Archive for September 2016

30 September 2016

On September 22, the HEC Romanian community organized this year’s first networking event with all three MBA intakes. In partnership with the Romanian Embassy, the cultural evening was held in the Hôtel de Béhague, one of Paris’ finest hôtel particuliers, and a property owned by the embassy. Built in the second half of XIXth century, the hôtel particulier is a work by Gabriel Destailleur, the architect famous for his recuperation of sculpted wooden elements put on the market by Haussman’s important transformation of Paris.

Romanian team

The night’s Romanian team included (from left to right):
Alina and Ioanid Rosu (professor of finance), professor Roxana Barbulescu and event organizers Amalia Bejinaru and Pierre Bortnowski

Combining the complex agendas of HEC Paris and the embassy meant that planning had to start four months in advance of the event! But the result was a success. Students tasted many Romanian culinary delights, watered with fine Feteasca cépage. The beautiful architecture of the building and Romania’s famous Tuica plum brandy were the final touch to this happy gathering.

foodtable It is always a pleasure when you can share with your colleagues a little bit of what makes your country so special. We really hope to have inspired some of them to come and visit us back home and, who knows, we might have set a benchmark in cultural-day organization for the next batch!

Many thanks to the French Connection Club for their help during the event; it’s another example of the friendship that has existed for many centuries between the two countries.

Text by Pierre Bortnowski and Amalia Bejinaru


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22 September 2016

Two weeks after setting foot on HEC’s campus for the first time, the MBA September ’16 intake (Class of 2018) embarked on “Integration Weekend,” which consisted of a glamping trip to Dune du Pilat and Bordeaux.

bus with Christine


Starting from Montparnasse, spirits were high the entire train ride, with lots of food, drink, and an impromptu salsa party. After an additional hour by bus, we reached the camp site around midnight, and immediately got cosy in our cabins (another interesting French cultural experience – how many people are supposed to fit into a tiny cabin?!) – some in their beds, some on the porch to continue socializing.

The next day started with a brunch, followed by a game of Capture the Flag. As it turned out, playing CTF with a bunch of MBA students wasn’t an easy feat – strategy AND team-work strength meant that both sides successfully defended their flag for a very long time.

beachleap at dune de Pilat

The afternoon meant free time, so most of us decided to climb the dune to lie on the beach and go for a swim. Fortunately, the weather played along against all forecasts, so the sun was shining and the water wasn’t too cold. Others preferred the seaside bar with its selection of Bordeaux wines and splash-effects from actual ocean waves.


Inegration weekend, group on sand


Once the afternoon was over, and everyone had rid themselves of as much sand as possible (which was, by far, not enough – just how could there be so much sand?), we were off for dinner, followed by card games and – of course – a huge party, which featured, among other things, dancing in the pouring rain.


This of course made the next morning a less than pleasurable experience for most! Unfortunately, there was no time for lie-ins as we were off to the city of Bordeaux for some delicious food, canelés, sightseeing, and a multimedia scavenger hunt. As a result, the returning train ride was a far cry from the arriving one, with most of us sleeping soundly.



Our integration weekend was a wonderful way to get to know the co-students of our intake, and it was a welcome break after two weeks of intense introduction to the program. While most of us certainly struggled to get up in time for lectures on Monday morning, the weekend was definitely an experience not to be missed!

Text by Christine Weitbrecht, photos by Baskara Aditama



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12 September 2016

Reading 150-page documents, designing PowerPoint presentations and interviewing with coaches prepares students for consulting season

Fernando Martinelli, CEO of Prep Lounge

Fernando Martinelli, CEO of Prep Lounge

Forty-five MBA students ended their summer vacations early this year to attend Peak Week, a six-day event jointly organized by the Career Center and the Consulting Club. An intensive preparation for the upcoming consulting-recruitment season, the week featured case-cracking sessions and workshops designed to hone students’ interview skills.

Events kicked off with Fernando Martinelli, CEO of Prep Lounge. As someone who has interviewed more than 500 consulting-management candidates, Martinelli emphasized that “it’s not about knowing the solution, it’s showing how you can break down the question into logical steps.” He illustrated the different types of business cases and how to best structure them.

The next workshop featured Sébastien Ritter, a career coach and HEC Paris alumni with more than 4 years of experience in strategy consulting. He presented the 8 key competencies management-consulting firms look for during a fit interview.

Sébastien Ritter has been a career coach since 2012.

Sébastien Ritter has been a career coach since 2012.

On September 2, AlixPartners, a global business advisory firm, came to campus with one of their clients, Albéa. Participants were divided into groups to solve a real-life business case. After 2 hours of flipping through 150-pages worth of data, crunching numbers, group discussions, and PowerPoint design, students presented their recommendations to Albéa.

Peak Week, held this year from August 29 to September 2, 2016, also involved cracking businesses cases, mock case and fit interviews, and networking with HEC alumni.


Still smiling on the first day of Consulting Peak Week

Still smiling on the first day of Consulting Peak Week


Participants said:

“Peak week is an intensive training session: for five days you do 3 case cracking and fit-interview sessions in a row, each lasting two hours. This tests both your skills and stamina. It is exhaustive. But it’s like going to the gym; after you finish you feel lighter and the next exercise round becomes much easier. At the end, the improvement in my performance was clear.”

—Edmundo GARDOLINSKI, September ’15 intake

“The project with AlixPartners was beneficial in several ways. First, it allowed us to work with real data and lots of ithow I’d imagine a real case would be. During this ‘competition’ we weren’t guided as we are when we crack cases, so we had to really filter and focus in on certain data. Second, we received mentorship from real consultants, to understand how they think. Finally, having the actual clients there allowed us to see if our recommendations were practical and showed us that AlixPartners truly does work closely with their clients.”

—Dustin YEE, September ’15 intake

“I found the one-on-one session with Fernando to be very fruitful. He detailed my weaknesses and my strengths. I walked out with very clear idea of what I need to work on in the next few weeks.”                                

—John SHIJA, January ’16 intake


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