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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