Aaron chose HEC not only for its central location in Europe but also for the opportunity to learn French with his family.



To introduce myself, my name is Aaron Daley. I come from California in the United States and I’m part of the September 2015 intake.

Before coming to HEC, I studied Accounting as my undergrad, with a minor in Economics and I worked at a private equity firm in California, in emerging markets, private equity. I was part of the finance and accounting team.

The reason we decided to come to Europe and to HEC in particular. I actually have a wife and two children and we were interested in having an international experience. Coming here to Europe, we felt comfortable and like we’d be able to get a great high quality education and have a cultural experience at the same time. And as I looked at the different schools in Europe, HEC drew me here actually. The location is a big reason. We wanted to live in France and be able to learn French. For me, I like being a little bit outside of the city because it gives a little bit more room for my children to play and that type of thing. And it has a great reputation.

I’d been working for about four and a half years after my undergrad. And I actually had some colleagues who were doing part-time MBA programs locally in southern California. I didn’t like the idea of having to focus on two things at once, both doing work and doing an MBA program. So, by doing the full time MBA, first of, I was able to change location and come here to France, which was a big part of the reason why we wanted to do an MBA. And then also, I was able to focus 100% on my studies and the experience I was having, instead of having to have a day job at the same time. 

A big reason why I’m doing the full time MBA is well because I’m looking to make some big changes to my career. I was working in a back office role in the finance sector. I’m actually interested in working in front office and maybe something other than finance. And even the geography is something that I’d be interested in changing. I like southern California but I’d like to also see what else is out there in the world. So doing a fulltime MBA here at HEC gives me the opportunity to move geographies, experience a different culture and also shake up my career. I can go into a different sector, HEC is very good at that, it has a great reputation for people who want to change careers, and I can change the function as well.

I think when you’re deciding to do an MBA, it’s important to look beyond just the rankings. These are lists that are made, using a different set of criteria that might not apply to you.  I think it’s important to develop your own set of criteria, decide what your goals are and what you want to accomplish with an MBA and then look in depth at the different schools and decide which one is going to help you accomplish those goals.

I think my favourite part of the experience so far has been to be able to meet people from all over the world. On Day 1, we had an ice-breaking session, where we were able to get together and it was a fun way to meet everybody. From that point forward, it’s been a great experience. I’ve been able to meet people from countries all over the world with different backgrounds. It’s a very interesting way to interact and learn from the people around me.

I’m very interested actually in the MBA Tournament, that we have coming up. That was one of the selling points actually for me to come to HEC. I liked the emphasis that it had on sports and competition as a way to be able to interact with your peers and to be able to learn leadership and teamwork. So, I’m looking forward to helping to organise that and especially competing in the program.

identity card

Aaron Daley

Aaron Daley

United States Of America Class of 2017

«My favorite part so far has been meeting people from all over the world.»

Previous Experience