The quest for wisdom, from France to China, of an HEC MBA & Tsinghua MBA dual degree student (class of 2011)
Archive for the ‘MBA’ Category
My apologies on the previous post were clealy short lived and I left my blog unattended for a while (again).
As planned, I graduated from the Tsinghua MBA in late June and from the HEC MBA in October. The latter is due to the fact that Dual-Degree candidates are awarded through the September jury at HEC, once all credits are verified. Just a formality really.
I still managed to attend to both my graduation ceremonies: at HEC on June 17th and at Tsinghua on June 28th. Square hats, photos (many of them) and commencement speech, at HEC with François-Henri Pinault CEO of PPR, and at Tsinghua with Annie Wu who founded the first Joint-Venture in China.
I’m still fascinated by China and have decided to stay for a bit to improve on my Mandarin. I’ve registered to the HSK Level 5 in December, yay! (Not bad for someone who could barely talk to taxi drivers 15 months ago.)
I can’t believe it’s already been a month since my previous post.
Before I go and start the second chapter of my MBA experience, I wanted to reflect back on what I have learned and what I’ll take away from it.
3 classes I enjoyed:
I should have mentionned it a while ago.
Indeed, the HEC MBA students organise two major events every year.
I’m all the more guilty of not mentionning it earlier on this blog that I participated a lot in the organisation of this event, which is part of the Visions of Leadership cycle.
This year, on May 28th and May 29th, we will welcome around 50 speakers and 400 participants who will discuss sustainability in its economic, social and environmental forms.
Pretty cool huh! :)
It was successful because so many participating schools came. Competing in events against 11 other schools with high energy and people cheering from all sides was a fantastic blast. We were also proud to show the other schools that all HEC MBA students could organise, support and play in this big event.
But it was a success most importantly because, for the 20th anniversary of MBAT, WE WON. The HEC MBA had never won the tournament but this year every students were determined to be the best in the even organisation but also in sports. We trained and worked really hard for this, and it paid!
As for me, I participated in the pétanque and dodgeball competition and we won the title for both. So I’m really happy to have brought my personnal contribution to our overall success! :)
CONGRATULATION HEC! WE WON!
Today MBAT starts with sport competitions and parties which will span across 3 days.
All HEC MBA students will be participating in the organisation of this event that we are very proud to host. This year is also special because it’s going to be the 20th anniversary of MBAT so we’re determined to show a united front in terms of welcoming our guests in the best way while also winning the competition.
Last week, we went to something truely unique about the HEC MBA: The Leadership Seminar at St-Cyr, where we spent two days. One in the Coëtquidant center, in the forest. The other one at the Penthièvre fort, by the sea of Brittany.
And, yes, it was a blast :)
I can seriously say I felt priviledged to be part of such a programme.
PS: Yes, I had my share of cramps and bruises afterwards.
Last week we had a conference cycle called Visions of Leadership.
This week long event was opened by Theodore Zeldin and saw leaders from a broad range of sectors. I was certainly impressed by the diversity of ways one can be a leader in. We had, of course, people coming from the corporate world, but also from smaller businesses and start-ups. Further from the typical MBA target, we saw ambassadors, sportsmen and a former head of the French army in Afghanistan.
It was a very interesting discovery for us. Not all leaders are charismatic and the “Follow me to my vision!” type. Some were more collected and exhibited a more serious demeanor. Some came with the notes and presentations while others could just sit in their chair and start talking. Some were shy.
One of the things this week left me thinking about was, actually, how we started the cycle.
Anyway, philosophical ponders…
A few weeks ago, the HEC MBA students participated in shooting this trailer. We were about 100. We discovered how tough a movie shot can be but the result was really worth it. Wahoo!
Looking on Youtube, I found another MBAT 2010 trailer, this time from LBS. You can tell the celebration is getting closer! :)
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
It matters not how strait the gate,
One of the thing I did not really expect from an MBA was the exposure that one can get to great minds. I remember seeing information about conferences when applying to MBAs, but I was often doubtful, as it could be little more than clever marketing. I’m not sure how true this is for other business schools, but HEC has certainly shown its ability to gather awesome speakers.
Last week on Wednesday, Daniel Bernard, former CEO of Carrefour and HEC alumni, came to speak to MBA students. We learned about his evolution from a young manager pioneering “Modern Retail” in the 70s, to the strategist which orchestrated the expansion of Carrefour from third hypermarket chain in France to the world’s most globalised retail group, with unparalleled growth in Latin America and Asia.
On the next day, I was part of a small group of MBA students who travelled from Jouy-en-Josas to middle Paris for a conference on Social Business, co-organised by HEC. Speakers were gathered around professor Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate for inventing microcredit. Most notably Franck Riboud, CEO of Danone, and Martin Hirsch, French High Commissioner for Active Solidarities against Poverty.
Again, yesterday we had a conference with Bernard Bourigeaud, founder of Atos, as he explained us how he grew this company from a small French IT service company to the 3rd largest IT consultancy in Europe through well executed acquisitions.
It can be argued that events dedicated to MBAs, such as the ones with Daniel Bernard and Bernard Bourigeaud, are rare. They mostly target HEC as a whole and are often in French, not always with English translation. But the experience, and inspiration that one gets from such moments, is priceless.
Tomorrow, as part of the TEC programme, we will meet Avivah Cox, a Senior HR consultant and CEO who will tell us about women empowerment. Cool ! :)
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.
However, persistence (and a sustained smile) is key, as well as good preparation.
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…
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! :)