The HEC Paris MBA Part-Time option is unique in the way that it allows participants to earn their MBA, whilst still actively pursuing their professional careers. Here, we chat with Lauranne Bardin, one of the HEC Paris MBA Development Managers about aspects of the program.
What are the advantages of the part-time MBA?
First of all, what’s important to know is that at the end of the part-time program, you end up having the exact same qualifications as the full-time MBA. The students who are doing a part-time MBA have the chance to keep their current jobs and they’re able to get financial security by continuing working. What’s also really important is that they can apply what they learn during the week to their current positions, and bring something new to the company at the same time. Compared with full-time MBA, I would say that the experience of doing a part-time MBA is different due to the part-time format of one week per month, where the students spend a full week on campus. It’s a very unique format because the students are still very integrated into the MBA community, and they can benefit from all the extra-curricular activities, such as those organised by the student clubs and the Career Management Centre (CMC). For the one week that they’re on campus each month, part-time students need to be completely free, which is why it is important that they negotiate with their employer, so that they’ll be able to focus completely on their courses during the week.
Yes- as part of our recruitment strategy, we know that doing a part-time program needs even more preparation than a full-time one, especially with negotiation as it’s not that easy. We know that it can be tricky and we have a lot of candidates who have very big challenges with negotiation. So, what we’ve done over the past two years and what we’re going to keep on doing is that we’re working with one of our faculty members, Philippe Gaud. He was the HR Director at Apple Europe for over 10 years, and then he joined HEC Paris. He was the Executive Director of the MBA program, then he also took part in the creation of this part-time format and he’s currently teaching within the MBA program. Once a month, he teaches a 2-hour workshop in Paris, where a group of 6-8 potential candidates are given advice on how to start negotiating with their employers, and all of them are given the opportunity to present their main challenges. Another challenge that we’ve noticed amongst potential part-time applicants is the preparation for the GMAT. Due to this, we also work with preparation centres, who give presentations to the potential applicants about opportunities to take GMAT classes.
Does the recruitment process for the part-time differ in any way from the process for the full-time?
In terms of recruitment, the admissions process is completely the same and we have the same requirements and rolling process of admissions etc. We do a lot of specific events that are geared towards the part-time such as the negotiation sessions, campus visits when the current part-time candidates are there on campus, so that they can be put in touch with and pose questions to students who have gone through exactly what they’re going through. Our dedicated staff is constantly available to guide students through the application process. We usually have the academic calendar for the part-time program well in advance, so that students can show their employers the schedule and plan ahead, and this helps with negotiating and letting the students take the needed weeks off work.