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HEC Paris MBA Application Essays 2019-20

HEC Paris 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)

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

HEC Paris 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)

HEC Paris Essay 4: Imagine an entirely different life from the one you lead, and what it would be? (250 words)

HEC Paris Essay 5: What figure do you admire the most and why? (250 words)

HEC Paris Winning Sample Essays – 1

HEC Paris 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)

I have been working in technology consulting for more than 5 years. While working with PwC US for 3 years in multiple global engagements, I have developed excellent client-facing skills, technical proficiency, and above all leadership capability to lead culturally diverse teams. Most of my experience is in technology implementation consulting for US clients. While, working alongside with management consultants, I have become really fascinated with business strategy development. These experiences have motivated me to step up from implementation to strategy aspect of technology consulting. Needless to say, equipped with an engineering degree in electronics there are marginal chances of making such functional shift as strategy formulation requires an understanding of business fundamentals besides technical knowledge.

After 5 years of experience, I have identified what I would like to do in short term and the gaps which I need to fill in order to achieve my short-term objective. Therefore, I think now would be the perfect time for me to pursue a business education which can equip me with business fundamentals. After extensive research and conversation with Alumni, I believe HEC Paris MBA program, (rated as the 2nd best B-school in Europe by Financial Times) is in perfect sync with my targeted goals and desired learning from an MBA program. The 3 most critical factors which make HEC a perfect fit for me are:

Specialization in strategy – Core courses in big data, business analytics and management consulting will provide me with required business knowledge. Whereas specialization courses in, technical product development and technology analysis will help me utilize my experience in tech consulting to make the leap into the tech-strategy consulting roles.

Fieldwork – To complement the rigorous course structure, HEC provides the unique opportunity to do a fieldwork project which can help me get acquainted with my targeted industry and present my skill sets to suitable employers. I am especially interested in participating in GCP (Global Consulting Practicum) as it will give me an opportunity to gain real-time consulting experience while working on socially driven projects that I am deeply passionate about.

Integrated Leadership – The best aspect I loved about HEC’s MBA is its unique approach of instilling leadership through action and events such as MBAT and Saint-Cyr Military seminar. I have played sports at national level during high school and have organized multiple sports and cultural events in college and workplace. I am highly excited and see myself organizing MBAT events. It will be a great opportunity to further hone my leadership and organizational skills. For a girl who deeply admires BC and wants to follow her footsteps and break into the C-suite, joining the Alma matter of CEO’s would be a dream come true. I am confident that HEC’s unique approach to leadership, diversity in class and focus on career transformation, will help me achieve my professional objectives. I also believe with my academic potential, diverse experiences across consulting, start-ups and social work, I can add significant value to HEC’s community and incoming class of 2019.

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

“Experiences shape who we are”. I am a firm believer of this philosophy, a seeker of novel opportunities and a dreamer of a world with love and compassion. Last year, I volunteered for NIMHANS rehabilitation program. The program was aimed to equip patients recovered from psychological disorders with livelihood skills and to help them integrate back into society.

Day one of the program, at the hospital after a brief orientation I was introduced to a group of individuals. Due to taboos associated with mental illness, there are not many volunteers in this field, therefore for them, interaction with outside visitors was very rare. After a few conversations, the participants warmed up to me. Many of them had good qualifications but unfortunate incidents led them to their current situation. What moves me is the fact that despite such hardships they yearn to get back on their own feet. I helped NIMHANS design an eight-week skill development program. I started mentoring 3 individuals. Over the period, I could notice the confidence they developed because of my support. I constantly motivated them to let go any inhibitions.

It was a truly lo-and-behold moment when after four months of continuous efforts, all 3 of them got a Tele-calling job. Through this soul-satisfying experience, what I achieved and now proudly possess, is a stronger conscious freed from prejudgment or discrimination of any sort. This experience has truly changed my perspective towards life and that is why I consider it to be my most significant achievement.

HEC Paris 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)

Leadership decisions are often guided by our work ethics. The higher you stand on the ladder of leadership the higher is the onus on you lead by an example.

In January 2016, following my passion for entrepreneurship, I joined the 3 member founding team of an app based start-up named “Pixtory”, alongside my full-time job at PwC. With time as the team grew from 3 to 13 members, my responsibility increased from coding to leading the entire engineering team. The work stretched from 2-3 hours to full 7-8 hours of part time work. All this effort paid off when we got our first funding and venture capitalist (VC) came on-board. After VC’s came on-board, we set out with new targets and my responsibilities increased and required 100% commitment as the basic concept turned into a full-blown start-up.

On one hand, I had a lucrative career at PwC with financial security and on other hand an Idea which I have worked so hard upon to give shape to. Due to the financial constraints, I was not able to quit PwC and I knew it would not be ethical for me to hold onto a lead engineering position to which I will not able to give my 100%, while the entire team was pouring their heart and soul. I took the ethical decision to step down, and let someone else lead the efforts from front. Painful as it was, but I felt it was the right decision for the benefit of Pixtory.

HEC Paris Essay 4: Imagine an entirely different life from the one you lead, and what it would be? (250 words)

If I were to imagine a different life, I would imagine myself to be a doctor. My mom, was the principal of a rural school where she regularly organized medical camps for the local community. I always used to accompany her and that’s where my interest aroused in the medical profession. I fondly remember, in rural parts of India where having electricity is a luxury, doctors in medical camps were treated as gods.

India suffers from one of the worst doctors to population ratio and it was this field where I wanted to contribute. I started out on the purpose by taking a keen interest in biology, volunteer at medical camps and learn from doctors. But life had different plans for me. After high school, I failed to a secure seat in the medical college I so desperately wanted. On the other hand, I secured an admission into our state’s’ best engineering college with a handsome scholarship. It’s no secret that the journey of a medical student is long, arduous and filled with expensive education loans.

Coming from a middle-class family where money always fell short of aspirations, turning down the engineering degree with a scholarship left me at a difficult crossroad. Keeping education finance in focus I had to let go of my dream and chose to be an engineer. I believe I turned out to be a great engineer but in a different life, I would wish to go back and follow my heart to impact the life of million others.

HEC Paris Essay 5: What figure do you admire the most and why? (250 words)

Myself being a strong advocate of gender equality, I admire XYZ  since the day I watched her famous TedTalk on “Why we have too few women leaders?”. Her leadership qualities and passion towards creating gender equality are truly admirable. She has triggered a debate across the world on the challenges/ceilings women face that deter them from making it to the top of the corporate world.

I am an integral member of PwC’s WIT(Women In Technology) group focused on empowering PwC women to succeed in technology space. Drawing inspiration from her teachings of involving others to achieve a vision, I initiated many of the career development seminars and networking events involving female staff members from our India, China and US offices. Her book “Lean In” is a landmark manifesto for women like me who aspires to break the glass ceiling and climb up the career ladder. There seems to be something in that book’s every chapter that strikes a chord with me.

“Life and career are like a jungle gym” – her advice to look for growth and impact outside traditional careers motivated me to co-found a start-up that is now backed by multiple venture capitalists. I truly believe in her vision that the world will be a better place when half of the countries and half of the companies are run by women. Like her, I also aspire to be in the C-suite of a company and work towards the mission of creating more women leaders.

HEC Paris Winning Sample Essays – 2


HEC Paris 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 max)

During the 4 years that I have worked with Deloitte Consulting LLP, I have worked on technology enabling and process improvement. Working on technology solutions and product development over these years has made me extremely interested in product management roles focused on the roadmap, feature definitions and development cycle that go behind a product.

The Indian IT services industry has been navigating troubled waters since last US presidential elections and Brexit. Changes in US and UK government policies have forced the Indian IT services players to change strategy from using labour and salary arbitrage to focus on developing niche product offerings. The whole services market is seeing a surge in reskilling and hence, I believe this is the perfect time for me to upgrade my professional skills as well to achieve my short-term goal of moving towards product management. Given my 4 years of experience in IT consulting, an MBA will be a welcome addition to my profile to enable me for my desired career transition.

While my major professional objective in the short term is to switch to product management roles, in the long-term, I aspire to come back to India as an entrepreneur in the technology sector. After extensive research and detailed conversations with alumni, I find HEC’s MBA program to be in perfect sync with my targeted goals and learning requirements due to the following 3 reasons –

Curriculum and certification programs I believe, HEC’s extensive curriculum has a good focus on technology sector with courses such as new product development, consumer intelligence, and business development in companies. I am especially interested in the digital transformation and digital entrepreneurship certification programs. These customized courses and certificates can help me advance my past technical experience and prepare for the transformation I am seeking in my career.

Paris Saclay and Station F For a technical consultant aspiring to move into product management, a privileged access to world’s largest startup campus would be a dream come true. I can leverage HEC’s Elab, its role in Paris Saclay and station F to work alongside some of the most innovative startups and businesses in the tech world. I am confident that I can use this exposure to strengthen my profile and open potential arenas for me to consider post MBA.

Internship and fieldwork Another key parameter that attracted me towards HEC is the opportunity to do an internship or a fieldwork within the short 16-months program. I have garnered considerable international exposure by working with clients in US and UK. An internship or fieldwork can give me the much needed hands-on international experience and hence, make me a stronger candidate for potential recruiters.

HEC can also provide me opportunities to further strengthen my leadership skills via events such as MBAT and Saint-Cyr Military seminar. Therefore, given HEC’s unique approach to leadership, access to Station F, certification program, and fieldwork opportunities, I see no better institute than HEC Paris to equip me with skills required to achieve my objectives in life.

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

“Education is the most powerful tool to change the world”, said Nelson Mandela. In my life, I endeavour to equip as many underprivileged children with this most empowering tool as I can.

During my under-graduation I joined an NGO named Pratigya, “a student initiative dedicated to imparting education to underprivileged children”. There, I observed that all classes had very irregular attendance and poor grades. I gathered a team of volunteers and reached out to these children’s families. We discovered that many of our students had pulled out of school and accompanied their parents to work due to financial constraints.

Seeing these children’s hardships strengthened my resolve to bring a positive change in their lives. My team and I decided to launch a fundraising drive to support their education.

Through our drive we raised €1.6K to sponsor 40 students. I personally took a pledge to sponsor and mentor 3 girls. With time, I developed a special bond with my 3 students and I could notice their growing confidence and interest in their studies because of my encouragement. I continued to support them every year and the proudest moment of my life was when all 3 of them graduated high school and went to college in pursuit of their dreams.

I received many appreciations and votes of thanks but my self-reliant students were my reward. It was my life’s most gratifying experience which gave a purpose and direction to my life and that’s why I consider it my life’s most significant achievement.

HEC Paris MBA 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 max)

“Supreme quality of leadership is unquestionably integrity” said Dwight D. Eisenhower (34th US President). As a consultant, I have often found myself in ethical dilemmas that directly test my integrity as a leader.

Last year, my team of 3 analysts and I developed a user interface to automate RNDC’s (Client) invoicing process. As the tech lead on the project, I was responsible for the internal quality audit of our programming code. During my final quality audit after receiving client’s approval to release the code for production, I found a defect in my analyst’s code.

Fixing the defect would require 5 days and additional cost of $ 10K on Deloitte’s account. Since the application had already received client’s approval, my team’s initial consensus was to flag it and fix it during our first maintenance follow up. It was the most optimal solution but delivering a defective application challenged my integrity as a team lead and made me question the example I would set before my subordinates.

After taking my team into confidence, I openly communicated our late discovery to our client and requested additional time. The client agreed and appreciated this open communication and ethical approach to decision-making.

Post final release, based on our flawless delivery and ethical business practices, the client recommended our team for the Project Award. This experience taught me 2 very important business lessons – crisis truly tests one’s integrity as a leader and ethical business practices help build strong successful relationships.

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

If I were to imagine a life entirely different from the one that I lead now, I would imagine myself as a professional poet and fiction writer.

I wrote my first poem on a beautiful flower at the age of 10. My teachers really appreciated it and published it in the school magazine. It eventually got selected to be published in the national daily Hindustan Times. Since then, my mother always encouraged me to pursue my hobby of poetry and story writing.

My poems and stories occasionally got published in reputed magazines and national dailies. As I grew up, writing became an integral part of my life because it liberated my thoughts and gave a constructive vent to my feelings and observations. I have written for school and college magazines as chief editor, winning awards for my work, but last year, I finally managed to get my own book “Light in the Creek” published by a reputed publication in India. It is one of my life’s most satisfying achievements.

Given a second chance, I would love to relive that satisfaction every day and take up writing as a profession. I would use my writing as a medium to set my soul free and spread awareness on matters close to my heart such as child abuse and poor primary education in developing economies. It would be my silent activism to inspire action on these chronic issues. Books shaped my life and one day I wish to do the same for others.

HEC Paris MBA Essay 5: Please choose from one of the following essays:
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). (250 words max)

If I were to advise a tourist interested in spirituality and India’s religious heritage, to visit a site in India, I would advise him to visit the city of Varanasi and Varanasi’s Ghats (river-banks of the river Ganges).

I have visited Varanasi multiple times, yet its ineradicable spirit of faith and devotion has always fascinated me. Varanasi is one of the world’s oldest cities and the epicenter of Hindu religion.

The city of Varanasi is strewn with old shrines, hermitages, forts and palaces which take a visitor on a time-travel to the genesis of Indian civilization. As one takes a city tour, one can observe the bearings of different religions and learn about the long religious history of India. Varanasi’s narrow lanes interspersed with old Muslim mosques, Hindu shrines and Jain temples bear testimony to cultural harmony and present the vibrant religious colours of India in one palette.

Varanasi is also called the spiritual capital of India and city of lights. Its Ghats are always illuminated with millions of earthen lamps. One should definitely attend the evening Ganga Aarti (prayer) at Dashashwamedh Ghat to experience the characteristic sanctitude and vitality of the Indian spirituality. One can witness the spectacular magnificence of the Aarti procession and connect with their faith and inner-self.

I visit this place whenever I need to recharge and reconnect with myself. Therefore, anyone seeking to explore India’s colourful religious history and their own spirituality should definitely visit the city of Varanasi and the river-banks of the Ganges.

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