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HEC Paris Clubs: Forging Connections & Creating Opportunities

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The other members of the Healthcare Club leadership team became some of my closest friends to this day.”

Alex Richwood, HEC Paris MBA ‘21
Specialization: Strategy
Pre-MBA Work Experience: 4 years, Financial Services/Consulting at Big 4
Current Employer & Title:  Veeva Systems – Pharmaceutical Commercial Strategy Consulting, Engagement Manager
HEC Paris Clubs:  Vice President, MBA Healthcare Club; Member, MBA Consulting Club

How did clubs influence your experience at HEC Paris, in particular regarding finding a job/career niches, internship, networking, and educational value?
Being a part of the Healthcare Club enhanced my experience at HEC both professionally and personally. From a professional perspective, the events, speakers, and other club members widened my knowledge of what a possible career could look like in Life Sciences without having a scientific background. Being on leadership within the club also helped me to tell the story that I need to tell, so that I could make the jump within Pharma from finance to strategy.

Personally, the other members of the Healthcare Club leadership team became some of my closest friends to this day. The shared interest in the industry, struggle in applying for similar roles, and collaboration that came through running events built a strong connection that wouldn’t have existed without the club.

Tell us about the Healthcare Club. What are the goals/activities of the organization? Who would benefit the most from joining this club?
The main goal our year was to provide exposure into the various potential career trajectories that could exist within Pharma. Across the leadership team alone, we had experience from Pharma Sales, Pharma Finance/Consulting, Pharma Digital, MedTech, and Clinical Operations, so we could speak directly to some of the many potential career paths that exist.

During my time on the club, we hosted a Healthcare conference “Healthcare in 2030,” with six  corporate speakers across organizations and functions, to speak about where they thought the industry was going, and how different career paths could take shape in the changing environment. We also hosted on-campus company presentations and held informal socials with other students to better connect.

Anyone with an interest in the Healthcare/Life Science industry should strongly consider joining a club like this. We found a lot of our classmates had never considered the industry, as it had never felt like a real possibility to them. From the combination of working with organizations focused on bettering patient lives, alongside promising career paths, a club like this is a good kick start into finding your future post-MBA.

How have you worked with the Healthcare Club since graduation? Please share any particular achievements or impact that you are excited about.
From the corporate side – I’ve now connected with the current Healthcare Club (with support from Career Services) to give an overview of Veeva Business Consulting and provide an idea of what consulting can look like in Pharma. I also participated in the current club’s Life Sciences & Healthcare Consulting Panel last year. After the Healthcare Club helped me to progress my career in the direction I wanted it to go, I’m keen to help current and future students interested in a similar path.

What should MBA candidates consider when trying to decide which clubs to join?
Pick a club related to an industry you’re genuinely interested in. It’s easy to think of a club as another bullet point on your CV, but you get out of it what you put in. The more interested you are in the topic of the club, the more likely you’ll care about learning and building a network within the club, and the more likely you’ll get out what you’re hoping for.

Read on for more from entrepreneur Laury Jacot and how HEC Paris clubs helped build a network of support.

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.