Choosing where in the world to study your MBA degree can be tricky. But for Allison Scott, an American who graduated with an MBA from France’s HEC Paris in 2017, the choice was easy.
HEC Paris’ 16-month MBA degree has an obvious financial advantage over two-year MBA programs in the US, but it’s not just cost that makes Europe an attractive proposition.
“There were so many draws to Europe. The programs are smaller, shorter, and far more diverse than those in the US,” says Allison.
“I wanted to work in international business after my MBA, so finding the most diverse program possible was my primary goal,” she continues. “HEC Paris is one of the most internationally diverse programs in the world, and with a class total of just under 200 it never felt like you were just one of the many.”
The HEC Paris MBA class is 93 percent international. Nearly half of HEC Paris MBA grads find work outside their home country. In 2016, 33 percent of its graduating MBA class were women.
The school prides itself on ensuring a personalized learning experience that prioritizes students and their goals by limiting the cohort to a maximum of 250 students, split between January and September intakes.
Allison started the program in January 2016 and was joined by fellow American Jessica Poteet.
“I was definitely attracted to a program that offered a diversity of students, but with smaller, more customized classes,” says Jessica.
“What's different about having a small cohort is that it enabled us to become intimately familiar with almost everyone in a deeper, more meaningful manner, probably with people I would have never had the chance to meet and interact with before my MBA experience. That's a huge positive.”
The school’s 56,000-strong alumni network extends over 132 countries worldwide. For Allison, HEC Paris’ extensive but supportive community is hugely important.
“I attended numerous alumni networking events while in the MBA and have felt free to contact fellow alumni for advice during my job search. There is a kinship with people who have been through the program and I’ve found that they are happy to help in whatever way they can,” she says.
“I now have friends from all over the world that I will keep forever. I've had the chance to travel all over Europe and even to Morocco, India, and Ghana with some of my new friends from the program.
“People are the magic of the HEC Paris MBA. Anyone who’s gone through the program will tell you that.”