Who I Am: Adriaan Tan
Where I'm From: Philippines
What I Studied: BS in Management, Ateneo de Manila University; Master in Public Policy, University of Southern California
What Was I Doing Before MBA: Financial Planning and Analysis in Real Estate
What I Want To Do After MBA: Strategy or Business Development
Why HEC Paris? After weighing all my options, I decided on HEC Paris because I thought it was good value for money. The tuition was not as much as other programs while the length was ideal at 16 months. Some programs would make you pay more for even a shorter program or much more for just a bit longer. Plus, HEC has an excellent brand name in Europe, which is my target job location post-MBA. The class is also very international, which immediately changes your perspective on things.
What's the best part of the program? It's the people - how international the class is, but more so the friends that I've made. It's so cliche to say it's the people... until you've experienced it.
Favorite class/professor/learning experience - why? Doing the St. Cyr Leadership Seminar is rather unforgettable; no other school can boast of such an experience. It's a seminar that tests you both physically and mentally. It pushed me to test my limits. But going back to the classroom, I'd say my favorite classes were some Marketing classes. Professors were just excellent and some of them very animated! Makes learning much more fun!
What were you most surprised to learn about HEC Paris after starting the program? How well known the school is in France. For every French person you tell that you go to HEC, you get that surprised look matched with some "tres bien!" or "felicitations!"
Room for improvement? I'd say the school can improve on recruitment since majority of the companies that come to campus still come for the Grande Ecole students (who are pre-experienced Master's students). As an MBA student, you still have to find your way to catch the attention of the recruiter.
Is it difficult for foreigner students to find jobs in France? Generally it is a challenge for a lot of MBA students regardless of which school you go to. In the end, it's all about networking, luck, self-marketing, and a bit more of luck and networking.
In your opinion, HEC Paris provides the most opportunities for MBAs entering which industries/functions/geographies? HEC Paris is very strong on luxury. It has partnerships with some of the biggest luxury houses in the world so anyone who has an interest there is in a good position! Meanwhile, it has a strong brand equity in Europe, particularly France.
What should more applicants know about HEC Paris? Be prepared to live a suburban life, especially if you get accommodation on campus. The school is located in a small town so don't be deceived by the name. Getting to Paris takes between 40min-1hour by train (or 30 minutes by car) and there's not a lot to do when you leave campus (did I say it's a small town?). Not that it's such a terrible idea to be isolated. After all it gives you more chances to study. Or bond with your friends.
I'd be happy to answer questions about... Really just about anything. Feel free to send me a message!