11 December 2015

What is it like to be a student at HEC Paris MBA? Student Voices is a student contributed section where current and past students share their first-hand experiences of life on campus and beyond.


Priyanka MATHEW, Class of 2017

“I’m ecstatic to be the MBA Luxury Club president here at HEC Paris. This school attracts top-tier luxury companies, and we’re fortunate to be able to organize really interesting cultural and networking events in partnership with outstanding brands such as Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Dior, Cartier, Chloe, L’Oreal and more.

Luxury is a fascinating industry that stands apart from others as it defies most rules of traditional marketing. The mission of this club is to immerse our members into the world of luxury and expose them to exceptional brands in order to expand their knowledge as well as their network. The new council is already planning company visits in Paris, case competitions with Pluris and LVMH, networking dinners with executives from all facets of the industry, and treks in conjunction with other clubs.

Our first event, along with J15, was a “Digital & Luxe” themed night in Paris over wine and cheese with speakers from L’Oreal and Pluris. Alex Onish spoke to us about L’Oreal’s digitization strategy, and Oliver de Cointet told us about how he creates out-of-the-box campaigns for his luxury magazine to surprise and delight his readers and his partners.


Digital Marketing and Luxury Event

Digital Marketing and Luxury Event


The members of this year's luxury club

The members of this year’s luxury club

We had a lot of fun with this event, and I’m looking forward to many more great moments this year with the Luxury Club.”

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02 December 2015

Two MBA teams have recently found themselves on top of the podium in case competitions held in both London and Singapore.

Listen to the SoundCloud podcasts below:

NUS Cerebration Challenge 2015

HEC Paris MBA students present at the NUS Cerebration Case Competition

HEC Paris MBA students present at the NUS Cerebration Case Competition ©NUS


Financial Times Challenge 2015


HEC Paris MBA students at FT Challenge 2015 ©FT

- Article on the FT

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26 November 2015

Earlier this month, a few of our MBA students took part in a professional trek to Berlin. The trip began at Wayfair, a US based startup looking to expand in Europe, where they talked with managers about their global strategy and career opportunities.

MBA students visiting Wayfair

Next, the group went to Makers, a venture capital firm that invests in tech startups, where they had the opportunity to pitch their startup ideas to the founders and cofounders of Makers.

The students were then given feedback on their pitches and ideas on how to move forward. “Even though I didn’t pitch, I got really high-quality insights from the entrepreneur at Makers”, said Patricia Tohalino, MBA Class of 2017, “Their broad, 360, vision and suggestions for their projects presented helped me to be aware of the type of feedback I will expect in the future as well of the structure and approach that my future business idea will have to have in order to deliver a successful pitch in front of a VC or investor.”

Students pitching startup ideas to VC firm Makers ©Makers


Students pitching startup ideas to VC firm Makers ©Makers

“It was interesting to have the MBA students from HEC Paris pitching at MAKERS. They are future entrepreneurs that we would like to keep an eye on,” said Freidrich Neuman, the founder of Makers.

The trip then concluded with beers with alumni at Vagabund Brauerei. The trip was a success amongst the students that participated in it and Akash Narayanana from the MBA Class of 2017 described it as “a wonderful way for students to get introduced to the fascinating world of startups.”

Listen to what some other MBA students have to say about their experience on Soundcloud:

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23 October 2015

When you think about the traditional career path of an MBA graduate what comes to mind for many is a high-level position in a bank or consulting firm. However, in recent years there has been an active shift away from these traditional careers and into fields like technology and entrepreneurship.

One area that is gaining particular attention is the public sector. From NGOs and foundations to international organizations and think tanks, the public sector is becoming increasingly popular with graduates who have become interested in using their MBA expertise and skills towards social causes and progress.

Three recent graduates, Anne Reine Lapeyre (2011), Emily Groffman (2014) and Robert Johnson (2011) have all responded to the calling and are located in Haiti and beyond working on issues ranging from social enterprise development to global health.

Below, we ask each of them a series of questions about what they are doing now and how they see their post-MBA careers in the public sector.

MBAs in Haiti

Anne Reine Lapeyre and Robert Johnson pose with former U.S. President Bill Clinton

Anne Reine Lapeyre (2011) – Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership

Can you talk to us about the Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership and your current role?

President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation in 2002 with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. The Clinton Giustra Enterprise Partnership (“CGEP” previously known as the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative) was established by President Clinton and the Canadian philanthropist Frank Giustra in 2007. It is one of 11 initiatives of the Clinton Foundation and develops social enterprises in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia, and Africa.


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06 October 2015

On the 1st of October, under the framework of COP21, which is the sign of the institutional support from the French government, HEC Paris organized conferences, startup fairs, and workshops, in order to build and discuss business solutions to climate change. Climate is our business -HecParis2015


The aim of the conference was to address various questions such as ‘How is climate change radically redefining business models and practices?’, ‘How can companies drive an ambitious and fast enough transition towards a low carbon or carbon neutral economy?’ and ‘How is the HEC Paris community committed to drive this cultural change?’





Throughout the day, students were able to take part in the numerous interactive workshops and panels that discussed topics such as Energy Transition, Green Finance and Carbon Pricing. These activities were planned and executed by a large team of MBA volunteers that were led by the Net Impact Team. The team invited companies such as Glowee, Treez and Ecoxia for a ‘start ups corner’, and a pitch event was also organized with a jury of alumni, who brainstormed sessions with MBA to solve specific start up business challenges. For Cécile Villette, the president of the Net Impact Club, the addition of start ups was a very useful part of the program: “Several participants and alumni told us that the start up forum gave a very good vibe to the event by showing very tangible solutions to fight climate change.”


The day ended with key note speeches from Jeremy Rifkin, author of ‘The Zero Marginal Cost Society’, as well as various HEC alumni such as Emmanuel Faber (CEO Danone) and Tristan Lecomte (Founder of Alter Eco and Pur Projet).

In all, the event was a big success because as Timo Marquez (MBA Class of 2016) put it, “It involved students from different programs and HEC alumni in the same place, which is something that doesn’t happen too often.”

Climate is our business -HecParis2015


Listen to what some other MBA students have to say about their experience on Soundcloud:

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25 September 2015

Relive the MBA Welcome Week experience with our Sept ’15 intake.

HEC Paris MBA Welcome Week from HEC Paris on Vimeo.

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24 September 2015

Plato said that ”the beginning is the most important part of the work”, and Monday 7th of September was definitely the start of something new and the first day of orientation for our S15 MBA intake. The day began with a welcome breakfast, where they met their classmates and were introduced to the MBA team and staff. The diverse and international nature of HEC Paris MBA was displayed in Professor Schulte’s ice-breaking session, where it was discovered that there were many students in the room who looked like ‘the next James Bond’, could speak more than four languages, as well as sing passionate love songs in French and Hindi.

Ice Breaking

It was also a new beginning for Peter Todd, the new dean of HEC Paris and his welcome address was well received by the students. Although a fresh start in a new place often means a lot of information to take in, the students took it all in their stride and it was evident from the number of questions that they asked that they were very excited in particular about all that the MBA Council and Student Reps have to offer.

peter todd


The first week was dominated mostly by ‘Act Your Success’, a series of fun and wacky presenting, writing and improvisation workshops that provide MBA students with the necessary communication skills that they need to succeed in the program and in the professional world.  The students got to work in groups and showcase their creativity as they competed against each other and the scenario was to design and pitch an idea for a new rollercoaster that would situated in the centre of Paris. With ideas ranging from roller-coasters for pets, to ‘love tunnels’ for couples, the presentations were highly amusing and original and it was truly evident how hard students had worked.





The Negosim seminars were the main parts of week two. With these seminars, students had to work in teams and this time, the task was to virtually build an international company and try to finish with the highest stock price. Just like with ‘Act Your Success’, students really gave it their all and for three days, the classrooms in the S building buzzed with bustle, adrenaline, team spirit and playful team rivalry.

At the end of the two welcome weeks, the MBA Council organized an integration weekend in Bordeaux for the new intake, where they had the chance to bond and get to know each other even more as they played sports like paint balling and indulged in some wine tasting.

Integration Weekend - Bordeaux (3)


The two welcome weeks were definitely crammed with activities but every activity offered a learning opportunity for the new MBA intake and it’s been great to see them getting to know each other better as they acclimatize to the HEC Paris environment.

Promotion MBA septembre 2015 -HecParis2015



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20 July 2015

Summer is officially here. For some, that conjures images of a relaxing beachside resort. However, for many of our students, it will mean reconnecting with the professional world. From fieldwork projects and internships to business case analyses, our students are taking a break from the classroom to put their business knowledge into practice.

One of these summer activities is a Fieldwork Project. This year, students have chosen a variety of projects ranging from product development and strategy to operations and finance. They allow the student to take a strategic look at an issue within a company. Some students have chosen to work individually while others have opted to work within teams of three or four fellow students. Listen here to hear about the Fieldwork experience from some of this year’s graduates.

Another option this summer is the newly designed Summer Business Challenge. Students had the opportunity to choose from a variety of cases proposed by various companies. They will have the entire summer to work on their strategic case analysis and will present their findings in front of company representatives in September. With classes over until the fall, this allows students to dedicate their full undivided attention to this one project and gain deeper insight into the strategic decisions of a company.

This fall, we will see students starting to customize their MBA experience. Some will go off on a semester exchange at one of our partner business schools while others will concentrate their studies on one of five Specializations. It will also be a very important time for the MBA Council which will be in charge of welcoming a whole new set of students. With a little more than a month to go before the new school year, this quick jump back into “the corporate world” is quickly ticking away.

HEC Paris MBA Class of 2016- Seine, Paris

Class of 2016 enjoying a drink along the Seine before summer break.

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18 June 2015

The 2015 HEC Paris Commencement ceremony was held on June 12th and marked the final milestone of the MBA program. The MBA participants along with their family and friends were welcomed on campus for a full day of celebration, speeches and ceremonies.

HecParis-5900-181139-Biais Jean Marc HEC Paris
The day started off with a lunch cocktail where participants updated each other on post-graduation plans and introduced their loved ones to their fellow classmates. Official photos were taken, caps and gowns were distributed and live jazz music all set the scene for a festive start of the day.
Following lunch, the participants and their families were led to the MBA Graduation Ceremony. The Associate dean of the MBA Program, Bernard Garrette started the ceremony off by welcoming everyone to HEC and congratulating the participants on their MBA accomplishments. This speech was accompanied by several videos that highlighted the best moments from the year. Following this welcome, a select number of students were called on stage to receive an Academic Award for having the highest GPAs of the class. Finally, the moment everyone was waiting for: the degree granting ceremony. Students were called on stage one by one to receive their degree.

Academic Award recipients

Academic Award recipients

The MBA participants then made their way outside for a group photo before walking into the big tent for the main ceremony. Ten MBA students were recognized for their leadership and academic achievement with a “Dean’s List” award and were invited on stage and congratulated in front of the whole school. This year’s guest speaker was Denis Kessler (H.73), CEO of Scor, a financial services company. Other ceremony highlights included the Class gift from the graduating class who presented a donation for future students and a short video produced by students parodying French TV.


Dean's List recipients, Class of 2015

Dean’s List recipients

After the ceremony, newly graduated students, family, friends, staff and faculty proceeded outside for a reception to top off the celebratory event.


HEC Paris MBA, Class of 2015

HEC Paris MBA, Class of 2015


Click on the images below for videos from the 2015 Graduation Ceremony.

mba graduation 15

2015 MBA Graduates



HEC Paris Graduation 2015

HEC Paris Graduation 2015


View highlights of the HEC Paris commencement ceremony on Storify and with the hashtag #HECGraduation15

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08 June 2015

Printing is the bane of most students’ lives, an unavoidable expense, especially for those living on a campus environment. So what would you do if given the opportunity to print all your notes, assignments, and even personal documents, completely free of charge? Well, that is exactly what Justin Ahn and Mark Thomas, HEC Paris MBA alumni (Class of 2014) and co-founders of Ctrl+P, are proposing.


Ctrl+P is a service that allows students to print at no cost, by forgoing an inch or so of paper-space on their document to banner advertising: a simple idea, with a wealth of potential. Not only does it offer a convenient solution for the students, it provides companies with the opportunity to maximize their exposure to a target demographic. The platform can even be used to target specific student profiles, so that companies can really tailor their content and make the most of their advertising space, be it to drive their sales or to even recruit.


An example of how the advertisement will appear on the page.

As former students, Justin and Mark came up with the idea after having experienced the considerable expense of printing first-hand. Living in a campus environment was another catalyst, as students usually do not have access to their own personal facilities, especially if they have had to move in from abroad. We sat down with them to find out more about their fledgling business:

What are your immediate plans for Ctrl+P?

Our immediate plans for expansion at the moment are centered around universities in the Paris region. We currently want to focus on schools because we see the segment pain as a low-hanging fruit. More long-term, we feel if we can win France as a country, the possibility is open to try other venues that are more public, or other countries in Europe.

How did studying at HEC Paris help you in this process?

Pursuing our MBAs at HEC Paris has been quite integral to our startup plans – firstly, having a capable co-founder is significant to any venture, and so we were able to meet each other here; secondly, given our plans to launch in France, having access to a network as wide and deep as HEC Paris’ has been valuable in opening a lot of doors for us in terms of finding potential clients as well as soliciting advice.

Start-ups have been prolific recently for their potential for success, but also because of the risks associated with them. What have been some of your main challenges in setting up your business?

Regarding difficulties, our most significant challenge has been the technical product management. As neither of us come from a product background, the learning curve has been steep in terms of keeping development within our intended timeline. However, with the inevitable delays has come a lot of knowledge accumulation that will serve us to move faster going forward.

What motivated you to go into the start-up scene?

We’re both quite keen on business development, especially since we come from financial services-oriented backgrounds – it’s a different experience to go from analysis and advisory to actual execution. Our product, Ctrl+P really excites us as, as we feel we’ve identified a real need that both customers and clients are constantly struggling with. Having said that, we feel the French start-up scene is burgeoning at the moment with activity and the potential to be part of a larger movement is really exciting for us as well.

What is your ultimate goal for the business?

Our goal is to build a start-up that can be expanded across Europe. We see Paris as a great benchmark – if we can successfully scale enough in this city, then we see no reason why our model shouldn’t be applicable anywhere else.

To find out more about Ctrl+ P, visit their website and their Facebook page. For further inquiries drop them an email at hello@ctrl-p.co.



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