was diverse, driven and dynamic.