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 11 February , 2010

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.
I felt privileged as I listened to him recalling stories such as going to Shanghai in the early 90s and telling incredulous officials that he wished to sell Chinese, not Vuitton or Chanel bags, but cheap rice :)

Conference with Pr. Yunus

Conference with Pr. Yunus

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.
Another privileged moment.

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 ! :)

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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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