HEC Paris MBA
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A history lover with strong cultural curiosity.
Hometown: Dalian, China
Fun Fact About Yourself: My name literally means “like a king” in Classical Chinese, whereas I am, in fact, a very easy-going and down-to-earth person.
Undergraduate School and Major: (Include Graduate School if Relevant)
Undergraduate school: Harbin Institute of Technology, China
Major: Communication Engineering (B. Eng.)
Graduate school: University of Texas at Austin, United States
Major: Electrical and Computer Engineering (M.S)
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Integrated-Circuit Verification Consultant (contractor)
Integrated-Circuit Verification Engineer
Wireless Systems Engineer
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was once leading a project aimed at creating a new technical solution that combined an existing one developed by my group with another one developed by a business unit recently acquired by my company. The project would be very helpful for the new business unit to merge into the parent company and would provide valuable input for the future product roadmap at a higher level. However, the process was full of challenges because the two existing solutions were running on completely different environments. Moreover, the acquisition caused lots of administrative and staffing difficulties (such as losing the engineers of the new business unit who were the experts of their solution). Therefore, the project required me to have extensive technical understanding as well as sophisticated communication skills. The outcome was successful. The two solutions were combined seamlessly and optimized to demonstrate performance improvement, and my contribution to the project received very positive recognition from upper management.
Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? When determining which school(s) to apply to, consider and compare the consequences in the scope of your entire life. Since I have lived in the United States for 6 years, it would be an easy decision to put a US-based MBA program at the top of my list. Given my background and good GMAT score (770), an offer from a well-ranked US school wouldn’t be surprising. However, I personally have had a long-time curiosity about Europe, in particular France, and have dreamed of spending several years of my life living there. I asked myself hypothetical questions, “At the age of 70, will I regret my decision today if I choose School A over School B for my MBA?”
I realized that none of the US schools could beat my desire of joining a top French program, even if that means stepping far out of my comfort zone and moving to a country I am unfamiliar with. This is how I finally chose HEC as the only program to apply to, and I am very pleased that HEC offered me a scholarship with my admission.
I recommend that future business-school applicants ask themselves similar questions when finding their dream school. This process not only helps applicants better understand each program that they are interested in, but is also a soul-searching practice to help reveal what a person truly desires in their career and life.
What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? The first reason lies in the program itself: the coursework, the opportunities for exchange and internship, the diversity of student body, and the reputation. As an engineer in the technology industry, I was looking for a program that attracts recruiters in that industry. HEC really stands out in all of these factors.
The second part of the answer is the location of HEC, as described in the answer to the previous question. Miles away from the “City of Light,” there is barely any program other than HEC that can satisfy my curiosity about French culture and bring me a unique experience immersed in the richness of the arts, fashion, and history of this country.
Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I do not have a dream job in particular, but I hope my employer will have a culture that encourages innovation while at the same time values its employees. I regard both as a sign of social responsibility, which matters to me a lot. Innovation makes the world better, while talented employees make innovation sustainable. Both are crucial for the company to stay energetic and dynamic, and to impact the world in a positive way.
What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? “He knows what he wants, and is passionate about what he does.”