Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Thandiwe Mkhetshane, HEC Paris

Thandiwe Mkhetshane

HEC Paris

“A renaissance woman, a risk taker who enjoys fashion & photography.”

Hometown: Johannesburg, South Africa

Fun Fact About Yourself: I did a bungee jump at a border crossing point between 2 countries.

Undergraduate School and Major:

University of Cape Town, Bachelor of Commerce in Financial Accounting

University of Cape Town, Post Graduate Diploma in Accounting

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Government Employees Pension Fund, Investment Accountant

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? HEC Paris embraces diversity and inclusion of candidates from different backgrounds. The school makes an intentional priority to include candidates from all over the world without giving preference to one or two geographic regions. Over-and-above HEC’s incredible academic offerings, the MBA Tournament is something which caught my attention. I believe this will be a great opportunity for me to network with other candidates from different MBA programs.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at HEC Paris? I am excited the most about the modules on Sustainability and Entrepreneurship. These are two areas which are directly linked to my post-MBA goals. I am a gym fanatic and really looking forward to trying the different sports offered by the school.

HEC Paris is just 17 kilometers from Paris. What do you see as the best part of earning your MBA so close to Paris? Endless possibilities! The fact that I will be this close to one of the greatest cities in the world which has beautiful art, amazing architecture and a history perspective intrigues me.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest career accomplishment thus far has been starting my own fashion and photography business. I create fashionable garments that empower women, in particular black women navigating the corporate world in the modern African context. I love looking good and I enjoy telling a story through the way I dress. I do not have a qualification in fashion design. However, I acquired sewing skills from my late mother, who used to sew her clothes by hand. I then taught myself to sew by watching YouTube videos and practicing on my sewing machine. To improve my sewing skills, I recently enrolled for a short course in fashion design.

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 has definitely made me more appreciative of the important people in my life. I have grown closer to my family and friends. The past couple of months have been proof that nothing is guaranteed, and this alone has encouraged me to live life in the present, with gratitude.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? HEC Paris has a comprehensive curriculum which will contribute towards solidifying my finance and analytical technical skills. I am specifically looking forward to the entrepreneurship specialization, as it will enhance my business management skills and leadership skills. An MBA is a conscious career move as I plan on venturing into sustainable entrepreneurship full-time. My background in finance and my qualification as a Chartered Accountant of South Africa has equipped me with the fundamental basics about the business world. However, I still need the business managerial skills to be a fully-fledged business leader.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? INSEAD & Oxford Said

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into HEC Paris’s MBA program? Your authentic story is the strength of your application. Own your story and embrace it throughout the application. Be ready to invest time and money during the application process. You will embark on a journey of self-discovery and you will have numerous opportunities to reflect on your life. I wish you the best with your application.


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