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


Dazy said...

My son also has Finance background. He is looking for something challenging like this in the near future. He would be helpful knowing this.

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