When considering business schools, Sue knew she wanted international exposure and a switch to a dynamic industry. That’s exactly what she got.
After completing her MBA, she transitioned from a role in the media industry and landed a top job as a digital marketing manager at Amazon Web Services (AWS) in Singapore.
Having only ever studied and worked in Singapore before her degree, Sue jumped in at the deep end with her MBA, grabbing opportunities with both hands.
She completed her summer MBA internship at Facebook in London. And she served as president of the MBA Tournament (MBAT)—dubbed the “MBA Olympics”—bringing together over 1,500 students from 17 schools for three days of sporting events.
How did your MBA help you land a top job with Amazon?
I’d say several factors helped; namely, the marketing specialization, the HEC Career Center, and the HEC peer and alumni network.
The marketing specialization curriculum was very thorough and had a focus on digital marketing, analytics, and research, all of which helped reinforce my understanding and proved to be vital for many marketing roles in the tech industry.
The Career Center also played a big part in my journey into the tech industry. I landed a summer internship at Facebook London through the school. This experience prepped me well for the fast pace of the tech industry, showed me how to work efficiently with cross functional teams, and more. All of which were relevant experiences that proved to be valuable to Amazon.
Also, as Amazon is one of the top recruiters at HEC Paris, the peer and alumni network played a key role in helping me thoroughly prep for the interviews.
How else have you profited from your MBA?
I’ve gained so much from my HEC Paris MBA experience. The key takeaway was to constantly push my boundaries and challenge myself to be better in both personal and professional contexts.
The interaction with people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities also really helped to pave the way for teamwork in an international context.
Though we only spent 16 months at HEC Paris, many of us have established lifelong friendships and a strong support network to see us through the ups and downs at work.
That HEC Paris connection is also a valuable network of business professionals who are there to help and advise with anything.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA at HEC Paris?
HEC Paris was one of the top ranked business schools and the 16-month program duration was very appealing, but what pulled me in was the international diversity of students (over 92%!) and intimate class size, limited to 250. It seemed like a good opportunity to interact with everyone.
Moreover, the established alumni network and the hands-on leadership development experiences, such as the opportunity to organize the MBA Tournament and attend a leadership seminar at the French military academy Saint-Cyr, really stood out.
The experience delivered in every aspect. The rich academic curriculum allowed us to explore different specializations with experienced professors, but I believe it was the activities and camaraderie outside the classroom that truly shaped us.
What did you learn from your MBAT experience?
Managing a team of 25 over eight months to organize the largest MBA gathering in Europe with a €500K budget was a great hands-on leadership- development experience.
It really tested my ability to manage different tasks and people simultaneously in a stressful environment. I was immensely proud to deliver a successful event together with the organizational team, students and staff of HEC Paris.
On a personal note, there were times when I had doubts that I couldn’t be the leader that I wanted to be. I’ve learnt and grown so much from this. I now know I am much more equipped to take on any challenges that come my way.
What advice do you have for anyone considering an MBA?
Understand your motivations and objectives for pursuing an MBA and select the school that can best help you achieve them. Do not be afraid if you lack a clear post-MBA plan, because this is a period for you to rediscover your interests and passions. Learning takes place both inside and outside the classroom, and interaction with peers and alumni is a very rewarding and valuable opportunity.
It is also important to enter the program with the right attitude to make the most out of your MBA experience to achieve both professional and personal goals.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!