18 January 2013


Name: Yamini Naik

Age: 25

Nationality: Indian

Intake: September 2012 Full-Time

Club Involvement: Co-President of General Management & Leadership Club, Member of The Executive Committee on campus (TEC)

At the start of my MBA program at HEC, in one of the programs organized by the Career Management Center (CMC), we were asked to describe ourselves in 3 words. The words I chose were discovery, passion and fun and surprisingly these are the exact words I would choose to describe my HEC MBA experience!

Contrary to how I might appear on first sight, I’m a geek at heart!

I come from a software engineering background; having enjoyed my engineering studies, 5 years in the software industry as a developer, and 4 years as a software quality engineer.

As community service has always been important to me and just testing software was not service oriented enough, a couple friends and I started a social initiative that enabled students to participate in real life industry projects. This experience helped me realize the business skills I lacked and I started to feel that I wasn’t discovering enough as a software engineer.

And that’s when I made one of the best decisions of my life – to quit my job and do a MBA at HEC!

Travelling, meeting people from different cultures, discovering their stories, learning new languages and understanding new cultures have always been something I love!  As I was learning French for a year before I joined HEC, I knew I wanted to live and work in France to strengthen my command over the language. I also knew I wanted a school that focuses on diversity. And HEC Paris MBA was the best choice and I am not disappointed at all.

Where else can one find 33 nationalities in one room! In the last 5 months at HEC I have discovered so many new cultural traits, festivals, places and traditions! One of my good friends is a girl from Kazakhstan! The learning from the professionally and culturally diverse class has been the greatest value added for me.

At HEC we have cultural weeks organized by each cultural group: so far we have had the American, French, Indian and Japanese weeks and I enjoyed these events thoroughly. I’ve especially learnt so much about Japanese culture and the people and now I know for sure that I want to visit and live in Japan at some point in my life!

Recently we also had the HEC Talent Show which was great way to discover some of the talents of my classmates and also showcase my own talents as an Indian classical dancer.

<My performance at HEC Talent Show >

You’ll find that clubs at HEC are very active, helpful and great value adds to any MBA participant. Through clubs you can network with classmate with backgrounds in fields that might interest you, get in touch with alumni, do additional case cracking, meet and listen to great speakers, participate in business school competitions. There is something in store for everyone.

HEC Paris MBA Student Profile Photo

<CEO Speaker Series Event with GML Club>

The MBA at HEC has also been one of self discovery. Though I am still exploring different career options, I’ve narrowed down my list and now know that I’m best suited for business development or corporate strategy roles.

See more photos and read more about my MBA journey after the jump…

The Executive Program on campus (TEC) has been one of the best parts of my MBA journey so far in terms of learning and self discovery. We have interacted very closely with inspirational people and discovered the importance of work-life balance. TEC has helped me learn all that is not typically taught in B-Schools, but which are the most valuable lessons to be successful professionally and personally. I highly recommend this program to all future HEC MBA applicants.

TEC HEC Paris MBA Photo<TEC  Group Picture>

Running and dancing are a few of my passions and the serenely beautiful HEC campus is a heaven for any runner! Running through the HEC forest, lake, chateau and football fields is calming, beautiful and a wonderful way of staying fit and taking a break from the otherwise hectic MBA life. I have also enjoyed playing basketball at the indoor courts.

hec paris mba photo lake

<HEC lake>

A great place to unwind, network and meet friends is the piano bar. We often have theme parties; at HEC we definitely work hard and party harder!

Pirate Party at Piano Bar HEC life on campus <Pirate Party at Piano bar >

The professors at HEC are highly qualified and great teachers.

Coming from an engineering background I thought the finance classes wouldn’t be my cup of tea. But Professor Ioanid Rosu not only made understanding financial markets fun but also highly interesting!

I surprise myself even today when I can honestly say the finance classes have been the ones I have enjoyed most!

The study culture at HEC is more about teamwork and learning rather that cut-throat competition. Coming from a culture where only high grades are valued; I like the educational system of HEC which encourages students to learn by exchanging ideas, participate in other extra-curricular activities and initiatives.

The HEC Paris MBA has equipped me with many business skills required in the management world, while opening wide networks and opportunities.

I know that the remaining year of my MBA will pass very fast and before I know it I will be working again. This doesn’t sadden me as I know that the experience has been life changing and I have met great people and built strong relationships which will last a lifetime.

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