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

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

You need a brain to get an MBA. You need to use all of it to get an MBA at HEC.

I finally had the chance to read the paper version of yesterday's FT edition and, as I was reading through the business school articles, I saw the ads from various business schools without ever finding HEC Paris advertising itself. Worried, I kept reading and guess what I found on the last page!!!??? A really great ad from HEC! And, for the world to see, I have added it below...I can hear Valerie Gauthier's diction of the words as I read it...


Monday, January 29, 2007

Did you see that...

...the FT 2007 MBA rankings have come out and HEC Paris has moved up 4 ranks? It is now ranked 18th worldwide and 7th in Europe. I can live with that! :-)

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Saturday, January 27, 2007

A bit about HEC Lectures...

The weeks have gone by very fast and I am visiting my son this weekend. The boy has grown rapidly and, just like his dad, cannot stop smiling! :-)

After all the initial integration bits and the NegoSim simulation game, things are heating up. We have had our first week of intensive lectures and, now, I have assignments to complete. They have been shelved for the moment as I prefer the time with my son (and you are wondering what I am doing blogging!) but if I really want that prime ticket to Davos after my MBA, I better get cracking!

The lectures this week were on Financial Accounting, Financial Markets, Statistics, Strategic Management, Marketing and, bien sur, Francais! I am not going to bore you with details of the contents but what I enjoy about the classes most is the energy of the lecturers. I hate it when lecturers know a lot but cannot pass them on to the students...and, so far, I have not seen that. The classes are very interactive and, more often than not, we are asked to work in small groups so learning is fun! At least, until now! :-) We are all supposed to work on a Marketing Project in Core 2 which is in the Spring and I already have an idea - I think I might focus it on a social networking site, a very popular one, that was recently launched in France. Can't give too much away now but, if you are reading this blog and belong to the Web 2 generation, you know what I mean.

The CEO of Cacharel also came in to talk about her career experience and how she has risen through the ranks since leaving HEC Paris. It was only last week that we had the chairman of Eircom (formerly a senior adviser to JP Morgan), another HEC alumnus, who gave us a very informative session on balancing work (a very succesful one in his case) with family life. Talking about former students, we also had representatives from the 32000 strong HEC Alumni Association come in yesterday. I am yet to make up my mind on whether to join now or when I really am an alumnus! :-) What I have signed up for though is Net Impact, a group that promotes Sustainable Development and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Integration weekend, Carte de Sejour, and a weekend trip to England!

It is amazing how much of a weight has been lifted off my shoulders since I found out that I do not have to look around for an internship/IPP position anymore. I am very lucky to be where I am today and I hope good luck sieves through the class. And, thank you to those who have congratulated and wished me well. I really appreciate it!

Last weekend was the HEC Paris Integration Weekend when most of my batchmates went to ski in the Alps. I believe they had good fun and I still need to catch up on the gossips. Unfortunately, I didn't go skiing. We hired a van and drove to our house in England to bring back the rest of our things (the van we had hired the first time around turned out to be quite small) and drove for over 1500km between Friday and Sunday. A lot of driving but we at least have all our things - mostly our son's toys - in the basement here in Jouy en Josas now. BTW, we have also found a nanny for him so he will be coming to live with us soon which is GREAT!!! :-)

On Monday, a friend and I went to the Prefecture at Versailles to apply for our Carte de Sejours since we had no classes - remember most of the class were still skiing! :-) We also bumped into a few Chinese friends from our class - a good way to share the experience. But, the day didn't go very well and was not as productive as one would have liked it to be. My case is slightly different as I have a French wife but, for the others, the absence of a notarised/verified French translation of their birth certificates caused havoc and they were asked to return later, i.e. take another day out of your busy MBA schedule! And then, there's the medical examination to go through once they have accepted your application. I have mine next week...would it help if I went out running a few times this week? :-) So, if you are coming to study in France, take no chances and come prepared. Get your documents translated to French. And, another piece of advice, apply for your Carte de Sejour before the three-month student visa issued to you expires. At the end of the day - a long one with no lunch - we decided to go to a brasserie and eat something before driving back to Jouy. It did lighten the mood!


Thursday, January 18, 2007

NegoSim over...and I need to pinch myself!

Hello world! I am a very happy man today! I think I am dreaming...I just can't believe how things have turned out. Not only did we successfully complete our business simulation today (with no losses and global domination firmly in sight!) but I also got news from the company I had discussions with a while ago for sponsorship. They have offered to pay the full cost of my MBA and I have an internship lined up for this summer and an Individual Professional Project in early 2008. And, it is all in central London...the company is one of the biggest in the world with a turnover of $262 billion! I am so chuffed! I want to sing and dance and jump!!! :-) :-) :-) I am so happy today!

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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

iPod, Apple and HEC Paris!!!

If you are an MBA aspirant and have been researching the top schools in Europe, you would have probably come across the news of Apple's partnership with HEC Paris. This involves the distribution of iPods to all incoming students to be used as a pedagogical tool. And, we got ours today...and I am right now in the process of filling all 30Gb of it with my collection of songs! :-) I think I should leave some room for pedagogical use too...

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Recap of the first couple of weeks...

This week is business simulation week and we are playing a game called 'NegoSim' which I believe stands for Negotiation Simulation. We have to work in small groups and there is a lot of energy and excitement in each group at the prospect of running a business! My group is pretty dynamic and comprises of a Chilean, a French Canadian, a Chinese, a French and moi! :-) I also have a study group and that one is also very diverse with a Morrocan, Israeli, French, Nepali, and an Indian all thrown into one. As you can see, the groups are very international and we are learning quite a bit from each other. And, we are learning not just about finance and accountancy but also about each other's culture and sense of humor. We had a class the other day on communication skills (taught brilliantly by the Associate Dean) and, upon being advised by the class to not give a presentation with his left hand is his pocket, our Latin American friend responded immediately by saying that's where he kept his money! We could not help but laugh and clap in appreciation of his humor. This is what I like about our program - diverse, fun, dynamic, and smart! Now, I better go and have a look at the results of my group's business simulation as we seem to have gone from very profitable to terribly in the red following a few radical moves! Au revoir!

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Wednesday, January 10, 2007

A mid-week update!

What an exciting start it has been! Over 60 students from more than 20 countries with a million name combinations and over a thousand years of combined experience! What a bunch - a truly international and friendly bunch! And, what has the week been like? Well, time flew over the last couple of days and I have been trying hard to remember the names of my new friends by associating them with things I easily remember...but when you are trying to remember names from a community as diverse as the HEC one, trust me it is not easy. We have students from all over the world and then there are those who may belong to one country, but has traveled and lived in multiple countries so much so that they know those countries just as well as the natives.

So far, we have had an ice-breaking session, a national show, information sessions on the things one would need to study in France, on HEC Paris, on how wonderful we are and on what a great bunch this class of 2008 is! :-) May be, not exactly like this but, occasionally, I like telling the world we are good! He he he...

We are also having a few introductory classes/tests this week in Accountancy, Maths, French, etc. to orient (remember this is Orientation Week) us towards the HEC MBA. Insurance companies and banks have also been around to sell us their services and I expect to see the school clubs soon though I am still wondering which all to join.

I hope to have a wonderful time ahead.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

The Ball Has Started Rolling - A New Beginning!

I call this a new beginning as it all first began when I decided to go for an MBA. But, the real thing - the courses, the learning, the networking, the job hunting - starts next week. Friday, I went to HEC to have a look around and also to collect my welcome pack. I also took my son along and we were shown around campus by a friendly French American, currently on a Master's program at HEC, who I had met the previous day. I now have my email id and also know exactly what to expect in the next couple of weeks. The first week, i.e. next week, being orientation week, seems fairly light with the week being used for sessions on cultural integration, cost discussions, French tests, a presentation of the MBA curriculum, etc. Interestingly, surfing the FT's website today, I came across an article on the launch of the revamped HEC MBA curriculum. The article can be found here and let's hope we all benefit from this revamping and that this will strengthen HEC Paris's position on the global MBA ladder. Also, opening my inbox for the first time, I found a few ads for internships at a very reputable firm in London, "an innovator in global finance".

Real classes start on the 15th and seem to stretch between 8:30 am and 7:30 pm depending on what's happening - with homework and a few rounds of socialising drinks added to this, I guess daily routine will end early, I mean early the next day! :-) Finally, the weekend of the 19th is Intergration Weekend and I am eager to find out what it involves. It all sounds like great fun for now until, I guess, I am snowed under with course work.

Au revoir pour maintenant.

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Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Pictures of Jouy en Josas

As promised, below are some pictures of Jouy en Josas...of places I have visited so far. The 'project' is ongoing so expect to see more pictures in the future.

If you want to see Graduation Day photos of HEC Paris students, go to this blog by FishWok.

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A bit about Jouy!

So, Jouy is about 12 miles from central Paris and you need to take the train (or a taxi if the MBA fees have not drained your resources) to get here from Paris. From CDG Airport, take RER B up to Massy and then RER C going towards Versailles and get off when you see the tiny two-platform station of Jouy en Josas. Come out of the station and you will face the local day care centre. Follow the footpath on the right and you will hit town centre. Don't expect to see too much; Jouy is a small town with a few shops, a few restaurants, and that's about it. While you are at the train station, it is worth noting that there is a supermarket if you walk about 100 metres to the left. If you are arriving late, my recommendation would be to take a taxi. When I came for my interviews, I got here very late and there were no taxis at the station, which meant I had to walk towards the centre, cross the railway track and then go up the hill to enter HEC campus via the back door, courtesy of two Chinese exchange students from Hong Kong. Furthermore, if you are arriving late by train and you see what looks like a student crowd on the train, it is worth enquiring as they could assist you. Returning to the supermarche bit, I went grocery shopping with my son today. I was fine until it got to the check out point - I had forgotten to weigh and tag the fruits and vegetables. I had to 'abandon' the little boy with the lady at the counter to run back and get the tags. So, remember to get the tags as it ain't England! :-)

After moving in, we realised that our house did not have a shower and the landlord is pretty finicky about not putting nails in the walls so I got thinking and improvised. Having renovated a house back in England, I knew the easiest solution could be found at a local DIY store, if only I knew where it was. A quick flip through the local Page Jeune and I found out that there was a Castorama in the shopping centre in nearby Velizy. So, I burned a CD with some of my favorite songs (BTW, I don't do this before every trip!), loaded my son in his seat at the back of the car and off we went. Here's another point to make - it is a lot easier in this part of the world if you have a car. But, if you don't have a car, it is not the end of the world as, with some advanced planning, public transport can be put to very good use.

It is now that time in the evening when the boy wants his dinner and since mum's not back from her first day at work, I better go and give him some food and get him ready for bed. :-) Go here to read more about Jouy. And, I will create an album soon, I promise. :-)


Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year et Bonne Anne from a Jovacien

Hello World! Welcome to 2007! Happy New Year! Bonne Anne! We moved to Jouy-en-Josas yesterday and welcomed 2007 as Jovaciens. We are ready for the challenges that 2007 will bring, including my MBA! I hope! :-)


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