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  • MBA Interview Prep: How to Ace Your Interviews

     November 15, 2018

     November 15, 2018

     10:00 PM MST

     11:00 PM MST

    Learn the steps you need to take to ace your interviews and get accepted!
  • Advice For Applicants Considering Round 2

     November 16, 2018

     November 16, 2018

     10:00 PM MST

     11:00 PM MST

    Many of you may be wondering whether you should pull the trigger and apply to business school during round 2 this winter.

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, 09:00
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, 01:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Student voice: Akiko Yonetani
Image

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, 07:00
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, 07:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Alumni Voice: Rowland Marshall
Image

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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Alumni Project Strives for Social Change in India  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Sep 2018, 02:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Alumni Project Strives for Social Change in India
Image

In a light-filled warehouse on the outskirts of Bhagalpur, India, Naseem Ansari sits in front of a large wooden loom. In his hands are slender silk threads that he carefully guides through a small wire loop. He will repeat this gesture of filling the heddle hundreds – perhaps thousands – of times before he is ready to move onto the next step. Weaving just this one scarf will take him the entire day.

Like his father and grandfather before him, Naseem is a master handweaver. Until recently, however, he hasn’t been able to support himself with his skill. Despite Naseem’s talent and Bhagalpur’s long history as a weaving city, the industry here has crashed, a victim of too much competition and too many mechanical looms.

Naseem Ansari, one of the weavers at GamcHHa

The good news for Naseem, and for other handweavers like him, is that two HEC Paris MBA alumni are working to revive this traditional art. Project GamcHHa, the brainchild of Amitabh Thakur, MBA ’03, along with two other founders, aims to create a shared value ecosystem by selling handwoven products internationally. By bringing the craftsmanship of the handweavers of Bhagalpur to the forefront once again, they hope to act as agents of social change, providing these artisans with a good standard of living.

“We aim to deliver the highest quality products to consumers,” explains Himanshu Jain, MBA ’18, one of HEC Paris MBA alumni involved in the project. “We want to achieve this while valuing the creativity and craftsmanship of the artisans, and bring back their profession under fair and sustainable conditions.”

Developing the Product
The first step in Project GamcHHa was to create an item worthy of sale on foreign markets. Even though a gamchha is traditionally a cloth made out of cotton, Project GamcHHa’s weavers are fashioning their creations out of silk. “Just to make that change alone was a challenge,” Himanshu says. “We spent the first 24 months concentrating almost entirely on product development. We strove to find the right balance between a soft texture and the strength of the fabric.”

The end result is a velvety, durable scarf made out of Eri silk. This silk, a favorite of Buddhist monks, is known as “the fabric of peace” because it can be harvested without causing any harm to the silkworms.

GamcHHa’s scarves use only natural dyes

Once the silk is gathered and spun into thread, it is dyed using only natural colors derived from the various plants, vegetables and fruits native to the northeastern part of India. GamcHHa’s lovely mustard-colored scarves, for example, are colored by marigold flowers, and the dusty rose textiles get their hue from pomegranates.

With these earth-friendly practices firmly in place, Himanshu then consulted with HEC Paris professors Laurence Lehmann Ortega and Patrick Albaladejo for advice on how to sell GamcHHa’s scarves on the luxury market.

“The product is beautiful,” says Laurence, an affiliate professor of strategy and business policy at HEC Paris. “This is exactly the kind of purposeful luxury products that we need: doing good by buying well.”

Today Project GamcHHa involves just a handful of people. The goal is to eventually employ 50-100 weavers who fabricate 20,000 scarves a year. For the moment, both Amitabh and Himanshu work on Project GamcHHa while pursuing full-time careers in consulting. They hold the social-change project close to their hearts, describing it as the “love and passion of their lives.”

Himanshu Jain and Amitabh Thakur, the two HEC Paris MBA involved in GamcHHa

“Ideally, we’d like to have luxury boutiques across Europe order scarves from us so we can plan our production, have the time to develop new products and build our business gradually,” Himanshu says. Negotiations are also in the works with several of Paris’ luxury houses to carry their products.

The HEC Paris MBA Connection
Despite the 15 years separating their graduation years, these two alumni actually met thanks to the HEC Paris MBA. Amitabh was the alumni who interviewed Himanshu for admission into the degree program. After the interview was finished, the two started talking about entrepreneurship and business ideas, and Project GamcHHa came up.

“Amitabh said to me, ‘I have this idea where we can bring the handweavers back to work’,” Himanshu explains. “I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship. The opportunity to be associated with a concept as beautiful as GamcHHa was the best thing that could have happened to me prior to beginning my MBA at HEC Paris.

“Our goal for 20 years down the line is to have the people of Bhagalpur say, ‘Yes, I want to be a weaver, because it’s a respected business, I like the work, and I like the respect that I gain from doing this work’,” Himanshu says.
The post Alumni Project Strives for Social Change in India 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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Determined to Create Social Change in India  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2018, 06:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Determined to Create Social Change in India
Image

In a light-filled warehouse on the outskirts of Bhagalpur, India, Naseem Ansari sits in front of a large wooden loom. In his hands are slender silk threads that he carefully guides through a small wire loop. He will repeat this gesture of filling the heddle hundreds – perhaps thousands – of times before he is ready to move onto the next step. Weaving just this one scarf will take him the entire day.

Like his father and grandfather before him, Naseem is a master handweaver. Until recently, however, he hasn’t been able to support himself with his skill. Despite Naseem’s talent and Bhagalpur’s long history as a weaving city, the industry here has crashed, a victim of too much competition and too many mechanical looms.

Naseem Ansari, one of the weavers at GamcHHa

The good news for Naseem, and for other handweavers like him, is that two HEC Paris MBA alumni are working to revive this traditional art. Project GamcHHa, the brainchild of Amitabh Thakur, MBA ’03, along with two other founders, aims to create a shared value ecosystem by selling handwoven products internationally. By bringing the craftsmanship of the handweavers of Bhagalpur to the forefront once again, they hope to act as agents of social change, providing these artisans with a good standard of living.

“We aim to deliver the highest quality products to consumers,” explains Himanshu Jain, MBA ’18, one of HEC Paris MBA alumni involved in the project. “We want to achieve this while valuing the creativity and craftsmanship of the artisans, and bring back their profession under fair and sustainable conditions.”

Developing the Product
The first step in Project GamcHHa was to create an item worthy of sale on foreign markets. Even though a gamchha is traditionally a cloth made out of cotton, Project GamcHHa’s weavers are fashioning their creations out of silk. “Just to make that change alone was a challenge,” Himanshu says. “We spent the first 24 months concentrating almost entirely on product development. We strove to find the right balance between a soft texture and the strength of the fabric.”

The end result is a velvety, durable scarf made out of Eri silk. This silk, a favorite of Buddhist monks, is known as “the fabric of peace” because it can be harvested without causing any harm to the silkworms.

GamcHHa’s scarves use only natural dyes

Once the silk is gathered and spun into thread, it is dyed using only natural colors derived from the various plants, vegetables and fruits native to the northeastern part of India. GamcHHa’s lovely mustard-colored scarves, for example, are colored by marigold flowers, and the dusty rose textiles get their hue from pomegranates.

With these earth-friendly practices firmly in place, Himanshu then consulted with HEC Paris professors Laurence Lehmann Ortega and Patrick Albaladejo for advice on how to sell GamcHHa’s scarves on the luxury market.

“The product is beautiful,” says Laurence, an affiliate professor of strategy and business policy at HEC Paris. “This is exactly the kind of purposeful luxury products that we need: doing good by buying well.”

Today Project GamcHHa involves just a handful of people. The goal is to eventually employ 50-100 weavers who fabricate 20,000 scarves a year. For the moment, both Amitabh and Himanshu work on Project GamcHHa while pursuing full-time careers in consulting. They hold the social-change project close to their hearts, describing it as the “love and passion of their lives.”

Himanshu Jain and Amitabh Thakur, the two HEC Paris MBA involved in GamcHHa

“Ideally, we’d like to have luxury boutiques across Europe order scarves from us so we can plan our production, have the time to develop new products and build our business gradually,” Himanshu says. Negotiations are also in the works with several of Paris’ luxury houses to carry their products.

The HEC Paris MBA Connection
Despite the 15 years separating their graduation years, these two alumni actually met thanks to the HEC Paris MBA. Amitabh was the alumni who interviewed Himanshu for admission into the degree program. After the interview was finished, the two started talking about entrepreneurship and business ideas, and Project GamcHHa came up.

“Amitabh said to me, ‘I have this idea where we can bring the handweavers back to work’,” Himanshu explains. “I’ve always been passionate about entrepreneurship. The opportunity to be associated with a concept as beautiful as GamcHHa was the best thing that could have happened to me prior to beginning my MBA at HEC Paris.

“Our goal for 20 years down the line is to have the people of Bhagalpur say, ‘Yes, I want to be a weaver, because it’s a respected business, I like the work, and I like the respect that I gain from doing this work’,” Himanshu says.
The post Determined to Create Social Change in India 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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3 Crucial Lessons Learned from Swimming the English Channel  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Sep 2018, 07:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: 3 Crucial Lessons Learned from Swimming the English Channel
Image

There are less than 2,000 people who have swam across the English Channel, and Lucas Carbonaro, MBA ’13, is one of them. The HEC Paris MBA alumnus made his crossing in August in a little over 17 hours.

“It started as a joke,” Lucas explains. “I had swam the Strait of Gibraltar, and a friend said, ‘So next you’ll do the English Channel?’ It’s two-and-a-half times the distance. At the time I thought I never could train for that.”

Just knowing the facts about the English Channel show how impressive a feat it is. Also called La Manche, the 21 mile (33 km) stretch of water separates England and France. It is widely considered one of the most iconic swims by open-water swimmers. To date, more people have successfully climbed Everest (nearly 5,000) then have been able to complete the swim.

What makes a Channel swim so unique is its complexity. The water temperature usually ranges from 13°C to 17°C (hypothermia accounts for many of the unsuccessful attempts) and to be officially recognized it has to be completed without a wetsuit. The swim can take just a little over 7 hours (world record) to nearly 27 hours (the slowest).

While Lucas seriously downplays his accomplishment, saying things like, “What one person can do, another person can do,” the Senior Project Manager for the European Investment Bank did share with us three life lessons he learned from his crossing.

Lucas Carbonaro, MBA ’13, during his 17-hour swim

Lesson 1: Surround yourself with a positive team
Lucas’ words: Swimming the English Channel is not a one-man show. I couldn’t have made the crossing without the full support of my family, or without surrounding myself with people who share my passion.

My holidays, my weekdays and my weekends were all affected: training took lots of my personal time and required lots of patience from my fiancée, Maria Narusova (also an HEC Paris MBA graduate). Last July, I spent a week in Ireland training at a cold-water swimming camp, then I spent another week in Corsica to swim across the Bonifacio Strait (between Corsica and Sardinia). During the last 6 months, I had to find swimming pools everywhere I travelled: Paris, Moscow and Venice. My weekdays often started as early as 5 a.m. to fit in a 3-hour training session.

Being part of a like-minded community was essential for me. Some of those early morning swims wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t have training partners to hold me accountable and motivate me to wake up so early. I met dozens of English Channel swimmers at the Irish swimming camp. Hearing about their experiences and witnessing their attitude towards the swim reassured me and helped to “demystify” the crossing, to show me that it’s doable.

On the day of the swim, I had the support of a six-person boat crew: 2 pilots, 1 observer from the Channel Swimming Association, 2 support swimmers and my fiancée. I fully relied on the pilots’ experience in terms of tides and currents.  The support swimmers jumped into the water a few times to help me keep pace. Maria and my other team members closely monitored my food and liquid intake, passed on messages of support from friends and family, and generally kept checking on me to make sure I was still feeling good. The six of them stayed on the small boat for more than 20 hours straight. Luckily for all of us, the weather was good.

Lesson 2: Create a plan and stick to it
This screenshot of Lucas’ tracker shows the path he took across the channel

Lucas’ words: The funny thing is that I am quite an average swimmer. That said, I have been active all my life, playing rugby during grade school and later at university, then taking up running and completing a few triathlons, including three full-distance Ironman competitions.

When it comes to swimming, I started practicing the sport regularly only few years ago. Consistent practice and setting small goals created the “domino effect:” a reaction in which the cumulative effect produced by one event sets off a chain of events. In my case, I went from swimming in a pool to crossing the Strait of Messina (3 km between Sicily and mainland Italy), then to crossing Gibraltar (14 km between Morocco and Spain) and finally the English Channel (33 km).

Crossing the Strait of Messina became a summer habit from 2011 onwards (I am half Sicilian and half Scottish and I go every summer to Sicily for my holidays). One summer I crossed it two ways (6 km) and wanted to challenge myself further. In 2014, I crossed Gibraltar. In 2015, I unsuccessfully attempted the English Channel – I stopped after 13 hours at roughly two-thirds of the distance.

After each milestone, I set another goal that was ambitious but achievable.

Lesson 3: Realize that we are much stronger than we believe
Lucas’ words: People say that if you have properly trained for La Manche, the challenge on the day of your swim is 80 percent mental and 20 percent physical.

It’s very easy to fall into the trap of self-limiting beliefs by saying, “I will never be able to do that,” and I did have so many moments of doubt. The first time I swam in cold water (less than 10 degrees), I only lasted 20 minutes. That’s after spending another 20 minutes beforehand on shore convincing myself to enter the water. Training after training, one step at a time, I managed to spend longer in the cold water and be able to exit the sea feeling cool but without shivering. Still, it was difficult to believe that eventually I would manage one day to swim 17 hours straight in cold water.

As much as hard work and having a plan are important, mental strength is often a decisive factor in any endurance event.  Seventeen + hours of swimming through the night and the day, embracing the pain as part of experience, without stopping or even touching the boat, was definitely one of the major physical and mental challenges I have experienced. I am grateful for the body and mind I have, and I keep being surprised by how “flexible” my limits are.

In the end, what I definitely realized is you can really achieve whatever it is you set your mind to do.
The post 3 Crucial Lessons Learned from Swimming the English Channel appeared first on HEC Paris MBA News.
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HEC Paris MBA Students Earn Top Prize in Fintech Producthon  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2018, 01:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: HEC Paris MBA Students Earn Top Prize in Fintech Producthon
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Despite all the buzz surrounding contactless cards, mobile wallets and other types of electronic payments, Europeans remain deeply enamored by cold, hard cash. Considering that a whopping $3,600,000,000,000 of transactions in Europe used physical money last year, this love affair seems unlikely to change anytime soon.

Teams worked through the night on their Fintech products

That’s where Fintech Producthon 2018 comes in. Sponsored by HEC Paris and Mastercard, last week’s event enabled 90 students to take a deep dive into the world of Fintech. Their mission: develop a user-friendly product to replace cash transactions.

“I wanted a way of encouraging innovation among students without following a fixed agenda,” explains HEC Paris MBA student Ziv Ilan, MBA ’19, an event organizer. “This event gave participants a hands-on opportunity to explore a domain that is highly relevant to the worlds of entrepreneurship, finance and technology.”

Designed as a 24-hour hackathon, the 15 teams from the HEC Paris MBA, the HEC Paris’ Grand Ecole and Masters programs, and ESSEC Business School huddled in rooms throughout the S Building brainstorming their ideas. Mentors from Mastercard and MiTrust circled around, guaranteeing that each team addressed the issues of trust, privacy and government regulation that have kept the public from adapting electronic forms of payment.

HEC Paris MBA student Ziv Ilan introduces the Fintech judges Pierre Lahbabi (left) and Julien Fierobe (right).

In the end, each team had three minutes to pitch their solution. The judges were Julien Fierobe, Director of Business Development at Mastercard, and Pierre Lahbabi, Cofounder and COO of MiTrust.

Emerging as victors were HEC Paris MBA students Warren Prabhu, Kunal Bhagi, Pakasai Ploysangsai and Dominique Christiansen, otherwise known as Team Bumblebee. Their proposal offered a unique way of making offline e-commerce purchases. Second place went to Phoenix, a team from ESSEC that used secured biometric identification for purchases. Team FinHEC, made up of HEC Paris MBA students Deepa Srinivasan, Corey Leung, Cody Overstreet, Ruben Miranda and Aditya Roy earned third place with their idea to leverage the familiarity of the Navigo card (Paris’ monthly transportation pass) by extending its purchasing power to online and store purchases.

The winning team earned €3000 in prize money. All three teams will also pitch their ideas at the Mastercard Innovation Forum in November, where they will compete for a grand prize of €10,000.

With these teams’ great proposals, there is every reason to believe that a cashless society is in Europe’s near future.

#HECProducthon
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Immersed in Consulting in the Middle East  [#permalink]

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New post 18 Oct 2018, 08:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Immersed in Consulting in the Middle East
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Spring marks a much-awaited moment for consulting aficionados: the HEC Paris MBA’s consulting trek to Dubai. With a specific focus on the area’s largest firms, the annual voyage offers a unique opportunity to be immersed in the Middle East’s strategy consulting world.

This year was no exception. Upon wrapping up core term exams, 24 MBA students, accompanied by Mathieu Chausset, the Career Center’s consulting specialist, embarked on the 4-day trek.

MBAs at Emirates

Day 1: Our first company visit was with Monitor Deloitte, where we met senior consultants and talent-management professionals. We then journeyed to Schneider Electric’s strategy unit, and were greeted by the head of the Dubai office. During both visits, company presentations were followed by Q&A sessions, teaching us about the biggest driver of the area’s consulting projects: the Saudi Arabia National Transformation Program 2020.

Day 2: Thursday is the busiest recruitment day in Dubai, since consultants are back in the office following their weekly travels. We kicked off the day in Bain’s offices in the Dubai Media City. In addition to the office’s unmatched views of the Gulf, the space had recently been redesigned to encourage teamwork and collaboration. We learned about Bain’s inception in the Middle East and its core sectors, and met with Eric Beranger, MBA’02,  Antonio Linardi, Anouar El Ibrahimi, MBA ’18, and Othmane Khelil, MBA ’17.

Bain knows how to welcome HEC Paris students

Afterward, we headed to the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) to be introduced to the HR team of McKinsey. Immediately after lunch, we stopped at Strategy& and met one of their partners and several HEC alumni. We learned that Strategy& was the first consulting firm in the region, establishing its presence in 1993!

Last but not least, we met partners Laurent Viviez, Sean Wheeler and Gael Rouilloux, MBA ’05, in AT Kearney Dubai’s newly renovated space. It was exciting to see the number of HEC Paris MBA alumni working for the company. We networked with Sauvik Tegta, Ashish Singhal, Uliana Schepelina and Sheldon D’Souza. We also greeted Bassam Ben Ghozlen, MBA ’18, who had attended the Dubai trek the year prior and who had just started as a consultant.

Day 3: Boyden Executive Search’sfounder provided us with a fascinating presentation of the state of affairs in Dubai and the Middle East and the current trends in the consulting market.

Inside Schneider Electric’s Dubai office

Our second meeting that day was at the Dubai Design district with Simon Kucher & Partners, a consulting firm focused on strategy and marketing. We participated in business cases and learned about their unique approach focusing on revenues and profits to generate top and bottom line growth strategies.

We ended the day back at the DIFC with Alix Partners, where we learned about their work on operational-efficiency improvement.

Day 4: We visited Emirates at the Emirates Headquarters, which is located adjacent to the world’s busiest airport (as measured by international passenger traffic). To reach their office, we walked among airline crews reporting for duty. Once there, we learned about the intriguing operational and strategy opportunities and threats that the Emirates strategy team has to tackle as the world’s largest airline. We also met senior management including Christoph Mueller (former CEO ofMalaysia Airlines & Aer Lingus), Sheila Nazareth (Head of Internal Consulting) and Abdulaziz Al Ali (EVP of Human Resources). Thanks to HEC Paris alumna Vanshi Kotru, MBA ’12, for organizing such an inspirational visit!

Our second meeting of the day was with Arthur D Little, where we were given a tour of their growing office by an HEC Paris MBA alumni who had just joined in January. We then attended a presentation, which was followed by refreshments and networking with several HEC alums. The company also shared an internship opportunity exclusively open to trek attendees.

Our final meeting of the week was with Delta Partners, an advisory and investment firm specialized in telecoms, media and technology. We met with their young and dynamic team who shared a day-to-day breakdown of their routine.

Weekend and Evenings
Of course, we also spent time bonding with classmates. We organized dinners together, visited Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi, had fun at Jumeirah Beach in front of the Burj Al Arab (the world’s only 7 star hotel), and drinks at At.mosphere on the 122nd floor of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. What a week it was!

Networking with Alumni
We concluded the trek with a cocktail hour at the Ritz Carlton Hotel hosted by the HEC GCC Alumni Committee’s President, Mehdi El Amine Fichtali. It was a wonderful opportunity to network informally with numerous HEC Paris alumni and spend even more time in this fascinating region of the world.
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HEC Paris MBA Forges Links in Latin America  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Oct 2018, 03:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: HEC Paris MBA Forges Links in Latin America
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Rugby wasn’t always a popular sport in Santiago de Machaca. Just two years ago, most of the 4,000 inhabitants of this remote Bolivian village had never even watched a match, much less played in one. The town’s playing field sat empty, its synthetic grass dusty and unkempt. Children raced to school, but didn’t have much to do once classes ended.

All that changed thanks to Jean Fontayne. The physical education teacher knew the advantages of teaching the village children to play rugby. His idea: create a cultural exchange between France and Bolivia through sport. “Everyone works together in rugby, and there are no ‘stars’ on the team,” Jean says. “Some of the key things you learn: confidence in your teammates, compromise, responsibility, even honor.”

Jean Fontayne (left) and the other Anatanani volunteers are pictured wearing T-shirts donated by the HEC Paris MBA.

As a sports educator born in Bolivia but raised in France, Jean had come to this altiplano village in 2016 to discover his roots. During his lengthy visit, he realized he could make a difference in the lives of the village children. Though kids under 17 years old make up over half of Santiago de Machaca’s population, there were no after-school or weekend activities for them. Searching for the best way to create change, Jean contacted Macha’k Wayra, a Bolivian association working to improve the living conditions of local families.

Together, Jean and Macha’K Wayra etched out a humanitarian project for the village. Plans included a new community center and after-school projects such as music, painting and cooking. As someone who’d played rugby since he was 5 years old, Jean added rugby into the mix, knowing regular practices and tournaments would allow the village’s boys and girls to build their self-confidence and make new friends from other regions.

Local children enjoying their time playing rugby

Along the way, Jean’s project has found an outpouring of support. The HEC Paris MBA donated 100 rugby shirts specifically made for the village teams. The French Rugby Federation provided all the equipment – from balls to shin guards – needed to play. Jean’s legally registered nonprofit association, Anatanani, is working in France to raise money and bring volunteers for cultural exchanges between the two countries.

The results have been remarkable. Jean’s first rugby tournament, organized in May 2017, marks the first-ever tournament in Bolivia for children under 13 years old. Teams from Catacora and La Paz travelled to Santiago de Machaca to play. In total, 80 boys and girls participated. And although the village teams didn’t win the tournament, a love of the sport took hold.

Since then, Jean has organized two more tournaments in the country. As a result, many of the villagers have travelled to La Paz, the regional capital, for the first time. Families from different Bolivian towns met each other, swapping stories around a traditional shared feast called an Apthapi. The village children are undoubtedly getting better at the sport, even beating the Franco-Bolivian Lycée’s teams from La Paz in the last tournament.

Jean Fontayne with the children during a TV interview in Bolivia

Through the Anatanani association, volunteers are helping out in Santiago de Machaca. One recent gathering had French volunteers and Bolivian villagers singing each other’s songs, tasting each other’s traditional recipes and learning words from the other’s languages. Jean is encouraging young rugby players from the two countries to write letters to each other, expanding their views of the world.

As Jean explains, “There’s really no better spirit to meet new people than in the spirit that surrounds sport.”
The post HEC Paris MBA Forges Links in Latin America appeared first on HEC Paris MBA News.
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7 Things We Love in Versailles  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 02:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: 7 Things We Love in Versailles
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It is impossible to resist Versailles, a city steeped in history that attracts almost 10 million visitors each year. Just a short train ride away from HEC Paris, the RER C line not only takes you to Versailles in 10 minutes, it also transports you back to the 18th century. With its carriages decorated to look like rooms of the Versailles Chateau, you will feel as if you are sitting beside Marie Antoinette herself. Here is a list of must-dos and hidden gems that are favorites among HEC staff and students.

[b]1 Chateau de Versailles[/b]

Within the Hall of Mirrors

There is a reason the Chateau is number one on this list. Get lost in the endless rooms filled with exquisite paintings and handcrafted furniture, and make sure to pick up the free audio guide not to miss details such as how the King never slept in his own bed!

Must-sees around the palace are the Hall of Mirrors, where you get a taste of the residents’ decadent lifestyles (it is also where the Treaty of Versailles was signed in 1918 ending World War I), and the Hameau de la Reine, a rustic hamlet used by Marie Antoinette to escape the burdens of court life.

Good news for EU residents under 26.  Access to the Chateau is free for you all year round.  The Chateau is also free on the first Sunday of every month between November and March. Otherwise, tickets start at 12€. If you want to beat the (often lengthy) queues, we recommend booking your tickets in advance.

If the decadent lifestyle of the bourgeois captures your heart, attend the chateau’s annual Grand Masquerade Ball. Sip champagne dressed in petticoats and powdered wigs and you’ll understand why court life was so decadent. See photos from the 2018 ball here.

Raspberry tarts

2 Patisseries

If Marie Antoinette’s famous words “qu’ils mangent de la brioche” (“let them eat cake”) are ringing in your ears as you leave the chateau, there are numerous patisseries in the city to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Angelina’s in the chateau gardens offers an indulgent choice of pastries and desserts. Make sure to try the hot chocolate, which was first introduced in France at the wedding of Louis XIII in 1615. The chateau also boasts a mini Ladurée, world famous for its macarons.

Venturing outside of the chateau you’ll find the best millefeuilles and eclairs at Gaulupeau, or stop by Aux Pains de la Ferme for something savoury.

[b]3 Marché de Notre Dame[/b]

Notre Dame fresh food market

If the tearooms don’t tickle your fancy, head to the Marché de Notre Dame. There you can buy incredibly fresh produce that’s perfect for a picnic at the chateau’s gardens. First established by Louis XIII in 1634, the market has played a significant role in the city for centuries. You will find stalls overflowing with everything from cheese to fish to flowers.

4 Gardens of Versailles

With picnic firmly in hand, head to the gardens of Versailles. With some 800 hectares of land, there are plenty of beautiful fountains, sculptures and hidden corners to keep you entertained for hours. If you haven’t brought your walking shoes, consider renting a bike (from 6.50€) or a golf cart (from 34€) to cross the grounds. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, boats are available to hire from 13€ –but be sure to bring a friend to help with the rowing! The gardens are free to enter year around except during shows such as the Musical Fountains Show and Musical Gardens Show.

5 Fireworks at the Chateau

On Saturdays throughout the summer and into September, the Musical Fountain Show is held during daylight hours, followed by a glorious fireworks display that can be heard all the way from HEC Paris. Watch the lights dance in the fountains in time to music then the fireworks light up the sky above the chateau.

6 Performances during “Le Mois Molière”

During the month of June, theatre performances take place in various spaces throughout Versailles. With over 300 performances covering different genres and aimed at all age groups, you are sure to find a performance to make you laugh (or cry!).

If theater doesn’t call out to you, the Centre de Musique Baroque organises free musical events every Thursday in the Royal Chapel of the Chateau de Versailles. Each Thursday is a different theme.

7 Eating Out

Gordon Ramsay restaurant

After exploring Versailles all day, there is nowhere better for sophisticated French dining than the Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay au Trianon. Celebrating? Try the elegant seven-course prestige menu carefully selected by Ramsay and his executive chef Frederic Larquemin–but make sure to reserve early!

La Table du 11 also boasts an exquisite five- or seven-course tasting menu in the evening with each course presented more beautifully than the last.

A la Ferme, another gem of Versailles, offers authentic and delicious French cooking in a rustically styled restaurant, perfect after a long day of walking around the Gardens and exploring the markets.

Versailles has much to offer, no matter the budget, making it the perfect weekend escape. The Chateau also offers a One Year in Versailles Card which, for only 50€, gives you a year of access to the estate, all temporary exhibitions, and discounts for many of the things included in this article such as 7% off at Angelina’s and 20% of boat hire. Make the most of this beautiful city that is right on your doorstep!
The post 7 Things We Love in Versailles appeared first on HEC Paris MBA News.
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The Greatest Manager of the Past 100 Years  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 07:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: The Greatest Manager of the Past 100 Years
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If you had to name the greatest manager of the past 100 years, who would you choose? For student Margaret Hoffecker, HEC Paris MBA Class of 2019, the answer was easy: Eryn Taylor.

If you don’t immediately recognize Eryn’s name from a recent Forbes World Billionaire List, you’re not alone. In explaining her choice, Margaret says that there is “no way to know if a manager is truly great unless you were managed by them.” As a result, she nominated Eryn, who was her supervisor at Ketchum communications consultancy.

Margaret’s choice wowed journalists Andrew Hill and Helen Barrett, who chose her essay as one of two winners in the Financial Times’ Business School Management Challenge (the other winner named Stanley Kubrick). For her prize, Margaret receives an all-access ticket to the Global Peter Drucker Forum taking place in Vienna in November.

In her winning essay, which had to be 200 words or less, Margaret wrote, “Eryn challenged me to want more out of my job and chase my dreams to move from New York to London. She advocated on my behalf when I needed senior support to make that move happen. She wrote my reference letter for HEC Paris, helping me go after an MBA and supporting me throughout. She has inspired me with her risk taking, leaving our previous company to try something completely new.”

Huge congratulations to Margaret and to Eryn!
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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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The Greatest Manager of the Past 100 Years  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Nov 2018, 04:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: The Greatest Manager of the Past 100 Years
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If you had to name the greatest manager of the past 100 years, who would you choose? For student Margaret Hoffecker, HEC Paris MBA Class of 2019, the answer was easy: Eryn Taylor.

If you don’t immediately recognize Eryn’s name from a recent Forbes World Billionaire List, you’re not alone. In explaining her choice, Margaret says that there is “no way to know if a manager is truly great unless you were managed by them.” As a result, she nominated Eryn, who was her supervisor at Ketchum communications consultancy.

Margaret’s choice wowed journalists Andrew Hill and Helen Barrett, who chose her essay as one of two winners in the Financial Times’ Business School Management Challenge (the other winner named Stanley Kubrick). For her prize, Margaret receives an all-access ticket to the Global Peter Drucker Forum taking place in Vienna in November.

In her winning essay, which had to be 200 words or less, Margaret wrote, “Eryn challenged me to want more out of my job and chase my dreams to move from New York to London. She advocated on my behalf when I needed senior support to make that move happen. She wrote my reference letter for HEC Paris, helping me go after an MBA and supporting me throughout. She has inspired me with her risk taking, leaving our previous company to try something completely new.”

Huge congratulations to Margaret and to Eryn!
The post The Greatest Manager of the Past 100 Years 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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