Archive for February 2017

22 February 2017

timemanagement

There is no doubt that an MBA is an incredibly time-consuming, challenging experience. The course load, homework, job searches, recruitment and extracurricular activities can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. In the end it is all worth it, but navigating your way through the process can seem a little tough at times.

That’s where time management skills come in.

I’ve always been known for taking on every project and activity possible. Currently I’m juggling many activities – I’m on the executive committee of both the annual MBA Tournament (MBAT) and the Luxury Club, trying to maintain a healthy GPA, traveling several times a month, keeping an active social calendar including hosting dinner parties and events for 20-50 people at a time, and moonlighting as a chef for Our Kitchen. Put this against the backdrop of the MBA and all the work that the academics and job-search process entails, and it makes for a very busy schedule indeed!

Often people ask me how I’m able to manage so many things and still show up to classes (most of the time). For me, it’s all about task management and planning ahead.

Here are two of my best organizational tips:

Find a Productivity Tool

Before there were such things as smartphones and apps, I used to rely – heavily – on Post-it Notes. Today, I rely on time-management applications. While virtual post-it notes are fine, I now use Google Keep which allows me to keep track of almost everything in life. It contains my to-do lists, grocery shopping lists, notes and project deadlines. I even get email notifications when deadlines are coming up.

Maria Martyak was one of the participants in the MBA's Champagne Trek.

Maria Martyak participated in the HEC Paris MBA’s Champagne Trek last fall.

Another trick of the trade is the Gmail plug-in Boomerang for Gmail – it has been a life-saver! I start and end each day planning and writing and emails. I also schedule the send time for my emails – this allows me to get through a large volume of emails, knowing they will be sent at the appropriate time for each recipient. This is especially useful for sending job applications that span different time zones, ensuring that I apply during working hours.

Achieve Balance

Being able to handle a large workload with many different projects isn’t for everyone. It’s important to find your balance and stick to it. One way I’m able to handle all these different subjects is by allowing myself downtime when I know I need it.

Take time to plan your vacation time, enjoy alone time and make sure to schedule time with friends. Often I travel on weekends, which allows me to disconnect and relax.

At the HEC Paris MBA, we are very lucky to be in such close proximity to amazing cities and countries. Exploring new places is always fascinating. These adventures have allowed me to learn about history, architecture, people, cultures and foods across a variety of countries.

Successfully juggling your MBA workload – or any workload – can be daunting, but it’s all about the balance. One of the best skills we gain from the MBA isn’t found in our core textbooks. It’s how to properly prioritize and efficiently manage our time while still maintaining that sense of balance.

Written by Maria Elena Martyak 

Mariabio

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13 February 2017

Chinese students from the HEC Paris MBA and HEC Paris recently hosted a series of events designed to introduce the entire campus community to different aspects of their culture. To kick off Chinese Cultural Week, the students celebrated the Year of the Rooster with a Temple Fair which offered activities ranging from tea-drinking and fortune telling to trying on traditional clothes and learning traditional games. The next evening at the Lantern Festival, participants shared an authentic Chinese dinner, followed by a show both organized and performed by members of the student body. From traditional and modern dances to a fashion show and music recitals, they displayed their artistic talents and united the HEC community in a fantastic celebration of culture.

The following videos offer a sampling of the week’s events. The first one features MBA students Dengke Li, Vincy Zhang and Leslie Zhu, who were among Chinese Cultural Week’s main organizers. The second includes excerpts of some of the evening performances.

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10 February 2017
Daria Jacob, Class of 2017

Daria Jacob, Class of 2017

Even though inventing a new vaccine technology might seem like the ultimate in scientific research, it left Daria Jacob unfulfilled. “I see so many researchers who have fun only doing lab work, but that’s not me,” the Russian MBA candidate explains. “I really missed communicating with people.”

It was in the middle of her post-doctorate research at Paris’ famed Institut Pasteur that Daria first sampled the business side of biomedicine. “I was leading experimental research on my vaccine project and, at the same time, trying to find funding and negotiate with investors,” she says. “That was my first experience outside of research. I realized that I am more driven by business tasks within the pharmaceutical industry. I wanted to switch to the industry side, and that led me to discover HEC.”

We asked Daria about her personal strategies for making a career pivot as a scientist, and how she’s been able to leverage the HEC Paris MBA as part of her journey.

For someone who is looking for a similar career switch, what’s your advice?

I know quite a few researchers who have transferred from pure scientific research to lab management or other business-side jobs. It’s just a question of whether to do it through an MBA. I was really interested in corporate management and strategy, and an MBA is indispensable to reach the corporate level.

Is that an easy career transition to make with an MBA?

I knew that I needed to do a fieldwork project to have some hands-on experience solving business problems.

Describe your fieldwork project.

I worked for Tecan, a highly technical company that makes automated laboratory robots. I did a 12-week project to help them understand and potentially expand into a new market. The market is very niche, very specific, and divided into very different potential applications of Tecan’s technology.

I had to perform a very complex analysis and make strategic recommendations about the best way to enter the market. I did 55 interviews with customers and specialists in the field to get different points of view and different pieces of data. That information helped me to formulate my conclusions and advise the company on which direction to go.

At the end of the project, I had to pull all my research together into a business-oriented PowerPoint presentation, something that I’d never done before in my life. I presented it to Tecan’s corporate development team, which includes the company’s CEO, CFO and the vice presidents of different departments. It was really important for them to get into the details of what I analyzed, so we ended up discussing every one of my slides for at least five minutes. It was a very interesting and dynamic interaction.

Did the MBA’s Fundamental Phase help prepare you for the fieldwork project?

The amazing thing is that everything that I learned during the core classes was applicable to my fieldwork project. Unlike many students, I don’t have a background in business. For me, most of the classes were rather new, but they were taught so deeply and efficiently that I started the fieldwork project with the feeling, ‘I do know how to do this’.

Has the MBA benefitted you in other ways?

Without the HEC Paris MBA, I would’ve never met so many people from different industries and backgrounds. People usually come to the MBA not just with a single background, and their future is not a straight line, either. We serve as examples of what the opportunities are, and what you can potentially do. What’s next for your career? I received a job offer from Tecan, which I accepted. Before the MBA, my job title was post-doctorate researcher. When I start full-time with the company in April, my title will be associate for corporate development. It’ll be a completely different job for me, in exactly the direction that I want to go.

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