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HEC Paris MBA Admissions and Related Blogs

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Re: HEC Paris MBA Admissions and Related Blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Aug 2019, 20:42
HomeToGo, the Berlin-headquartered metasearch engine for holiday rentals, has closed $20 million in Series B funding. Noteworthy for a European startup, the round is being led by New York-based VC Insight Venture Partners, along with participation from the company’s previous backers DN Capital, and Acton Capital Partners
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Meet our September 2019 MBA Intake in this Student-Produced Video  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 03:59
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Meet our September 2019 MBA Intake in this Student-Produced Video
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For proof that the September 2019 HEC Paris MBA intake is an inspired group, take a moment to watch their student-produced video. Yes, that’s an elephant with Anshul. Maria Alejandra is mingling with some of Cartagena’s famous palenqueras. Johannes and Mayu each dance in their country’s traditional garb. And for those 100+ students who didn’t film segments in their home countries, the video’s creators, Jonas Kanafani and Karan Nimrani, embarked on another big undertaking – organizing a group trip to Paris to dance in front of the Eiffel Tower.

“It was really fascinating to see the entire class come together around the theme of dancing – the great unifier,” Karan says. “The video is a manifestation of our cohort’s diverse individuality and a celebration of our energy. It binds together all of our intake’s creativity through a common conduit.”

With all the inventiveness captured in these few minutes of film, we can’t wait to see what the September 2019 MBA intake accomplishes in the classroom!

 

 
The post Meet our September 2019 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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Bubbles and business: MBA students enjoy an exclusive trip to the Veuv  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Oct 2019, 03:59
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Bubbles and business: MBA students enjoy an exclusive trip to the Veuve Clicquot estate
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HEC Paris MBA students took an unforgettable field visit to Veuve Clicquot’s estate. Students embarked from Paris on a train for a short 45-minute journey to Reims, where they experienced a unique VIP tour of the centuries-old French Maison de Champagne. The tour started at the vineyards in Verzy with a straight-off-the-vines tasting of green and purple grapes and a demonstration of the picking and pressing process.

Next, the group returned to Reims and descended into the caves of Veuve Clicquot – an astounding 15 miles of underground tunnels, where 40 million bottles of champagne are stored. In the cellars, students learned how Madame Clicquot, known as the “Grande Dame of Champagne” and one of the first businesswomen in history, greatly expanded the champagne business after she was widowed at the age of 27. The cellar tour ended with a tasting of several premium champagnes: Yellow Label Brut, Millésimé, Rosé, and Grande Dame.

Just before dinner at the exclusive Hôtel du Marc, Arnaud Troussier, an HEC Paris alumnus and the Asia Business Development Manager for Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin, welcomed the group to the headquarters of Veuve Clicquot. He shared the firm’s strategy and participated in a Q&A session with students.

The evening ended with an exquisite and delicious dinner at La Maison du Marc, the mansion acquired by Madame Clicquot in 1822. The group included Dominique Christiansen, Mauricio Mastropietro, Hilary Matson, Marc Chbeir, Fawad Bhatti, Janika Naust, Xinjia Wang and Madeleine Chabot. They were joined by Associate Dean of MBA Programs, Andrea Masini, Affiliate Professor Anne Michaut, an expert in luxury marketing, and John Byrne, Editor-in-Chief of Poets & Quants.

To learn what Poets & Quants had to say about the trip, click here.

Students visiting the Veuve Clicquot vineyards

 

Crates of grapes just picked off the vines during harvest season at Veuve Clicquot’s vineyards

 

4,000 kilos of freshly picked grapes about to be pressed into juice

 

Tasting freshly pressed grape juice

 

Entering the Veuve Clicqout cellars

 

Descending into the cellars of Veuve Clicquot

 

A few of the 40 million bottles of champagne stored in the caves of Veuve Clicquot

 

Time to taste the bubbly champagne

 

Champagne tasting in the cellars of Veuve Clicquot

 

Visiting the Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin headquarters

 

In the boardroom at the Veuve Clicquot headquarters for a Q&A with Arnaud Troussier, an HEC Paris alumnus and the Asia Business Development Manager for Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin

 

Time for dinner at the exclusive Hôtel du Marc

 

An evening in honor of our students

 

An enchanted evening at the Hôtel du Marc

 

Dinner and champagne tasting at the Hôtel du Marc

The post Bubbles and business: MBA students enjoy an exclusive trip to the Veuve Clicquot estate 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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HEC Paris students seas the day at the One Ocean MBA Conference and Re  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Oct 2019, 08:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: HEC Paris students seas the day at the One Ocean MBA Conference and Regatta
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In September, the SDA Bocconi School of Management organized their annual MBA Conference & Regatta, in partnership with the One Ocean Foundation. For the second year in a row, I had the pleasure of participating in this unique event that brings alumni and students together and celebrates the friendship between some of the most important MBA programs in the world. Simply put, this is one of the “shouldn’t-miss” events of the year. Just like MBAT, this trip allows students to network with other MBAs and to compete for HEC Paris. Last year’s regatta inspired me to do my best when I had the chance to serve as the 2019 MBAT VP of Activities, organizing the tournament’s various events and activities. MBAT is to sports what this regatta is to sailing: number one in Europe.

Having attended last year’s competition in Santa Margarita Ligure, I knew that my suitcase needed to hold both sailing attire for the day and fancy evening wear for nightly events. However, this year’s competition was special because, for the first time, it was going to take place in Porto Cervo. We were heading to one of the most exclusive destinations on the Italian island of Sardinia.

Spectacular sea views at Porto Cervo

After arriving in Porto Cervo and getting a glimpse of the spectacular views, we checked in and got to know everyone on the HEC Paris MBA team. Nineteen current students and one alumnus divided into two competing categories: off-shore, with Luca Passoti (S18) as skipper, and cruise, with Steffen Brand (S19) as a licensed sailor.

That night, the welcome party took place at the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda, one of the event’s organizers. We enjoyed Aperol Spritz, Prosecco and Italian hors d’oeuvres by the pool.

The next day it was time to sail. Both of the HEC Paris MBA boats took advantage of the island’s strong winds. Sailing is a team effort. To make the most out of the wind’s force, decisions have to be made fast. After some three hours at sea, it was time to dock, swim, and enjoy some food and drinks next to other schools’ boats. Later that day, a visit to the beautiful Porto Cervo awaited, followed by a party where we met students from other MBA programs and danced into the night.

Sailors included 19 current HEC Paris MBA students and one alumnus

The last day of sailing came, but there was some bad news: the wind was so strong that the competition was canceled. Skippers were asked to go out only at their discretion. We decided to be safe, and went to a nearby beach to sunbathe and relax, accompanied by the unofficial HEC Paris sailing mascot, an inflatable lobster named Don Porfirio. After that, it was time to dress-to-impress for the gala: a truly spectacular dinner and an after-party at a local club. This unforgettable night was full of music, champagne and networking.

The weekend went too fast, and just like last year’s, it was one of the highlights of my MBA. I’m thankful for the amazing people I met, and for having the chance to share yet another great experience with students from the HEC Paris MBA. Needless to say, HEC Paris might not have the best MBA sailing team yet, but it does have one that is known for its friendliness. I’m sure we’d win the congeniality award if there was one.

Relaxing on the final day

The post HEC Paris students seas the day at the One Ocean MBA Conference and Regatta 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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The HEC Paris MBA ranks No. 1 in Europe in The Economist  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Nov 2019, 07:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: The HEC Paris MBA ranks No. 1 in Europe in The Economist
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The HEC Paris MBA is proud to announce that it is #1 in Europe, and #3 in the world, out of the 160 schools worldwide surveyed for The Economist’s 2019 Which MBA? ranking.

“We are incredibly honored by this accolade,” says Associate Dean Andrea Masini. “We have maintained our lead in the categories where traditionally we have been strong: the quality and diversity of our students, the reach of our alumni network and the increase in salary enjoyed by our graduates. We have also excelled in categories that reflect the recent changes made to our Career Center and with the overall academic experience.”

What sets The Economist apart from other b-school rankings is that it focuses on the feedback of current students and recent graduates. “This year the Classes of 2018 and 2019 contributed to the ranking,” explains Dean Masini. “Their responses highlight the positive impact the MBA program has on students’ knowledge base, leadership skills and career progression.”

Within The Economist’s 2019 ranking, only two schools placed higher than the HEC Paris MBA: the University of Chicago—Booth School of Business and Harvard Business School.

The Economist’s results also noted that American MBA programs across the board have received 7% fewer applicants this year than last. By contrast, the HEC Paris MBA has seen the quantity and quality of its candidate pool skyrocket during the past few years. With an average class size of 280 students, representing 60 nationalities, we remain one of the most selective and diverse MBA programs in the world.

For other recent b-school rankings, visit Forbes, who named the HEC Paris MBA #2 for Best Two-Year International MBA programs, and the QS World University Rankings, where we ranked #7 worldwide for full-time Global MBA programs.

 

 
The post The HEC Paris MBA ranks No. 1 in Europe in The Economist 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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MBA Students bring Bleuet de France Sales to Campus  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 07:35
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: MBA Students bring Bleuet de France Sales to Campus

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A nationwide fundraising campaign showing solidarity with fallen military personnel and the victims of terrorist attacks came to HEC Paris last week.

Members of the campus community purchased 230 blue paper flowers, otherwise known as the Bleuet de France, in honor of Veteran’s Day and the sacrifices made in the pursuit of peace. They raised a total of €1,315 for l’ONACVG, the French organization that aids victims and their families.

Four HEC Paris MBA students, led by Vincent Dillies, Class of 2021, organized the campus-wide sale using logistical support from Ecole de Guerre. “Selling the bleuets says ‘thank you’ to those people in the Armed Forces who gave their lives or were injured defending their country,” explains Vincent, currently a Major in the French Army.

Ever since World War I, the bleuet (cornflower or bachelor’s button in English) has been a French symbol of remembrance. Like the British poppy, the bleuet is a hardy flower that flourished in Europe’s devastated battlefields. Its color is reminiscent of the blue uniform worn by young recruits. Wounded veterans began crafting them out of fabric and paper and selling them as early as 1925.

The bleuets are traditionally worn on November 11th and May 8th, the days that mark the end of World War I and World War II. In 2012, November 11th became official day of remembrance for everyone who has died in the service of France, including victims of terrorism.
The post MBA Students bring Bleuet de France Sales to Campus 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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Top Picks for Creating the Perfect Parisian Christmas  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 07:36
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Top Picks for Creating the Perfect Parisian Christmas

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The City of Lights has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world to spend the festive season. From ice-skating in La Défense to sipping a vin chaud by the banks of the Canal St Martin, we’ve put together some of our top recommendations for making the most of Paris this holiday season.

Christmas Markets
A Christmas market in front of one of Paris’ iconic monuments cannot be missed, so make sure to head to the Marché de Noêl Paris Notre Dame. But the magic doesn’t stop there.  Cozy Christmas villages have popped up at the Forum des Halles (in the 1st arrondissement), on the esplanade at La Défense (just outside the city), and for a picture-perfect Instagram shot, look no further than the Marché de Noël de Saint Germain in front of the church in the 6th arrondissement. Or for those seeking unique Christmas gifts, why not try Le Marché de Noël (autrement) de ta Mère Nature, a market that promotes ecological and ethical consumption, or the vegan Christmas market at Le Hasard Ludique.

Christmas Market at Notre Dame (Photo credit: Instagram)

Ice Skating
One of the most spectacular skating locations in Paris is the Grand Palais des Glaces, where visitors can skate under the iconic glass roof. At night, the ice rink turns into a dance floor with flashing lights, DJ sets and a glittering mirror ball. If you prefer to skate in the open air, why not try 110m above ground, at the ice rink on top of the Grande Arche at La Défense. And this year a new ice rink opens on the rooftop of Galeries Lafayette, offering skaters picture-perfect views of the Eiffel Tower.

Place Vendôme
The elegant Place Vendôme in the 1st arrondissement (home of the unforgettable 5-star Ritz hotel) always dresses to impress during the festive season. All around the 8th arrondissement there are beautiful light displays too, like on the Champs Elysées, the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and the Avenue Montaigne.

Festive Place Vendôme

Window Decorations
All the major department stores in Paris have dazzling window displays and interior decorations. The most famous is probably Galeries Lafayette (9th arrondissement), which hosts at the center of its beauty department a 25-meter Christmas tree that stretches all the way to its stained glass ceiling. Other stores worth checking out are the BHV Marais (4th arrondissement), Printemps Haussman (9th arrondissement) and Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche (7th arrondissement).

25-meter Christmas Tree at Galeries Lafayette (Photo Credit: Instagram)

Festive Food
If there is one thing the French truly excel at for the holidays, it is sumptuous seasonal delicacies. If you are looking to blow your budget on a special holiday meal, you can dine like royalty in the Eiffel Tower restaurant Le Jules Verne, or in 5-star hotels like Le Bristol and Le Meurice. For mid-range meals with friends and family, traditional Parisian brasseries like Le Bofinger, Au Petit Marguery and the Opéra Garnier restaurant serve set menus for Christmas and New Year. If you are on a budget then the legendary Bouillon Chartier (with its gorgeous Art Nouveau interior) is always a crowd pleaser.

If a festive vin chaud is what you’re after, head to BarOurcqfor views of the Canal St Martin, or Le Stube, situated in the picturesque Passage Verdeau.

Finally, if you are looking for a sweet treat to take to a gathering, then a bûche de noel is the perfect choice. Parisian patisseries all try to outdo one another for the most creative and beautiful bûche, so it seems only fair that you sample as many as possible for effective judging!

Christmas Farther Afield
If your festive spirit still isn’t satisfied by everything that Paris has to offer, a 2-hour train journey to Strasbourg will surely get you in the holiday spirit. Situated close to the German border, Strasbourg combines French and German influences in its architecture, food and culture – making it the perfect place to sample all the traditions of a European Christmas.

The most famous of the ten Christmas markets in Strasbourg is Christkindelsmärik, at Place Broglie, which dates back to 1570 – making it one of the oldest markets in Europe. Visitors also can’t miss the 30m-high Great Christmas Tree in the heart of Place Kléber, surrounded by a temporary ice rink. Be there at 5 p.m. for the lighting of the Great Tree.

A Christmas market in Strasbourg

The post Top Picks for Creating the Perfect Parisian Christmas 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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Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shares business lessons at HEC Paris  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2019, 03:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shares business lessons at HEC Paris

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He is the man who “revolutionized how the world consumes content,” according to Forbes. Netflix, his thunderously successful TV and movie streaming service, got its start in 1997, when Reed Hastings had a $40 late fee at his local video store and realized there had to be a better business model for DVD rentals.

Twenty-two years later, the CEO and cofounder of Netflix heads a company that just posted $5.2 million of earnings for the third trimester of 2019.  It boasts 158 million viewers worldwide who eagerly await the next original Scorsese release or Tan France lifestyle transformation. Hastings is also a philanthropist, having signed the Giving Pledgeand, in 2016, creating a $100 million fund aimed at education reform.

A recent speaker at the HEC Paris MBA’s student-led Global Leaders Series, Hastings shared some of the insights he’s gained during his remarkable career trajectory from Peace Corps volunteer to leader of one of the world’s most well-known companies. A few things he’s learned along the way:

On finding your path
Hastings’ first job after college was teaching high school math in Swaziland. Despite it being rural and isolated, he deeply appreciated the work and his students. He also took that opportunity to hitchhike across Africa. “The experience gave me confidence that I could figure things out,” he says. “My advice to students is to follow whatever excites you. That might be working hard at business; it might be working in Swaziland or moving to Spain or the United States.”

He continues: “Constantly learn and push yourselves. If you’re in a workplace where you are not impressed by most of the other people, find another office. If most of the people around you are really impressive, that’s the environment where you’ll grow the most.”

From left: President of the MBA’s General Management and Leadership Club Arnaud Steinfels; President of HEC Débats Rozenn Révois; Netflix CEO Reed Hastings; EMBA Candidate Agnès Ignace, with the MBA Programs Associate Dean Andrea Masini

There’s no magic formula for success
Not all of Hastings’ startup endeavors have ended up household names. One of his million-dollar ideas was a replacement for the traditional computer mouse. Realizing how inefficient it is to “mouse” when typing, Hastings created a business plan and made a prototype for a revolutionary new device: the foot mouse. “It turns out the floor is very dirty,” he explains. “We pulled out all kinds of gross things from it. Plus, you get huge cramps from trying to operate a mouse with your foot.”

Based on his personal experiences, Hastings doesn’t believe in a magic formula for entrepreneurial success. Still, he says that even if your startup eventually fails, what you learn will be invaluable.

Leadership encompasses many qualities
Back when he was coding for a living, Hastings happily pulled lots of java-fueled all nighters. Arriving one morning at the office at 5 a.m., he found the CEO of the company washing his coffee cups dirty from the night before. The explanation? The CEO said to Hastings, “You do so much for this company. Cleaning your cups is one thing that I can do for you.”

“To be a great leader, you have to be humble, and you have to be smart,” Reed Hastings says. “You need both sides.”

“That kind of personal humility, of not looking for any recognition, is something that I’ve always remembered,” Hastings explains. “At that very moment, I felt like I would follow this man to the end of the earth. Unfortunately for us, he did lead that company to the end of the earth. To be a great leader, you have to be humble, and you have to be smart. You need both sides.”

Become less efficient every day
In the 1990s, Hastings co-founded Pure Software, a mightily successful maker of debugging programs. Even though the company was acquired and eventually became part of IBM, Hastings says bureaucracy stifled the business. “Every time something went wrong,” he explains, “I would put a process in place to keep that particular thing from happening again. I thought, ‘This way, we’ll get better and better. By having more procedures, we’ll have less errors.

“In the short term, that’s actually effective. But in the long term, it makes the company more rigid and less flexible, because the people that you attract to that company will be the type of people who want to follow procedures. And when the market shifts – and every market eventually shifts – you will be optimized only for one market. You need to have enough of the people who are inventive, crazy and thinking outside the box.”

At Netflix, he says they’ve made an effort to be a little less efficient every day, effectively choosing long-term flexibility over short-term efficiency. The company is also known for its innovative management practices such as unlimited sick and vacation leave.
The post Netflix CEO Reed Hastings shares business lessons at HEC Paris 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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The Art of Business: HEC Paris at the Louvre  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Dec 2019, 07:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: The Art of Business: HEC Paris at the Louvre

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Even on a rainy November day, the Louvre’s glass pyramid, set against the backdrop of the historic Palais du Louvre, has to be one of the most breathtaking sights in Paris. It’s here that the September 2018 intake of HEC Paris MBA students are gathering for a day of culture and art history, before heading to the Seine for a boat party.

Added to the Palais du Louvre in 1989, these pyramids are one of the most iconic sights in Paris

After dividing into 18 groups of 6 or 7 students, we set off on timed challenges around the museum, based around the Italian, Greek, and Middle Eastern wings. The aim? To answer questions which will generate a code to unlock a Da Vinci Code-style cryptex – a challenge no doubt inspired by the fact that we’re standing in the home of the Mona Lisa.

A scavenger hunt in the world’s largest art museum is no mean feat. The students spend hours roaming the different halls, examining everything from Renaissance paintings and Classical Greek sculptures to Egyptian mummies. I join one group taking a selfie with the Venus de Milo before being whisked into another room to learn about medieval tapestry. With approximately 38,000 objects inside one museum, the sheer abundance of art is staggering.

HEC Paris MBA students on a scavenger hunt in the Islamic Art wing of the Louvre

Along with the scavenger hunt, there is an academic element to the trip. Professor Daniel Newark, who oversaw the academic component of the day’s events, has asked students to reflect on the role of iconic artworks, in order to later write a credit-bearing paper. As they wander the exhibits, the students must consider everything from how interactions with great art are mediated by organizations, to what art and literature offers to leaders.

The scavenger hunt continues in the Greek Sculpture section of the museum

Once we’ve explored as many of the Louvre’s 780,000 square feet as possible, there’s just enough time to marvel at the pyramid lit up for the evening, before heading to our péniche (or barge), moored on the left bank of the Seine. Here the September 2018 intake, who will finish classes in just a few days, have a chance to gather one last time before graduation in June. Enjoying a glass of champagne while overlooking the iconic scenery along the banks of the Seine is surely the best way to end a day of Parisian culture.

A drink on the Seine to finish a day of French culture

The post The Art of Business: HEC Paris at the Louvre 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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Exploring the City of Lights and Luxury  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2019, 09:00
FROM HEC Paris Admissions Blog: Exploring the City of Lights and Luxury

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When the opportunity arises to spend a week delving into the inner workings of some of the world’s most notable brands, that opportunity must be grabbed with both hands. With our sights set on understanding the “savoir faire” of each brand’s maison, 19 HEC Paris MBA students and myself headed to some of the most glamorous addresses in Paris for the MBA Retail and Luxury Club’s annual trek. Our excursions included behind-the-scenes store visits, a wealth of cultural events, and Q&A’s with executives about each brand’s strategy for the future.

“Paris is always a good idea” –Audrey Hepburn

When dreaming of Luxury, Paris always comes to mind. For many of the maisons, Paris is their birthplace, and the City of Lights continues to have an undeniable mystique for people around the world. What better location to explore these brands? Of those students hoping to transition into the luxury sector post MBA, many of us want to live and work in Paris.

Signature Saint Laurent

Company Visit Highlights
Hermès

Naturally, the trek started on Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, arguably the world’s most fashionable street. Gathered outside Hermès, we were anticipating a storybook experience. The visit didn’t disappoint. The centre of the store has remained unchanged since 1880, when Charles-Emile Hermès relocated his workshop to the heart of Paris.

Our guided tour took us on a journey through the ages of Hermès, giving us an intimate look at the traditional and modern aspects of the iconic brand.

Saint Laurent

A visit to Saint Laurent Rive Droit brought a complete change in atmosphere. The sleek, contemporary flagship store holds true to the essence of Saint Laurent, plus it includes a Lifestyle section not found anywhere else. We toured the store’s “Appartement Parisien,” reserved for those clients who want privacy while shopping. We also visited their exclusive underground level where the elite gather for private club events.

Mad Network

A visit to MAD Network, a beautiful, well-lit workspace in the 2nd arrondissement, brought a unique view on the Luxury industry. Specialising in strategic consulting, talent recruitment and employee education within the sector, the brightest minds at MAD shared with us their insights into the challenges currently faced by brands. Their views sparked many lively discussions after our visit.

In the Serge Lutens universe

Shiseido

Day two: Another crisp autumn morning in the 1st arrondissement found us gathered outside Shiseido. Jerome, EMEA Talent Acquisition Director, took us though the company’s performance and strategic goals, sharing with us Shiseido’s culture of inclusiveness and drive.  After this enlightening presentation, we took a guided visit of Serge Lutens (Rue Saint-Honoré) which included a brief history about the life of Lutens and how he began designing parfumes.  Everyone had fun admiring the brand’s distinct flaçons and choosing a signature scent. 

An afternoon at Chloé

Chloé

Chloé was, for many, a dream come true. Café Chloe is the new wellness space located in their Parisian headquarters. It truly embodies the Chloé values: conviviality, joyfulness and free-spiritedness. These values were embodied by the Chloé team who generously hosted us for the afternoon. We toured the Chloé workshop, where we were able to watch the coming-to-life of some of their latest pieces.

Pernod Ricard

Initially, many club members had not considered Pernod Ricard to fall within the luxury sector.  However, the visit to their HQ transformed our opinions. They shared their portfolio of brands that compete in the luxury spirits sector and described how these brands are positioned in the market. The visit included a fun and relaxed Apéro with the Pernod Ricard team.

Premium branding at Pernod Ricard

Chanel

A smaller group had the opportunity to visit the Chanel store at Place Vêndome. The essence of the store represents the ying and yang so treasured by Gabrielle Chanel.  We were guided through the jewellery store, where we admired the diamonds and gemstones crafted into one-of-a-kind pieces.

Luxurynsight

Luxurynsight specialize in “making luxury dataful”.  Many luxury companies have access to a host of information that is not being fully leveraged, and Luxurynsight aims to change that. The team introduced us to the working they are doing with businesses in both France and China. This company visit gave us a new perspective on the luxury industry and how data can best be used to identify business opportunities.

The cultural side to Paris
YSL’s desk

In addition to exploring the luxury sector through our exciting company visits, the Retail & Luxury Club also took in some Parisian culture. Most notably, we visited the Musée de Yves Saint Laurent and toured the Palais Garnier.

The YSL Museum took us on a journey through time, exploring the life of the designer as well as the history of the brand. After having visited the Saint Laurent store earlier in the week, this visit really allowed us to better understand the maison and its vision.

Palais Garnier, home to the Opéra, was built over a period of 4 years and completed in 1875. The palace, known for its opulence and grandeur, truly embodies the historical spirit of luxury. It’s easy to understand why this stunning marble opera house is revered as a masterpiece of its time.

And what a luxurious week it was
I, like all who attended this event, had high expectations of what the week would entail, and I am so pleased with how the week turned out. We learnt from some of the brightest minds in industry, and were challenged in our way of thinking about Luxury. We started building our networks, we ate good food and, most importantly, enjoyed the time spent together.
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Exploring the City of Lights and Luxury   [#permalink] 10 Dec 2019, 09:00

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