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Joana Lourenço

Joana Lourenço

Joana-Lourenco

Thanks to the rich curriculum of the MSc Strategic Management, interview preparation given at HEC and the school’s endless networking opportunities, I will join the BCG office in Dubai after graduating

Prior to HEC Paris, I graduated from NOVA School of Business and Economics in Lisbon where I majored in Economics. Here, I had the opportunity to represent the university as an ambassador in numerous events and complete an exchange program at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which was one of my most enriching experiences.

After the BSc, I felt that I needed more professional experience, so I worked for a year at KPMG in Lisbon. This nurtured my passion for strategy consulting and motivated me to apply for a Masters in Strategic Management at HEC Paris.

I chose HEC for four main reasons:

  1. International recognition and exposure. One of my biggest objectives was to work abroad and have an international career; famously, HEC is a target university for global consulting firms.
  2. Career prospects. HEC is one of the most highly ranked universities in Europe and the world, a definite pull for employers.
  3. Networking opportunities. From the Alumni Network to professional workshops and the London Study Trip, HEC gives you plenty of opportunities to meet the employees of your dream company. For people applying for consulting jobs, the networking opportunities are extremely useful and help you gain a better understanding of the company culture, practise your interview technique and prepare for the recruitment process.
  4. Clubs and societies. I really wanted to have an active role in the school community and HEC gives you plenty of opportunities to do so. Together with a team of 20 students, I organized the HEC Business Game, a two-day event that brings together 180 international students to solve challenges set by HEC’s corporate partners including Bain & Co, Shiseido and AbinBev. This event shows students what it might be like to work for one of the partner companies.

As for the MSc in Strategic Management, I particularly enjoyed the practical approach with which we were taught: all classes focused on real cases and often gave me the opportunity to work directly with companies and start-ups. Through these experiences, I gained deeper knowledge of several industries. In addition, most of my classmates were also preparing for case interviews as they too wanted to work in consulting, which made it easy to find people with whom to practise and prepare for job interviews. The sense of solidarity is strong and I have become close friends with my classmates who help and support me through work, revision and job hunting. Together, we spent countless hours preparing for interviews, working on group projects, correcting each other’s individual assignments and cover letters, hanging out in each other's rooms and, last but not least, partying: the bountiful social calendar at HEC ensures you maintain a healthy work-life balance.

Thanks to the rich curriculum of the MSc Strategic Management, interview preparation given at HEC and the school’s endless networking opportunities, I will join the BCG office in Dubai after graduating. I cannot wait to start!