HEC Paris MBA Application – Must Knows Before You Start
HEC ranked as the top business school in Europe 7 times in the 9-year period between 2006 and 2014 in the Financial Times ranking. The HEC Paris MBA curriculum is divided into two phases; the Fundamental Phase and the Customized Phase with the former focusing on developing knowledge in the business discipline while the later allowing students to customize the program according to their professional objectives. CEO Series, 3-day MBA Tournament and off-campus leadership seminar designed to develop leadership skills in MBA Students. Nikhil Jones, one of GyanOne’s clients and successful HEC Paris MBA Applicant, reveals his perspectives on the HEC Paris Application process and post MBA job opportunities in Europe.
GyanOne: Why made you choose applying to HEC Paris among other programs in Europe?
Nikhil: The reasons I chose to apply to HEC are – Willingness to work/remain in Asia, Shorter time duration of the MBA program which makes it economically more viable, small batch size which would lead to stronger relationships and networking and great diversity in the class that would inculcate a global outlook within a candidate.
GyanOne: Do you think Europe has good opportunities for Indian applicants to thrive after MBA?
Nikhil: Post the admit to HEC, I spoke to a number of alumni and students and have come to the conclusion that Indian MBA graduates from European colleges have good but not the best opportunities. Schengen countries generally have a language barrier making it difficult for Indian students (without language proficiency) and the United Kingdom has somewhat tightened its VISA regulations. Having said that, the region of middle east has ample opportunities (specifically in UAE) and that’s a route that many students eventually take up. Singapore and Hong Kong too are a promising destinations for many Indian European MBA graduates. While there are burgeoning opportunities in India, they dont match the pay scale of working outside – this makes it difficult if you’re bound to take up a student loan for studying.
GyanOne: What were the key learning points for you in the MBA application process?
Nikhil: Some key learning points I gathered were – apply early and give the adcoms a sign that you’re really interested, never undermine any of your experiences – even a very modest experience/accolade can fit very well in the whole application, speak to college alumni and students before you apply to the college – get all the information you can and see if you can associate yourself with them, use your optional essay well – don’t repeat what you’ve written before but cover topics that you feel are necessary for the adcoms to assess your profile, read about your interviewers before you meet them, stay confident in your interview – they’re your advocates – you should be helping them in making a case for you, while answering questions in interviews, take your time – frame the entire answer in your head and then proceed meticulously – don’t jump into an answer and then stray away – and lastly, maintain a pleasant demeanour throughout the interview process.
GyanOne: How do you plan to approach the future?
Nikhil: I plan to pursue my MBA in the next few years and take up a job in management consulting. I intend to stay within Asia and return to India in the near future.
GyanOne: You work in the area of Analytics. Why did you choose this over a more traditional IT career?
Nikhil: What lead me to analytics was the data mining elective that I had taken up while at college. It seemed really interesting and had the flavor of computer science, data analysis and domain acumen to it.
GyanOne: What made you consider going for an MBA in the first place?
Nikhil: Eventually, the course and my work experience aroused a deeper interest within me – problem solving. This took me to Accenture Management Consulting where I worked with a few clients to solve their problems by the use of analytics. However, I realized that to grow further, I’d need to develop a holistic view of business and management – something that can be achieved with an MBA degree.
GyanOne: Tell us how you prepared for the GMAT along with a full-time job. What were the challenges you faced and how did you surmount them?
Nikhil: I believe the key component of GMAT prep is practice – which basically comes down to dedicated time, focus and patience. You need to fix a specific time for your preparation and diligently follow it. It doesn’t have to be 3 hours or so. An hour is enough – but be sure to carry on playing small quizzes throughout the day in the form of a short 5 question test etc. You find many such forums online – Grockit is one of them. This way you put to practice what you’ve studied in a fun way. Plan your studies well and keep gauging your weaknesses and strengths by taking some diagnostic/full length tests periodically. Lastly, be sure that whenever you start practicing full length tests, you sit through all the sections. Concentrating for 4 hours at a stretch is straining for anyone and if you decide on skipping the first 2 sections – IR and AWA – while practicing, you’re definitely not mimicking the exam scenario. The way your mind would react to a 4 hour exam on the d day would now be different than what you have been practicing. 8. You got into HEC but decided not to take it. What were the reasons behind your decision? I made the mistake of applying early to HEC, that is I had to pay the non refundable amount even before I could apply to any other college. I was not willing to do this because I knew for a fact that there other colleges out there that fit better with my ambitions and I definitely should give them a shot.