Meet The HEC Paris MBA Class Of 2020

Amanda Moritz

HEC Paris

“I blur and push boundaries others make for me; I do not fit in a box.”

Hometown: Boston, MA

Fun Fact About Yourself: Not too long ago I cooked full time in the pastry kitchen at Diner and Marlow & Sons in New York City.

Undergraduate School and Major: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brain and Cognitive Sciences

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Google, Product Marketing Manager

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Pay attention to how you conduct yourself during transitions. They are the most important moments in your life, but can also be the hardest. I heard this in a Soulcycle class a few years ago, and it has stuck with me. How I have transitioned job titles, cities, and companies throughout my career is central to how I view my professional (and personal) accomplishments. Leaving my role at Google has been one of these accomplishments.

Leaving a job can be thrilling and stressful. Unlike past jobs where I could only give two weeks’ notice, this time I could give much more since I knew I was leaving for school. With the extra time, I was able to wrap up my last projects, lay a solid foundation for those taking on my responsibilities, and still have the opportunity to enjoy the rest of my time at Google.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you have met so far and why? I was drawn to HEC because the alumni I have met are explorers. From our conversations, I learned that they came to HEC with an idea of what they were seeking, but were still open to possibilities that presented themselves. In some cases, this meant taking a different job or living in a different country than they originally planned. I was attracted to being around people who do not dwell on expectations or do not create stereotypes of what it means to be an HEC student.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? The location! Living in France has been a long-time goal of mine. I studied French in high school and I cannot wait to practice it daily while living there. In addition, HEC’s proximity to and connections with Station F in Paris piqued my attention. I am looking forward to starting my own venture one day, and I think what France is doing in the startup space is cool.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am excited about the MBAT (the MBA sports tournament hosted by HEC each year). I love getting swept up in the excitement around sporting events, and I cannot wait to meet other students from MBA programs all over the world. It is another great example of how HEC brings people together.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As an undergraduate at MIT, I was uncertain of what I wanted to do and therefore did not fully enjoy school. Truthfully, it took me many years post-undergrad to start finding my way. Ironically, it brought me full circle wanting to go back to school. Even studying for the GMAT was incredibly fulfilling, and I am excited about meeting new people, exploring career options, and getting exposure to new ways of doing business.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I did not make a spreadsheet or forecast my future earning potential post-MBA to decide if the cost of school was worth it. Once I decided I wanted to go back to school, I did not let the financing of my education hold me back.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? London Business School and Harvard Business School

How did you determine your fit at various schools? To make an initial list of schools, I first researched reputation, location, curriculum, and student diversity. I then moved on to the schools’ connections within sectors I am interested in and their alumni networks. Finally, I attended info sessions in person and met alumni to get a sense of each school’s vibe. I wanted a solid understanding of the school. More importantly, I wanted to get to know the culture to decide if I would want to spend the next 16 months of my life there.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? To someone from the East Coast, California symbolizes possibility, self-discovery, and freedom. I faced some big unknowns in my move out west in 2015. In the three years, I have lived in San Francisco, I have gained a deep understanding of who I am and have become more in tune with how to take care of myself when things get tough. The move, and my personal growth since has given me the courage and self-confidence to take more risks, knowing that it will turn out just fine.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I am looking to transition sectors after the MBA, so I will still have plenty to learn from working for someone else after I graduate. I would love to work for a fairly established, but smaller company to gain some hands-on experience before making my next move. I am not sure where I will end up, but moving to France has stirred up some serious wanderlust, so I may want to continue living abroad.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I expect to have a few adventures under my belt in the next five years! I see myself living in a new place, preparing to launch an exciting project and be a bridesmaid in my HEC bestie’s wedding. In all seriousness, one of the main benefits of doing an MBA at HEC Paris is becoming part of an awesome, global community. I plan to stay an active member of that community after I graduate.