Archive for December 2013

31 December 2013

It’s an old cliché, but it’s hard to believe that 2013 is coming to an end; where does the time go? It seems like only yesterday we were lamenting the passage of 2012, and now here we are, a year older and getting ready to face 2014 head-on. But before we go rushing into the year ahead, full of New Year’s Resolutions and good intentions, it seems a good time to reflect on the year just gone, toasting our successes and reliving the memories.

Whenever we talk to our students about the defining moment of their MBA experience, more often than not their answer invokes either the St Cyr Leadership Seminar or the infamous MBA Tournament, and this year’s lot are no exception. The second weekend of April saw both our Part-time and Full-time intakes head to the elite St Cyr Military Academy for a weekend of field exercises and intensive leadership training from the French crème-de-la-crème. It’s an intense, sometimes grueling experience, but it’s worth it as it gives students a renewed sense of determination and leadership. We’re already looking forward to our next visit to St Cyr in four months’ time!

As for the MBAT, this year was one of the best yet. Dubbed the “MBA Olympics,” HEC Paris emerged as MBAT Champions 2013 following 3 days of intense but good-spirited competition between Business Schools from across the world. Congratulations to the team and the organizers, and good luck to our next batch of potential MBAT champions! See you on May 10th 2014 for the kick-off of what promises to be another landmark event.

At HEC Paris MBA, we pride ourselves on an accessible campus, with strong links to outside industries and nearby businesses in La Défense. At our MBA Open Day in February, prospective students were able to come to the campus for a day of presentations and information sessions on our program, the first Open Day since the new curriculum launch in September 2012. This was a brilliant chance for prospective applicants to get to know both the academic and extra-curricular sides of the HEC Paris MBA experience. If you are interested in attending our next Open Day on February 8th 2014, you can sign up here.

Another annual highlight of our program is the dedicated MBA Careers Day, which was held on the 26th September. This event saw prospective employers such as L’Oréal, Amazon and Google come to campus to meet with students, answer questions and make important connections for the future.

Students also got the chance to take part in Treks, which are educational visits to international companies. Treks are another great way to make sector-specific contacts all over the world, as well as gain first-hand experience of a new company or working culture, and we can’t wait to organize some more in 2014!

Closer to home, 2013 saw a wide range of speakers and companies visit the HEC Campus in order to meet with and present to our students. February saw the return of our on-campus Energy Day for the second time, organized by the Energy Club as over 90 MBA students and worldwide energy companies such as Schlumberger and Alstom came together to discuss the core questions at the very heart of the Energy Industry. Another club-organized event was HEC’s first-ever Start-Up Day, organized by the Entrepreneurship club in November as successful start-up owners came to campus to give talks and tips to our budding entrepreneurs.

Furthermore, our renowned CEO Speaker Series continued throughout 2013, with influential speakers such as Jean-Yves Fillion (BNP Paribas) and Virginie Camels (Endemol) making an appearance, not to mention Marc Onetto (Amazon) and Nicolas Monserrat (Accenture) also hosting conferences, too. Finally, our Sustainable Business Conference this year was held not on campus, but at Les Docks de Paris in February. Discussions were held, disagreements arose and horizons were broadened: this engaging event proved to be a winner for another year.

Of course, not all of the changes this year happened beyond the academic circle: things have been changing within the MBA program, too. Our new MBA course on Big Data and Business Analytics – launched in partnership with IBM – kicked off in October, as we try to respond to the demands of the job market and the shortage of MBA students capable of dealing and making use of Big Data, which is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s business world.

Our newly redesigned and revamped Entrepreneurship and Innovation Track became available to students in 2013, a launch that coincided with the opening of the brand new eLab in the MBA building; a place for budding entrepreneurs to collaborate, discuss and develop their ideas with the help of cutting edge technology and HEC Paris expertise. And who could forget the launch of our new website and new Communications campaign just last month? 2013 truly was a year of change for everyone at HEC Paris MBA.

Moving onto the social side of things, there were many events organized throughout the year for our students to enjoy, building friendships whilst putting their leadership and teamwork skills into practice. The last month alone has seen the Talent Show and the Indian Cultural Week both come into being; two events that have really set the tone for what looks to be a brilliant 2014.

Last but not least, it simply wouldn’t have been a year at HEC Paris MBA without the graduation of our old friends and the arrival of some new ones. Indeed, in 2013 we bid a fond farewell to the class of 2013 – who we wish good luck in all their future endeavors! -  and a cheery hello to the September 2013 intake, who already look set to be the MBA superstars of tomorrow. We hope you have enjoyed your first few months at HEC Paris and are looking forward to next year as much as we are!

Happy New Year, everyone!

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23 December 2013

Picking up on our Meet the MBA Team series, next in the hot seat is Michael Scott, Development Manager at HEC Paris for Europe and Latin America. Perhaps one of the more glamorous-sounding jobs in the team, Development Managers are your first point of contact with HEC Paris MBA, responsible for meeting our prospective candidates at MBA fairs around the world or through Virtual Information Sessions online. They are here to answer your questions and advise you on the next step whilst promoting our program all over the globe.

Michael first came to HEC Paris MBA in 2010, when he spent a year working in Admissions before becoming a Development Manager. This cross-departmental experience means that Michael knows our Admissions Process inside out, and is able to give our potential candidates the best possible advice.

Before coming to HEC Paris, Michael was already working in the Higher Education Sector, running business English seminars and international exchange programmes. But coming to HEC Paris still marked a complete departure for him. “Representing HEC is extremely exciting. We are the Alma Mater of CEOs in Europe and our network of alumni is extremely strong. I work in a highly networked position, supporting the work of colleagues across all the MBA departments by promoting HEC MBA internationally. I connect with and attract potential applicants from all over the world every single day.”

Indeed, it is the human aspect of Michael’s job that really motivates him day-to-day, as he meets and interviews highly talented individuals around the world, answering their questions and giving them vital pre-application support. Diversity is a key value at the heart of our program, and Michael’s position within the MBA team allows him to meet people from many different backgrounds, something which he certainly doesn’t take for granted; “International mobility is something I really value in my job. The whole world is here on campus. We have many different nationalities in the classroom: 85% international students. We go really far afield to ensure that the MBA is as diverse as possible.”

Michael in Argentina, as he works to attract and inform high-potential MBA candidates across the world

Considering his expertise and his close work with our Admissions Team, it would be rude to talk to Michael and not ask him for some advice for those considering an MBA at HEC. “I get asked this a lot! There are definitely regional trends and differences between the candidates I am meeting in different countries but in general the same advice applies to everyone. At HEC Paris, we value quality over quantity so you should apply when are in a position to submit the strongest, most competitive application possible; don’t rush anything simply to make the first round. Take your time and do the homework. Try to really express why you are going for an MBA and why HEC is your first choice of school.”

So, what’s next for Michael in his Development quest? “Over the coming months I’ll be going back to many countries I’ve visited previously, from which we have many excellent participants. I am also visiting some countries for the first time like Georgia and Bulgaria. That’s really exciting and I know already that we have great candidates waiting to meet us there.”

Thanks, Michael! Keep up the good work!

Michael’s upcoming events for January/February 2014:

  • 25th January – Paris, France
  • 27th January – Brussels, Belgium
  • 29th-31st January – London, UK
  • 3rd February – Madrid, Spain
  • 8th February – HEC Paris MBA Open Day
  • 11th February – Mexico
  • 13th February – Bogota, Colombia
  • 15th February – Kiev, Ukraine
  • 15th February – Lima, Peru
  • 17th February – Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • 18th February – Rio, Brazil
  • 21st February – Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • 22nd February – Moscow, Russia
  • 24th February – Santiago, Chile

To see our global Developmental Calendar, please click here

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16 December 2013

They are a talented lot, our MBA students. Not only do they have some of the sharpest business minds out there, approaching and tackling complex business cases without breaking a sweat, but they also count accomplished singers, dancers, artists and musicians amongst themselves. Not bad.

Now, we would be lying if we said that we took these talents into consideration when judging an MBA application – not once has a candidate been asked to don a Sumo Suit and wrestle during an interview, nor have they ever had to perform a complex dance mat routine whilst the Admissions Jury looks on holding clipboards – but that is not to say that their talents and accomplishments go unnoticed. Indeed, the MBA Talent Show, held every year in December as a grand send-off for the graduating class, is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the MBA calendar, and this year was no exception.

L-R: Erwann Germain and les cruisers, Arthur Hennes

It opened with a classically understated dance number – think spandex, bright colors and novelty sunglasses –  and from there the energy only increased. Talents on display ranged from the traditional – Indian Bollywood-inspired dance routines, Spanish guitar solos and a beautiful vocal performance – to the completely off-the-wall-how-did-they-think-of-that routines, such as a dance mat performance that took me longer to watch than it took the student to do it, a staged wrestling match between a sumo and a lightweight, and a live art performance that had the crowd holding their breath for the final result.

L-R: Claudia Lazo Visbal, Promiti Prosun, Victor Garibay, Elena Plaksenkova, Michael Hizmi

And live performances were not all that were on offer; one of the highlights of the evening would have to be the newly-released trailer for the upcoming blockbuster release: “HEC MBA: The Final Term,” coming soon to a theater near you, starring our students and teachers in a joint-collaboration to rival even the greatest of Hollywood partnerships. It was high adrenaline, high octane stuff with bombs, gun battles and explosions left right and center. Without wanting to give too much away, let’s just say that Jouy-en-Josas looks set to rival Cannes as the film capital of France, and with Oscars season looming in the distance it would hardly be surprising if there are a few familiar faces on the red carpet next year.

The Talent Show as a whole served as testament to the strength of the friendships that are built through the MBA experience: each performance was met with whooping applause and the final act, a fitting karaoke rendition of We are the Champions, was a powerful – albeit slightly out-of-tune – tribute to the HEC Paris MBA community.

L-R: Impreet Natt, Quartet (Apeksha Deval, Nikita Khandelwal, Pritam Ghoshal, Srinivas Kishore), Apeksha Deval

The evening was rounded off with the presentation of the Leadership Awards, marking the outstanding contributions of the graduating class. The chosen winners, elected by their classmates, were presented with their awards by Bernard Garrette, the Associate Dean of HEC Paris, as they took to the stage to thank their classmates for a truly amazing and life-changing 16 months.

Of course, an event on this scale doesn’t just happen overnight. The evening – and indeed, this very blog post –  would have been nothing without the tireless work of the September 2013 intake, solely responsible for the organization and execution of such a grand-scale event; you truly provided a fitting send-off for such a brilliant class. Special thanks to Arthur Hennes, the mastermind and our compere for the evening, as well as all of the performers, hosts and backstage crew for their efforts!

Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to say another big thank you and congratulations to our graduating class; we hope that you have enjoyed your MBA experience as much as we have enjoyed sharing it with you. Good luck for your future and please stay in touch as you make the move from MBA students to part of our Alumni network: participation is mandatory.

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10 December 2013

For this week’s blog post, we are delighted to welcome a special contribution to our blog, straight from the heart of the Organizing Committee for the recent Indian Cultural Week. Cultural weeks are a real highlight of our MBA calendar, as they allow both students and staff to get a real feel for another culture and make friends from all around the world, all whilst having fun and eating delicious food! Take it away!

A splash of color, a flash of light, a sprinkle of glitter and a pinch of ‘wow’: HEC Paris’ Indian Cultural Week 2013 had it all.

Organized by the Indian community at HEC Paris MBA, together with Student Services, the two‐day festival was an unparalleled success.

The event kicked off on 27th November with a screening of the Bollywood hit 3 Idiots. 3 Idiots is one of the most Indian films ever, focussing on the strengths and weaknesses of the Indian education system; something that many of us have experienced. It was so heartening to see so many non‐Indians in the audience, enjoying the movie and the selection of tasty Indian snacks – including crowd-favourites such as Samosas and Pakoras - that were served during the interval.

The next day was the grand event, and saw many cultural performances by the students of the September 2013 intake, performing for a star-studded audience made up of the Associate Dean of HEC Paris Bernard Garrette, members of the administration and faculty members, as well as students from all levels of the HEC Paris community.

The evening began with a mesmerizing Kathak performance by Apeksha Deval, followed by a spellbinding rendition of Bollywood and Bengali songs by Promiti Prosun.

Together, these two performances had the entire audience hooked and ready for the celebrations ahead. The Indian Cultural Week Fashion Show is always a highlight, and this year it was made even more special as the majority participants were non‐Indian, and the show itself was a kaleidoscope of color and razzmatazz. The participants greatly enjoyed themselves, getting dressed up and learning how to tie a traditional sari whilst also learning how to work the catwalk.

The evening ended with a sumptuous Indian dinner in the MBA building and an all‐night party playing popular Bollywood dance numbers.

The curtains may have fallen on Indian Cultural Week 2013, but those present will cherish the memories forever!

Photos courtesy of Jijo Varkey John

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