2011 HEC Paris MBA Admissions Director Interview Posted

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Thank you to Marie-Laurence Lemaire, HEC MBA Program's Senior Business Development Manager for joining us last week for an excellent Q&A on HEC's admissions practices, international perspective, scholarships, student life, and curriculum. You can read the whole HEC Paris MBA Q&A transcript, listen to the full audio clip, or subscribe to our podcast in iTunes, where you'll be able to catch up on as many MBA Admissions Q&As as you want.

If you're considering applying to HEC's MBA program, then you should definitely read the full transcript. In the meantime, here's an excerpt from the HEC MBA Q&A:

Linda Abraham: Konstantin asks, “How can applicants with no international professional experience demonstrate their “international profile”?”

Marie-Laurence Lemaire: That’s a very interesting question. To that question I always answer, especially in some regions of the world where there is a huge melting pot of communities, that although you have a nationality, you might not have the culture of that nationality. Sometimes you may have been brought up with a double culture. You may have been brought up with parents coming from two different cultures. Or maybe you’ve been brought up in a country which is not the country where you were born, so you have this exposure to international backgrounds. So your international focus is not necessarily professional; it can also be personal.

Linda Abraham: Ankit asks, “Is the number of years of work experience considered from the time of joining the program or from the time of application?”

Marie-Laurence Lemaire: We will always consider the years of experience at the time of entering the program. Let’s say that you apply for the January 2012 intake today and you have just two and a half years of work experience, don’t be too scared of applying because we will consider all your work experience until you join the program.

Linda Abraham: Sergiu asks, “Could you please tell us more about the bilingual option of the program as well as the dual degree? Does it have an impact on admission?” I’m assuming he is asking here whether it impacts admission if you express interest in those programs. So could you tell us about the two options to start with?

Marie-Laurence Lemaire: Just to answer very quickly on the admission, there is no impact whatsoever if you tick the box that you want to do a dual degree or a bilingual track. This has no effect on your application. I’d just like to define dual degrees and the bilingual section. They are really two different things. The bilingual section is meant for people with very good knowledge of French, who would really like to acquire business expertise and business language on a specific subject. So for people with a very good knowledge of French, if they want to work in France, I’d advise you to go for the dual degree option because it will really give you a very specific language in the topics that we’ll cover in French, and it will give you a really solid background in the specific topics. So it is very interesting for people who would like to work in France.

The dual degree programs that we offer are quite specific and we have quite a large number of partners around the world -- in the US, in Asia, and we also have partners in Europe. How this dual degree works is that most of the time for most of the partners that we have, you earn two MBAs. You start either at HEC or at the partner school. You do fundamental classes at whichever university, and then you move to the second university for the personalized space of your MBA. At the end, you will earn two MBAs, plus obviously access to two networks and two career services. So it’s a real added value for the candidate to apply for a dual degree.

Linda Abraham: What are some of the partner schools?

Marie-Laurence Lemaire: We are a partner with NYU and Fletcher in Boston; we have a joint degree with MIT, Fundaçao Getulio Vargas in Brazil, ESADE, and several others in Latin America. We have LSE as well in Europe, so we have quite a few listed for double degrees.

The partner school is really the body that will decide if the applicant will be granted the double degree or not. HEC has no input whatsoever in that choice. So it’s up to the partner to decide whether this candidate will be accepted or not. Since they are delivering their own diploma, they have full right to accept or refuse a candidate. For this double degree, there is also a cost involved. Because you are not doing the full HEC curriculum, we will only charge you for the number of months that you will spend at HEC. And the partner school will charge you for the period of time that you will do at the partner school.

View the full HEC Paris MBA Q&A transcript or listen to the mp3 recording of the event now or subscribe to the Apple iTunes MBA Admissions Podcast. If you like the podcast, please leave a 5-star review.

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