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HEC Paris MBA Admissions and Related Blogs

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Fun for Alumni, a Sense of Accomplishment for Students  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Aug 2018, 10:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Fun for Alumni, a Sense of Accomplishment for Students
Image

And that’s a wrap!

It was around 3 a.m. on July 1st that the 2018 edition of the MBA Alumni Reunion wound down. With a strong sense of accomplishment mixed with fatigue, we, the four-student organizing team, headed home from the reunion after-party.

It had been an intense 4 months of preparation leading up to the event. The celebration began with an aperitif on Friday evening at the HEC Alumni House in Paris, followed by an activity-packed day on campus and a gala dinner at the HEC Chateau, capped off with a retro after-party. The arguable icing on the cake: we watched France win the FIFA World Cup match against Argentina!

Over the course of the weekend, we hosted more than 250 people celebrating their milestone reunions from 5 years to 40 years. These alumni traveled across the world – from as far away as the United States and Japan – to take part in the celebration. The range of countries that they represented was rivaled only by the diversity of their profiles: professionals from varied industries, including founders and CEOs of multimillion-dollar companies.

While the MBA Alumni Reunion was a great opportunity for alumni to reconnect with their friends and showcase their alma mater to their families, a few chose to relive their student days by “roughing it” in the student dorms with our “on-campus student experience.” All-in-all, it was quite a reunion!

But, as with many events, there’s always a story behind the scenes.

Alumni from eight MBA graduating classes gathered together on campus

 

The Hitherto Untold Story
With HEC’s alumni network being one of the school’s greatest assets, it was imperative to ensure the network stayed engaged, despite their highly divergent career paths across the globe. That sparked the genesis of the first MBA-specific milestone reunion in 2017.

This year, the onus was on us to leverage the success of the first reunion to scale up the 2018 edition even further. Fortunately, MBA students typically do not lack ambition or resourcefulness.

To be sure, we faced no dearth of challenges, such as designing a reunion agenda that was engaging enough to convince multiple generations of alumni to come to France, managing costs that just kept increasing, and leading teams of student volunteers to organize activities ranging from sumo wrestling to cocktail-making.

It certainly was a tricky balancing act, especially when combined with the weight of our regular coursework. But, overcoming these elements was a key part of our learning experience.

Photo Highlights from the Reunion Weekend
Presenting MBA graduates from the Class of 1978

 

HEC Professor Jeremy Ghez taught a master class on globalization entitled, “A Brave New World”

 

Sumo wrestling

Among the many activities was a cocktail mixing class

 

No reunion in France is complete without champagne tasting

 

The Class of 1993: Showing incredible sense of community after 25 years at the Chateau Dinner

 

The weekend featured perfect weather and plentiful food

What Lies Ahead?
The event’s success not only demonstrates how much alumni appreciate this opportunity to reconnect with the MBA community, but also what students can accomplish by leveraging the HEC ecosystem.

Personally, as a part of the core organizing team, this experience required that I collaborate with multiple departments of the school and of the HEC Alumni Association, giving me immense insight into how things work at HEC. I also interacted with alumni from different generations, getting the opportunity to engage with interesting people from different walks of life that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. That was one of the reasons I became part of the organizing committee: how could I pass up the chance to network with more than 250 HEC Paris MBA alumni during such a relaxed weekend?

I feel glad that we were able to make a difference. Having delivered a great time for everyone at the reunion, this year should serve as a launchpad for next year’s organizing team to build a bigger and better MBA reunion. But, it’s still going to be an interesting challenge for the students involved to consistently create a different and engaging reunion experience.

Well, that’s another story. For now, I’m just looking forward to experiencing my first milestone reunion in 2024. I wonder what it will look like?

Words from our Student Organizers


Some of the student volunteers who made it all possible

 

Note from Michael Stapleton, President, MBA Alumni Reunion 2018

“Joining the core team let me interact with alumni from around the world and as far back as the class of 1978. I never would have been exposed to such a broad range of graduates, and it was clearly an impactful experience for attendees. My favorite moment was seeing alumni visibly moved by coming back to campus and reuniting with both their peers and the school.”

Note from Pierre Guyot, VP Operations, MBA Alumni Reunion 2018

“Having embarked on a transformational MBA journey a year ago, I constantly look for diverse opportunities to grow and to create value for the HEC community. The Alumni Reunion project provided the perfect opportunity to do so. It challenged my limits and allowed me to apply the varied skills we learned in class. As it turns out, the experience of organizing a successful event despite short deadlines, cost pressure and challenging supplier relationships was one of the richest experiences of my MBA.

Note from Coralie Harmache, VP Activities, MBA Alumni Reunion 2018

“To be perfectly honest, I was intrigued by the opportunity to organize a party. I have not been able to recreate the extravaganza of my 24-year-old birthday party for a couple years now, so when the opportunity to plan an alumni reunion arose, I jumped. While my favorite moments were of course wrapped up in the day itself, what will stand out to me is the leadership I found my teammates displaying every day leading up to the event. Many logistic and bureaucratic impasses were met, and I was never more proud of my teammates resourcefulness.”

To see more photos from the MBA Milestone Reunion, visit our flickr album.

 
The post Fun for Alumni, a Sense of Accomplishment for Students appeared first on HEC Paris MBA News.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Student voice: Akiko Yonetani  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Sep 2018, 02:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Student voice: Akiko Yonetani
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Akiko Yonetani’s life changed dramatically when she was 6 years old. That’s when her mother, an English literature professor, decided to move her family from Japan to Cambridge for her sabbatical year. “My mom always told me, ‘You don’t have to be the same as everyone else – be different’ and I did feel really different from all the other kids when I returned back home.”

To better understand her home country, Akiko earned a degree in Contemporary Japanese Culture. Afterward, she worked for 8 years at a Japanese technology company as a software development supporter, business developer and project leader in charge of creating a subsidiary in Thailand.

By leveraging her unique cultural background and experience in business, Akiko hopes to further open up Japan to the West by helping small Japanese companies expand their business overseas. “I want to bridge different people and entities through business,” Akiko says.

Just before she graduated, we caught up with Akiko to find out more about her unique story and how the MBA has helped her achieve her goals.

Whatever stereotypes there are for Japanese women – you break them. Is that intentional?

I take that as a compliment! I had a difficult time after coming back from Cambridge. In Japan, there is the idea that we need to be homogenous, and there are so many unstated rules that we need to follow. It took me 10 years to be able to position myself in Japan as someone who is Japanese but is still quite different.

Akiko hopes to help Japanese businesses expand overseas

Why did you decide to do an MBA after working for 8 years?

I wanted a clear idea of how to lead business development. Where I was working we couldn’t create real new business, because neither my company nor I knew how to do it. I wanted to gain the skills and knowledge that I was lacking, and I wanted to study in Europe, so I asked my company to sponsor my MBA.

Tell us about the Digital Marketing Seminar that you organized during your MBA.

Many of my peers in the January 2017 intake wanted to gain deeper knowledge about Digital Marketing, and because I was an Academic Representative, I decided to organize the event myself. I invited four guest speakers. Even though it was on a Saturday and we charged 20 euros per ticket, the tickets sold out and we had people requesting extra seats. The students really enjoyed getting a big picture of how digital transformation works.

Do you have a class or a teacher that really impressed you?

Gonçalo Pacheco de Almeida, who leads the strategy specialization. He taught us two things: how to think strategically, and how to negotiate. His course was very interesting to me because in Japan we think negotiating – especially financial negotiation – is bad. It means that you are greedy. People try not to be too aggressive, and they avoid negotiation to avoid conflict. This is very different from the European or the American way. In order to achieve my goal to connect Japanese companies with foreign companies, I needed to have this skill.

What’s your end goal?

A year ago I didn’t speak about what I wanted to do in the long-term, but now I feel more confident talking about the future. I want to motivate small and medium-sized Japanese companies to expand their businesses overseas so that more people can be exposed to different cultures.

The great thing about the MBA is that I’ve met peers that I could potentially work with in the future. Not only am I more confident that I can negotiate when necessary, but I know that I can use the HEC Paris network to find people to partner with in my future endeavors.

What was your most unforgettable experience at the MBA?

When I first arrived I was very shy, and I wasn’t sure how I could contribute because I did not have any marketing skills or a background in finance. I wanted to give something back, so I pushed myself to become an academic rep during Core 1 and Core 2 courses. It helped me to learn how to communicate with different people, believe in myself, and to do what I think is correct. Now I can ask people to do something for me if I think it’s the right thing, and if it will benefit people on the whole. Even though I didn’t feel that I was a strong leader, many of my talented peers praised me as a good leader because I did what I said I would. Thanks to this, I earned a leadership award given at graduation.

Akiko is now working for Accenture in Tokyo as a strategy consultant, where she hopes to help Japanese companies develop their businesses and expand overseas.
The post Student voice: Akiko Yonetani appeared first on HEC Paris MBA News.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Meet our September 2018 MBA Intake in this Student-Produced Video  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Sep 2018, 08:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Meet our September 2018 MBA Intake in this Student-Produced Video
HEC Paris MBA students are always creative, especially in the ways that they get to know each other. Long before the first on-campus icebreaking session or welcome-day event, students work together on a video project that introduces them to their classmates. The September 2018 intake’s video, spearheaded by Lovish Gupta and Eduardo Ortiz, also had the goal of showcasing an aspect of each student’s home country while celebrating France’s footballing prowess. With the country’s 2018 World Cup victory, Lovish says that it just “made sense to join all our countries through football.”
The post Meet our September 2018 MBA Intake in this Student-Produced Video appeared first on HEC Paris MBA News.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Alumni Voice: Rowland Marshall  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Sep 2018, 08:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Alumni Voice: Rowland Marshall
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Rowland Marshall, MBA ’16, has degrees in both Electronic Engineering and Information Technology from the Queensland University of Technology. Before joining the HEC Paris MBA, he worked for 10 years in the Medical and Aerospace industries. Rowland is now a Product Manager for the Drone Group at Intel in San Francisco. We caught up with him recently to ask about his MBA experience, his career progression and his thoughts on working in Australia, France and the USA.

Why did you choose the HEC Paris MBA?

I wanted to do an MBA for two reasons: firstly, because my mentors recommended an MBA for my career progression and, after 10 years of work, I wanted a sabbatical to reflect on life and learn something new. As for HEC Paris: I knew I wanted to live in Europe in order to diversify my experiences, and I wanted to have a high-quality learning experience.

I chose HEC Paris based on its academic record, and the diversity of the candidates who attend. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to live with colleagues who came from such diverse backgrounds. This brought a broad set of ideas and opinions to discussions, and made our social exchanges all the more interesting – never underestimate the value of the other students who are experiencing the MBA journey with you!

As an Australian, what did you like most about living in France? 

France is a beautiful, large country with a rich history and culture. The people are very lively and friendly, and know how to both work hard and enjoy life at the same time. In addition, it is a major hub in Europe, making travel to other countries very easy.

What were the highlights of your experience at HEC Paris?

I came to HEC for a strong academic experience, and what I received in return was much more. I underestimated the value of the HEC Paris brand and the opportunity it gives to network within France and Europe. The ability to meet with a broad array of companies and people, and to learn from their experiences was, and continues to be, a wonderful experience.

Here are my top three highlights:

  • The people who participated in the MBA

    HEC Paris attracts like-minded people who are extremely friendly and collaborative. It was a family-like experience, where we all helped and learned from each other. The culture of a school is very important in deciding where to go.
  • The professors and academic experience

    You have to work hard if you want to maximize the value of your MBA. This was made all the more easy and pleasant by an incredible collection of very capable and friendly professors.



  • The environment

    For the first half of the program, I lived on campus, then I moved to the center of Paris. This allowed me to build strong connections with my colleagues, and afterwards experience la vie Parisienne.
How did the MBA help you with your career progression, both during the program and after?

Unlike many colleagues, I undertook an MBA primarily to learn rather than to advance my career. However, the MBA challenged my career plans in a very positive way, giving me the time to explore a variety of opportunities and potential avenues in the job market. While at HEC, I met with people from various backgrounds and levels, from consultants to CFOs, in order to learn from their experiences. Through the MBA coursework, the specialization in Advanced Management, and my classmates, I finally learned how to network effectively, gaining the confidence and skills required to approach people and companies. These skills were critical in securing both my first and second positions after the MBA. Now that I am in the workforce, I feel much more agile and able to move horizontally and vertically within the company and the industry as a whole.

Why do you recommend the MBA degree?

It is a time to take stock of your career, to challenge your assumptions and personal goals, and to broaden your mind academically, culturally and socially. If you have this mind-set, and are ready to work hard, then you will greatly improve both your career and your life. Having said that, I do not recommend an MBA if you are not willing to work. It will challenge you both personally and professionally, and while it is a huge amount of fun, it will shake up your life!

Did HEC Paris prepare you for your role in the largest tech hub in the world?

So far I’ve been in Silicon Valley for just over a year, and I’m still learning and integrating. From a work-culture perspective, it is further away from the Australian experience than I had expected, and further still from the experience I had in France.

I think it is important to think about where you want to work, and to spend time studying the local culture and industry. In this regard, the MBA has prepared me to be better at reading a room, understanding an environment, and adapting to new challenges. From a professional perspective, I am now more confident and better equipped to analyze and negotiate the business environment across the many different divisions that make up a company. All thanks to my time at the HEC Paris MBA!

 
The post Alumni Voice: Rowland Marshall appeared first on HEC Paris MBA News.
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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