The London trip definitely was a great teambuilding activity, which turned out to be the start of an unforgettable year
After obtaining a MSc. in Business Engineering at KU Leuven in Belgium and completing various internships in finance and strategy, I decided to pursue a career in strategy consulting. My education in Belgium was academically rigorous with a strong focus on analytical skills. Yet, I felt I was lacking practical tools to become a good consultant and get a chance to enter the industry in the first place.
The MSc Strategic Management was the perfect stepping-stone to enhance my chances of getting into strategy consulting. The curriculum offered a strong mix of practical courses, taught by academics and professionals, and professional activities such as workshops with consulting companies and various international networking events.
Moreover, I was very keen on joining HEC because I wanted to be part of the international business school experience. Living together on campus, working on group assignments and discussing cases with some of the smartest people from all over the world was something which definitely excited me from the start.
My personal highlight of the program itself is without any doubt the study trip to London. Within the first month of joining HEC, the whole group departed on a five-day trip full of company visits and career activities. Besides getting a chance to visit and network with a wide variety of companies in consulting, finance and technology, this trip was a catalyzer for the whole group as we spent day and night together in different formal and informal settings. The London trip definitely was a great teambuilding activity, which turned out to be the start of an unforgettable year.
The courses and all side activities combined are quite intense. Yet, there still is time and plenty of opportunities to engage in extra-curricular projects, enjoy campus life and visit Paris on the weekends. Personally, I joined the HEC Business Game (HBG) where I was co-organizing one of the biggest and most selective business games of Europe. After 8 months of intensively preparing the event, our team of 25 people welcomed over 200 of the brightest students from 40 nationalities and 79 different universities. As head of partnerships, I got the opportunity to form close ties with many French and international companies such as Ab InBev, Bain & Company, Edenred and Wavestone. But more importantly, joining HBG enriched my whole HEC experience as I felt part of an international group of highly motivated students, who were working hard to achieve a common goal.
Personal career guidance
The career support at HEC is exceptional and highly effective. On the one hand, there are countless big career events such as company presentations, career fairs and workshops which offer students plenty of opportunities to connect with their target companies and to broaden their scope beyond those.
On the other hand, the level of personal support is even more impressive and valuable. Here, the people from career development are very helpful as they are always available to offer personal advice and guidance. But even more important is the unconditional support among peers themselves. Most people in the program are pursuing a career in strategy consulting and it really feels like everyone is in the same boat; maximizing the chances of everyone within the program to land their dream job.
An international mindset
Next to acquiring a very solid set of hard skills, the program and whole HEC experience thought me a lot about soft, and interpersonal skills. The most valuable skills I will take away from HEC are the ability and adaptability to work in a such a hyper diverse and international environment. Almost every course included group discussions and a project where we worked with different people of diverse backgrounds. Moreover, the program also allowed us to work on a company project for which I, together with two fellow students, advised a Danish company on how to enter the French market. Both the courses and the company project taught me a lot about working in an international environment and managing cultural differences.