The Master in Management - Grande Ecole has epitomized the French tradition of excellence since 1881. L’École des Hautes Etudes Commerciales (or the HEC School of Management, in English) was created by the Paris Chamber of Commerce in order to develop a high-quality education in business. The school educated carefully-selected individuals that would go on to lead the economic transformations that followed the industrial revolution.
HEC’s goal has remained the same since then: to be at the cutting edge of teaching, economics and social issues, so students can apply the knowledge acquired on the MiM and go on to fully participate in the changing world around them and lead highly successful careers. For 135 years, HEC Paris has continuously sought to enrich the Grande Ecole MiM, its content, its objectives and enhance its opportunities and prospects, through an active policy of innovation. All these factors allow it to be recognized as one of the most prestigious Management degrees, attracting the brightest students and professors year upon year.
An international program
Since 1881, the intake of students has continued to increase every year, with the number of applicants now exceeding 7500. Considering that the first ever cohort was made up of only 57 students, since the 2000s almost 600 students have been welcomed through the doors of HEC yearly, of which more than 40% represents international students. The growing international outlook, which began to develop in the 1970s, is probably the most notable progression that the Grande Ecole has experienced. HEC Paris was a main initiator of the Partnership in International Management, PIM, in collaboration with New York University and the London School of Economics. This network still remains today the basis of the Masters Exchange Program (MEP) which allows HEC students to study at a foreign partner university during the M2 year.
Other partnerships were also formed with many other schools and universities during the 1970s: ESADE in Barcelone, Milan’s Bocconi University and McGill in Montréal, before HEC cofounded the CEMS (Community of European Management Schools) network in 1988. This strategic alliance of 29 universities and business schools from across the world with 75 big international companies allows students to both study abroad in high-level institutions during their M2 year and increase their career and networking opportunities.
The creation of double degrees around the MiM, in partnership with world-renowned institutions, also fits within this international approach. The first double degrees were launched in 2004 with ESADE, Bocconi and St Gallen, followed by FGV (Brazil), Tsinghua (China), GSOM (Russia) et l’IIM d’Ahmedabad (India). From 2009 HEC has associated itself with the prestigious MIT, then with Keio University in Tokyo and NUS in Singapore. More recently, HEC Paris has also created double degrees in Management and Business Law with Georgetown University, in Public Policy & Management with Freie Universität Berlin and in Corporate Governance and Global Network Diplomacy with MGIMO University in Saint Petersburg.
This international orientation has allowed for great diversity among MiM students (with 61 different nationalities represented in 2016), and additionally in the careers and chosen destinations of its graduates (a third of graduates take their first job abroad). It is also reflected right the way at the top of the school through the appointment of a new Canadian Dean, Peter Todd, in 2015, and in the strong recruitment of professors of international acclaim from overseas, which made up, in 2016, 64% of the professional body.
Emphasis on practical experience
Strongly enriched by its international orientation, the MiM course is also highly developed in terms of its innovative teaching. Consisting of two phases, the first being more general and the second more specialized, it imparts upon the students both a global vision of Management and Strategy and advanced expertise in their chosen area.
With a strong focus on practical experience and contributions from seasoned professionals, the teaching of the MiM has been built up over centuries. For example, the method of using case studies was introduced on a trial basis in 1922, before being rolled out to all subjects in 1958.
The work placement in industry was made compulsory in 1938 and links with the business world have continued to grow stronger ever since. In addition to the 138 research professors, the faculty of HEC Paris boasts around a hundred affiliate professors who occupy senior positions in a variety of businesses: consultancy firms, service-sector companies, industry, and law firms among others.
Furthermore, the MiM benefits from innovations made accessible by the HEC’s research centers and chairs, with the support of large corporations such as Deloitte and Société Générale (Energy and Finance Chair), Danone, Schneider Electric and Renault (Social Business chair and Society and Organization center alongside Engie), L’Oréal Paris (research centre and chair for entrepreneurship) and many more. Since the early 2000s, the introduction of certificates at the end of M2, in order to offer a truly practice-orientated education, has also demonstrated the continuing involvement of these big economic players.
The MiM's unique teaching hinges on the combination of academic and professional expertise, along with a constant immersion in the real business world, making it globally recognized. MiM graduates are highly sought-after by businesses worldwide and occupy highly-paid, senior positions from graduation: HEC Paris is placed #3 in the Times Higher Education – Alma Mater index of Fortune 500 CEOs 2017.
The wide variety of specialisations available to students in M2 further promotes their mobility, not just in geographical terms but also as far as their career progression.
Beyond the traditional fields of consulting, industry and finance, which remain the principal employers of HEC graduates; the luxury, technology, media, leisure, social entrepreneurship and even culture sectors have seen alumni lead exceptional careers.
The broadening and enrichment of the Grande Ecole MiM can also be appreciated in terms of its social diversity and equal opportunities. Today, students come from far more diverse backgrounds with varied upbringings (such as Engineering, Economics and Social sciences among others). However at the time, the Grande Ecole’s first students most commonly came from families with ties to industry, banking and commerce. This evolution towards a more eclectic intake of students was led by the HEC Foundation. Created in 1972, it offers a variety of scholarships and credit facilities.
Due to its extensive history, which is reinforced by the strength of its alumni network, the HEC Paris Master in Management holds its own distinct place on the world stage. The students who are admitted onto the program inherit its legacy of rich history, which is filled with key milestones and innovations. Yet, the MiM’s history is still being written. This degree continues to advance as a result of the involvement of its professors, of its industry connections and of its students. They all work together on a daily basis to build the future of HEC and consequently the world as a whole, which will in turn become the legacy passed down to the next generations of leaders trained in one of the world’s leading business schools.
Learn more about HEC Paris' policy of innovation in an interview with Eloïc Peyrache, Associate Dean.