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Master In Management Student Benedikt Rasshofer's Journey to HEC Paris

Passionate about economics and the future of energy, Benedikt is a current Master in Management student, class of 2022. From joining the HEC Paris Summer School to interning at Crédit Suisse, read Benedikt's blog entry on his journey to HEC Paris. 

Graduating from High School in Munich in 2016, I followed my passion for complex problem solving and international business affairs and did my Bachelor's in economics at the University of Zurich to grasp the interconnection between the global economy, politics, and how their development is depicted in the financial markets. After the 3rd week of the lecture on International Trade, I already knew that I wanted to write my Bachelor's thesis on this area. After another alluring lecture on Monetary Policy, my thesis, “The Implications of monetary policy on the US-China Trade War”, was timed perfectly with concurrent global events. I was able to hand it in just in time for the Phase One Deal, and have continued to follow all developments closely ever since. I find it deeply satisfying to use scientific knowledge to understand the events of our time more deeply and precisely. 

But for me, my Alma Mater UZH not only meant acquiring knowledge but also personal growth. I have been involved in many social ventures and activities from the start of my university career: as Head of Fundraising & Partnerships, I helped organize the Zurich Model United Nations Conference for two years; twice, after a successful election campaign, I was elected to the student parliament and was allowed to represent the interests of the students in the admissions committee vis-à-vis the university management and, as President of the Fachverein Oekonomie, also vis-à-vis our alumni and the public. In that role, it was a great honor for me to participate in the committee for the strategic and corporate identity of the Department of Economics and to help develop the slogan “Pioneering Economics” and, with my enthusiasm for this discipline, to stand behind the claim: Creating Economics. Shaping Society. 

Igniting motivation at the HEC Paris Summer School

A milestone in my journey towards the Master's degree at HEC was the summer of 2018: As part of “The Future of Energy” HEC Paris Summer School, I set foot on campus for the first time and got to experience what education at a French Grande Ecole is all about. It was fascinating to immerse myself in the multidisciplinary matter of energy markets, to analyze their close interconnection with politics and economics, and it made me want to come back. In the same summer, another adventure in the Himalaya strengthened my conviction that 110% commitment pays off, how important the right mindset and the associated willpower are, and that I want to face real challenges: it was the successful ascent of Stok Kangri at 6145 m in Ladakh; the last 100 meters were not a question of physical strength, but mental power alone; the feeling of ecstasy and a breathtaking view over the Karakorum was the reward.  

HEC student Benedikt Rasshofer giving OEC talk


Back in Zurich, I wanted to realize a matter of the heart: Economics for non-economists and founded the lecture series OecTalk. 6 months after the idea arose, I stood in the auditorium where Churchill dreamed of the United Nations of Europe in 1946 and opened the first OecTalk in front of 350 spectators with the title “Energy Transition: The Cost of a New Revolution in Europe".

Not to be forgotten on the journey to Paris is my time at Credit Suisse, where the Insurance-Linked Strategies team took me under its wing and entrusted me with big tasks from day one. In June 2020, just before the final exams, I was stuck with my head between carbon pricing, game theory, and evolutionary finance theories when the longed-for acceptance from HEC Paris arrived; I was flooded with gratitude that all my hard work had paid off. 

At home at HEC from day one

"With all this and HEC's high academic standards, the days are so incredibly dense and rich with opportunities that each day feels like it has 25 hours"

Once on campus, I was immersed in an outstanding international student body. The Dean made us feel fully supported in all our professional goals from day one. It was more than a warm welcome. Every day I am deeply impressed by the experiences, skills, and journeys of my fellow students; on any given topic, exciting debates arise in which one always learns about unexpected facets and perspectives. This dedicated, highly motivated environment creates a strong drive that you can almost physically feel, and that makes you want to do more. The broad range of courses offered by the HEC with experienced experts from the respective fields allows us to immerse ourselves day after day and gain a unique insight into numerous disciplines. I experience this in the HEC Paris German Society team, as well as in Club Aviron HEC rowing club, where I have become part of a French family and old tradition on campus as the only non-French person.

With all this and HEC's high academic standards, the days are so incredibly dense and rich with opportunities that each day feels like it has 25 hours. I have realized that the Master in Management has a double meaning: You have to manage yourself and your studies wisely before you can manage others so that there is still time for a game of chess in the evening. I am proud to represent HEC and its values as a student ambassador and share my experience. HEC nourishes and strengthens my goal of enabling future growth by providing the economic and financial basis for change and societal development.