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Real Humans of HEC Paris’s MBA Class of 2021

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Kristina Victor, HEC Paris MBA Class of 2021

Kristina Victor, HEC Paris MBA Class of 2021

Age: 29
Hometown: San Francisco Bay Area, California
Undergraduate Institution and Major: Santa Clara University, Communication & French
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): 6.5 years management consulting in the tech industry

Why business school? Why now?
Business school had always been part of my plan; it was just a matter of when. Last year I was at a point in my career where I had a clear idea of the path I wanted to take and which skill gaps I needed to fill to get there. I was also at a point where I had developed valuable experience to contribute to an MBA community, as the “give and take” element was important to me.

Why HEC Paris? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
Having spent my career with a global consulting firm, I wanted a program that taught business through a truly global lens. HEC Paris’s cultural and professional diversity is unparalleled, which means there’s a ton of opportunity to learn from classmates and professors and become better-rounded. HEC Paris was the top choice for my husband and I as we applied to programs together. We’re ecstatic to be able to achieve this milestone together!

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2021?
In consulting, I’ve had the opportunity to work across several functions, including marketing, IT, finance, sales, and supply chain, and ultimately found my niche in B2B marketing. I’m glad to be able to contribute this breadth of experience, while knowing I still have a lot to learn. Additionally, I’ve spent my career working with global clients headquartered in the Silicon Valley, which makes for a unique business perspective.

Fun fact that didn’t get included on your application?
Classical singing has always been one of my hobbies.

Post-MBA career interests?
My plan is to get back into management consulting and ultimately build my brand as the go-to executive at my firm to help global clients tackle marketing challenges. That said, I’m open to new opportunities and industries. After just a week here at HEC Paris, it seems like the options are endless!

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Keep my interview presentation topic personally meaningful rather than focus purely on a business topic.

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Nothing. I can truly say I appreciated each step of HEC’s application process.

–Part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
Easy, I would have skipped the GRE/GMAT.

What is your initial impression of HEC Paris’s students/culture/community?
I’m amazed and so proud already to be part of this community. It’s an international community with a French flair, which I love, having lived in France twice before.

One thing you have learned about HEC Paris that has surprised you?
I didn’t realize we’d have three weeks of orientation activities and mini-courses before the start of term 1 classes. I really appreciate that HEC Paris has put together this program for us to get to know one another and equip us with the basic skills and knowledge we’ll need for our courses.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Challenging myself with quantitatively focused, cross-functional courses.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
Living the French life and learning things I never would have experienced in a day-to-day consulting job.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.