HEC Paris MBA


tim12

Hi all,

I have just been accepted into the following:

Ross
HEC Paris
ESADE
Cranfield
Lancaster

I am thinking of accepting HEC. I live in Europe so dont have a visa issue and IF i want to work in the US I can look at the dual degree with NYU.

My questions are if you kindly help me:
1) how strong do you think HEC MBA is? I have heard that in Europe its the equivalent of Wharton (i.e ultra Elite) by people who work in Bain UK and P&G Geneva.
2) I speak 3 languages one of which is French. My French is however not perfect. Do you believe that French is a must in Industry? Again, a friend working in a senior position in P&G Geneva says he never uses French???
3) USA and VISA. Given the current situation, is thee any point in me doing the NYU dual degree? I have heard that I might not be able to get a vise in the usa afterwards.

Thanks a lot in advance.

Hi all,

I have just been accepted into the following:

Ross
HEC Paris
ESADE
Cranfield
Lancaster

I am thinking of accepting HEC. I live in Europe so dont have a visa issue and IF i want to work in the US I can look at the dual degree with NYU.

My questions are if you kindly help me:
1) how strong do you think HEC MBA is? I have heard that in Europe its the equivalent of Wharton (i.e ultra Elite) by people who work in Bain UK and P&G Geneva.
2) I speak 3 languages one of which is French. My French is however not perfect. Do you believe that French is a must in Industry? Again, a friend working in a senior position in P&G Geneva says he never uses French???
3) USA and VISA. Given the current situation, is thee any point in me doing the NYU dual degree? I have heard that I might not be able to get a vise in the usa afterwards.

Thanks a lot in advance.
quote
repoman

1) Strong. Probably in the top 5 in terms of reputation on continental Europe.
2) French is probably a must at most places in France. Geneva is different.
3) What current situation? The financial situation, you mean? What are your goals? What industry are you thinking of working in?

1) Strong. Probably in the top 5 in terms of reputation on continental Europe.
2) French is probably a must at most places in France. Geneva is different.
3) What current situation? The financial situation, you mean? What are your goals? What industry are you thinking of working in?
quote
tim12

Thanks for the reply.

1) So this means that I should be able to find agood jib in France, Geneva and the U.K. Ok good to know thanks
2) Do you believe that French is a MUST when starting as an MBA graduate for the type of work indicated below?
3) I mean the crisis in the US caused VISA's to be handed out more difficulty. I am looking to work in strategy/marketing for companies such as Google, Microsoft, LVMH, Coca Cola etc. I have a "list" of 10 companies I love. For example, I have worked in Microsoft in the past so I am avid with tech. Marketing for Android would be great as well as for Win 8. On the other hand strategy consulting Microsoft while working for Accenture also comes close. Again, my passion for Luxury products and personal experiences gives me passion for Tag Heur, champagne. Overall, I am trying to mix my passions with my skills and experiences. HEC actually promoted this approach to me. I was a bit more focused before hand, but after a preliminaly discussion they urged me to simply target my passion and then see where that puts me. I love the Us, I have been on holidays and business and would love to work at Google or Microsoft in the US.

Thanks for the reply.

1) So this means that I should be able to find agood jib in France, Geneva and the U.K. Ok good to know thanks
2) Do you believe that French is a MUST when starting as an MBA graduate for the type of work indicated below?
3) I mean the crisis in the US caused VISA's to be handed out more difficulty. I am looking to work in strategy/marketing for companies such as Google, Microsoft, LVMH, Coca Cola etc. I have a "list" of 10 companies I love. For example, I have worked in Microsoft in the past so I am avid with tech. Marketing for Android would be great as well as for Win 8. On the other hand strategy consulting Microsoft while working for Accenture also comes close. Again, my passion for Luxury products and personal experiences gives me passion for Tag Heur, champagne. Overall, I am trying to mix my passions with my skills and experiences. HEC actually promoted this approach to me. I was a bit more focused before hand, but after a preliminaly discussion they urged me to simply target my passion and then see where that puts me. I love the Us, I have been on holidays and business and would love to work at Google or Microsoft in the US.
quote
Duncan

You need a high level of fluency in France to work with those firms in France. They locate in France those roles which need to be in France, otherwise they would put the roles in countries with lower payroll taxes and better employers' rights. Those roles require French, just as roles with Porsche in the USA require English.

You need a high level of fluency in France to work with those firms in France. They locate in France those roles which need to be in France, otherwise they would put the roles in countries with lower payroll taxes and better employers' rights. Those roles require French, just as roles with Porsche in the USA require English.
quote

As an HEC MBA student, I would highly recommend against taking HEC unless you are going only for the brand name in France and you speak fluent French.

The quality of teaching is ok but the administration is a mess and the academic cordinators and career management centre not only does not help but can be destrcutive towards any opporutnities that you find yourself. When I was there, many students found summer internships on their own but the school threatened to not graduate them if they took the internships because of date conflicts and petty details. As a result, many students missed out on important internships.

Also, the process for exchange and course selection is extremely disorganized and there are very appearant injustices.

When I applied, I heard that the administration is bad, but I did not realize until I arrived how important their job is in such an international program.

Also, the school facilities is extremely poor, especially in comparison to North American schools. Contrary to its name, the school is not in Paris. It is in a small town about 1.5 hours by train/walk/bus that has virtually no facilities or stores.

As an HEC MBA student, I would highly recommend against taking HEC unless you are going only for the brand name in France and you speak fluent French.

The quality of teaching is ok but the administration is a mess and the academic cordinators and career management centre not only does not help but can be destrcutive towards any opporutnities that you find yourself. When I was there, many students found summer internships on their own but the school threatened to not graduate them if they took the internships because of date conflicts and petty details. As a result, many students missed out on important internships.

Also, the process for exchange and course selection is extremely disorganized and there are very appearant injustices.

When I applied, I heard that the administration is bad, but I did not realize until I arrived how important their job is in such an international program.

Also, the school facilities is extremely poor, especially in comparison to North American schools. Contrary to its name, the school is not in Paris. It is in a small town about 1.5 hours by train/walk/bus that has virtually no facilities or stores.
quote
Duncan

It sounds like you didn't really research HEC very well (or, indeed, the grande ecole system). Where would you recommend instead?

It sounds like you didn't really research HEC very well (or, indeed, the grande ecole system). Where would you recommend instead?
quote

Dear "tim12",
I am a current HEC Paris MBA, and I wanted to give my point of view on your school choices. I agree that HEC is a great choice, and I have really enjoyed the program.

Congratulations on getting into so many good schools- I think HEC and Ross are the two best choices on your list. Since they are such different schools, I won't try to compare the two, but rather just note that they will put you on different paths and offer different sorts of experiences. The most important part of your decision is to figure out what you want out of your MBA program and choose based on the one that is aligned most closely to your goals.

Second of all, I think you should ignore the previous poster who claims to be an HEC MBA- based on what this person is saying, it's clear he/she does not know the program well.

Now, here I'll try to address some specific topics and give you some insight into what it means to do an MBA at HEC and in France:

French language skills: In my personal experience, the level of French you need to work in France varies depending on the company and the industry. For example, if you're hired by an established French company where you're working on issues for the French market, naturally your French would need to be good. However, there is another way to think about this-- your English skills are a strong asset in a country that is not known for its strong English. If you find opportunities working for American companies in France or working for French companies where you interact with international employees, etc. then you'll often work in English when talking to people on the phone a mix if French and English around the office. It's a matter of finding your niche.

The program: HEC just recently launched a new curriculum. I think that you will find that it is very focused on developing core skills, with a heavy dose of experiential learning. For example, I did an 8-month consulting project for a startup in Africa along with several other HEC and Wharton students. We even went to Ghana to meet our client and then went to Wharton for our final presentation. Many other students are involved in running the MBAT (the MBA Olympics), the Sustainable Business Conference, etc.

Professors: One thing that is nice about the program is that professors stay involved with students on an ongoing basis. For example, I have met with 5 or 6 professors at cafés in Paris over the last few months to discuss career goals and ideas for my consulting project. Everyone goes by their first name, and the professors are really engaged.

Facilities: As you probably know, HEC is located in a town called Jouy en Josas, which is about 15km from central Paris. Its a nice place and is considered to be an upscale suburb. Its not expensive like central Paris. Many students live on campus during the first part of classes since there is so much going on and then move to central Paris & commute during the second part of the program. Living on campus was a real experience for me-- there are tons of hiking/biking trails through the woods and a nice golf course within walking distance. There are also nice tennis courts, soccer and rugby fields, etc. You can either bring a car or rent cars on campus for a few hours at a time, so its easy to get out and explore. Versailles is 2 train stops away.

The MBA is dedicating a new building this week, so that's nice as well. Here's a video of the new building: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntZdketxySw

People: I really do like the people in my class, and there is not a sense of competition like I found at US universities (I'm American and did my undergrad degree at a business school there).

Scholarships: One thing that's interesting is that HEC is working hard to build an endowment that is helping to support MBA scholarships, among other things. Here's some information: http://www.thecampaign-hec.com/?lang=en

I hope that's enough information. Please contact me if you need any help.

Take care and good luck.

Dear "tim12",
I am a current HEC Paris MBA, and I wanted to give my point of view on your school choices. I agree that HEC is a great choice, and I have really enjoyed the program.

Congratulations on getting into so many good schools- I think HEC and Ross are the two best choices on your list. Since they are such different schools, I won't try to compare the two, but rather just note that they will put you on different paths and offer different sorts of experiences. The most important part of your decision is to figure out what you want out of your MBA program and choose based on the one that is aligned most closely to your goals.

Second of all, I think you should ignore the previous poster who claims to be an HEC MBA- based on what this person is saying, it's clear he/she does not know the program well.

Now, here I'll try to address some specific topics and give you some insight into what it means to do an MBA at HEC and in France:

French language skills: In my personal experience, the level of French you need to work in France varies depending on the company and the industry. For example, if you're hired by an established French company where you're working on issues for the French market, naturally your French would need to be good. However, there is another way to think about this-- your English skills are a strong asset in a country that is not known for its strong English. If you find opportunities working for American companies in France or working for French companies where you interact with international employees, etc. then you'll often work in English when talking to people on the phone a mix if French and English around the office. It's a matter of finding your niche.

The program: HEC just recently launched a new curriculum. I think that you will find that it is very focused on developing core skills, with a heavy dose of experiential learning. For example, I did an 8-month consulting project for a startup in Africa along with several other HEC and Wharton students. We even went to Ghana to meet our client and then went to Wharton for our final presentation. Many other students are involved in running the MBAT (the MBA Olympics), the Sustainable Business Conference, etc.

Professors: One thing that is nice about the program is that professors stay involved with students on an ongoing basis. For example, I have met with 5 or 6 professors at cafés in Paris over the last few months to discuss career goals and ideas for my consulting project. Everyone goes by their first name, and the professors are really engaged.

Facilities: As you probably know, HEC is located in a town called Jouy en Josas, which is about 15km from central Paris. Its a nice place and is considered to be an upscale suburb. Its not expensive like central Paris. Many students live on campus during the first part of classes since there is so much going on and then move to central Paris & commute during the second part of the program. Living on campus was a real experience for me-- there are tons of hiking/biking trails through the woods and a nice golf course within walking distance. There are also nice tennis courts, soccer and rugby fields, etc. You can either bring a car or rent cars on campus for a few hours at a time, so its easy to get out and explore. Versailles is 2 train stops away.

The MBA is dedicating a new building this week, so that's nice as well. Here's a video of the new building: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ntZdketxySw

People: I really do like the people in my class, and there is not a sense of competition like I found at US universities (I'm American and did my undergrad degree at a business school there).

Scholarships: One thing that's interesting is that HEC is working hard to build an endowment that is helping to support MBA scholarships, among other things. Here's some information: http://www.thecampaign-hec.com/?lang=en

I hope that's enough information. Please contact me if you need any help.

Take care and good luck.
quote
ezra

However, there is another way to think about this-- your English skills are a strong asset in a country that is not known for its strong English. If you find opportunities working for American companies in France or working for French companies where you interact with international employees, etc. then you'll often work in English when talking to people on the phone a mix if French and English around the office. It's a matter of finding your niche.

This is interesting - but while it makes sense in theory, I wonder how realistic is it for somebody with less-than-adequate French skills to successfully land employment in France. I'd imagine that the States-based multinationals in France would require bilingualism for most of their managerial-level positions.

<blockquote>However, there is another way to think about this-- your English skills are a strong asset in a country that is not known for its strong English. If you find opportunities working for American companies in France or working for French companies where you interact with international employees, etc. then you'll often work in English when talking to people on the phone a mix if French and English around the office. It's a matter of finding your niche. </blockquote>
This is interesting - but while it makes sense in theory, I wonder how realistic is it for somebody with less-than-adequate French skills to successfully land employment in France. I'd imagine that the States-based multinationals in France would require bilingualism for most of their managerial-level positions.
quote
Duncan

Almost always, but not always. I know a Kellogg MBA who's working for Alsthom in some international eco-innovation role and has intermediate French. However, he's someone with a lot of experience and a rare profile. If someone has generic, fungible MBA skills and could be easily substituted by someone who spoke French then they won't get hired.

Almost always, but not always. I know a Kellogg MBA who's working for Alsthom in some international eco-innovation role and has intermediate French. However, he's someone with a lot of experience and a rare profile. If someone has generic, fungible MBA skills and could be easily substituted by someone who spoke French then they won't get hired.
quote

Hi there,
Yes, I agree that French skills are always going to be a huge asset in the French market. At HEC they know this, and they require all students to take French classes. Generally people who are serious about staying in France take additional, more intensive classes outside of the MBA.

However, with that said, I'll give you some examples of roles where I know the employees have had basic or intermediate French skills and still gotten internships or full-time jobs in the Paris area:

- Arcelor Mittal strategy/M&A
- Schneider Electric
- ASO-the organization that organizes the Tour de France, Dakar Stock Rally, Paris Marathon, etc.
- English speaking startups focused on tech and luxury
- Lazard investment banking
- BNP investment banking (though you would def. need strong French for most other parts of BNP)
- a private equity firm where the partners were a mix of French and American
- etc......

I should also note that most people from HEC don't actually stay and work in Paris after school. The people who want to stay in Europe and don't have great language skills other than English still seem to find more opportunities in countries like the UK, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, etc.

Actually, an obvious trend right now is French companies that want people who speak Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc. but who understand France/Europe. These companies hire quite a few HEC grads and send them back to Asia to work. This is a big trend in luxury especially.

Hope that helps to add more color to my previous statement.

Hi there,
Yes, I agree that French skills are always going to be a huge asset in the French market. At HEC they know this, and they require all students to take French classes. Generally people who are serious about staying in France take additional, more intensive classes outside of the MBA.

However, with that said, I'll give you some examples of roles where I know the employees have had basic or intermediate French skills and still gotten internships or full-time jobs in the Paris area:

- Arcelor Mittal strategy/M&A
- Schneider Electric
- ASO-the organization that organizes the Tour de France, Dakar Stock Rally, Paris Marathon, etc.
- English speaking startups focused on tech and luxury
- Lazard investment banking
- BNP investment banking (though you would def. need strong French for most other parts of BNP)
- a private equity firm where the partners were a mix of French and American
- etc......

I should also note that most people from HEC don't actually stay and work in Paris after school. The people who want to stay in Europe and don't have great language skills other than English still seem to find more opportunities in countries like the UK, Ireland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, etc.

Actually, an obvious trend right now is French companies that want people who speak Korean, Chinese, Japanese, etc. but who understand France/Europe. These companies hire quite a few HEC grads and send them back to Asia to work. This is a big trend in luxury especially.

Hope that helps to add more color to my previous statement.
quote

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