Saturday, August 18, 2007

HEC Paris- Positives and Negatives

Off late I have received many queries from people interested in HEC Paris. It seems that when people search for blogs on HEC Paris, they come across my blog and then they shoot off their queries. It is interesting (and awkward) to answer those queries because I haven't even started my MBA. Well, I have decided to write my views on the generally asked questions about HEC.

Disclaimer: All the views expressed below are personal. Information provided about HEC is the outcome of the interactions I have had with current students, alumni and other sources. I would suggest readers to cross check the veracity of information provided below from other sources before arriving at any conclusion.

For me, the first question to be answered before selecting a b-school is Why MBA. If you do not know what you want from an MBA program, then how do you expect to choose one considering that there are hundreds of programs on offer around the world. I am not writing my reasons for going for an MBA but would suggest that you find your answers to "Why MBA" before reading further

Positives of HEC
Almost everyone asks me why I chose HEC when I could have got into better programs with 740 in GMAT. Well, score does not have much to do with selection of school as long as you have a decent score (around 700). I would have applied to HEC even if I had a 680 or a 770. My reasons for applying to HEC were:

  • Economical - HEC is probably the most economical school among world top-25. If one puts in a strong application, he should get a scholarship of anywhere between 10K - 15K euros. Apart from this, there are various other scholarship options available for Indian students.
  • Diversity - A batch of 120 usually comprises of people from over 30 countries (many Indians though). This makes for a good learning experience as you interact with people from diverse backgrounds.
  • Flexibility of curriculam - Spread over 16 months, MBA program is divided into two parts of 8 months each - Core and Personalized. The personalized phase here offers many options - 4-6 months of internship, exchange program, individual project etc.
  • Strong faculty in Finance and Strategy
  • Location - Its location in Europe is ideal for people who want to spend some time in Europe

Some drawbacks of HEC

  • No assured loans: HEC does not act as a guarantor for student loans. Thus, you have to find your own means to fund your studies.
  • It is not a part of the 50 colleges listed for HSMP for UK
  • Placements & Language - Although HEC is among the best European schools, it does not have a stellar placement record. Please go through my previous post on this

More on this later

Monday, August 13, 2007

Adios Pune, Adios Infosys

I have spent my last week in Infosys and in Pune. Friday was my last day in Infosys afer over 3 years. I met most of my old teammates. had a final lunch with my last team and walked away with two farewell gifts. I started packing on Saturday morning and left Pune by the evening train.

My journey of over 3 years at Infosys has been a roller-coaster ride - full of lows and highs (more lows than highs though). However, at the end of it I consider myself lucky for having worked for 3 different clients/domains - DHL(logistics), Finacle(Corporate e-Banking) and UBS(Investment Banking), i.e. virtually a new assignment every year.

Now I am looking forward to spending some free time at home where I can relax, eat home made food, read, spend time with cousins and meet relatives. I guess this is the last ocassion when I'll spend almost 3 weeks at home because I don't think I am going to get so much free time after MBA.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Last week in Pune

I am leaving Pune this Saturday and heading for home. I came here in June 2003 and have spent close to 3.5 years here. I have a lot of friends here and I am spending these last few days meeting them.

I was officially released from my last Infosys project on 31st July and since then I have been having a great time. I have been going to office just to meet old project friends and ofcourse playing squash :). Friday will be my last working day in Infosys and as of now, I am not feeling bad about leaving. Maybe I am too excited about the life ahead but I am sure I will miss Infosys and Pune once I reach home.

Apart from meeting friends, I have been shopping a lot; I have been to shopping malls every single day for the last 4 days and have spent close to 25K already (and my shopping is not over). I had to buy a lot of t-shirts as I did not have many because of formal wear in office. I bought 7-8 t-shirts, 2 jeans, 2 pairs of shoes, a watch, a cellphone and some other misc items. I am yet to buy a formal suit and I will get it stitched now in Indore. Having never been a shopping lover, this was not easy for me, going through shopping mall every day and then selecting stuff. The fact that I am a terrible shopper (I find it very hard to decide what looks good) did not help. But I am glad that I have finished most of it.

Now the more difficult part is packing stuff and taking luggage to home. If I were to carry all my belongings with me, I would require atleast 2 suitcases and 3-4 travel bags. I looked at my clothes and started dividing them into 2 groups - one which I will take to Paris and the other which I will not. I will first pack the stuff that I will take to Paris and then depending upon the space available( I have decided to travel with 1 suitcase and 2-3 travel bags) I will fit in the other stuff. I am sure that I will have to discard most of my stuff here. As for my books, I am just giving them away to anyone who likes to read. I will keep only a couple of books with me and give away the rest.

Have to finish this blog as I have to meet some friends for dinner shortly...