Innovations That Inspire

Talent Spring Admission Process

Recognition Year(s): 2022
School: ESCP Business School
Location: France

Talent Spring is an innovative and demanding admission process aimed at helping students from underserved backgrounds integrate into the first year of ESCP’s Master in Management program.

Call to Action

At ESCP, we believe that higher education must be accessible to talented students, regardless of their backgrounds. Inclusion and diversity are at the core of the school’s DNA and are an essential part of its mission to educate tomorrow’s responsible and accountable business leaders in a multicultural world.

From its foundation in 1819 in Paris, ESCP has always been a pioneer aiming to offer a unique learning experience to students from various academic, social, cultural, and personal backgrounds. In the 1820s, the school was already welcoming students from across Europe and the world, setting the standard for modern business schools with international cohorts. In the 1970s, it became the first French business school to welcome a female student at a time where higher education was still segregated, and the first to enroll students through specific admission processes aside from the French Classes Préparatoires—two years of intensive study that serve as preparation enrollment in a top academic institution.

As part of ESCP’s push towards more inclusion within its academic programs, the school appointed an associate dean for inclusion and diversity in 2016, followed by the launch of Talent Spring. Talent Spring was implemented as a specific admission process to recruit talented students whose social or academic background or health status prevented them from entering a top business school through traditional admission paths. 


Talent Spring is an original and demanding admission process dedicated to high-potential candidates in France who face unfavorable personal environments. Talent Spring’s innovation lies in its unique assessment center, inspired by those used by companies to recruit talent, which—contrary to classic admission processes—is not grades-based.

Following careful pre-selection based on their motivation, experience, and ability to become future leaders, candidates are evaluated over the course of two days. The assessment consists of a series of practical tests, both individual and in groups, during which observers assess their creative and leadership skills. Out of 90 candidates, 20 are selected for evaluation at the assessment center, and a final selection of 10 students are enrolled in the Master in Management program each year.

Upon enrollment, Talent Spring students benefit from individualized support from the school with dedicated professors and professional staff as well as a specific induction seminar to anticipate their course choices and financing of their studies. They benefit from academic tutoring by professors, financial aid, support from Talent Spring’s sponsors, and are offered a collective discussion space to boost their confidence and guide them as they develop their personal and professional experiences. 


Talent Spring is an impactful tool to promote social inclusion in higher education. It benefits the participating students, who receive access to a high-quality education and the job opportunities that come with it as well as significant financial aid from Talent Spring’s sponsors: the ESCP Foundation, the KPMG France Corporate Foundation, and the ORPEA Corporate Foundation.

In 2021, each Talent Spring participant received a 2,000 EUR (close to 2,300 USD) mobility scholarship in addition to tuition exemption, when eligible. The initiative also serves the school and all its students on a broader scale. By welcoming students from different backgrounds, we ensure greater diversity within each cohort and allow everyone to benefit from the unique perspectives each student brings to the class, better reflecting the real-world conditions in the workplace.

Talent Spring graduates are top competitors for jobs across all sectors, from finance and accounting at KPMG to strategic consulting at McKinsey, sales at Uber or CSR project management for GreenFlex. They leave ESCP’s program with the knowledge and confidence to succeed in the world of business. 

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