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Why This Chilean Wine Industry Entrepreneur Chose An MBA At HEC Paris

Domingo Cruzat ran a successful wine company in his native Chile before deciding to pursue an MBA abroad. At HEC Paris, he’s discovered the ‘true meaning’ of being an entrepreneur


Mon Mar 12 2018

We’ve all been there. Perusing the wine aisle in a supermarket, bewildered, is one of the great challenges of Friday evenings the world over.

But luckily, for those in need of a helping hand, Domingo Cruzat has the answer. Before he chose to pursue an MBA at HEC Paris he launched his own company, HelloWine, in his native Chile—the company taps into a market of consumers seeking a deeper understanding of the wine industry, by offering members a subscription box of four small wine bottles, sourced from wine merchants across the country. 

Why though, if Domingo was already a successful entrepreneur, would he decide to enroll in an MBA program on the other side of the world?

“An investor came to the company, and before deciding to invest he was looking for someone to step aside, [but] stay in a shareholder role,” he explains. “The idea was to find an independent CEO who could run the company.”


Domingo had the chance to hand over the mantle of his company and pursue an MBA—the CEO he hired is an MBA graduate!

Returning to school was in the pipeline for Domingo for a long time. He was attracted to the idea of taking time away from the wine industry to learn about a different culture, and that is something he has been able to immerse himself in during his time in France. He, his wife and children have been reveling in the galleries, theatre and the French way of life.

As well as a broadened cultural understanding, he has sought out the knowledge that would fill the gaps in his business acumen—during the HEC Paris MBA students receive a holistic business education in modules ranging from Financial Markets to Organizational Behavior, and the increasingly important Ethics and Sustainability.

“I was open to changes,” he admits, “and that’s something most people in the MBA program are looking for.”

That change involves happily taking a step back and overseeing HelloWine from the position of majority shareholder. The HEC Paris MBA—ranked the number one MBA program in Europe by The Economist—is allowing Domingo to pursue what he believes is the true meaning behind being an entrepreneur.

“I don’t believe the trend that describes entrepreneurs as heroes, as cool people who have free time and can manage their agendas how they want,” he explains.

“I discovered being an entrepreneur doesn’t mean being the owner of a startup; it means making an impact wherever you are working—you can be in a company and push for innovation and disruptive change.”

When he graduates, Domingo wants to return to Chile, and do exactly that—“what is attractive for me is that any innovation or change you are a part of will benefit a lot of people,” he says.

His mindset has changed from his entrepreneurial days, as he admits to being open to switching careers to the corporate space, acting more as an intrapreneur to help an existing company innovate from within.

Translating how rapidly today’s business world is being disrupted, and how imperative the need for

innovators to harness that disruption is, falls heavily on business school faculty—indeed, one of the reasons Domingo opted for HEC Paris is because he knew he was going to learn from experts that were playing important roles in their industries.

He chose to study the marketing specialization on the MBA—HEC Paris also offers specializations in entrepreneurship, finance, strategy, and advanced management—to tap into that. 

Citing classes by marketing professors such as Frederic Dalsace, Anne Michaut-Denizeau, and Anne-Laure Sellier, he adds that HEC Paris’s location “in one of the major marketing capitals” in the world swayed him to choose the marketing specialization as part of his MBA.

Being armed with that knowledge is only half the battle though, as Domingo is well aware of the personal determination that has to accompany his MBA education at HEC Paris.

“Even though HEC Paris provides all the resources to get a job,” he says, “in the end it all depends on you.

“I have seen friends from HEC that have already got amazing offers—and if I’m not wrong most of them were supported by the careers service and had all the help they needed—but at the end they were working very hard on their own as well.” 

Student Reviews

HEC Paris




On Campus

Cultural experience

I have met the most competent and diverse batch in this school. These people not only thrive on their own but also makes sure that you are doing it with them. The professors will take your had and walk you through all milestones and make sure you are not left behind. I have found their extracurriculars extremely engaging. There was always a room to have social life after academic life. The only hindrance is the location of the school, it is slightly outside city and living in city is expensive.




On Campus

Internationality and diversity of opportunities

About my programme I would say it is very international and flexible: we have the opportunity to choose exactly the courses we want. But at the same time, the frame of the campus is crucial in students' life and enable us to create friendships.




On Campus

Great selection of people

While HEC's MBA is highly selective, I really enjoy the type of people HEC's selects to make sure everybody gets the best out of their MBA experience and networking opportunities. Not only it's an incredibly diverse pool of people (~60 nationalities) but most importantly they make sure to let in friendly empathic and curious people.





Best in France for Grande ecole

A prestigious business school. Languages ​​are important. It is better to have a scientific baccalaureate with excellent grades in high school and good assessments. The courses are well designed as per the latest trends and practicality of learning in stressed upon. Overall, a very good experience.




On Campus

Diversity and quality of fellow students

Very international and interesting place to be and opens a lot of opportunities, however the administration is very french and facilities are subpar (gym, classrooms) meaning the academic affairs is pretty much useless and lastly we are graded on a curve which can create a toxic environment because of the competition. With that being said the pros outweighs the cons by far.




On Campus

The quality of the teachers, the campus, the clubs

The school is very international indeed, we have courses with international students and share things with them within the extra academic life (in the social clubs especially). We have great career prospects if we prepare ourselves well - however, the global curriculum is still very finance-oriented, which is a pity for other interesting domains of the company world, which does not rely on finance only. The social clubs are good practice for the management and for now, are quite independent.




On Campus

HEC Paris awaits you

HEC Paris is really a nice place to do a master's in business. Many classes are useful and interesting (corporate finance, financial accounting, contract law…), some are less - but the curriculum is to be reviewed in the year to come. Regarding the student life, it is incredible, with about 130 clubs, lots of great parties with even greater people. The Jouy campus offers a lot of opportunities to do sports, and you can breathe fresh air every day. HEC also helps a great deal to find an internship or a job.





A dream institute

Enrolling in the HEC MBA was by far the best decision I made for myself. The people and faculty are great, with lots of opportunities to meet people and expand your horizons. Very nice campus where I have had some good running sessions. The alumni network is superb and very helpful. It also has a good support system for entrepreneurs. Would definitely recommend it!




On Campus

Good choice for a career boost

The classes were extremely practical and relevant to the current challenges that businesses are facing. You have access to a wide range of professionals and good career prospects once you leave the university.






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