Frog to Dragon: HEC MBA & Tsinghua MBA Blog


The quest for wisdom, from France to China, of an HEC MBA & Tsinghua MBA dual degree student (class of 2011)

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Archive for January, 2010

Posted by at 27 January , 2010

You may have noticed that I’m getting to blog a bit more regularly. Well, part of it is because many interesting things happen.

Yesterday and today HEC hosted the recrutment “Carrefours“. Carrefour means crossroads in French and is also the name of France’s largest supermarket chain. And indeed, the whole event seemed like a big marketplace.
In two days, about 110 companies came to recruit from a very broad range of sectors. There were consulting firms and banks of course, but also retail, transportation, automobile, energy, publishing, food, consumer goods, luxury, and the list goes on. There was even a video game company.
Unfortunately, most (although not all) of the companies that came focus on recruiting Grande Ecole people. This masters programme is clearly the one that HEC is famous for. It often brings frustration as we see recruiters all smile and, the second we mention we’re from the MBA programme, they start to look away.

However, persistence (and a sustained smile) is key, as well as good preparation.
Before the carrefours, I studied my plan of attack, I knew that I was interested in consulting or consumer goods (preferably more on the luxury side). So I shortlisted 10 companies, categorised in “must-see” and “if-time”, and went ahead.
While a few companies proved disappointing (I’m starting to really wonder whether I’d really like to go back to the consulting sharks nest), I came back with 3 companies that were interested in my profile, and where I could happily imagine myself applying to. One was in consulting, one in beauty, and one in luxury. I felt the highest connection to was the latter but it was a total pleasure to discuss with each of them.
So in the end, I’ve had a fruitful Carrefour. I’ve made contact with the recruiting representatives of likeable companies and I know they’ll remember me when I e-mail them. And most importantly, I’ve confirmed that my profile is attractive to my target industry. A career switch is indeed possible!

On another note, while I went to the Carrefours fairly light-hearted, mainly looking for information as I’ll finish my studies from Tsinghua only in June next year, we (of the September 09 intake) noticed many old faces from the September 08 batch who finished class in December. I didn’t want to ask to many questions but it seems like the job market is tough for those who just graduated…

 

Fajitas party!

Fajitas party!

So what’s the deal with fajitas? You may ask.

Well, I just wanted to (at last) comment on the social life at HEC, since it’s something that we’re most most proud of in our MBA.

Just two days ago, we received an e-mail from the president of the Latin Club about a fajitas party organised at the Piano Bar (it’s a bar with a piano) by the dorms. That came in as a total surprise out of some ideas that emerged during the week-end (which was the January 10 integration week-end in the Alps).

Here you go: fajitas, sangria, caipiroska, margarita, pisco…

Total succes! Latin Club! We love you! :)

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Posted in: 2. At HEC MBA | No Comments »

Posted by at 24 January , 2010

Some of you may know of my interest in China. In particular, the proposition of a double degree with the Tsinghua University was a factor in my selection of the HEC MBA.

After writing 3000+ worth of more essays, sending the university my 60 euros of application fees by post, and applying to the Tsinghua SEM IMBA independently, back in December, I received their response this week:

Dear Pam,

Congratulations! We are very pleased to inform you that you have been admitted by School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University for IMBA Program starting from 2010 Fall. Thank you again for choosing Tsinghua MBA program.

This email is to inform you of your admission to Tsinghua SEM IMBA Program. The official admission letter and visa application form will be sent to you in June 2010 from Tsinghua University. Welcome to join in Tsinghua SEM!

Me happy! (^__^)

I feel like I just took a step further toward China!

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Posted in: 1. Pre-MBA , 2. At HEC MBA | 9 Comments »

Posted by at 16 January , 2010

Just a quick article about the Tracks.

Some of you may know that the HEC MBA curriculum is composed of 4 phases:
- Core 1
- Core 2
- Personalised Phase 1
- Personalised Phase 2

Basically Core 1 and 2 are made up of mandatory foundation classes and Personalised Phase 1 and 2 are elective time.

Until recently, only Personalised Phase 2 allowed for specialisation where we can choose between Entrepreneurship, Finance, Management Innovation, Marketing and Strategy.

However, since last year, and more this year, we now have the possibility to also specialise during the Personalised Phase 1. The new tracks are planned to be more professional and one key factor is that they are HEC cross disciplinary tracks. Meaning that unlike the PP2 tracks, they are open not only to MBA students but also to other programmes from HEC such as the Grande Ecole or Specialised Masters.
In Personalised Phase 1, we can now specialise in Energy, Real Estate, Social Business and Luxury Strategies.

Now I’ll let you guess to which one I’m going to apply ;)

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Posted in: 2. At HEC MBA | 2 Comments »

Posted by at 13 January , 2010

First of all Happy New Year 2010! :)

Happy New Year 2010!

Happy New Year 2010!

It gives me the opportunity for me to look back at my Year 2009 where many things happened.
I left my job and started a new life as an HEC student.
I feel I opened up to many new things. I discovered myself a talent for topics I had no idea of (eg. Financial Accounting?!) and met people that I would have had little chances to meet before (eg. a japanese girl who worked in bulldozer manufacturing…)
At this stage, I sincerely believe that year 2009 was a cornerstone year for me and that year 2010 will bring more changes in my life.

So what’s your new year resolution? Mine is to learn Chinese. I really hope to become more conversational with my Mandarin this year. Time will tell if I succeeded. :)

View of campus from Expansiel

View of campus from Expansiel

So that’s it! Now I’m (hardly) back from my end of year holidays and ready to take over Core 2!

The least we can say is that, academically, Core 2 starts slowly. And this is a good thing since I happen to be hammered with ever more club activities. In parrallel, I need to seriously look for a July-August summer internship.
Lots to do…

Finally, the newcomers from the Jan 2010 intake arrived last week. It’s a bit strange to now be considered as the “seniors”. Tonight we have a special “buddy” event to meet with the younger intake people we will give advices to.
It reminds me of a similar notion from the Consulting world.

Otherwise, I think I’ve never seen so much snow for so long in France…

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Posted in: 2. At HEC MBA , Just me | 2 Comments »