How to make your HEC Paris Master's application stand out?
At HEC Paris, we welcome highly talented students from all over the world who have the potential and mindset to become the purposeful leaders of the future and make a positive impact on both business and society. But how can you ensure that your application stands out?
Admission to an HEC Paris Master’s program is a highly selective but straightforward 2-phase process. The first step is to submit your application on our online portal by uploading documents such as your CV, management and English proficiency test results and your university transcripts. We also ask you to submit essays that reflect your motivation for joining the program and your career goals. For selected candidates, the second phase is an interview with an admissions jury.
At HEC Paris, we adopt a holistic approach when evaluating your application, which means no one element is more important than another. We look for many key factors including cross-cultural sensitivity, academic excellence, strong test scores and extracurricular, voluntary, or professional activities.
Here are 4 tips to help you tailor your application, convey your passion and commitment and optimize your chances of being admitted to one of our Master’s programs.
Make sure the program is the right fit for you
Before you embark on the application journey, it's essential to ascertain that the HEC Paris Master's program you have chosen aligns with your personal aspirations and career goals. Thorough research on the program's curriculum and expectations is crucial. So, take the time to read the curriculum description carefully, attend webinars and program presentations, and reach out to our recruitment team and to current students on Unibuddy. Engaging with the HEC Paris community can provide you with invaluable insights into the program's culture, teaching approach, opportunities for personal and professional growth and guide you on the right path. By ensuring the program is the right fit, you can build your application on very solid foundations.
Apply when your application is the strongest
Applying when your application is the strongest really is the golden rule. If, for example, your current GMAT score is 650 and you’re planning to retake the test, then wait until you have a better score before you submit your application. Timing can of course significantly impact your chances of admission to HEC Paris as there are fewer spots available with each passing deadline, but you will still maximize your chances of being admitted to the program if you apply when all the elements of your application are the strongest. Carefully planning and knowing when your application will at an optimal level is therefore crucial.
Ensure that your motivation shines through
Your motivation to join HEC Paris should be evident throughout the application process. We do not ask for a formal letter of motivation, but your personal motivation should shine through in your essay responses and during the interview. The essay questions vary for each Master’s program, but they generally revolve around why HEC Paris is the right fit for you, your short and long term career goals and how you can contribute to the highly diverse HEC Paris community. We therefore recommend that you familiarize yourself with the specific essay questions for your chosen program as soon as possible, and then take the time to carefully craft thoughtful responses that reflect your passion and commitment.
Getting the interview right
The interview is a final and crucial component of the application process at HEC Paris. It's an opportunity for the admissions jury to get to know you better and assess your soft skills. Preparation is key, so anticipate potential questions that could arise from anything you included on your application and brush up on technical knowledge related to your academic background. There are no business cases to prepare, but we recommend that you keep up to date with current world events before the interview.
To complement our guidance, let's hear the advice of our students who have successfully navigated the application process:
"Be true to yourself and honest when applying, whether during the interview or while writing the essay. It will help you and the admissions team understand your aspirations, interests and fit for the program." - Shriyash Agrawal
"Speak to current or past HEC Paris students to get a good understanding of why HEC Paris is the right place for you. This will help you write a strong essay and be better prepared for the interview." - Chiara Lazzaroli
"Show a consistent and clearly outlined individual story that provides insights into what drives you to pursue your future career and life goals. The application process helped me discover myself better, because I really had to think about my interests and motivation." - Fabian Stiefel
"Start early and think differently. The best thing to do is to open your application, even if you don’t start working on it for the next few weeks. By going through the portal, you will get a better idea of what is required and how to go about it." - Gulia Kobia
Admission to an HEC Paris Master's program can be life-changing from both a personal and professional perspective, and crafting a standout application is your first step towards realizing your academic and career aspirations. By building a strong, well-rounded profile that highlights your academic achievements, leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, cultural sensitivity, and self-awareness you will significantly increase your chances of being admitted into the Master’s program of your choice.