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MBA Spotlight Series: HEC Paris

Paris, the city of dreams! Home of the Eiffel tower and the best restaurants in the world.

It also conveniently happens to be one of the business capitals of the world, with one of the best global business schools located just a few miles away from it.

HEC Paris MBA is among the world's top 10 MBA programs as per FT Global MBA Rankings 2020.

The Basics

Established in 1881, HEC Paris is an international business school located in Jouy-en-Josas, France.

Being one of the most well-known and renowned schools across the whole of Europe, it offers a variety of outstanding programs in the fields of management and finance. The MBA program is 16 months long, and the class size is typically close to 300 students. It is one of the most diverse top MBA programs in the world, with the batch of 2019 having students from 55 countries, with 92% of the class being international students.

Like other European programs, the class demographic tends to be slightly more experienced than US B-Schools. The average full time work experience of the current batch is 6 years, with an average age of 30.

The MBA program has two separate intakes, in September and in January with multiple application deadlines for each, operated on a rolling basis. Details for the latest application deadlines can be found here.

The program has made a big jump in the Global MBA rankings by Financial Times, going up from 19th in 2019 to 9th in 2020.

Key Program Details

  • Alumni network: HEC Paris proudly claims to have one of the most enviable alumni network of any school across the globe. The school has graduated more CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies than any other university in Europe, and nearly 4,000 of its graduates hold CEO/CFO/Founder positions in companies.

  • Entrepreneurial environment: As is evident from the previous point, HEC fosters an environment suited for innovation and creativity. Around 25% of each batch start their own ventures and the school’s faculty supports the creation of nearly 400 projects each year.

  • Catalyst for change: Along with having one of the most diverse cohorts in the world, HEC also gives its students immense opportunity to make radical changes in their career. In 2017, close to 70% of the class changed at least two aspects out of their sector, function, and location.


The MBA application for HEC Paris includes academic performance, test scores, professional experiences, recommendations, and multiple essay questions. HEC’s admission page highlights six key attributes it looks for in successful applicants.

  • Academic accomplishment: Students looking to pursue an MBA from HEC must show proof of their academic abilities, through the quality of their undergraduate studies. Since the school has a higher experience range, they expect applicants to have a solid base even before coming into the program.

  • Professional experience & career progression: The HEC MBA has a minimum work experience requirement of 2 years. Apart from this, it looks for clear and demonstrable signs of career progression and excellence at your current role.

  • Leadership potential: Successful candidates must be able to showcase their existing leadership qualities, through specific instances and examples in their lives.

  • International exposure: Given the incredibly diverse class it attracts, HEC looks for students with an appreciation and understanding of different cultures and backgrounds. This can be displayed through international work, travel, learning new languages and so on.

  • MBA motivation and career objectives: Candidates must have a clear story and motivation for what stage of their career they are currently at, why they need an MBA at this point in time, and why they want it to be at HEC. Consistency in their story is a key part of the application.

  • Interpersonal skills & personality: This point almost goes without saying at any top MBA program! You need to be a team player, a good listener, and foster collaboration.