Business Schools: Immersion in Oral ESCP

For three weeks, the ESCP campus in Paris has been in turmoil. From the end of June to the beginning of July, the students of the preparatory class eco who qualify for the business school take their oral exam. A difficult exercise for which the establishment welcomes them as best as possible. Report.

In the courtyard of the Parisian school it is a mix of serious and relaxed† On the candidate side: suits and suits and for the students who help them: sky blue t-shirts. We are in the midst of the ESCP post-preparatory entrance exams, an annual ritual that punctuates school life.

There are almost 140 students, this Monday 27 June. Each must pass four tests: a personality interview, two languages ​​and a specialty test. Convened at 7 am for the presentation of the amphitheater, some will wait for their last oral hearing until 6 pm.

Everything is set to welcome them : a concentration room, a more festive room with piano and ping-pong tables, and massages are offered for relaxation. The approximately fifty members are there to answer everyone the questions or take them to their exam room. Their availability seems infallible.

The candidates, dressed in a blue t-shirt, are there to guide and support the candidates // © Agnès Millet

The ESCP oral to show personality and motivation

The motivational interview is the centerpiece of the four ESCP orals† After the two juries have introduced themselves, the candidate has a few minutes to tell their story.

On the basis of a questionnaire submitted upstream, the jury can bounce on the candidate’s interests and professional experiences or on his knowledge of other cultures. An important point for the business school in Berlin, London, Madrid, Turin and Warsaw.

For one of the candidates from Lyon, the voice is calm and the expression very neat† She accurately portrays her luck in creating handmade gifts for her loved ones and, listening carefully to the judges, carefully answers a question about the current stationery market.

It bounces back with ease when the jury decides to do a brief foray into Shakespeare’s language. After 20 minutes of discussion, the candidate seems to have passed her job interview, but a match remains an exercise dominated by uncertainty

Gilles Gouteux, 29 years jury and institutional advisor of Campus Paris, proposes a… musical comparison. “The candidates are stretched like a piano wire. At ESCP, we have instructions to make it as comfortable as possible for them. We are aware that this is a very complicated moment.

For him, the main mistakes are in two profiles: “The one who wants to say as much as possible. In this case it will be politely stopped, as we are looking for an exchange and not a catalog. The other error is “tell ‘carabistouilles’† The jury has a certain ability to hear when it sounds false.”

Two attitudes remain: priceless: arrogance and lack of curiosity to what is happening in the world.

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Language and special orals open to the public

In a large classroom, a few freshmen wait their turn. Are they lost? Not really ! ESCP offers an original system: language and special orals are open to the public, on a voluntary basis. If candidates are not comfortable with this idea, they may refuse to be observed.

“It relieves the stress of being there. We see that proofs look like glues we do that in preparation,” notes Noé, who came from Lyon with two comrades, at the invitation of his secondary school.

Try to take the pressure off a little

A different space, a different atmosphere. In court, ESCP oral candidates chat with business school admissions† Some prefer to isolate themselves, with a computer or telephone. We should cheat the expectation and not increase the stress.

Marc, candidate from Neuilly, finds the reception “very nice”: “I got to see the progress of associations and was given information about international exchanges and about the different masters. This is a plus for my interview.

At 12.30 pm it is time to release some ballast. This timethe entrants take the stage to convince applicants that ESCP is made for them, with rich associations, dynamic students and above all a fiery atmosphere!

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A Special ESCP Burger Quiz divides the candidates into two groups and the laughter breaks out. Videos present the campuses and associations. Then a young woman takes the stage, insisting that it is necessary to “leave” the orals, like the graduates of AgroParisTech. After a hesitation in the room, the student actress ends her joke with bursts of laughter.

A supercharged choreography close the show. The amphitheater empties to the sound of Rihanna. When the audience smiles, the candidates keep a focused face† Octave, the Paris candidate, is enthusiastic: “This presentation really made you want to. I didn’t have this image of school!”

after lunch, the afternoon will stretch† To accentuate the day, the candidates can enjoy cotton candy, popcorn and ice cream moments later. Of the 1,350 preparatory students who take the exam420 passes the admission bar and is offered a seat. Result on July 22!

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