2019 MBAs To Watch: Teejana Beenessreesingh, HEC Paris

Teejana Beenessreesingh

HEC Paris

“Adventurous, always seeking personal development challenges and passionate about meeting people from across the world.”

Hometown: Beau Bassin, Mauritius

Fun fact about yourself: I spent 4 months circumnavigating the world and speak 5 languages.

Undergraduate School and Degree: MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), BSc Management Science and Economics and I spent a semester completing a full circumnavigation of the world.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? The hedge fund Sheridan Asset Management as a Junior Portfolio Manager in New York, where I focused on investments across FinTech platforms.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2018? I interned at Cartier International in the Global Strategy and International Marketing Group, where I worked on one of their biggest Joaillerie (jewelry) collection launches across the world. It was a unique opportunity to learn about consumer behaviors and trends impacting luxury and retail companies.

Where will you be working after graduation? I will be joining Bain & Company, Dubai and working on projects in the Middle East, a region that fascinates me. I believe it is a unique opportunity for me to further complement my international background.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: President of the HEC Luxury Club, Career Representative for Students, Vice President of the Private Equity Venture Capital Club, Advisory Chair of the Women in Leadership Club, Creator of the HEC China Trek

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? I organized the first Luxury and Retail Italy trek for HEC Paris where students got to visit leading luxury houses in Milan and meet with C-Suite executives at Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Bvlgari Hotels, Pomellato, Kering Eyewear, Moncler, Ermenegildo Zegna, Yoox-Net a Porter among others. I also launched the first HEC Paris Luxury Conference for students, alumni and luxury-focused students across all leading business schools in Europe. It was a unique learning opportunity and provided an intimate networking session for all attendees, who were able to exchange ideas about the topics pertinent to the industry, namely the conservation of know-how, digital transformation, sustainability and the development of new markets.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I founded a social enterprise that enables shoppers to shop world destinations (BeeJooS.Com). I got the opportunity to work with a Richard Branson backed organization to help build the first girls’ school in the Masai Mara.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? My Organizational Behavior Professor, Dr. Amer Madi. He led us to philosophical introspections that were pivotal to understanding individual behavior and subsequently how to manage in organizations. He drove me to ask myself questions that I had not considered before and triggered me to face some fears that I had carefully anchored away.

What was your favorite MBA Course Organizational Behavior – I got to learn how differently every individual can interpret the same situation, especially in a highly international environment such as HEC. This was truly pivotal for me to become a more sensitive leader which I think is a key skill to manage a global organization.

Why did you choose this business school? HEC Paris has an unrivaled network across the executive boards of all luxury houses in the world and boasts some of the most approachable and helpful alumni. Having spent 13 years in the US, I was drawn to HEC Paris to further develop my global outlook. A key factor was also to join a school where the average age and work experience of each candidate would be higher than in American MBA programs.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? Step out of you comfort zone and take every opportunity that is thrown at you! One of the qualities we truly value among our classmates is their varied international experience. I have classmates who were project aviation engineers in Saudi Arabia, social entrepreneurs from India, and others that have lived in Angola, Madagascar, and Brazil. I would say focus on broadening your experience to make it truly global.

What is the biggest myth about your school? Very often, other business school students ask me if we only eat croissants, baguettes, cheese, and drink wine. While we do absolutely enjoy all the fine French things, most of our gatherings are around sharing traditions from our international classmates and getting to know their cultures better!

Think back two years ago. What is the one thing you wish you’d known before starting your MBA program? With the MBA, I was able to get several opportunities to achieve the triple-jump and change my career function, sector and location. I wish that I hadn’t waited as long as I did to do the MBA!

MBA Alumni often describe business school as transformative. Looking back over the past two years, how has business school been transformative for you? It has helped me become more self-aware and understanding of other cultures. Having spent 9 years working and living in Manhattan, the MBA was an opportunity to step out of the bubble, reset and learn in the classroom again.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? One is hard to pick. I admire two classmates for displaying the same qualities. They would be Leila Dob and Lucia Gonzalez Schuett and it would be for their ability to be appreciated and loved by any person from any country or background. They have this incredible ability to naturally inspire trust. They are not shy of sharing their opinions, but do so in such a composed manner that they aspire people to listen. I have continually learned from them to refine my leadership skills.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My best friend and partner has been my biggest supporter in switching countries and pursuing the MBA. He very much shares my philosophy about ‘Life beginning at the end of our comfort zone’ and was instrumental in influencing me to jump on this new journey.

What is your favorite movie about business? Joy. As a former entrepreneur, the movie depicted the most valuable quality of a successful entrepreneur – resilience.

What was the goofiest MBA term or acronym you encountered – and what did it mean? Blue Ocean. My friends constantly joke about how we would create a blue ocean around existing situations, especially when we travel!

If I hadn’t gone to business school, I would be…stuck behind Bloomberg screens and would be shuttling 3 hours daily to Connecticut in the hedge fund I was working in.”

What dollar value would you placed on your MBA education? Was it worth what you paid for it – worth more or worth less? I think European MBAs are reasonably priced compared to U.S. programs. In my case, it would have paid for itself.

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

  • Live in Asia
  • Space Shuttle

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? Inspirational leader and reliable friend who is always willing to elevate their experiences.

Hobbies? Traveling and seeing the world. As an aviation geek, I get so excited to collect airline and hotel points (especially when I redeem them on long haul business class flights). From business school, I picked up sailing and love to meet other business school alums in sailing trips in beautiful destinations.

What made Teejana such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2019?

“I would like to highlight not just what Teejana did, but how and why she perfectly represents the spirit and values of the HEC Paris MBA program.

Teejana is an amazing participant and she worked as a great professional in her different roles – Career Representative, President – MBA Luxury Club, Vice President – Private Equity & Venture Capital Club and Advisory Chair – Women in Leadership Club.

With her drive in all her extracurricular roles and her professionalism, Teejana distinguished herself and offered an uplifting experience to other MBAs.

Let me focus on her responsibility as President of the MBA Luxury Club. Teejana set up the 1st MBA Luxury Conference to provide a deep dive on the future of the industry, including the opportunities and challenges. Her objective was to empower all MBA students passionate about careers in Luxury Management, irrespective of their prior exposure to the industry and to position HEC Paris as one of the leading Global MBAs for Luxury Management. Indeed, it gathered MBAs from across Europe, as well as HEC alumni, industry professionals from our corporate partners (e.g. Bain & Company shared their very exclusive ‘Future of Luxury’ annual report) and HEC professors.

In many ways, Teejana served as a source of inspiration: always curious with a high level of energy and commitment.”

Raphaëlle Gautier
Executive Director, Corporate Partnerships & Careers Department

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