Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Jessy Shajan, HEC Paris

Jessy Shajan

HEC Paris

“I’m an inquisitive and open-minded woman who’d like to leave a positive mark on the world.”

Hometown: Brooklyn, NY

Fun Fact About Yourself: I really love skincare, some might call it an obsession. I love to try new products and learn what new skincare technologies are on the market. I am definitely excited to live in France because French skincare is elite.

Undergraduate School and Major: CUNY Baruch College, Statistics and Quantitative Modeling

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: New York Times, Finance Manager

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of HEC Paris’ MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? The entrepreneurial specialization at HEC Paris exceeded my expectations. The hands-on experience of working with real innovators to deliver on bringing a product to market is essential practical knowledge for me, a striving entrepreneur. I was also fortunate to meet a few alumni who shared their experiences. They found the applied approach incomparable because the innovators they worked with were so passionate about their products, and that gave the alumni the drive to work hard and do justice to their vision. These conversations cemented my decision to join HEC Paris.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at HEC Paris? I am really excited about The Executive Committee (TEC). As an aspiring business leader, I think being able to engage and learn from top executives at successful companies is invaluable. Additionally, having a mentor and a small group of peers to learn from and discuss aspirations with is the support you need when you are in the full swing of the MBA program.

HEC Paris is just 17 kilometers from Paris. What do you see as the best part of earning your MBA so close to Paris? I think the proximity to an iconic city that has access to leading luxury brands is an incredible advantage. I also think having the campus right outside of Paris, but close enough to travel to, is a huge incentive because you can focus on your studies on the serene HEC Paris campus but also have access to the benefits a big city has to offer.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Since making the decision to invest in myself and pursue a new career, I have realized the extent of the changes I was able to make in my previous organization. I took the initiative to streamline and automate reporting and improved transparency with business partners that allowed for better decision making. Especially during the last year, this level of insight was critical when the impact of COVID-19 was uncertain. I am ready to pour this devotion and drive into my own business.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 and the resulting quarantining gave me a chance to evaluate my personal and career-related priorities. I learned to appreciate quality time with my family, friends, and the vibrancy of an active NYC. In the US specifically, COVID-19 exposed social disparities as well as the fragility of new and small businesses. This intersection of inequities made me more eager to go to business school to learn how to manage the financial complexities of starting a new business that provides sustainable jobs and has a positive environmental impact. Additionally, over the years, I have volunteered in initiatives geared towards children. Seeing the disproportionate effect that COVID-19 lockdowns had on youth in underserved communities has reinvigorated my desire to help how I can. In addition to my business, I want to start a nonprofit that will provide comprehensive and consistent resources for children from early childhood into college to help them achieve academic and personal successes.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? I decided to pursue an MBA because of my desire to start a fashion business that is based in sustainability, ethical labor, and inclusivity. Following my MBA, I will have a developed business plan and hope to join the HEC Incubator which will help provide the resources, network and access to potential funding that is imperative to starting a business.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? The HEC Paris MBA fit what I was looking for more than any other program, so I dedicated myself to solely applying here.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into HEC Paris’s MBA program? I believe that the school wants to invest in you. You should deeply reflect on your motivation to pursue an MBA specifically at HEC Paris, and what your post-MBA plans are. If you are able to articulate this well, the admissions team can see that you understand what tools and resources the school can provide for you to succeed in attaining your goals.


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