Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Léa Bory, HEC Paris

Léa Bory

HEC Paris


Hometown: Paris, France

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have a YouTube channel where I talk about whatever I want while I knit. It is called “Tais-toi et tricote” (“Shut up and knit”) and has only 63 subscribers: it is my little hidden garden for now.

Undergraduate School and Major: I studied Humanities at Louis-le-Grand, with a specialization in English Literature, in what the French system calls a “preparatory class” for three years. Then I majored in Communication at Sciences Po Paris. 

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: I was a Senior Data Insight at a communication agency called 65dB (TBWA Group), where I led social listening projects. Roughly speaking, I used social listening data and verbatims to better understand the needs and wishes of consumers through their Instagram posts, Tweets, blog posts, etc.

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? What I liked was the global approach to career, with an emphasis on work-life balance. With the pandemic, I reconsidered my work as through the lens of these troubled times, and I wanted it to fit more harmoniously.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at HEC Paris? One of the alumni who interviewed me was Indian and told me that he had the greatest time at a cricket inter-MBA tournament, so I’m really looking forward to learning more about this sport! More seriously, I’m looking forward to strengthening my skills in statistics, quantitative analysis, and data science: right now, I’m more of a “poet” than a “quant”.

HEC Paris is just 17 kilometers from Paris. What do you see as the best part of earning your MBA so close to Paris? To be honest my boyfriend proposed to me a month ago and I am happy to be not too far (but also not too close) from my hometown, to organize the wedding. And I hope to be a great guide for my classmates: I know French people can be a little rough with tourists and foreigners, and I want to change that!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am very proud of my first project as a manager and lead analyst: I had to manage a team of four analysts to understand the consumer’s perception of fragrance in Western Europe. We managed to create a truly multi-cultural report and show how each country had its specificities and we convinced key doubtful stakeholders that social listening had valuable insights for their company. But, in my opinion, my biggest accomplishment was that I carefully planned this project to make sure we met the client’s needs; I also planned it to make sure my team did not work extra hours. It is a significant achievement for me to craft such a strong report while maintaining a healthy work environment.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 disrupted my work environment and I saw how easily a crisis can create a great deal of pain in a company. I saw close friends and colleagues go through periods of burnouts because of how unprepared and inhumane corporate organizations can be in times of need. I really want to learn more about management and organization as a way to prevent these kinds of inhumane management methods in my future jobs.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? After five years working in communications, I wanted to enter the main stage and not stay in the support functions of a company. My work as a social media analyst made me better understand consumers’ needs. However, I could not give operational advice, only communication advice. I hope the MBA will broaden my horizon and perhaps lead me to a path I cannot foresee now, but right now I see myself either as a product manager or a marketing manager in an innovative company that will value my expertise in market research, consumer insight, and business development.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I did not apply to other MBAs. HEC was the perfect fit for me, and I considered it as an ambitious goal, especially during these very troubled times. As a result, I thought of HEC Paris as some sort of “pilot project”. If it fails, I will have learned more about the application process for an MBA. If it does not, I’ll just go there!

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into HEC Paris’s MBA program? I actually have two pieces of advice. As a woman, I think I deal with a lot of “impostor syndrome”. So I would like to say to anyone who believes they are not the best fit for an MBA: trust your luck and ambition. As an old neighbor of mine once said to me: “pire que non ils peuvent pas dire”, which translates to “worse than no, they cannot say”. The second would be this: don’t be a robot, get personal. Yes, an MBA prepares you for a serious professional career and you feel that you have to behave a certain formal way (square, even!), but talking about more intimate and personal experiences can help building stronger relationships and make your profile stand out.


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