In April this year, HEC Paris MBAs visited top MBA employers like LinkedIn, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook during a four-day tech trek organized by the school’s tech club and career management center.
Now, some of the biggest players in the digital economy are rifling through their resumes. In Dublin and London, a group of 30 HEC Paris MBA students learned more about the big tech firms’ latest projects, business models, cultures, and career opportunities for MBA grads.
HEC Paris MBAs are determined to land jobs in tech. In 2016, 17% of HEC Paris MBAs went into tech after graduation. On the tech trek, MBA students took part in Q&A sessions and rubbed shoulders with senior industry execs, as well as visiting smaller tech startups.
BusinessBecause caught up with Yuliya Sobakar, a current HEC Paris MBA student and head of the school’s tech club, to find out more. A dedicated digital media professional, Yuliya helped organize this year’s visits.
What did MBA students gain from HEC Paris’ latest tech trek?
The trek is important in expanding our network. Our hosts put on presentations, let us meet different business units, and suggested that we contact them about job openings. It’s hard to imagine a better basis for a future job search.
Meeting technology companies gives us first-hand knowledge about the businesses, a chance to talk with the current employees, and a better vision of ourselves in potential job roles.
Has this translated into jobs?
All the companies received our resumes and several of them have invited us to stay in touch. Over 25% of respondents are now having career conversations with host companies, according to an internal tech club survey.
Why are tech treks important?
For MBA students interested in the tech industry, it is vital to not only to keep up with current tech trends, but also to make deep dives into the sector they want to work in. The tech trek is a way of showing that interest and building personal relationships with these companies.
Fintech, adtech, foodtech, medtech are all growing, but there is a lot of talent out there; competition is really high. You must be able to demonstrate not only interest, but active involvement, which could be a part of a candidate’s unique selling point.
How did you profit personally from your involvement in this year’s trek?
I gained leadership experience. I headed the tech club, with a team of five, to put this year's trek together. There was a lot of research, phone calls and emails, and finally connecting all the dots to bring a group of 30 participants to two major hubs of the tech industry.
Also, the networking event in London, organized by the school, was a great experience. It gathered together an extended HEC Paris family to discuss game-changing trends in the industry and learn about graduates’ pathways into tech. This gave us all real insight into how to move into the industry.
What are your ambitions for the future? How will the HEC Paris MBA help you achieve them?
Personally, I’m not a career switcher. I’ve built my experience in media and digital over the last seven years. Currently, I’m pursuing my fieldwork project at RTL Group, a leading European entertainment network, within a digital strategy team. I want to continue my career progression around digital media, where there are lots of exciting opportunities around content, distribution and monetization.
I'm half way through my MBA, but I can already say that it’s a unique experience that offers both hard skills in finance, strategy and management, as well as soft skills of problem solving, critical thinking and self-awareness. With the tech trek, I learned a lot about taking ownership and always staying curious.