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

Friday, February 09, 2007

Half a century of messages...

With this post, I have reached half a century of posting messages on my blog and I hope I am continuing to give some insight into life at HEC Paris. If you are planning on attending HEC, pay us a visit. There are many positive things to talk about HEC Paris: good ranking, ever growing global positioning and branding, good team environment, very thorough in its approach to overall growth, and strong focus on keeping us busy and engaged. As with everything, there are also some downsides such as HEC Paris not being exactly in Paris so it is good to have a car if you live off-campus, and my colleagues often seem worried about job prospects. But, I think this is more an MBA thing than a school factor especially if you are trying to switch career streams - which many seem to want to do. And, remember that your job search can only be driven by you, not by the school. The career service department can only help you move in the right direction and provide you with the right training, guidance, and networking potentials but you are the driver. I took this approach and I think I have not done too bad. They also seem to send out a lot of emails with potential jobs and internships for MBAs. Also, remember that even studying at HEC, a top quality brand within France, cannot guarantee you a job in France or the EU if you do not have the right work permit and linguistic skills - but being at HEC will definitely increase your chances of getting a job.

So, what have I been doing recently? We have been busy with a lot of assignments (including the 'famous' Boeing 777 Case Study), and mid-term exams start next week so it is time to start burying one's head in the course materials. I have also taken up golf with a bit more seriousness than before and try my best to play every Thursday afternoon, when we have time off to practice for MBAT, the MBA Tournament. Talking about MBAT, we had an election recently to elect the MBAT coordinator from my batch and you can watch the campaign video of the winning candidate below.

I have also been busy scouring for a marketing project for next semester and I think we have found one. It will involve working with one of the largest, if not the largest, social networking sites in the world that wants to establish itself as a top player in France. My team - yes another team besides the two others I already have (HEC Paris truly believes in creating a 'coopetitive' environment) - is just as diverse and multi-national as the other two so it should be really good fun to work on the project. I have only been here for six weeks and I have already worked in a group with a French (used to this), American (this one too), Canadian, Chinese, Chilean, English (used to this one as well) , Israeli, and a Nepali French!

And, today, I went for a full day of 'intégration civique' during which I had to learn about French society, history, the legal system, democracy, et autre chose. I believe this is compulsory for all immigrants who want to work/live in France on a longer term basis. So, if you are a student Carte de Sejour holder and want to work in France after your MBA, you may have to change your status and go through this day-long session in French (though I was assured the teacher would speak English!). I also got some info on how foreign degress can be recognised in France but I don't think I need this - click here for more info on la reconnaissance des diplômes. The thing that touched me most during the session today was a conversation I had with a gentleman who fled Iraq about a year ago. I was not happy that we had such a long break for lunch and that the whole thing could easily be squeezed into a few hours so that I could go back to my classes when he told me his story. In fluent English, he explained he had a construction business in Iraq and had built over a thousand buildings - including homes and galleries - and, now, he didn't even have a room to settle in! He smiled and advised me to relax and not be too concerned and to take things as they come along...which I felt was very poignant coming from someone with his experience. I will remember it!

Right, I better go study for my mid-term exams now. Bonne Nuit

The video below is the MBAT campaign video I mentioned earlier on:

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