2005 HEC MBA Admissions Chat with Joshua Kobb

2005 HEC MBA Admissions Chat with Joshua Kobb

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:11:09 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to Accepted.com's HEC MBA Admissions Chat.

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:11:19 AM)
I also want to welcome Joshua Kobb, HEC's Development Director; Spencer Altman, HEC participant; Russell Graham, HEC participant; Simon Pickard, HEC participant; and Charles Chang, HEC participant.

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:12:13 AM)
Final request: We would like to avoid the brief summary of qualifications (or even the long laundry list) followed by the question, "Can I qualify?" Or "What are my chances?" This isn't the forum for that kind of question.

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:12:22 AM)
While you are submitting your first questions, I want to post the bios provided by HEC's participants:

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:13:05 AM)
Charles Chang:: "I'm Canadian and grew up in the French speaking part of the country. Before HEC, I worked for five years with the Canadian Bankers Association as a research associate, earned the CFA designation, and did a brief stint consulting on the marketing strategy of a small startup in Taiwan. "What appealed to me with HEC was the opportunity to learn with people from all over the world, to graduate in 16 months with an international perspective, and to live in France of course! After three months into the program, I can say that paying over 30,000 euros to attend HEC was a steal. Really."

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:13:15 AM)
Russell Graham: 31 yrs; B.Mech Eng University of Melbourne, Australia; I have worked for 3 years in Australia as a Manufacturing Engineer and then Sales Engineer for a tier 2 automotive component manufacturer. Spent 5 years working in Canada and the US as a Presales Consultant for ERP software vendors working with large and medium sized organizations on their Supply Chain, ERP and CRM systems requirements. Decided to pursue a European MBA for the international scope and diversity of the class. I applied to 3 other European schools and chose HEC based on the fit that I perceived with the organization, the opportunity to study near Paris, the class size and the duration of the course.

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:13:48 AM)
Simon Pickard English, 32 years old, earned a Master's in French and German from Oxford University in the mid-1990s. Moved to New York in early 1996 where I worked in various capacities (up to and including Executive Director) for Oxbridge Academic Programs, organizing intensive study programs and professional development seminars in Europe for (mostly) American teenagers and educators. Left NYC in October 2003 having already applied for IMD, INSEAD and HEC and subsequent to receiving a deferred place in our MBA program went to Australia and got drunk at the Rugby World Cup for 6 weeks until England lifted their first major trophy in 40 years. I am now sober again

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:14:01 AM)
Spencer Altman: Graduated from University of California at Berkeley in 1998 with a BA in Economics and Political Science Accenture - 6 Years as Consultant in Telecommunications Chose HEC to facilitate a professional and personal transition to Europe. What better place than Paris and what better school than HEC to get a balanced, yet intense MBA and life experience?

brian (Apr 14, 2005 10:14:09 AM)
How international is the HEC MBA?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:14:23 AM)
We've got about 200 participants, 80% non-French, with more than 50% from outside of Europe.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:14:48 AM)
In our September promotion, we had 37 nationalities (approximately) among 107 students, which gives you some idea of the diversity.

RussellHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:15:00 AM)
Actually in the January class, we have over 27 nationalities which makes it pretty terrific for different perspectives on just about any topic.

euclidHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:15:14 AM)
What is the extend of fellowship/scholarship provided? regional etc?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:15:27 AM)
HEC does have scholarships available, both need-based and merit-based. Here is the link to finance info http://www.hec.fr/hec/eng/mba/admissions/financing.html .

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:15:56 AM)
Are there citizenship or residency requirements for the aid?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:16:15 AM)
Most scholarships are open to all nationalities but some are only for certain nationalities: we have a scholarship for Indians and a scholarship for Europeans. Need-based and the HEC merit-based are open to all students.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:17:01 AM)
Certainly some students enrolled here are recipients of national government grants, either collaborative with the French Government or sponsored by their own country.

AdamNY (Apr 14, 2005 10:17:12 AM)
Can you comment on the teaching methods at HEC?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:17:24 AM)
Case studies are important and definitely a lot of time is spent in groups.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:18:16 AM)
We had a business simulation to kick off our first term...During classes, it's a combination of lectures, case studies and conferences.

nikesh (Apr 14, 2005 10:18:16 AM)
How advanced should ones French language skills be in order to realize full benefit of courses presented in French?

RussellHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:18:21 AM)
Teaching Method - we have just completed first semester. There is a pretty even break up between lectures and ongoing group projects as well as case studies which you work on in teams.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:18:30 AM)
In terms of teaching methods, there is an eclectic range, to be honest - some professors prefer a lecture-based approach, others are very interactive in terms of class discussion. We focus a great deal on group analysis of cases in just about every subject - the interaction is one of the key components of the HEC experience.

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:19:49 AM)
Is there any attempt by professors to coordinate their lectures or to help your participants see a relationship between business functions?

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:20:14 AM)
As far as French goes, Nikesh, above all your comprehension skills need to be good. Beyond that, oral communication is something that you develop through presentations and discussion with classmates, but you need the foundation of understanding to take the bilingual section. Many of the professors know each other's course content and refer to it at various moments. Inevitably there is overlap between subjects such as Marketing and Strategy, so while there is not complete integration, the curriculum is designed so that the subjects complement each other very well and that students see the bigger business picture.

Jose (Apr 14, 2005 10:20:57 AM)
Can you comment on the experience factor, in other words, internship, shadowing, etc.?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:21:17 AM)
We have an alumni mentoring program.

SpencerAltmanHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:21:27 AM)
The courses are scheduled strategically, so that later courses use the earlier courses as building blocks.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:21:38 AM)
Business leaders are often invited into the classroom and for conferences. Many classes require "live" project work and we offer a track called individual professional project (IPP) which allows participants to work within a company for 4-6 months.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:22:26 AM)
Jose, I think that the most important element is the collaboration in group projects, where you learn so much from your teammates and their professional backgrounds/areas of expertise.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:23:07 AM)
For our core courses, there are two opportunities to work with companies. One is an HR project, in which we interview international firms about their experience establishing an office in France and the other is a marketing project, in which we help a company with a marketing issue. For the marketing project, my group is targeting the luxury goods sector and we have leads with Yves Saint Laurant and Chanel.

Pierre (Apr 14, 2005 10:23:07 AM)
What is the most important piece of advice you can give to prospective applicants?

SpencerAltmanHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:23:55 AM)
The most important thing is to be yourself and take the appropriate time/care with your application. I learned more about myself by just applying to MBAs than I did in my pre-application thinking about MBA programs.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:24:48 AM)
Reflect long and hard on why an MBA is the right step for you at this period in your life, I would say, Pierre. You may not know precisely where it will take you, but it is a commitment that demands a clear understanding of why you want to tackle it. It truly is fundamental - I thought about an MBA for several years, but it was only in 2002 that I understood its potential benefits AND that I was ready, even desperate to pursue it as a development for my personal and professional lives!

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:25:24 AM)
Simon, I couldn't agree with you more.

Mikki USA (Apr 14, 2005 10:26:04 AM)
Can you talk a bit about individual class sizes - 60 or 20-25 or does it depend on the course?

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:26:28 AM)
Mikki - I'm in the bilingual track. We have courses offered in French and English. For some courses, we're about 50 and for Supply Chain we're 17. Smaller class size makes it more interactive. Only a few courses are offered in French.. You have to pass a French test first to be eligible, the rest are all offered in English.

brian (Apr 14, 2005 10:27:16 AM)
What distinguishes HEC from other MBA programs?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:27:27 AM)
From which schools?

Mikki USA (Apr 14, 2005 10:27:30 AM)
Charles - so you're taking your first classes in French and English, with plans to move to only French courses?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:27:37 AM)
HEC is certainly different from the US MBA programs because of how international we are -- you will never find the diversity that we have at HEC in the US programs.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:27:37 AM)
In the core phase, Mikki, you typically have classes of 30-45 for most subjects, although it can be smaller depending on which section you choose.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:28:01 AM)
You have to pass a French test first to be eligible, the rest are all offered in English.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:28:13 AM)
We differ because of our emphasis on personal and professional development and we have a unique learning environment that is very cooperative.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:28:45 AM)
Brian, I would say the bilingual option, the duration of the course (which I consider ideal for an MBA), the campus setting amid 1600 other gifted undergrad and graduate students, and the sheer diversity of the student body - not necessarily in that order. In addition, I think that HEC has more of a focus on group work than many other schools, and in the core phases that is such a formative experience for almost everyone involved in it

RussellHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:29:07 AM)
I have been impressed by the diversity of the student mix - both geographic as well as work experience.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:29:07 AM)
I agree with Josh - the main reason I came to HEC is to meet people from around the world. Plus the cultural experience of living in France.

Pierre (Apr 14, 2005 10:29:20 AM)
What's the workload like at HEC?

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:29:32 AM)
The workload has been extremely heavy.

SpencerAltmanHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:29:40 AM)
HEC is international in terms of the nationalities, but also international in terms of perspectives. We have French students who have been in Korea for the last 4 years, or Japan for the last 5, or Egypt or Saudi Arabia. Chinese and American students who are coming from 3 year placements in Africa. The placement in Paris, France, and Europe can not be understated either. HEC is a great way to transition into work and live here (for non-French of course).    

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:29:49 AM)
We had seven classes in the first term + language courses...Compared with other schools who have 5 in the first term. I had to learn how to manage my time better so I can attend the parties. The workload is heavy but I still manage to go to Paris every week and play sports to relieve stress. The sports facilities here are amazing...except for the weight room. In terms of social events, we have at least 1 party every week at the bar in our residence. And if you're an ambitious partier, you can also show up at the parties that Grande Ecole students throw every Thursday.

euclidHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:31:13 AM)
I've heard that with MBA programs you generally have a harder load than the other MS programs. What is it like in HEC? Do students have enough time to use the social facilities, take part time jobs, keep a social life?

Kang Tchou (Apr 14, 2005 10:31:41 AM)
Simon, I have eight years of work experience within the U.S. Naval Intel Community. I do not have much of a business background, will I still be able to contribute to the group projects that are an important part of class learning?

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:31:57 AM)
The workload accelerates as a term passes by! A lot of time is devoted to group projects, but the more you do them, the more efficient you become in using your time and understanding what professors are expecting of you. Usually you can keep one weekend day completely free, sometimes more - it also depends on your extracurricular activities - but I would say that you typically have 3 hours or so per night.

Reinout (Apr 14, 2005 10:32:32 AM)
Is an internship a compulsory part of the MBA?

SpencerAltmanHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:32:38 AM)
The MBA helps you prioritize and dramatically improve your efficiency.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:32:40 AM)
Internships are not required mainly because most participants already have significant work experience and internships don't provide much value. BUT, we do offer two company tracks - company consulting project and the Individual Professional Project (IPP). Both tracks allow participants to do significant project work for 4 - 6 months.

Pierre (Apr 14, 2005 10:32:48 AM)
Some say that the Alumni network is Euro Centric; is there any US/Asia influence in it?

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:33:40 AM)
Yes, Kang, absolutely - I worked in education, have a humanities background, and was fundamentally worried that I would not be able to keep up with other more "corporate" colleagues. However, everyone's perspective is valued in every subject, because there is very much a balance of qualitative and quantitative analysis in each. As such, your thoughts and opinions will be valued - my teammates loved me in HR, for example, because I knew more about it than they did!

SpencerAltmanHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:33:54 AM)
Actually, the network is strong in Europe, the US, and Asia. I attended a couple of alumni events in NYC and was quite impressed with the presence of the network there. Plus, I have heard positive stories about students finding in terms of the network in Asia. for instance, one recent alumni said when he moved to Singapore he emailed many of the alumni there just to introduce himself and he received over 40 responses.

Reinout (Apr 14, 2005 10:34:35 AM)
Could someone tell me more about the double degree program?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:34:47 AM)
HEC now offers 8 double degree options - NYU, LSE and the Chinese U of Hong Kong are the newest. The basic idea behind all double degrees is that you do "half" of each program and get both degrees. Reinout, which double degree programs are you interested in?

Pierre (Apr 14, 2005 10:35:50 AM)
Any interaction between the MBA and the "Grande Ecole?"

Pranav Parekh (Apr 14, 2005 10:36:08 AM)
Joshua, can you please elaborate on the NYU/HEC double degree program?

Pierre (Apr 14, 2005 10:36:12 AM)
Do we have to choose a double degree before entering HEC or can you choose after starting at HEC?

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:36:14 AM)
Pierre, it is inevitable given HEC's status that the alumni network will have a certain European focus as the highest percentage of alums are there, but rest assured that there are networks and offices all over the world. Indeed most of us were interviewed in our "home" countries by former MBAs as part of the admissions process, so the reach is phenomenal. One of our colleagues got a summer internship with McKinsey in Dubai through a former Grande Ecole contact working there, so the brand carries a lot of weight no matter where you are.

Reinout (Apr 14, 2005 10:36:15 AM)
I'm interested in doing the dual-degree program with NYU Stern.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:36:16 AM)
Pierre, yes, if you can speak French. Plus, we see them all the time at the school cafeteria.

RussellHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:36:21 AM)
Pierre, perhaps you should define interaction. Only kidding, the Grand Ecole has plenty of parties that we are invited to. You can also participate in Grand Ecole clubs - I am part of the rock climbing club with the Grand Ecole and meet with some students for language practice occasionally.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:36:25 AM)
For the NYU Stern double degree, you start at one school then apply to the other. You must apply and be accepted to both schools for all other double degrees. You can apply to both at the same time or apply to the second school once matriculated in the first.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:38:04 AM)
Well, Pierre, I had better not talk too intimately about the Grande Ecole election parties on campus this week, but rest assured there is definite interaction! More seriously, a number of us play sports with the GE clubs, attend joint conferences, involve them in the MBA Tournament and have French exchange lessons to work on language skills.

nikesh (Apr 14, 2005 10:38:29 AM)
Josh, which programs does HEC really compete with? INSEAD/LBS/Oxford or the entire spectrum of MBA programs?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:38:47 AM)
We compete generally with the US but more specifically, with those schools that have an international scope, mainly European schools. I would have to say that our biggest competitor is INSEAD, but it's very different.

Raymun (Apr 14, 2005 10:40:04 AM)
Josh, can an Alliance Francaise certification substitute for any French requirements?

Kang Tchou (Apr 14, 2005 10:40:29 AM)
Thanks Simon, my education background is also in the humanities and your answer relieved some of my fears. Why did you choose HEC?

Raul (Apr 14, 2005 10:40:41 AM)
Hi, I have five years of work experience in the telecommunications field, but not as a manager or a team leader. Do I need specific management experience to apply to the HEC MBA program?

Reinout (Apr 14, 2005 10:40:50 AM)
In what ways does HEC differentiate itself from INSEAD?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:41:04 AM)
HEC vs. INSEAD -- In terms of the differences in structure, HEC is longer, so you can personalize the program more than you can on a short program. This means you can actually learn other languages, do a focus on marketing or finance or a professional project or an exchange program. HEC's philosophy is that an MBA is for life so you should make sure you get the most out of your investment. In terms of environment, HEC is cooperative and we select people who have something to contribute to the class but more importantly want to contribute to HEC.

SpencerAltmanHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:41:08 AM)
Competition also depends on your perspective. Many of the Asian students have told me that HEC was on their list with US schools. Personally, as an American, HEC was competing with other European schools since I wanted the international experience and opportunity to learn another language and culture while earning my MBA.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:41:28 AM)
I think that for all promotions the basic criterion, Raymun, is the score you attain in the French test on campus at the start of the program. If you get a certain score, you will be eligible for the bilingual section and nominally exempted from French language study (as was my situation)

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:42:11 AM)
Raymun - I still had to pass the French exam although I completed the French Baccalaureate.

Reinout (Apr 14, 2005 10:42:14 AM)
Most Dutch people I know have gone to INSEAD.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:42:57 AM)
One of my group mates is Dutch. He's organizing a school trip to Amsterdam in May.

SpencerAltmanHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:43:05 AM)
HEC vs. INSEAD - There is a different culture of students; judge for yourself where you feel more comfortable. Plus the time in the program (16 months for HEC vs. 10 months for INSEAD, I think) allows for an entirely different cultural experience and ability to live in Paris and develop your French or other language. Both schools will give you a great MBA and business foundation.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:43:58 AM)
My general advice in choosing MBA programs is you have to understand what your needs are as an individual. Each program is different and the notion of "best" or "better" doesn't exist. You need to understand how each program you are considering can meet your individual needs.

Reinout (Apr 14, 2005 10:43:58 AM)
I live in Amsterdam; can I get in touch with HEC alumni living in the Netherlands?

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:44:10 AM)
Well, Kang, I really wanted to return to a French-speaking environment above all. HEC seemed the most authentic place for that (subsequently proved to be true), but more broadly I did not want to spend 2 years on an MBA at my advanced age (!) and given my background feared a one year program would be too much of a challenge. In addition, when I visited the campus I fell in love with the place, its sense of tradition and history, the fact that the MBA is not the single entity/goldfish bowl on campus, and the range of facilities. The Admissions people were incredibly helpful and - unlike some other schools - humble, which struck a definite chord.

nikesh (Apr 14, 2005 10:45:28 AM)
Does the acceptance criteria for the partner schools (for dual degree) change if a candidate is already a student at HEC?

Albert Lee (Apr 14, 2005 10:45:37 AM)
Can I get some feedback about the career placement service at HEC?

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:45:42 AM)
To follow up on the last point, the bilingual program is pretty much unique to HEC, and what greater challenge than to study Financial Accounting in a foreign language?!

Pranav Parekh (Apr 14, 2005 10:45:48 AM)
What would be the fee structure of a double degree program, specifically NYU?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:46:30 AM)
Double degree participants pay fees pro rata, based on time spent at each school. For the NYU Stern program, the HEC period is 8 months, so you pay 50% of our fees and 50% of NYU Stern fees.

RussellHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:46:46 AM)
Careers service: HEC careers services is yet to hand me a job on a platter - I do not expect this. There are plenty of opportunities to use the careers resources - they send us links virtually everyday to jobs which meet MBA profiles, we have just had a 1 day careers planning workshop, followed up by additional focused workshops over the next month and there are career presentations every other week which we can attend as well as a CV helpdesk open each week.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:47:33 AM)
Thus far we have had pretty good interaction with the Careers Service, although we have only just reached the mid-point of the program and as such have not spent too much time seeking jobs. However, from the beginning the office makes considerable efforts to develop CVs, aid with career orientation, bring in companies to present their career opportunities, and above all provide any information we need to start our job searches.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:47:49 AM)
Over the last two years HEC has devoted much effort to integrating career building into the curriculum.

Kang Tchou (Apr 14, 2005 10:48:12 AM)
Thanks for your answer Simon!

Mikki USA (Apr 14, 2005 10:48:35 AM)
How many non EU- students remain in Europe after graduation?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:48:51 AM)
Just over 50% of non-EU grads stay in the EU.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:48:59 AM)
What I also enjoy about the career services is the emphasis on long-term planning - How to think about your career at different stages of your life.

James Holden (Apr 14, 2005 10:49:28 AM)
Josh, I am also interested in the double degree with NYU: If one is admitted to HEC (MBA) already, how "difficult" is it getting into NYU? As I understand the procedure, you have to apply conventionally, but again, is NYU considering you under "special" circumstances and you might get into NYU easier?

nikesh (Apr 14, 2005 10:49:41 AM)
Does the acceptance criteria for the partner schools change if a candidate is already a student at HEC?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:50:00 AM)
James, I can't answer for NYU but i do believe that the strength of our relationship will have a positive impact.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:50:19 AM)
Truly a pleasure, Kang - and to continue the career topic, the career service department is not focused on producing cookie-cutter graduates. They are without question geared to help those who are looking to be something other than a consultant or banker, which is a considerable relief, and by no means a knock on those two professions!

Pranav Parekh (Apr 14, 2005 10:50:44 AM)
Josh, what percentage of candidates are selected in the last round? Are there any specific points that need to be stronger for an admit?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:51:05 AM)
Nikesh, I think that is true for our other partners as well.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:51:25 AM)
Pranav, chances are the same during all rounds. In fact, we are on rolling admissions so we are continually evaluating applications.

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:52:12 AM)
HEC Participants, what is your favorite class or professor?

nikesh (Apr 14, 2005 10:52:29 AM)
Does the rolling admissions calendar also apply to scholarships?

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:52:40 AM)
Favorite class was Accounting. Our professor made accounting interesting to everyone and made sure that we knew the rules to avoid a future Enron. My strategy professor in the French section was also great. He really knows how to entertain and teach a class.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:53:03 AM)
We decide on scholarships generally 1 week after each admissions jury. Once admitted, candidates can then apply for scholarships.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:53:08 AM)
James, as a couple of my friends have applied for the NYU double degree program, I can give you their feedback, which is simply that your academic performance here is a more important criterion, but that you must also meet their fundamental standards in order to be accepted. In our humble opinion, though, if you are good enough to get into HEC, you should have an attractive profile for NYU - albeit with NO guarantees...

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:54:19 AM)
Any other recommendations?

SpencerAltmanHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:54:34 AM)
Favorite course - economics. The professor was absolutely amazing. His expertise and world perspective were incredible. He consults for the World Bank and IMF. Strategy was also fantastic; very engaging.

Pierre (Apr 14, 2005 10:54:52 AM)
Josh, what is the procedure regarding interviews. Are interviews compulsory or conducted only if required/requested?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:55:14 AM)
All candidates admitted to the HEC MBA have been interviewed twice. Interviews are conducted face-to-face at HEC (good choice so you can visit the campus at the same time) or internationally. Not all applicants are invited to interview.

brian (Apr 14, 2005 10:55:52 AM)
Do students live on campus?

Albert Lee (Apr 14, 2005 10:55:56 AM)
Does HEC have any specific programs oriented toward the fashion industry & do they have a relationship with any of the fashion houses for internships or career placement?

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:56:07 AM)
Strategic Management (French section) with Bernard Garrette - terrific pedagogy, great experience, engaging humor, profound understanding of subject, excellent communicator... where do I stop? Literally every class was an entertaining delight, provided true insight into the subject, and was the high point of the week. Since that class I have been inspired - in all seriousness - to look into strategic development as my future career. Once in a lifetime learning opportunity!

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:56:24 AM)
The HEC MBA is a general management degree so certainly the MBA will open doors in fashion, as it does in many other industries.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:56:54 AM)
A lot of big fashion companies come and recruit at HEC...Louis Vuitton, PPR (which owns Gucci).

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:57:24 AM)
Brian, we have a dedicated modern MBA residence called Expansiel, in which between 150-170 MBA participants live (spread across various intakes), so there is definitely a social hub on campus around which we gravitate. Plus, a 3 minute walk to class at 8 am is not to be sniffed at.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:57:27 AM)
It is possible to do project work during the MBA to focus on fashion, if you wish. The IPP track could allow you more exposure.

RussellHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:57:28 AM)
Albert: I have been surprised by the number of people in my intake who are considering a career or have come from the fashion industry. Perhaps being in Paris attracts such students but there is a considerable interest in the industry here.

Pranav Parekh (Apr 14, 2005 10:57:33 AM)
The investment for the HEC MBA is huge. What is the percentage of students who receive some kind of grants or scholarships?

Pranav Parekh (Apr 14, 2005 10:57:53 AM)
Is there any special emphasis on entrepreneurship? How is the subject dealt with? Is the student allowed to develop his own school of thought or a particular process is inculcated?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:58:11 AM)
Our scholarship budget varies from year to year. Honestly, we do not give 100% scholarships and we try to spread our money around.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:58:49 AM)
Pranav, we offer a track on entrepreneurship too, which obviously is very popular.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:59:27 AM)
Pranav, my personal impression is that at least 70% of participants are self-funding/self-funded. Beyond that, the source of funding varies from governments to current employers to HEC to the French military, but most of us are investing in our own futures.

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 10:59:28 AM)
Russel, Charles, Spencer, and Simon: What do you wish you would have done before arriving at HEC that would have made your transition easier?

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:59:44 AM)
Pranav - The HEC alumni association holds a bunch of seminars on entrepreneurship in Paris. I missed the last one as it coincided with a career fair on campus.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 10:59:55 AM)
Saved more money!

Manu (Apr 14, 2005 11:00:14 AM)
Regarding the track on entrepreneurship, does it have real exposure to starting companies?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:00:32 AM)
The entrepreneurship track allows participants to write business plans and to present them to VC professionals. They do it not so much for the money, but more for the experience the track also brings alumni in. The alumni share their experience in starting companies.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:01:18 AM)
Other than buying a network computer cable... hmmn... I would have spent some time brushing up on mathematics and statistics (as we were, ahem, continually advised to do by the Student Affairs office), if only to lessen the shock of going back into those subjects a decade or more since having seen them last. They are not critical to all subjects, but a greater familiarity at the outset would have been advantageous.

Raymun (Apr 14, 2005 11:02:49 AM)
I understood HEC was particularly strong in Finance. What's the recruitment like by the Banking sector?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:03:02 AM)
Finance is a strong department for us. Approximately 25% of each class go into finance but and naturally it depends on the current job market.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:03:06 AM)
Also, Manu, the Entrepreneurship track is divided in two, so you can focus either on the methodology for starting your own company or on analyzing start-up projects, potential value and revenue generation, business plans, etc. - more of a consultancy approach.

Raymun (Apr 14, 2005 11:03:45 AM)
Is there much VC activity in Paris?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:04:02 AM)
Bio-tech is big these days. France has a tradition of SMEs. There are government incentives to encourage start-ups too. VC as an industry itself is certainly behind much of that.

Pranav Parekh (Apr 14, 2005 11:05:04 AM)
What is the importance of the GMAT when securing an admit?

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:05:18 AM)
Raymun, among the Alumni Association there is also a lot of activity in and practical support for the concept of business angels, i.e., those who work with start-up ventures to secure funding for their enterprises and ideas.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:05:28 AM)
The GMAT is required for admission to HEC. The current average is 660.

Guest (Apr 14, 2005 11:05:51 AM)
How many hours of class and study time is required per week?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:05:55 AM)
We do like to take a balanced approach to evaluation of the applications, so we look at things besides the GMAT but certainly, a higher score can strengthen an application. A high GMAT can help with some scholarships.

Pierre (Apr 14, 2005 11:07:11 AM)
What is the maximum age for an applicant?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:07:17 AM)
We don't have a maximum age. The average is 30. We do offer an executive MBA too.

Raymun (Apr 14, 2005 11:07:25 AM)
Do certifications like ACCA Diploma in Financial Management hold any weigh in the admissions process, with respect to non-finance/business undergrads?

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 11:07:51 AM)
For Charles, Russel, Simon and Spencer: Why did you choose HEC?

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:09:18 AM)
Linda - diversity of student body, life in France, and international focus of the curriculum. Plus, the option to start in January.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:10:22 AM)
Not necessarily in order of priority: bilingual section opportunity, true French-speaking environment, duration of the course, quality of reputation and pedagogy, campus facilities, gut instinct, proximity to Paris, diversity of student profiles, international scope, and on-site accommodation

Guest (Apr 14, 2005 11:10:54 AM)
I want to switch my career from marketing to banking; is the HEC MBA an ideal way to provide myself with a solid base?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:11:00 AM)
I'd like to remind everyone about our Candidate Profile. Once you submit the on-line form you can request feedback on your profile before you apply to HEC. Just go to https://app.applyyourself.com/?id=hec-mba to create an account.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:11:57 AM)
Sartorial advice offered for a reasonable supplement. Fashion sense... :)

Pierre (Apr 14, 2005 11:13:17 AM)
What is the one thing that HEC can improve to make it a better MBA / Life experience?

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:13:18 AM)
The candidate profile is a great way to find out if you fit the type of profile HEC is seeking without investing the time of writing essays and paying for those dreaded application fees.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:15:24 AM)
Pierre - We give constant feedback to the administration.

brian (Apr 14, 2005 11:15:43 AM)
Where is HEC going?

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:15:56 AM)
One aspect the school is working on is attracting more speakers from outside of France.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:16:04 AM)
Brian, there has been a lot of development at HEC over the last several years. You will certainly see a clear commitment to develop itself and the brand internationally, which can clearly be seen in our growing reputation. We are not as well known as we would like but we are working hard on that and will be successful. HEC offers a full range of business programs and have recently launched the very successful TRIUM EMBA which is a joint program between HEC, NYU and the LSE. This has certainly helped the institution and we are expanding on international executive programs as well. Our faculty is internationalizing.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:16:22 AM)
Good question, Pierre - the IT department and network is an ever-evolving work but has made great improvements since we arrived. More broadly, I think the program as a whole could benefit from a few more international guest professors and alternate perspectives, but all told the school is extremely good at what it does, and I say that with complete sincerity - it is an unforgettable experience.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:18:15 AM)
I was very impressed by the school's focus on developing its international profile. Considering that not too long ago it was mainly a French program, I'm very pleased with the results so far and am expecting it to get better, if bright people like you come here.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:18:47 AM)
I'm sure that Charles will contribute in future, eh? Alumni play a large role in our success as they are active in promoting the MBA and hiring graduates.

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:19:15 AM)
It is worth noting that despite our growing international reputation and vision, HEC remains unquestionably the top-rated, most respected business institution in France, and that is a substantial accomplishment plus benefit in and of itself given the quality of national education here.

Pranav Parekh (Apr 14, 2005 11:19:36 AM)
I didn't get much info on the HEC/NYU program on the website. Where can I more information on that particular program?

RussellHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:19:47 AM)
The nice thing about the alumni is that it is not just MBA alumni, but Grand Ecole as well, and all are interested in furthering the HEC brand.

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:20:14 AM)
Info on double degrees is available at http://www.hec.fr/hec/eng/mba/program/international_doubledegree.html . If you have more specific questions, e-mail me at kobb@hec.fr .

Gregpe (Apr 14, 2005 11:20:23 AM)
Hi Josh, do you have any information about loans for international students (Latin American students specifically)?

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:20:57 AM)
Financing info is available at http://www.hec.fr/hec/eng/mba/admissions/financing.html .

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:21:23 AM)
Any questions that you can not answer from our site www.mba.hec.edu can be addressed to me.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:21:58 AM)
Feel free to e-mail me at charles.chang@mailhec.net.

RussellHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:21:58 AM)

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:22:19 AM)
We encourage candidates to visit the campus. Sign-up at http://www.hec.fr/hec/eng/mba/meetus_campus.html .

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:22:21 AM)

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 11:22:54 AM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Joshua, Russell, Charles, Spencer, and Simon for your participation.

CharlesHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:23:17 AM)
Thanks for having us Linda and thanks everyone for participating.

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 11:23:19 AM)
If you would like to be notified of future MBA admissions events, please send an e-mail to 2005mbaevent@accepted.com .

SimonPickardHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:23:27 AM)
Not at all, thank you for giving us the opportunity to talk about life here and to all of you for listening/reading!

JoshKobbHEC (Apr 14, 2005 11:23:43 AM)
Hope we are able to share some insight into what makes HEC different.

Mikki USA (Apr 14, 2005 11:23:49 AM)
Thank you!

Linda Abraham (Apr 14, 2005 11:23:53 AM)
Good luck with your applications!

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