At HEC Paris, mvlti svnt vocati, pavci vero electi!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Paris et Lyon

The day came when I finally got a chance to see the school rated as one of the finest international schools. And, what better way to prove its friendly, cooperative and international atmosphere than being helped out by a couple of very friendly MBA exchange students from Hong Kong who walked with me all the way from Jouy-en-Josas train station to the school and let me in via the secure back door! It took me 90min and two train rides (RER B from CDG and then RER C from Massy) to get to Jouy-en-Josas, a rather sleepy quiet town but which, I am told, has all the amenities one would need when at the school. I stayed at the Holiday Inn on the school's serene and beautiful campus but, unfortunately, got in too late to get dinner. So, it was time to raid the snacks machine on the 6th floor! :-) I am told they ran out of bread at breakfast after a certain individual decided to make up for unfulfilled appetite! ;-)

I had two interviews, one right after the other. The first one was with a Harvard educated professor of business law and taxation, and the second one was with a Business Development Manager who had just returned after a promotional tour of the Americas. My talk went down rather well and the interviews ended up being more like discussions with a perennial flow of ideas from both sides. I also used a few relevant pages from The Sunday Times, which I had picked up at the departing airport in England, to highlight the importance of the presentation and its relevance to today's business environment. Of course, there were a few questions about what next after the MBA (God only knows!), how I am planning on financing the course, etc. but the discussions dominated most of the interviews. One of the questions that I did not expect was when the interviewer asked if I was proud of myself. I am, don't get me wrong, but it was a moment of a few seconds of very fast rewinding of my life! What makes one a proud man? I am no saint and there are things one has done or could have done for which one will always seek redemption but perhaps, without getting too philosophical about it, the lessons learnt from these experiences are what make a man, a proud man! If anything, I know I am a better person today than yesterday and I aspire to be even better tomorrow. One of the other topics of discussion was why I had only applied to HEC Paris. My answer was rather simple - I can't afford the cost of applying to more than one! :-) Actually, it was more because when I analysed all the schools of interest to me (INSEAD, which I visited, LBS, and MBS included), I felt HEC Paris was the most suitable and I wanted to give it my full committment this once!

Following lunch at the staff cafe, I took a taxi to Massy (Euro30) from where I caught a TGV to Lyon. Once in Lyon, I checked into my hotel and went to see a long-term friend of mine, a friend from the days I spent in England as a school exchange student more than a decade ago. We sat down for dinner at a restaurant in old Lyon, a UNESCO heritage site, located on the Presqu'île, between the Rhône and the Saône, and spent hours chatting. It was good to catch up on things! I spent the whole of the next day listening to two French presentations and a discussion en Francais! My French is very basic so I let the discussion pass! :-)

I am now back home and awaiting news from the school...I hope it is good news!

The picture below is the gate of the school in Paris, and below it is a picture I took in Lyon.


Post a Comment

<< Home


free tracking