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1. Recruitment at HEC is (in my opinion) evenly divided among graduate and undergraduates. Caution: Many "prestigious" employers in Canada, that operate in the US, such as Mck, Bain, BCG, JPM, GS, etc. prefer to recruit at McGill (or universities in Ontario such as Ivey, Queen's or Rotman) rather than HEC. Instead, you will find more opportunities in "French speaking companies" such as La Caisse de Depot du Quebec, La Banque Nationale (brief, local banks and institutions). HEC has a reputable program in accounting and many firms (Deloite, PWC, KPMG, etc.) recruit heavily at HEC.
2. In all honesty, I can't say that I was dissatisfied with the organization of the school (nor was it phenomenal). Class selection is very simple. I apologize if I can't give any more info regarding this question.
3. Montreal must be the most affordable metropolitan city in Canada (vs. Toronto, Vancouver and now Calgary). The city is very much like those you may find in Europe. Many French students (from France) prefer to come here because 1) they can continue to study in their native tongue, 2) Montreal is a beautiful and vibrant city, 3) HEC has a great program (equivalently, it is much more difficult to be admitted to HEC Paris, so many French students enjoy the brand from the Quebec counterpart 4) tuition is very reasonable.
I haven't rented in a while but a one-bedroom (600-700 sq. ft.) can run you $500-600$ a month.
Is HEC a general term/acronym for business schools in the French system (like Grandes écoles), or is it an official entity -- meaning that HEC Montreal and HEC Paris, HEC Lausanne, etc. are all part of the same affiliation?
HEC is a general acronym in French speaking countries. Hautes Etudes Commerciales: High Commercial Studies. You could translate it to business school or management school.
HEC Lausanne, Montreal and Paris are not related. By the way, HEC Montreal recruits students in France (and more generally in Europe). I have read somewhere that 300 French students go to HEC Montreal every year to their different programmes, and this competition is worrying HEC Paris.
Some info about HEC Montreal MBA: Average age 31 - average gmat 625 - Size of class: about 150 (this included MBA in French, English and part-time) Bilingual programme: you can do it in French, English or a mix of both. I believe some courses are offered in Spanish.
They have an office in Paris for admissions and recruitment. Good for me if I want to go back to my home country of France.
Maybe you should apply for HEC Paris instead! I met some Canadians here at HEC Paris who told me that HEC Montreal is not as good as HEC Paris. Average age is 30 years, GMAT Average 680, Work experience at least 3 years, 45 nationalities, January and September intake, 16 months, etc...
Let me know if you need information or contacts....
I may apply to HEC Paris as well. January 2010 intake.
I met some Canadians here at HEC Paris who told me that HEC Montreal is not as good as HEC Paris. Average age is 30 years, GMAT Average 680, Work experience at least 3 years, 45 nationalities, January and September intake, 16 months, etc...
The GMAT average is going way up. It was 660 when I visited the campus in 2007 and 630 a few years before that. How do you like it so far there?
I graduated from HEC Montreal in 2006 (undergrad; B.B.A.). If you would like some information on the faculty,program or Montreal, feel free to PM me.
Recruitment Do companies come especially for MBAs or the HEC Montreal as a whole? Do recruiters make a difference between MBA recruitment and other programs' recruitment?
Organisation Is the school well organised? The administration where I went to undergrad SUCKED. Blaming students for its mistakes, that sort of crap. I do not want to get through something like this again.
Cost of living What's the cost of living in Montreal? How much do you think is necessary per month? This depends on the life style, but I'm not a big spender.
The GMAT average just climed from 675 to 680 for the January'09 intake and acceptance ratio is 1:5. I am really impressed by HEC Paris curriculum and professors. However, the financial crisis has hit European schools hard and internship / job hunt is more difficult than maybe one year before. The hunt is easier if you are fluent in French to find something in Paris.
Since HEC Paris encourages career changers and teaches Finance, Strategy, Marketing, Innovation and Technology, we have diverse recruiters coming to campus (123 companies just visited for Carrefour Fair). This means that you do no only have Consulting or Finance companies visiting.
The campus is very nice, but honestly a little bit boring. It takes you 45 minutes to go to Paris by RER train which is a little bit annoying... However I am going to move to Paris in sping....
Also note that HEC Paris has the opportunity to do an Double Degree with LSE, NYU, MIT and NUS. Last year approx. 3 candidates got into NYU, the DD with MIT is new so I don't know the yield yet...
Lastly the FT ranking was quite disappointing for all of us since we ranked 18th for two consecutive years and went down last week to 29th. I am sure that we are going up again, but it depends on economy...
Let me know if you have any specific questions. I could also put you in touch with someone of HEC staff or students...