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 the ‘2. At HEC MBA’ Category

Posted by at 5 August , 2010

Walking out of HEC

Walking out of HEC

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since my previous post.
As I’m preparing my big move to China, time has really passed without me noticing anything.

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:

  • Marketing (with J.N. Kapferer)
  • Corporate Finance (with P. Quiry)
  • Luxury Strategy (with V. Bastien)


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Posted by at 3 July , 2010

Summer has arrived. After a little struggle (15°C on June 21st) heat has settled on campus, as well as the football world cup :)

Now, PP1 is almost done for me. I still have a couple of classes next week but I’ll be on vacation right after.

During PP1, we had the options of doing a long internship (5 months) of study electives. I was more interested by classes (and vacations) and I made a scrupulous selection based on my own interests and feedback from previous intakes.

Happy participants of the theatre elective

Happy participants of the theatre elective

In addition, as I was not accepted to the Luxury track (very selective) I tried to pick classes that would be most useful after my MBA, while being unique and hard to get at Tsinghua, as I will still have the chance to study electives there in September.

As a result, I took the following classes:
- The Financial Dimension of Strategic Decisions
- International Entrepreneurial Finance
- The Macroeconomics of Emerging Economies
- Marketing and Strategies in Luxury
- Managing the Growing Company
- International Negociations
- Discovering your Leadership Path
- Theatre (in French)

The quality of each class was variable, but I was generally very satisfied by my electives.

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Posted by at 28 May , 2010

Social and Sustainable Business Conference

Social and Sustainable Business Conference

I should have mentionned it a while ago.

Indeed, the HEC MBA students organise two major events every year.

One is of course MBAT, which I already mentionned many times.
The other is the Social and Sustainable Business Conference (or SSBC), which is more recent but no less important.

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! :)

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Posted by at 26 April , 2010

Hey there!
Spring has finally arrived!

Violets blooming all over the campus woods

Violets blooming all over the campus woods

What can I say, I’m very glad I could pack away my coat and enjoy again nice walks around the campus. Flowers are just about everywhere these days. Everybody is in good mood :)

It is also time to look back as we have now completed our second Core phase.

During this period, I have learned about:
- Business Economics
- Corporate Finance (in French)
- Decision Making
- Organisational Behaviour
- Management Accounting & Control (in French)
- Strategic Management (in French)
- Sustainable Business Strategy

Like in Core 1, I didn’t know much about any of these topics.

I confirmed my strange taste for Financial Accounting as I enjoyed the classes we had in Management Accounting. This is big news for me and I’m now starting to include this skill into future career options. (Seriously, who’d want to include Accounting as a career option!)

I may say that this period has been as life changing as Core 1. But maybe as a continuation. I felt that Core 1 was a “Reset” time, while Core 2 was about (re)building my expectations.
I’ve definitely started to think of career options in a different way and now I’m seriously considering options that would have sounded wild when I left my job, just under a year ago.

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Posted by at 2 April , 2010

Last week we had a conference cycle called Visions of Leadership.

Theodore Zeldin at HEC Visions of Leadership

Theodore Zeldin at HEC 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.
Just before the conferences started we were all given a bag with instructions and, amongst other things, Theodore Zeldin’s book: Conversation: How Talk Can Change Our Lives. This book matched not only his opening speech but also made sense of the cycle and further.
Indeed, I believe that meaningful conversations can change people. It stems from a desire to share things and learn from others. One could even say that writing this blog is a way for me to have a conversation with you readers.

Anyway, philosophical ponders…

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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 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 by at 18 December , 2009

Today is the last day of Core 1 and we are having our last Core 1 exam this morning (HR Management).
After that, off we go on our Christmas holidays!

View of the lake frozen

View of the lake frozen

Yesterday, the HEC Campus was graced by snow. Yes! lots of snow! Making the surroundings of the campus really beautiful.

Someone organised a snow fight… which I joined ;)

During this period, I have learned about:
- Marketing (in French)
- Supply Chain Management
- Statistics (in French)
- Financial Accounting
- HR Management
- Financial Markets

Snow fight from my window

Snow fight from my window

These were all subjects I didn’t know much about, except maybe HR Management. (They don’t teach you much in Consulting…)

So, can I say I’ve learned much? Yes! Definitely.
I also discovered myself a (strange) taste for Financial Accounting. In Consulting we learn the importance of reading balance sheets and income statements, but I had never got around to actually doing it. Now I discovered that: 1) I don’t mind it. 2) The information is actually interesting :)

Can I say that my Core 1 experience at HEC changed my life? Yes again.
But this one is not so much due to the education we got, but more with the people we interact with. Or more precisely, it had more to do with the TEC On-Campus Program. I wrote earlier that I had been accepted in this coaching group but never actually wrote anything about it. I should really correct that one day…

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Posted by at 27 November , 2009

It’s been a month since I last wrote on this blog… That’s mainly due to the amount of work we have now.

My calendar for the week of November 16th

My calendar for the week of November 16th

About workload, since it’s currently the hottest topic on my list, after a (sort of) slow start in September, we reached cruise speed in October with group work on top of classes and other club activities. Then in November we started to get exams at a rate of approximately one each week. So it’s getting seriously tough.

Actually, for those of you who are wondering what the workload of an MBA student looks like, I’ve prepared a screenshot of my Outlook calendar.
I hope you’ll enjoy :)

Right now, I can’t wait for the holidays at the end of year. But before that, I’ll need to go through the fire of Core 1 exams and project work.

On another note, we’re now in another election period as for the MBAT. We have just elected our new MBA Council and there are quite a few club elections going on.

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Posted by at 27 September , 2009

Many things have happened during the past two weeks and I have to admit that my self-assigned discipline of writing here at least once a week is starting on a wrong foot…

Here are a few noticeable things we did.

Negosim

The second week of classes, basically after a first week of cheering and hugging, we got onto business with a business simulation game called Negosim. We were all dispached into groups of 4 to 5 people and our task, as the board or directors of a B2B company, was to compete with others.

It was a fantastic experience for those two main reasons:

  • It was a jump into the water of corporate strategy. For someone who had no idea what the terms “liability” and “equity” meant before school started (me), this game was a great way of teaching these basic concepts through play.
  • It was a first time for group work and interactions with other classmates. I was amazed at how a 4 day course allowed us to work with each other so quickly. Within our own group, of course, but also with people from other groups. It wasn’t always easy but it was definitely a good introduction to our future group work.

Classes

We were assigned to our sections (I’m in the bilingual section) and classes started for real on the 3rd week, along with group work and case studies. By the way, one of the reasons why I could not post my article on Negosim last week was because we had a Marketing assignment due for Monday 8am.

Garden of Chenonceau (Loire Valley)

Garden of Chenonceau (Loire Valley)

This week, I started to realise how crucial good planning is. After reviewing my class schedule and making a quick estimation for class preparation (reading material + preparing cases) I found that I’ll need to spend around 60 hours weekly on studies. Basically, my key is that for each class, I’ll have to spend once to twice as much time for preparation.

Holidays are finished for real now…

Integration week-end

This week end we went on integration in the Loire Valley. It was a mix between cultural visits (to the châteaux here and there), partying (with the regional wine, of course) and fun fun fun :)

I feel that by now, I know 80 to 90% of my intake by name.
Way to go!

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