The Insider’s Guide to HEC

Do you love macarons? French baguettes? Luxury goods? Want to spend a year in France basking in the Parisian lifestyle…while also getting a leg up on your career?

Who doesn’t, right?

HEC, France’s most exclusive MBA program, is gonna give you all of that and more. And whether you’re just learning about HEC for the first time, or if you’ve been dreaming about an HEC MBA since you got your first job out of college, we’re gonna cover everything you need to know to land a coveted spot at glamorous, chic, unique… HEC!

The What

Besides being France’s premier business school, HEC also runs France’s second most famous MBA program, in the heart of the heart of the most beautiful city in the world.

Extremely well connected, with a very strong general management program, one of the things that makes HEC really unique is the variety of industries it caters to, and the variety of industries students come from and go to. Of course, the twin traditionals of Finance and Consulting are very well represented, but HEC is also a launching pad for careers in biomed; airline; oil and gas; and, of course, luxury (this is one of HEC’s specialties, which is not surprising considering its location).

HEC’s amazing employment stats (90% within three months of graduation) and fantastic mobility (68% of grads end up moving to a new country) make it one of Europe’s premiere MBA programs. It is an especially good choice for those who choose to live and work in France, as more than 50% of its non-European students stick around after graduation. [Whether they are staying for the work or the food, no one knows for sure…]

A bit longer than your one-year Euro program, HEC’s 16-month program is a perfect compromise between the Euro MBA and the US MBA.

The Who

HEC’s grads are especially strong in International Consulting, Finance, Banking (lots of French banks on the top list), and manufacturing. The school also boasts a fantastic placement rate, and recruiters come from top firms like Schneider Electric, Amazon, BNP Paribas, GE, A.T. Kearney, Nomura, Booz and Company, L’Oreal, UBS and CapGemini.

HEC’s students tend to be far older than students in US programs (30 is the average) making it a fantastic choice for older candidates, and for those who might otherwise be thinking of EMBA programs.

The How – Tips for Getting In

So who and what exactly is HEC looking for?

Obviously fantastic leaders and thinkers like everywhere else! But more than just GMAT, HEC likes prestige, class and the promise of future success. If you come from a classy school or background, you’ve just earned yourself some HEC bonus points.

HEC, like many other Euro MBAs also really likes folks who have PROVEN international experience, especially when that experience is managerial, and even more so when it’s for a big multinational company.

And given HEC’s fame in France, showing a love and appreciation for French language and culture can go a long way. And if you can already speak some French, all the better to you! Working in a “preferred” industry that is traditionally strong in France (Luxury, Banking, Energy, Automotive, Manufacturing), as well as showing knowledge of the French market/industry can also give a big boost to your profile.

Bottom Line

HEC’s fantastic employment record, deep connections in European business, and phenomenal location (come on, folks, this is PARIS) in a true global metropolis make it a fantastic choice for those who with to go Euro, or Global.

[Want more? Check out our Insider’s Guides to INSEAD, IESE, IMD and Cambridge Judge.]

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