Archive for ‘Class of 2014’

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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06 May 2013

Gayathri SHANKARANARAYANAN (MBA 2014)  shares with us her experience as a member of the Consulting Club at HEC Paris MBA, and writes about one of their recent Speaker Series held on campus.


An evening which saw budding Consultants at HEC  Paris come together to interact with the Managing Director at Accenture, Paris

The HEC Consulting Club launched the CONSULTING INSIDE-OUT Speaker Series on 22nd February 2013. The first of this series was marked with a speaker session by Mr.Nicolas Monsarrat, Managing Director at Accenture Paris.

Mr.Monsarrat has 21 years of experience in Management Consulting at Accenture, and specializes in the Public Service, Government, Media & Entertainment & Communications Sector. An engineer by education, he joined Accenture in 1992 in an Analyst’s role, and has constantly been climbing up the professional ladder to now become the Managing Director at Accenture.

With his vast experience, he gave us an insight into the management consulting culture as well as the Vertical & Horizontal organization Structure of the Consulting team at Accenture.  He also gave us vivid examples of two of his past projects in the French Public Sector& Telecommunications Sector, giving us a clear idea about the ‘start-to-end’ phase of a Consulting project at Accenture.

The team that made it possible

Mr.Monsarrat answered several questions from a crowd thirsty for more knowledge about pursuing consulting as a career. He also provided tips for career switchers as well as geographically transcending into the Consulting sector. The presentation ended with a bang when he showed us a video about NYC 311 – Accenture’s Public Service Call Solution, which has revolutionized the working of the New York City government in answering the queries of New Yorkers. (more…)

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22 April 2013

“You don’t lead by hitting people over the head-that’s assault, not leadership.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Our MBA students take to the field at the foremost military academy in France to put some practical leadership skills to the test.

April 8th-12th saw our Full-time and Part-time MBA students embark on our annual off campus leadership seminar, at the St Cyr military training academy in Brittany.  The idea was to see how leadership and teamwork using military training exercises could connect skills and competences between military and business success.  The results we saw and experienced came through courage, trust, commitment, motivation, decisiveness, self-knowledge, team work and responsibility of the students, tomorrow’s business leaders.

Now in its 5th year, the seminar plays a vital role in our curriculum. Led by French military leaders, the seminar is aimed to instill sound leadership abilities, and to equip our MBA class with the experience necessary to cement pre-acquired knowledge and strategic thinking.

Upon arrival at the site for the seminar, Ecole Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, students were kitted out and organized into small teams of ten, with whom they would live and work together to overcome challenges.  Teams were composed of a mixture of January 2013 and September 2012 MBA intakes; all from a multitude of nationalities, professional backgrounds, all mentored by one member of the French military.   What made the seminar more interesting was that some of the MBA students where actually coming from military professions in their respective countries. Our September 2012 intake welcomed four Full-time army officers this year, who played a vital role in the seminar, as mentors of four teams: Tugdual Barbarin, Charles-Emmanuel Daviet, Benoit Olié and Hervé Fernando. These four MBA participants, together, share around 50 years of military experience, and did an excellent job supporting their fellow classmates through atypical situations. (more…)

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10 April 2013

Students of HEC Paris MBA celebrated their 10th year organizing the Sustainable Business Conference (SBC) on March 22nd 2013; in conjunction with their fellow students from the MSc. in Sustainable Development.

The focus of this year’s conference was “From the Green Line to the Bottom Line: Creating Company Value through Sustainability”.

Prominent worldwide figures in corporate, food, environmental and business sustainability, gathered to present and debate topics relating to sustainable development, green culture and business models.

For the first time in a decade, the event was transported from its traditional home on the HEC Campus to the newly renovated Les Docks de Paris where the event was split into 3 locals.  This event showcased the level of professionalism and commitment of our students in showing dynamic leadership skills need to organize such a massive and influential event.

Speakers and panelists included Robert G. Eccles of Harvard Business School, Ioannis Ioannou of London Business School, John Elkington of SustainAbility, Bruno Bensasson of GDF Suez, Maximilien Rouer of BeCitizen,  Virginie Helias of P&G, Ariane Thomas of L’Oreal, Rodolphe Durand and Bernard Garrette of HEC Paris and Bernard Ramanantsoa, Dean of HEC Paris.

Many interesting key points were discussed during the conference – one challenging point in particular, that had the audience’s full attention, came from one of the closing keynotes given by London Business School Professor Ioannis Ioannou who stated that there is far more “green washing”; a lot of talk about sustainability, rather  than companies actually doing it in a strategic way thats not focused on creating another marketing lever to push products and services. Even though there is now new research that shows that “Sustainable organizations outperform in the long term!”

We were very pleased by the large crowd turnout  and media support and look forward to next year’s SBC to be bigger and better where perhaps more corporations will  have made some advances that don’t seem to focus on sustainability as a trend but as an important means to preserve the environment.

See you next year!

Here are some photos from the event:


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05 April 2013


Name: Charles-Emmanuel Daviet

Nationality: French

Intake: September 2012 Full-Time

In his literary work “Persian Letters”, written in 1721, the French social commentator and political thinker Montesquieu recounts experiences of two Persian noblemen travelling through France. During their trip, they comment on various aspects of an environment completely different from the one to which they are used. I enjoy a similar experience: Cavalry officer in the French Army, I have left aside temporarily my uniform to attend the HEC MBA program and will go back to the armed forces at the end.

Why this choice? I decided to apply for an MBA program firstly because I felt I lacked the skills and know-how to be effective in my future appointments. As I progress in my career, I will be offered increased managerial responsibilities in very various branches of the armed forces.  It will require skills that support my understanding of the global working of the military system, such as finance, management, communication, or marketing. I am convinced that most of the things I’m learning here at HEC are transferable to my future jobs.

I also felt that learning to know better how civilian economic leaders think and work could be of huge interest for me. Military means, although essential, are not enough on their own to meet the complex challenges to crisis management, which often implies stabilization and reconstruction in an international environment. I believe that in my future appointments I will need to work closely with various civilian partners on the ground, and the MBA program is a unique opportunity to understand the mind-set and way of working of future top-level managers from many countries.

Finally, I felt I lacked the economic culture I deem necessary in order to serve my country at best. George Washington said, “When we assumed the Soldier, we did not lay aside the Citizen”. For me it means that military leaders of a democratic country must have a deep understanding not only of evolving security threats, but also of societal, technological and economical changes. It requires from them an increasing degree of adaptability. Attending an MBA program is a way of acquiring this.

MBA Presentation

Why HEC? In France, when you think about business schools, there is one name and only one: HEC. The reputation of the school is superb. This is why I decided to apply. General de Gaulle used to say that you should always aim for the top, because it is less crowded there. It is a demanding and developing motto.

Diversity at HEC is incredible. Not only do the students reinforce the international awareness required to communicate fluently with businesses worldwide, but also HEC provides an incomparable list of useful contacts. I receive and I learn a lot from other participants and I feel indebted towards them. So sometimes I ask myself what I can bring to them.

With fellow classmates at the Sustainable Business Conference Cocktail

First, I try to share my vision of the importance of national factors in economy and of the role of the State. I have been a public servant for the last 15 years and I am a great believer in the positive role of the State. I do think that in a world of highly mobile capital, states are still vital to the social and economic well-being of their citizens, not even to mention their physical security. Obviously the way states promote wealth creation and social protection in an era of economic interdependence is changing, but it will not disappear. Moreover, national factors still have a he impact on economics. Sometimes we tend to think that economics are a science like chemistry or physics: raise taxes and achieve result X, cut budgets and achieve result Y. In doing this, we forget about national history, national culture, and perhaps national psychology: in two different countries, perception of the same economic policy can vary a great deal. By exchanging with people from so many different countries, the MBA program provides a unique opportunity to understand this.

Second, I try to share my vision of leadership. In the military, we have a specific understanding of leadership responsibility. We call it Command. It is the authority that a military leader exercises over subordinates. It includes leadership, authority, responsibility and accountability for effectively using resources to accomplish assigned missions where human lives can be at stake. Therefore command is very broad, it includes responsibility for almost everything about assigned personnel: unit readiness, health, welfare, morale, discipline, etc. The true commander is someone of character, presence and intellect. But he is nothing without good followers. In fact no one leads all the time. All of us are alternatively followers and leaders. Therefore it is often illuminating to consider the relationship between followership and leadership. Collective work during the MBA provides good opportunities to assume both roles and learn about their relationship.

Finally, I like to think that I can bring something to other participants about ethics. In combat or complex and dangerous situations, ethical choices are not always easy. Yet decisions have to be made quickly. This is why ethics are so important in the armed forces. Military leaders are expected do the right things for the right reasons all the time. Followers count on their leaders to be more than just technically and tactically proficient. They rely on them to make good decisions that are also ethical. To be an ethical leader requires more than knowing one organization’s values. Leaders must be able to apply them as well as ethical reasoning to find moral solutions to diverse problems. As emphasized by Winston Churchill, “The price of greatness is responsibility”.

After graduating, I will go back to my Regiment (1st Spahis Regiment) as chief of the operations office, in charge of planning and conducting the activities and the deployments of the entire regiment (800 soldiers). Becoming a contributor to the delicate intricacies involved in successfully planning and executing complex military operations on the ground is an exiting challenge. I look forward to it.

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05 March 2013

Wednesday 27th February 2013 saw our second annual Energy Day, in partnership with the Grande Ecole. We welcomed numerous worldwide energy companies to our campus including Alstom, Nomura, Gamesa and Schlumberger, who presented challenging and emotive topics. The day was organized by our MBA Energy Club, and involved over 90 students from across the HEC Paris Community.

Louis Sonnois of Alstom speaking at HEC Energy Day

The day included round table debates focused on Traditional vs. Renewable, discussions on the challenges faced by the oil industry and presentations centered on global trends in energy use.

Samuel Rocha (Class of 2014), of the Energy Club felt the 2nd HEC Energy Day was a great achievement and further proof that HEC Students can organize high profile events with international companies. To me the true success of this event would be for it to become a tradition and a link for the school with the Energy World. I hope to return to the HEC campus in 5 years and see the 7th edition of the HEC Energy Day.


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18 January 2013


Name: Yamini Naik

Age: 25

Nationality: Indian

Intake: September 2012 Full-Time

Club Involvement: Co-President of General Management & Leadership Club, Member of The Executive Committee on campus (TEC)

At the start of my MBA program at HEC, in one of the programs organized by the Career Management Center (CMC), we were asked to describe ourselves in 3 words. The words I chose were discovery, passion and fun and surprisingly these are the exact words I would choose to describe my HEC MBA experience!

Contrary to how I might appear on first sight, I’m a geek at heart!

I come from a software engineering background; having enjoyed my engineering studies, 5 years in the software industry as a developer, and 4 years as a software quality engineer.

As community service has always been important to me and just testing software was not service oriented enough, a couple friends and I started a social initiative that enabled students to participate in real life industry projects. This experience helped me realize the business skills I lacked and I started to feel that I wasn’t discovering enough as a software engineer.

And that’s when I made one of the best decisions of my life – to quit my job and do a MBA at HEC!

Travelling, meeting people from different cultures, discovering their stories, learning new languages and understanding new cultures have always been something I love!  As I was learning French for a year before I joined HEC, I knew I wanted to live and work in France to strengthen my command over the language. I also knew I wanted a school that focuses on diversity. And HEC Paris MBA was the best choice and I am not disappointed at all.

Where else can one find 33 nationalities in one room! In the last 5 months at HEC I have discovered so many new cultural traits, festivals, places and traditions! One of my good friends is a girl from Kazakhstan! The learning from the professionally and culturally diverse class has been the greatest value added for me.

At HEC we have cultural weeks organized by each cultural group: so far we have had the American, French, Indian and Japanese weeks and I enjoyed these events thoroughly. I’ve especially learnt so much about Japanese culture and the people and now I know for sure that I want to visit and live in Japan at some point in my life!

Recently we also had the HEC Talent Show which was great way to discover some of the talents of my classmates and also showcase my own talents as an Indian classical dancer.

<My performance at HEC Talent Show >

You’ll find that clubs at HEC are very active, helpful and great value adds to any MBA participant. Through clubs you can network with classmate with backgrounds in fields that might interest you, get in touch with alumni, do additional case cracking, meet and listen to great speakers, participate in business school competitions. There is something in store for everyone.

HEC Paris MBA Student Profile Photo

<CEO Speaker Series Event with GML Club>

The MBA at HEC has also been one of self discovery. Though I am still exploring different career options, I’ve narrowed down my list and now know that I’m best suited for business development or corporate strategy roles.

See more photos and read more about my MBA journey after the jump… (more…)

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20 December 2012

David ZHU Profile Photo HEC Mba Paris Student


Name: David Hsu

Age: 27

Nationality: American and Taiwanese

Intake: September 2012 Full-Time

Club Involvement: President of Luxury Club, VP Corporate Relations for Wines & Spirits Club, VP Communications for MBAT, PR & Digital Marketing Officer for MBA Council

Prior to starting my MBA at HEC Paris I was a Publicist and Social Media Consultant in New York City. I had lived in the “Concrete Jungle” for a little over four years before the big move to Paris. Having done PR and social media for hospitality and luxury brands I wanted to make the switch to business development and strategy for the same type of brands.

I was attracted to HEC Paris because of its strength in luxury and its proximity to Paris. The opportunity to study with Jean-Noël Kapferer and Vincent Bastien, authors of “The Luxury Strategy,” was too good an opportunity to turn down. The added bonus of being able to pursue the Luxury Strategies Certificate, where I would learn from practitioners in the field of luxury and gain hands-on experience working on a project for PPR Luxury Group, further reassured me that I was making the right decision when I ultimately chose HEC Paris over other U.S. based MBA programs.

Boarding my one-way ticket to Paris was nerve wrecking to say the least; but my experiences since I’ve been at HEC Paris have confirmed that this was the best decision I’ve ever made. Even before arriving on campus my HEC Paris experience began; during the application process I realized how helpful the current students and more importantly the alumni are. One alumnus in particular advised me throughout my application process, gave me tips once I got admitted and has since welcomed me with open arms and introduced me to the “City of Light.” The alumni and classmates from the earlier intakes, with their enthusiasm and generosity have made the transition easier than I had expected.

HEC Paris MBA Student and Alumni 2013

Party with Alumni

Besides the alumni, the professors here are first class in their fields of expertise. For someone that is essentially allergic to Quant and had no interest in Finance before setting foot on campus, my Financial Markets professor, Ioanid Rosu, was able to not only teach me the subject but also pique my interest. This one class actually has me considering the Finance Track during my Personalized Phase of the program, those that know me understands how shocking this is.

Luxury Club Buddy Program Holiday Dinner

Luxury Club Holiday Dinner

Saving the best for last, my favorite aspect of a day at HEC Paris is when classes are finished and club activities and the social life commences. There is basically a club for every professional interest, but if there’s something that interests you but no club exists, the MBA Council is very welcoming in helping you create one. For instance, one of my classmates founded the Wines & Spirits club, and every month we have a tasting and a speaker that teaches us about wine and the industry. Clubs play a huge part in my life here and even before arriving on campus the president two terms ago was incredibly helpful in introducing me to the Luxury club. As a result, I was able to hit the ground running and immerse myself in the Luxury club immediately.

My Study group from the end of core termWhich brings me to the most surprising and beneficial aspect of the program in my opinion. The admissions committee has gathered an extraordinary and truly diverse student body. Over the summer, the number one thing on my mind was what would my future classmates be like? I now have friends from all corners of the world whom I can turn to when I need advice, help or simply to share a drink and unwind after a long day of classes and club activities. Whether it’s during study groups or at a party in the Piano Bar, I’ve learned more from my classmates and they’ve taught me more about myself than I thought was possible.

On-Campus Raclette Dinner in Expansiel

On- Campus Raclette Dinner in Expansiel

Although I’ve only been here for one term, the past four months have been spectacular and as corny as it sounds have truly changed me. Who I am now would not have been possible just eight short months ago, before I replied to that acceptance letter with a Yes.


If you would like to learn more about my MBA experiences at HEC Paris you can get a first hand view from my twitter: @Hsud. Feel free to reach out to me with any questions.

You can also follow HEC Paris MBA on Facebook
You can follow HEC Paris MBA on Twitter

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