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HEC Paris MBA Essay Topic

HEC Paris

Located on a woodland campus just south of central Paris, HEC Paris was founded in 1881 by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and continues to be a worldwide leading business school. HEC Paris is known for its diversity, small class size and annual MBA Tournament, which attracts competitors from top business schools from around the world.

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HEC has 137 full-time professors who teach courses across five specializations.  94 affiliate professors and 40 visiting professors also contribute to teaching and research at the school.   Overall, the faculty at HEC Paris has published over 400 research articles and won nearly 120 international awards over the past five years.


The 16-month curriculum at HEC Paris is split into the Fundamental Phase, which is comprised of core courses, languages, leadership development and career building and coaching, and the Customized Phase, which allows for electives, fieldwork or an international exchange and a specialization or international exchange. HEC MBA accepts two classes per year, one beginning in September and the other beginning in January.  Each class takes the same core curriculum and, during the customized phase, the two classes may overlap and collaborate further.

The core curriculum during the Fundamental Phase is broken down into two sections.  The first is focused on building a theoretical foundation about business, including subjects such as marketing and economics.  The second set of core courses move onto advanced topics, such as operations management and organizational behavior.  Students are required to know or learn French at HEC Paris.  Hence, students already fluent in French and English upon arrival must study a third language during the Fundamental Phase.  Those learning French are required to take language courses during the first two terms.  Students who are already trilingual have the option to study a fourth language, but it is not required.  Seminars and student-run events comprise the leadership development section of the Fundamental Phase.  For example, students may run conferences, participate in the MBA Tournament, or attend the CEO series for lectures from leading business professionals.

During the Customized Phase, students have a choice of among 34 elective courses across the five specialization areas.  Additionally, fieldwork projects during the Customized Phase must incorporate students’ career goals.  Similar to a consulting project, students advise companies on strategic issues during the fieldwork projects.  They may be conducted individually or in teams across the globe. There is also a partnership option, the Global Consulting Practicum (GCP), with the Wharton School.   The GCP centers around a company seeking to expand its market in the U.S. or globally.  HEC faculty advises on these projects, which last a minimum of three months. Meanwhile, international exchanges are rather selective—only 40 students per year may participate in an exchange with one of HEC’s more than 40 partner universities.

Other Degree Options

In addition to a full-time MBA, HEC Paris also offers a part-time option.  With only a January intake, the part-time MBA is completed across 18 to 24 months.  Admissions and curricular requirements are the same for part-time MBA students as full-time ones, with the added option of pursuing a one-week exchange with UCLA.

HEC Paris offers several Executive MBA options, including the TRIUM Global Executive MBA, in partnership with NYU’s Stern School of Business and London School of Economics and Political Science, as well as the HEC Executive MBA, which offers eight tracks in five global locations, ranging from Saint Petersburg to Beijing.

HEC Paris has partnered with 11 international institutions of offer double degrees.  While most are double MBAs, there are also options of a Master of Science in Management Studies (at MIT Sloan), a Master of Laws (at Georgetown), a Masters from the London School of Economics, and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy (at Tufts University).

Specializations at HEC Paris

  • Advanced Management
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Finance
  • Marketing
  • Strategy

Degree Offerings at HEC Paris

Full-time MBA

Part-time MBA

Double Degrees

Executive Education

TRIUM Global Executive MBA

HEC Paris Executive MBA

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Clubs, Conferences & Competitions

Outside of their academic responsibilities, HEC Paris students can take part in a wide range of extracurricular activities. The school’s more than 20 student-run clubs cover students’ social, professional and cultural interests and include organizations such as the Wine & Spirits Club, Technology Club and Asia Pacific Business Club.  HEC Paris also hosts the largest annual gathering of international business school students for the MBA Tournament, a student-run sporting event.  Around 1,500 MBA students from 15 business schools come together for a three-day competition in May each year.

HEC Paris also hosts leading business professionals throughout the year for their MBA CEO Speaker Series.  CEOs from such firms as AstraZeneca, L’Oréal and Airbus have shared their experiences and perspectives on campus.  Students also organize a number of conferences, recent example s of which include the First HEC Electric Vehicle Conference by the Energy Club and “Women Matter” in partnership with McKinsey.

To further celebrate the international diversity on its campus, HEC Paris also runs Cultural Weeks. These weeks are organized by students in order to let the larger community learn more about their home countries. Weeks typically include fashion shows, live performances and culinary samplings from a given culture.  For instance, Japanese Cultural Week showcased traditional costumes and the week was capped off with sushi, maki and sashimi.

Campus Spaces

The campus is located in the French countryside 12 miles southwest of Paris, which is just a 45-minute trip away, on a 340-acre wooded expanse.  The nearby village of Jouy-en-Josas provides everything for livelihood—restaurants, banks, shops, grocery stores, etc.  Full-time students live on campus, in a residence that holds 177 individual rooms and 24 apartments for couples and families.

In regards to academic facilities, HEC Paris has a lecture hall with 500 seats and an auditorium of 250.  There are nearly 45 lecture theaters, four of which have iTunesU video recording equipment, and 80 classrooms.  In support of language studies, the school also has three related labs and a resource center.  In downtown Paris, HEC also occupies a modern building for hosting events and programs for executives and senior managers.

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Career Services

The HEC Paris MBA Career Management Center (CMC) provides a variety of services to its students to help them prepare for the recruiting process and their future careers. The office recommends that students follow a three-step process: Know Thyself, Know the Market, Match Yourself and the Market.  During the first step, students complete many self-assessment exercises and partake in one-on-one counseling sessions.  During the first three months of the MBA, students learn about the sectors, functions and geographies of potential employers and ultimately determine targets for their careers.  CV writing, interviewing and networking skills are covered during the third step of CMC’s process.  Students, in addition to working directly with CMC staff, also connect with alumni six months into their MBA to fine tune their employment strategy.

Career Statistics

Ninety-two percent of the Class of 2016 were employed within three months of graduation.  Members entered a variety of sectors upon graduation. The most popular sectors were consulting and financial services, claiming 21% and 18% respectively. The next most popular sector was information/computer technology, with 17% of the class joining companies in this field. Another 5% of the class went into the luxury/retail sector, while an additional 4% went into consumer goods, and 5% into government/not-for-profit. The most-selected function for 2016 graduates was consulting at 26%, while 11% of the class went on to business development. Seventeen percent of the Class of 2017 pursued functions in finance and operations/production/logistics each.

Half of the Class of 2016 chose post-MBA employment in Europe.  Twenty-three percent stayed in France, while 26% settled in Western Europe and 1% moved to Eastern Europe.  Asia and Australia were also popular choices, as a combined 26% of graduates moved there.  The remainder of the class splayed across North America, Central Asia and Latin America.

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The Class Profile

Comprised of 203 students, the Class of 2018 had an average GMAT of 689.  The 80% GMAT range was 620-770.  Thirty-two percent were women while 92% were international.  Over a quarter of students had an educational background in engineering, while in regards to prior work experience, 19% came from the financial services industry.

Application Procedures

HEC Paris has a rolling admissions process for both September and January intakes.  September deadlines are the first of each month, January through July, with decision dates following four to five weeks afterwards.  The January intake has the same deadlines, but with additional dates of the 15th of each month, August through November.  Decision dates are also four to five weeks after the deadlines.

To apply, applicants must submit a completed online application, a résumé in English, two letters of recommendation, and required essays. Applicants also upload a photograph of themselves, their official transcripts, their GMAT or GRE scores, and language certifications; applicants must also pay a €200 application fee. The admissions committee then notifies those applicants who are selected for an interview. HEC Paris schedules two interviews with applicants, which are conducted by HEC alumni.

Application Checklist

  • Online Application
  • Two Letters of Recommendation
  • Essays
  • Photograph
  • Copy of passport or birth certificate
  • Application Fee
  • Official Transcripts
  • GMAT or GRE Score
  • TOEFL / TOEIC / IELTS / PTE Scores

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The tuition for HEC’s Classes of 2018 is €62,000. In addition to this base cost, accepted students should factor in an additional €25,065 in other expenditures, including nearly €10,000 for housing and €240 for Council and Sports membership combined.

HEC Paris offers merit-based scholarships, and applicants need to fill out separate scholarship applications to be considered for these awards. Students can also finance their educations through private loans or through loan programs offered by their countries of citizenship.


Program Tuition

  • Tuition Fees €62,000
  • Housing €9,925
  • Books €1,000
  • Meals €6,000
  • HEC MBA Council membership €120
  • Sports membership €120
  • Miscellaneous €3,200
  • Transportation €4,700
  • Total €87,065

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Mailing Address:
HEC Paris MBA Admissions Office
1, rue de la Libération
78351 Jouy en Josas Cedex
Phone: +33 1 39 67 95 46
Fax: + 33 1 39 67 74 65
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @HECParisMBA

Active Chat Rooms

Deadlines & Events

MBA LiveWire for HEC Paris

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
March 10, 2018 9:19am
Accepted via email.
GMAT: 690. Brazil.
March 9, 2018 1:02pm
Accepted via email.
GPA: 3.75. GMAT: 710. Mexico City.
February 21, 2018 11:55am
Interview Invite via email.
GPA: 3.75. GMAT: 710. Mexico.
February 16, 2018 8:04am
Rejected via email.
GPA: 7. GMAT: 700.
February 15, 2018 11:31am
Accepted via email.
GPA: 3.2. GMAT: 680. New York.

DecisionWire for HEC Paris

Enrolled: Undecided
Admitted: HEC Paris, UNC Kenan-Flagler
GMAT: 740
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: London Business School
Admitted: HEC Paris, IE Business School, London Business School
GMAT: 660
Post-MBA Career: Venture Capital
Enrolled: Oxford / Saïd
Admitted: HEC Paris, Imperial, Oxford / Saïd
GMAT: 650 GPA: 3.3
Post-MBA Career: Technology
Enrolled: INSEAD
Admitted: HEC Paris, IESE, INSEAD
GMAT: 680 GPA: 7.7/10
Post-MBA Career: Entrepreneurship