HEC PARIS

Known for:  International cohort, MBAT sports tournament

Class size:  281 in Jan 2021

GMAT average: 690

GRE accepted: Yes

Course length: 16 months

Application deadlines:

September 2021 intake:

- Round 1: 1 January 2021
- Round 2: 1 February 2021

- Round 3: 1 March 2021

- Round 4: 1 April 2021

- Round 5: 1 May 2021

- Round 6: 1 June 2021

January 2022 intake, additional deadlines: 

- Round 1: 15 August 2021

- Round 2: 15 September 2021

- Round 3: 15 October 2021

- Round 4: 15 November 2021

Application requirements:

- Two Letters of Recommendation

- Completed Essays

- Photograph

- Application Fee

- Official Transcripts

- GMAT/GRE Score

- English Language Certification (only if applicant’s native language is not English)

- Entry Language Certification

Essay questions:

Essay 1:  Why are you applying to the HEC MBA Program now? What is the professional objective that will guide your career choice after your MBA, and how will the HEC MBA contribute to the achievement of this objective? (500 words)

A standard motivation question. A suggested structure would be to begin by explaining your motivation, for example a career transition into a new industry. Be sure to make clear why you've had enough of your current role, perhaps because you've hit a glass ceiling or realized a new passion. Detail relevant past experience that will help with the transition, but also touch on some skill gaps. Explain how the MBA will will these skill gaps, referring specifically to the HEC Paris MBA program. Be sure to refer to specific core courses, electives, professors, clubs, societies, trips & treks which will help you fill the skill gap. 

Essay 2:  What do you consider your most significant life achievement? (250 words)

 

A sensible approach here is to choose a character trait which you're looking to convey and back-out an essay from there. For example, if your other essays lack evidence of Leadership, use this essay to demonstrate that trait.

 

It's a short essay so focus on the specifics rather than trying to describe the overall context in too much detail. Remember the SCAR format: Situation, Challenge, Action, Result.

Essay 3: Leadership and ethics are inevitably intertwined in the business world. Describe a situation in which you have dealt with these issues and how they have influenced you. (250 words)

A classic 'Moral Dilemma' question. Most applicants I speak to struggle to think of a relevant story immediately, but everyone has one. Think about difficult decisions you made and frame these in the context of people involved.

Some themes include conflicts of interest, insider trading, hiring & firing and office harassment.  Remember, you don't have to necessarily be the white knight! What's important is to demonstrate awareness of the sensitivity of the situation and a thorough backward-looking understanding of why you behaved the way you did.  Again, consider using the SCAR format: Situation, Challenge, Action, Result

Essay 4: Imagine a life entirely different from the one you now lead, what would it be? (250 words)

 

If the rest of the application is about your professional achievements and goals, use this essay to describe your interests outside of the office. A particularly strong essay will demonstrate key character traits (leadership, communication, determination...) outside of the work environment.

To answer the question directly, you might describe your hobby and explain that in another life it might be your profession. For example, rather than saying your hobby is soccer, describe the position of responsibility you took up at your soccer club and that in another life you may be a soccer agent, or treasurer of a major club.

Essay 5: Please choose from one of the following essays (250 words):
a) What monument or site would you advise a first-time visitor to your country or city to discover, and why?
b) Certain books, movies or plays have had an international success that you believe to be undeserved. Choose an example and analyse it.
c) What figure do you most admire and why? You may choose from any field (arts, literature, politics, business, etc).

 

Trick question!

 

Use this question to give the reader some highly personal insight into your workings and experience. If you choose to describe a monument, explain why it is meaningful TO YOU. Likewise, explain why a book is meaningful TO YOU, and how it resonates with your experience. If you choose to describe a figure, describe how they resonate with your values.

If diversity hasn't played a part in your application so far, this could be an opportunity to show your inclusivity.

 

The key is to understand that they are looking to LEARN ABOUT YOU. Frankly, they couldn't care any less about the monument, book or figure. 
 

Optional Essay: Is there any additional information you would like to share with us? (900 words)

HEC Paris' application essays are fairly substantive, so you really shouldn't need additional space to convey crucial information. Use this essay to describe any extenuating circumstances, inconsistent/poor grades, gaps in your resume or a criminal record.

Keep it direct, informative and snappy. There really should be no need to use all 900 words!