The plans for the HEC Chinese Business Day 2018 have been in the works since August 2017, when the President of HEC’s Chinese Business Society, Remi Kondjoyan, was contacted by his predecessor. He, along with his team and the help of HEC’s China Association, spent the next seven months organizing the event. It brought together students, alumni and influential companies to create a network of innovative minds and to highlight the kind of professional opportunities currently available in China and Hong Kong.
Pierre Bechon, a student from the organisation team, explained the reasons behind organising such an event, “By doing so, we enable students who are interested in business opportunities in China or
France (for Chinese students), or in the Franco-Chinese ecosystem in general to meet these companies. To be more precise, they can find internships in China or in France, and they further have the opportunity to learn more about Franco-Chinese business relationships…Nowadays, it is evident how big companies must integrate themselves in China to operate in a truly global manner. Therefore, as future managers and executives that HEC students are soon to be, they will certainly work with individuals or companies from diverse cultural background, and China definitely constitutes one of them. The panel discussion - this year’s innovation - was meant to bridge this gap of information, and to make it easier to forge links between students and China.”
The event began with a keynote presentation by François Quentin, Chairman of the Board at Huawei France, followed by the panel discussion with guest speakers from three different sectors, and moderated by Jean-Philippe Caude (CEO of Caude Management). Students then had the chance to attend a career fair with various influential companies such as Roland Berger and Michelin. There was also the opportunity to take part in case studies, one-on-one sessions and presentations from representatives of China Telecom, Mindray and Virtuos.
Jean-Philippe Caude led the panel discussion which featured Christian Heinis (principal at Roland Berger), HEC alumnus Jean-Paul Larçon (One-Belt-One-Road specialist/professor of Strategy and International Business at HEC Paris) and finally Xu Bo (former diplomat and special advisor of UNESCO).
Xu Bo kicked off the presentations by expressing the importance of China in the world of business and what makes it such a successful country. The ‘Belt and Road’ project -also known as ‘One-Belt-One-Road’- is an immense Chinese project which proposes to link 70 countries across Asia, Africa, Europe, and Oceana, in a great trade network of high-speed railroads and shipping lanes. Aside from trading prospects, the ‘Belt and Road’ project also provides an energy network of gas and oil pipelines.
In his presentation, Roland Berger principal Christian Heinis highlighted the digital development of China and the country’s ‘early-adopter’ mindset, which allows it to pick up new technology and rapidly integrate it into everyday life, maintaining a high level of efficiency.
After the informative discussion, students were able to network with company representatives at the career fair and take part in case studies with influential businesses before a cocktail evening to bring the day to an end.
Overall, the event was a great success, providing relevant and extensive information to HEC’s aspiring students. As one organizer said, “[…it] topped last year’s success by combining the achievements of the previous editions regarding contacts and information on logistics with new ideas and a bigger spectrum of contacts and support.” We look forward to next year and the opportunities it will bring.
Learn more about career events at HEC Paris.