Archive for ‘Class of 2015’

15 April 2014

“In 20 years’ time, this will be the part of your MBA that you will still be talking about”

– Professor Kevyn Yong, Saint-Cyr Leadership Seminar

If you asked any of our soon-to-be graduating class of 2014 for their 3 most cherished MBA memories, you can almost guarantee that they would mention the leadership seminar at St Cyr. Every year, our entire MBA cohort (that is to say, the September, January and Part-time intakes) eagerly pile onto buses towards the elite Saint-Cyr Military Academy in Brittany, ready for 2 days of field-based team exercises to test their leadership abilities.

But while the word “seminar” may usually bring classrooms, clipboards and complicated theories to mind, it’s safe to say that this isn’t your standard lesson in leadership. Epitomizing the “learning by doing” philosophy that is at the very heart of the MBA program at HEC Paris, Saint-Cyr is a great opportunity for our students to work with and adapt their leadership style to their peers, receiving constructive feedback on their leadership from both fellow students and military leaders alike. Students are divided into ‘teams,’ supervised by a military mentor and they are each required to lead at least one field exercise.

The exercises themselves are as varied as they are exhausting; the first day consists of team-based exercises towards a common goal – rafts were built (and consequently sunk), bridges were built and planks of wood were used as walkways over imaginary swamps, acid pools and shark-infested waters. Not only did these exercises work to test leadership, but also the skills of delegation, foresight and preparation in working towards a set goal. While maybe not as physical as the other activities, the crisis center at the end of the day proved to be a mentally exhausting and incredibly rewarding exercise, as students were put under pressure as they had to cope and adapt to a set of scenarios with strict deadlines and ever-complicating constraints.

The second day, at the beautiful Fort de Penthièvre, sought to test our students’ ability to push themselves and continue in demanding – and sometimes frightening – circumstances. With zip lines, tightropes and climbing ropes, this day was no less team-based than the previous as the groups had to work together to encourage and calm their teammates as they scaled walls and walked across walkways 20-feet above the sea. The strong bonds between participants became abundantly clear, with some displays of teamwork and courage even bringing the staff close to tears!

Feats of determination aside, perhaps the most notable thing about the seminar was the clear change in our students over the course of only two days. While at first there was perhaps a tendency for the leader to rush in and immediately begin to call the shots in an attempt to assert their authority, later exercises saw the students take a step back and contemplate what they had to get done before doing it, leading to a marked increase in efficiency and confidence.

So, do we have some newborn leaders among our ranks, the future titans of business? Oh, definitely; there are no two ways about it. Providing the perfect chance to learn by doing in picturesque surroundings with expert support and peer encouragement, Saint-Cyr is a once in a lifetime experience. Not surprising it comes top of many of our students’ lists, then.

“It’s the confidence. If I can do all this when I am frightened, I feel like I can do anything. It’s like, what was I so afraid of?”

– Srinivas Kishore, Class of 2015

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15 January 2014

January is traditionally the month of change. With Christmas over and the New Year underway, many of us find ourselves vowing that this will be the year we finally fulfill the resolutions that we have been so determinedly making for the last few years. But for many of our MBA students, January change affects not just their personal life, but even goes as far as their career, as they enroll at HEC Paris MBA and begin their professional transformation, whether they are part of the Full-time or Part-time intake.

The welcome weeks at HEC Paris MBA have been designed to make settling into HEC Paris life for our students as easy as possible, and the recent arrivals of the January 2014 intake were no exception.

Still fresh from their arrival, our MBA students completed their check-in with our team members, stepping onto the campus for the first time as students. Their first morning on campus was full of welcome presentations and ice-breaking activities, and by lunchtime the new arrivals were already starting to settle into their new lives as HEC Paris MBA Students.


The welcome week just wouldn’t be complete without a good team lunch. The buffet lunch, held in the magnificent Hall d’Honneur, provided the students with the opportunity to mix and mingle with members of the MBA Staff. With conversations ranging from Business School rankings to knitting, this was an opportunity for students to meet some friendly faces and learn their points of contact if they ever need help with a problem during their time on campus, all whilst satisfying their thirst for knowledge with bread and du bon vin.


Yet more presentations followed over the next two days – from the MBA Council and MBA Clubs, the Academics and the Careers Management Center (CMC), as well as a quick insight into our Rules and Policies – and by Tuesday lunchtime, our students were well-versed in the HEC Paris MBA culture, eager to throw themselves into the MBA experience.

And throw themselves they did. Our well-reputed ‘Act Your Success’ workshops got under way on the Wednesday, a three-day series of workshops designed to focus on and strengthen our students’ writing, presentation and improvisation skills. This was a great opportunity for the students to work on the fundamental skills needed in any comprehensive job search and allowed them to form bonds with their fellow students as they worked together in small groups to present their ideas to the group.

With all these workshops and presentations, it’s amazing that our students had the energy to stand at the end of the day, but they did and more! Thursday saw the return of the infamous “pbar” party, held in the Piano Bar in the Expansiel building. The evening, by all accounts, was a great success, with some students even lamenting that once a week just wasn’t enough!

We love your enthusiasm guys, keep it up and welcome to the program!

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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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02 September 2013
Summer is over and the new academic year has begun! September is a busy month for us here at HEC, both on and off campus; we have a new batch of students arriving and a wide range of access events organised around the world. Here are the highlights for the coming month and some dates for your diary.
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Orientation Week

- Beginning the 4/5th September and continuing throughout the week of the 9th

  • From helping new students arrive and get to grips with their new surroundings to welcoming back old faces, we have a full programme of events running throughout the week.

Career Day

- 26th September

  • For our 5th annual HEC MBA Career Day, we welcome twenty prospective employers from around the world to the HEC campus. With presentations, Q & A sessions and a chance to make some industry contacts, our Career Day is a unique opportunity and is certainly one of the highlights of the academic year.

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Want to Learn more?

Worldwide events:

  • Members of our Admissions Development Team will be giving talks around the world this month. Highlights include:
  • 5-7th September: Lima
  • 5th September: Beijing
  • 7th September: Shanghai
  • 11th September: Santiago
  • 14th September: Sao Paulo
  • 15th September: New York
  • 27th September: Moscow
  • 30th September: Brussels
    • For a full list of HEC events around the world and further details, see here.

    Paris events:

    • On the 28th September, there will be an Access MBA event in Paris at Le Meridan Etoile, 75017 Paris, 9am-4pm

    Online Chat Sessions

    • If you want to learn more about the HEC MBA programme and you cannot make it to any of the worldwide events detailed above, you can sign up here for one of our virtual chat sessions.
      • 18th September: Virtual Information Session for South-East Asian Pacific candidates
      • 24th September: Virtual Information Session for women candidates

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    And finally, we’d like to extend a warm welcome to all of our new students, the class of 2015!

    In order to be kept up to date with HEC events and news, you can follow us on Twitter here, or “Like” us on Facebook here

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    28 March 2013

    If you’re thinking about getting a Part-Time MBA, we know that it’s probably no easy decision for you. You weigh the pros and cons of choosing to keep your full time job while seeking to better your professional future with a new MBA. Location, length of program, intensity, class diversity, alumni network are but some of the factors that play into making your final decision.

    Often times you wish you could just have a direct contact with an MBA student already immersed in the program at one of the schools you’re researching, right?

    Brian Gardner, a Part-Time here at HEC Paris MBA recently wrote about his experiences in The Economist and tells it exactly like it is for him and could possibly be for you.

    Brain talks about the

    “well thought out curriculum” and that “after full days of classes, the evenings were filled with extra curricular and club-sponsored events…For example, the chief executive of Conde Nast France, an HEC MBA alumnus, shared his insights on communication, strategy and leadership before taking student questions.”

    part time hec paris mba

    Dean Bernard lectures an MBA Part-Time class

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