Monday, February 23, 2009

Getting UK Tier 1 visa to get tougher from April

Came across this article yesterday. This comes only a week after the clause in US Stimulus Bill to prevent companies receiving bail-out funds from hiring foreign workers on H1-B visas.

One's opinion about this story will depend on which side of the fence one is on - you'll applaud if you are a US/UK resident who is worried about his job and you'll despise it if you are looking to enter US/UK on H1B/Tier 1 visa.

With no clear signs of improvement in the world economy and looming fears of more bank failures, I believe that such protectionist measures will only increase. Makes me wonder if this is a reversal of globalization??

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Understanding the Credit Crisis

Came across these videos which explain the credit crisis:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Lipdub video by HEC Students

Check this out

P.S. - This video is by Grand Ecole students from HEC and not MBA students ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Career Prospects at HEC

Over the past year, I have received several queries about the career prospects at HEC. I have mostly responded to those queries over emails and now I think it will be better to dedicate a post to this important topic.

I would start with the way recruitment works here.
At HEC, recruitment is always an ongoing process and the school does not have a specific recruitment season. Throughout the year, companies visit HEC, meet students and deliver presentations. During presentations, they advertise the positions they are recruiting for and then invite students to apply. Applications are made mostly through website/email and consist of CV and cover letter. The applications are screened and then shortlisted candidates are invited for interviews. Thus, there is no recruitment season where companies would come to campus to shortlist people and interview them.

Let's talk about Career Change now. Most of the people I know mentioned Career Change as one of the key reasons behind MBA. Career change usually involves changing one of the following variables:
1. Function (e.g. Marketing, Finance, HR)
2. Industry/Sector
3. Geography

In my experience, changing Sector or Geography is relatively easier than changing Function. Also, the task becomes much difficult if your desired career move involves more than one variable. It is extremely difficult to change all three variables at the same time.

Role of Language:- This, according to me, is one of the most important yet underrated factors while choosing a European b-school. Business in continental Europe is still conducted mostly in local language(s) and one must speak the local language (fluently) to work in client-facing positions (e.g. Consulting, Sales).

Coming to the theme of this post - Career prospects at HEC, I would say it is very subjective; depends on a lot of variables. HEC is probably the best known b-school within France and has a pretty good reputation in western Europe. So if you are looking to work in this region, HEC is a good choice provided you take into account the above mentioned points about Language and Career Change. If you are looking to work outside western Europe, then HEC might not be a good choice unless you are confident that you can achieve your post-MBA career goals without seeking school's help.

If I were to summarize my post, I would say that at HEC, you are in charge of your career. The career services will help you in updating your CV and getting in touch with companies; you will have to then network with recruiters and get yourself an interview call. Despite its enviable reputation, HEC MBA tag will not, by default, guarantee a great post-MBA career unless you are practical and put in the required efforts.

You could also read this related post about MBA from Europe

Friday, February 6, 2009

Life after MBA

It has been almost 2 months since I finished my classes at HEC. After finishing my course,I went to India and spent a month there. It was a good break - helped me relax at home, spend time with friends/family and most importantly gave me time to think.

It was a much needed break for the last few months at HEC were pretty tiring - because of work pressure and job-hunt. Right now, things are pretty bad for MBAs - most of the companies have frozen fresh hiring completely. This has created a bigger problem for people who were pursuing MBA to change careers; in these times, it is extremely difficult to get a break into a new career-path.

I had received an offer for a position based in New York but then visa turned out to be an issue. I could not find anything else that interested me. So I decided to pursue another option which is a long term internship. Long-term internships (3-4 months to 1 year) is something unique that I found in France. Most companies here offer internships throughout the year and the interns do the same work as full-time recruits. It works well for the companies because they don't have to commit for a long term and they can employ people on project basis. In this downturn, the opportunities for internships have increased as companies don't want to commit to recruiting full-time employees.

Things are similar at other b-schools. I spoke with friends at other top schools and most people of the class of 2009 are in a difficult spot; It will be extremely difficult for people graduating this year to get their first choice; we might have to settle with our second/third choices right now.

In my future posts, I am going to write more about MBA, my takeaways from this experience and pros-and-cons of international MBA. Drop me an email if you have any specific questions that you want to be addressed; I will try to answer them too