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.

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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.

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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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29 May 2015

“MBAT is the meeting ground for MBA students across Europe, and new friendships and networking opportunities are at the heart of the tournament,”

-          Bernard Garrette, Associate Dean, HEC Paris MBA

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Basketball, HEC Paris MBAT 2015


Billiards- HEC Paris MBAT 2015

This year’s MBA Tournament (MBAT) celebrated its 25th anniversary. With 16 participating schools from across Europe the three-day event, which took place May 7-9, was an opportunity for our MBA students to not only show their athletic prowess but also work together on a large-scale (and very real) project.


HEC Paris Soccer Team, MBAT 2015


Salsa performance, HEC Paris MBAT 2015

Starting in November, a managing team consisting of 25+ students have been working hard organizing the entire 3-day event. From partnerships and university relationships to marketing and logistics, the tournament is a hands-on lesson on leadership, teamwork and project management.

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Volleyball, HEC Paris MBAT 2015

In honor of the 25th MBAT, this year there were 25 sporting events such as badminton, cricket, football, rowing, golf and tennis and 3 major soirées – Casino Royale, 90s Retro Party (Battle of the Bands) and Tex-Mex Fiesta (featuring the Salsa Competition).

Participating schools included:

mbat schools

Final results for this year’s tournament: 1st LBS, 2nd HEC Paris, 3rd IE

Interview with some of this year’s participants:


St Gallen MBA produced video:


IESE blog post: The MBA Tournament- An Absolute Blast


To view all the action from this year’s tournament, check out the hashtag #MBAT2015

*Photos taken by MBA students: Ankit Punn, Dmitry Yatsenko, Gokul Pakalapati, Nina Sesto, Maria Rahat, Shiv Shankar Jagadev

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29 April 2015

The annual off campus leadership seminar at Saint-Cyr Military Academy is often a highlight for MBA participants. This year, the Class of 2016 (both Full-time and Part-time participants) headed to Brittany to participate in and lead a series of field exercises under the supervision of French army officers.

Day 1

On the first day, the MBA participants travelled by bus from HEC Paris to Saint-Cyr and upon arrival were greeted by the various French officers in charge of the seminar. The military officers gave an overview of the program and explained the rules and regulations.


The students were then divided into teams of 12 and assigned an army officer. Army uniforms were distributed along with the rations that they would need for the following day.

St Cyr 2015- HEC Paris MBA (3)

Day 2

Rise and shine; early morning wakeup call at 6 am. Following a quick breakfast, the teams split up and started a series of warm-up exercises. Whether manoeuvring a series of boards to get a team across an imaginary mine field or using ropes to walk across a v-shaped metal beam, the participants took turns leading their group through the exercises.

St Cyr 2015- HEC Paris MBA (21)

The afternoon activities continued with an even more daunting list of challenges.

Bridge: Build a bridge made of wood logs and rope to lead a team across a lake


Fort: Use a set of materials to traverse a fort and rescue an injured colleague


Raft: Construct a raft out of floats and rope and figure out how to get a team across a lake in the most efficient manner


Tunnel: Lead a team through a dark underground passage while remaining calm and collective

At the end of each exercise, the group shared their thoughts on how the activity went, if the goal was accomplished and how the group leader performed. These periods of reflection allowed the students to properly see not only how they lead a team but also how they work with others in high pressure situations and under tight deadlines.

Day 3

Another early wake up call. The bus left the Saint-Cyr Quotquidan campus and headed towards the Brittany coast. Destination: Fort de Penthievre on the Quiberon peninsula. While the 2nd day concentrated solely on group activities, this 3rd day combined both group activities and individual exercises.

Walking across a tightrope above a rocky cliff? Zip-lining with a view of the Atlantic Ocean? Working as a team to climb up an inverted wall? Check, check and check!

St Cyr 2015- HEC Paris MBA (84)

St Cyr 2015- HEC Paris MBA (57)

St Cyr 2015- HEC Paris MBA (63)

The business and military spheres require many similar qualities: leadership, decisiveness, commitment, and self-knowledge, to name but a few. These activities challenged the student’s physical and mental toughness and prepared them to tackle obstacles they previously would never have imagined. Starting a new project or learning a new skill requires the same sort of mind-set. Motivating someone to cross a high beam is not so different from encouraging a team to complete a project that has been confronted with various hurdles.

Participants in previous years have described the experience as unforgettable, as marking a real change in their educational and professional development, a sentiment echoed by Xavier Boute, who is both an officer in the French army and an affiliate professor in Economics at HEC Paris.

– “When students say what they remember from their MBA, they remember two things: one of them is always this seminar […] Because there is a clear before and after.”


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

Additional reading:

The L Word by Timo Marquez (MBA.16)

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01 April 2015

Wonder what it’s like in the shoes of an HEC Paris MBA student? In the newest Student Voices blog, we have MBA student Meaghan Kappel take us through a typical day of life on campus.



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I love this sunny café on campus. I often grab a coffee here in the morning or eat lunch here, and spend time between classes and meetings catching up on emails, readings, and homework.


Group Work

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This was part of a class exercise for our Organizational Behavior class. We worked in groups of 5 on a simulation business game. The challenge was change management. Here our team celebrates an increase in employee buy-in (it’s the small things that matter!). This type of group work and interactive learning is such an integral part of the academic environment.


Study Room

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I spent my lunch hour working with classmates on a career exercise called “Match Yourself to the Market”. Here we were helping a Venezuelan student plan a checklist for how to assess company culture in his job search.


MBA Council Meeting

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Here, we are meeting to discuss our communication newsletter and upcoming culture weeks.

As President of the MBA Student Council, I lead a team of 16 fellow students. Despite our busy schedules, we try to meet about once a month to share updates on everything from events to finances and professional club competitions. It’s been one of my most rewarding MBA experiences to date, a real opportunity to test my own leadership skills. It’s also been very humbling to see what I can do to improve before re-launching my professional career.



A Mexican friend was celebrating his birthday and a group of us decided to grab pizza at our favorite Italian restaurant just off-campus. Great way to unwind over a glass of wine and laughter!


Meaghan Kappel, HEC Paris MBA, Class of 2016

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.

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18 March 2015


Ashok Chandra, HEC Paris MBA Exchange student from NYU Stern School of Business

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.


The opportunity to be a student in an M.B.A. program only happens once in your life. You suspend many of your day to day activities to take two years to learn as much as possible and enjoy some time away from work. In the Spring of 2014, I realized that I would be finishing my M.B.A. journey within a year and wanted to enhance the experience I already had at New York University’s Stern School of Business. New York City is one of the best cities in the world to live and work in, but having already had a prior career working as an attorney in a New York law firm and in a New York corporation, I wanted to see how it would be living and potentially working abroad. I researched schools that worked closely with NYU and determined that HEC’s School of Management would be the best fit. The specializations that I read about were a completely different structure than NYU’s semester long classes and there appeared to be incredible opportunities for hands on work.

1A morning in Paris

I arrived in Paris about a week before classes began and began to become reacquainted with the city. I had studied for a semester at the American University of Paris as an undergraduate many years ago. I had found an apartment in the 3d Arrondisement on Rue Charlot and Rue Bretagne, a bustling street with fresh food markets opening early and the always lively Marche des Enfants Rouge. As an added bonus, I was mere footsteps away from Deux Fois plus de Piment, an incredibly Szechuan restaurant that I frequented about four times a week during my stay in Paris.


The MaPo Tofu at Deux Fois Plus De Piment, epice cinq! One of the spiciest dishes in the world


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12 March 2015

Global Treks are an integral part of our students’ learning experience. Not only do they allow the students to discover a new geographic region, but they are put in contact with companies that specialize in specific sectors and are able to connect with local alumni.



Last month, a few of our MBA students found themselves in Norway visiting firms that specialize in different parts of the Energy sector. While there, they had the opportunity to visit a variety of companies, including Rystad Consulting, Norges Bank, McKinsey, Aker Solutions, Greenberg Solutions, Boston Consulting Group, Rainpower, Sund Energy, Eltek and Bellona.

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For an inside look on the Energy Trek, listen to what Prashant Khorana (MBA.16) had to say about his experience.


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25 February 2015

Vanessa Garay, HEC Paris MBA, Class of 2016

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


Latin Week 2015 (6)


Having the opportunity to share our cultures with our fellow MBAs through Cultural weeks is trulyamazing. I believe it is really important to show our peers that Latin America is not necessarily what is presented in the news show or what tourists have said about it. From my point of view, it is our duty to tell our fellow MBAs about the many positives of Latin America and to share with them what makes our countries beautiful. Personally, I feel like an ambassador for Peru, so I really enjoy sharing the wonders my country has to offer.

Latin Week 2015 (2)

One of the main reasons why I chose to do my MBA at HEC Paris was the diversity. Because of the diversity of my class, I feel like I am obtaining a global outlook by learning from people who possess different ways of thinking and doing things. It has also allowed me to learn from different cultures first-hand, whilst developing a professional network from which, I am sure, I will benefit in the future.   Within the Latin American community, I have benefited from the understanding of our similarities and the relations among the countries. In addition, I got to know the working cultures of these countries, which I found important since there are many Latin American companies that have operations in Peru.


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13 February 2015

Dear MBA Applicant,

You’re courageous and inspiring. You’re taking the first steps in a new direction and we believe you’re looking at the best place to explore this.

An MBA at HEC Paris will push you outside your comfort zone. It’s awesome and daunting at the same time, and that’s where we can help. We’re happy to give tips to help your profile stand out and to increase your chances of acceptance into the #1 MBA in Europe.

  • Get to know us! Check the website for campus visits and fairs. Get in contact with current students and our sophisticated alumni network. Ask questions! Discover if HEC is the right place to take you where you want to go.


  • GMAT / GRE: Like any sport, be consistent in training. Aim for a balanced score between the quantitative and verbal sections.


  • Essays: Give yourself time to write. Be honest, be yourself (don’t oversell yourself!), and have at least one person read over them for objective feedback on content and grammar. Don’t rush to meet a deadline. It’s better to apply the following month than to do a rushed job. Feel free to use the optional essay (#6) in the application to clarify or add anything.


  • Recommendations: We prefer to hear from references who know you well (ideally a recent manager). Give your references plenty of advance notice to fill in the recommendation forms.


  • Interview & Presentation: Your interviewers will have read your application, so do not repeat things that you have already covered. Stick to a 10 minute limit. The subject matter does not need to be professional, but the way you present should be. Research your interviewers ahead of time and be able to answer precisely: “Why an MBA?“, “Why now?“, and “Why HEC?

We’re here to help. If you can’t meet us in person, get personalized feedback from our team by submitting your Candidate Profile.

Click here for more information on the Admissions process, including admissions criteria and deadlines and how you can meet our team around the world.



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