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Real Humans of the HEC Paris MBA Class of 2023

hec paris mba class

hec paris mba classEleni Gavrinioti, HEC Paris MBA Class of 2023

Age: 32
Hometown: Thessaloniki, Greece
Undergraduate Institution and Major: BS Accounting and Finance, University of Macedonia, Greece & MSc Financial Economics, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry): In total 8 years of working experience in  the Banking sector; 3 years in Private Banking and 5 years in Corporate Banking.

Why did you make the decision to attend business school? Why now?
An MBA was in my mind already for some time. After spending 8 years in banking, working in the Netherlands, it felt that it was the right time for me to take this step. What I am looking to gain through an MBA program is to expand my international experience and network, acquire the business knowledge and the soft skills for becoming a leader and to make a transition in my career path.

Why did you choose HEC? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
HEC is a top-ranked business school in the world with reputable faculty and a global community network. The duration of the program, i.e. 16 months, is ideal for having sufficient time doing your studies without staying out of the labour market for too long. Additionally, from a geographical perspective, I was looking for a European Business School since Europe is my target region post-MBA. Finally, living on campus allows you to better know your classmates outside of the class and this is an opportunity that not many business schools offer you. 

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2023?
I think that I have a diversified profile. I originally come from Greece, but I used to live in the Netherlands for almost 9 years. I also had the opportunity to work for a few months in Singapore. Furthermore, my academic background is in finance and I have work experience in different roles in banking. So, I believe that my profile could contribute to the already very diversified Class of 2023.

Tell us a fun fact that didn’t get included on your application:
I had my first airplane trip when I was 15 and that was also the first time for me traveling outside of my country. Since then, I have visited almost 30 countries.

Post-MBA career interests:
Some areas of interest are consulting, private equity and sustainability. However, I started the program with an open mind because I do not want to miss other opportunities.

Advice for Current Prospective Applicants:
What is one thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
During the application process, I really enjoyed the interviews with alumni. Although an interview process might sound stressful, they were turned more to discussions where alumni openly shared their stories, experiences and useful information about the program.

– What is one thing you would change or do differently?
Nothing particular. I applied on time, which helped me to prepare myself sufficiently and it made the process less stressful. So my advice to prospective applicants is not to wait till the last moment to submit their applications.

– What is one part you would have skipped if you could—and what helped you get through it?
I wish I could have skipped the GMAT preparation. It was challenging to combine it with work and especially, during COVID times, it was more difficult to find available spots in the test centers. What helped me was the timelines that I had set for myself and my early preparation in order to make sure that I would have sufficient time for that.

What is your initial impression of the HEC students/culture/community?
I am impressed by the open culture of HEC. Students are coming from backgrounds and faculty really tries to support the students in the best ways. Also, the HEC community is huge, inside and outside of France. For example few days ago, Christine Lagarde was on campus participating in a conference about the Euro and the European Economy and, in a few weeks, Daniel Kahneman will be visiting the campus as well. Those are unique opportunities!

What is one thing you have learned about HEC that has surprised you?
I was surprised to learn that HEC has graduated more CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies than any other university in Europe.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic affected your personal application or admissions process in any way? If so, how?
Due to the pandemic, the entire admissions process was online, including the interviews. Also due to the travel restrictions, I was not able to visit the campus beforehand or to join a face-to-face open-day event.

What is one thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
The pandemic remains one of the main concerns. Although the classes have been face-to-face so far, nobody can be sure that things will not change in the future.

What is one thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I see the MBA as a lifetime experience. I am thrilled about working with my cohort and learning from this talented group of people. Also, the MBA is a transition journey for my career, so I am really excited about all the challenges and opportunities the MBA will bring on my way.

Posted in: Real Humans of MBA Class of 2023, Real Humans of MBA Students

Schools: HEC Paris

About the Author

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Lauren Wakal

Lauren Wakal has been covering the MBA admissions space for more than a decade, from in-depth business school profiles to weekly breaking news and more.

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