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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26 January 2015

Michael Thomson, 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.


As I sit here with some time to collect my thoughts and reflect on the past several weeks, I find myself amazed at how many things I have experienced.  To name a few: I have met many new people from all over the world, I have moved twice, I have taken the wrong train on two separate occasions, and I got married.  I could make a list that would span several pages, but in summation, the events of the past week could be classified in one of three categories: Moving to France, HEC Paris MBA Orientation Weeks, and my Personal Life.


Michael (second from left) speaking with fellow MBA students at the Welcome Buffet

Fun Fact: It is hard to do things without a local address and a local bank account.  Moving from a different country to a temporary accommodation is challenging; do you completely unpack or not before the next move?  Then there is figuring out transportation, making sure you get on the right train and that you are indeed taking the shortest route as opposed to taking a train that is one hour longer.   Or how about being confused at the grocery store because promotional prices aren’t displayed on the screen, but are taken into account at the end of transaction.  You simply have to laugh it off and realize that you are a cultural outsider, but with each mistake you learn a piece of local culture.   If you do find yourself discouraged, take a walk around Versailles or a trip to Paris for some inspiration.


I chose to attend an MBA to not only advance my career, but to step outside of my comfort zone and be challenged to grow.  I had not expected to immediately face that in the first few weeks.  Orientation is packed, exhausting, and at times feels endless, but what an incredibly rewarding experience.  The activities range from adrenaline-filled (NegoSim) to laughter-filled (Act Your Success), but they are all chock full of learning opportunities. Act Your Success is a multi-day workshop that throws you into improvisation acting and we were definitely thrown in.  Through different activities we were called to get into touch with our bodies and our voices to understand how we communicate.  A correlation was drawn between the acting activities we were doing and the business careers we were pursuing.  Through acting, we were becoming better business leaders.  The activities were difficult tasks in and of themselves, but we were also faced with the challenge of doing this with people we had just met.  This challenge was a major highlight of the week.



MBA students acting out scenes for the Act Your Success workshop

You can read all of the pamphlets that show the demographics of each MBA class and you can talk to a student about how diverse the program is, but it is not until you begin to meet your new classmates does it all sink in. I find myself surrounded by people from various industries, innumerable educations, and different countries.  In these first weeks, I have only begun to scratch the surface of this tremendous wealth of experience.  Not only do they bring great experiences to the table, but also everyone is pretty darn cool.

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Full-time January intake group photo, HEC Paris MBA, Class of 2016

These past weeks have been so rewarding and challenging, not only because I decided to attend HEC Paris for my MBA, but also because I decided to have a wedding the day before flying to France.  It has been challenging to spend the majority of the last two weeks with new classmates instead of my new wife, but it has also been amazing to have someone to come home to and share new experiences with.

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15 January 2015

Similar to our September intake, this year’s January intake also took the initiative to put together a student produced video prior to arriving on campus. Introducing themselves to the rest of the class, the students shared a moment from their pre-MBA life, from taming lions to solving a rubix cube in warp speed. As seen in the video below, the new students come from a variety of backgrounds and have had a wide range of  experiences that they will be able to share with the rest of their class.

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27 December 2014

Giovanna Santaniello is the former Women in Leadership Club President, and recipient of the Forté Foundation Scholarship. The HEC Paris MBA Program awards this scholarship to exceptional women who have demonstrated exemplary leadership skills, and a commitment to women via personal mentorship or community involvement. The aim of the scholarships is to improve leadership opportunities for women in business.


“I have always considered women’s economic empowerment as a driving force for the achievement of not only gender equality, but also of overall economic growth and poverty reduction. Before joining the HEC Paris MBA Program, I worked in Egypt for four years, where I put my expertise in the areas of financial and advisory services to use in supporting companies and female entrepreneurs.


At HEC Paris I started consider gender diversity from a new perspective. This time, it was focused on business and leadership rather than on women’s empowerment as a means for development. Receiving the Forté Foundation scholarship has encouraged me to continue to contribute to the efforts of the organization to improve leadership opportunities for women in business. I’m convinced that, at a business level, diversity is a critical factor in improving not just the quality of a company’s leadership and decision making, but also its overall financial, environmental, social, and governance performance, and ultimately, the company’s sustainability.


In my future career in the corporate world, I will aim to balance the current emphasis on short-term profit maximization with a broader focus on long-term sustainability goals. Being part of the Forté Foundation’s network of current and prospective women business leaders will help me to achieve these goals.”


Giovanna Santaniello, HEC Paris MBA, Class of 2015

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.

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