The excerpt below emphasizes the importance of describing clear post-MBA career goals in your HEC MBA application:
Linda Abraham: What role does “hire-ability” and clear career goals play in the evaluation process?
Marie-Laurence Lemaire: We ask this question in the application file because we want the people actually applying to the MBA program to think about their future. We don’t want people who just apply for a program because of the ranking or this and that. You do obviously apply to a specific program because it highly ranked, etc., but we want more than just that. We want people to think about their future and have a clear idea of what they want to do. Most of our students are career switchers, so they want to change something in their environment. They want to change geography, they want to change sector of activity, or they want to change job. They can’t change all three at the same time; that is just impossible. Sometimes they can change two things. But most of the time, if they manage to change one thing, it’s really great. And then later on, you can change something else. But to change too many things at the same time won’t work.
Linda Abraham: If you want to change two or more of those parameters, you are best off doing it in a multi-step process and as a long-term plan?
Marie-Laurence Lemaire: Absolutely. Because by changing too many things at the same time, you might really be confronting too many difficulties, especially in the environment today. You need to really do one step at a time. So you might have to accept a job just after the MBA which might not be your dream job. But that job will lead you to something else, to getting more experience in something that will lead to something that you are really dreaming of later on. So you have to do it step by step. I think it is very important.
To go back to your original question about the admission, we want our students to think about what they want to do, but we know very well that over the course of the program, a lot of people will change their minds. And that is fine. We are used to that. I think it’s pretty okay to grow up during the course of an MBA and say, I know that in the admissions file I wanted to do this and work in that sector of activity, but really, I spoke to some alum, I’ve seen some companies, and this is not me. I’d rather work in sustainability, for example. So yes, we want to hear about projects. Sometimes people have a clear view of what they want to do, but sometimes people change and that is fine.
To learn more about this top ranked European business school, please see the full HEC Paris MBA transcript or listen to the audio file here. For detailed tips for career changers on how they can best highlight their post-MBA goals, check out the resources on our MBA Career Change Admissions Advice page.
***Please join us for our upcoming Q&A featuring an international panel of adcom members from top European b-schools. Marie-Laurence Lemaire will be joining us again to represent HEC, as will Jeroen Verhoeven (ESADE) and Lisa Piguet (IMD). The event will take place on Thursday, June 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM PST / 11:30 AM EST / 3:30 PM GMT / 5:30 pm CEST. Register now to reserve your spot!***
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