Meet The MBA Class Of 2023: Yann Collins, HEC Paris

Yann Collins

HEC Paris

“Half-French, half-Irish, raised in North America, and excited about my new adventure in France!”

Hometown: New York City, NY USA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have a song written about me by New York band Real People Not Actors on Spotify!

Undergraduate School and Major: McGill University, Bachelor of Commerce with a Major in Marketing.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: UK Government’s Department for International Trade (DIT), Trade Associate (Food & Drink sector).

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? Outside of the reputation and diverse student body and network, one of the main things that attracted me here was the location. With its short proximity from Paris and the rest of France (and Europe), HEC seemed like the best place to kick-start my career in Europe.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at HEC Paris? One of the main reasons I decided to study at HEC was for its Specialization in Sustainable & Disruptive Innovation that is on offer at the end of the curriculum. Sustainability is a facet of business that I’ve been interested in for a while now, and one that I am looking focus on within the food industry, post MBA.

HEC Paris is just 17 kilometers from Paris. What do you see as the best part of earning your MBA so close to Paris? Paris is not only one of the cultural capitals of Europe, but home to some of the most important CPG and Food & Drink companies in the world. On a personal note, this would also mean being closer to family in France!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: In a previous stint as a brand manager, I was fortunate to oversee the roll out for a new range of Nestea product into the US – from conception all the way to the supermarket shelf, and everything in between!

How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? Having worked in the food & drink space for most of my career, COVID-19 has reinforced the idea that the industry needs to do more from a sustainability lens – whether it be in providing more innovative and biodegradable packaging solutions, or more responsible and sustainable food & ingredient sourcing.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? After having worked in the food importing and policy spheres in the US for the past six years, I’d like to continue my journey in this world both in Europe and on the financial investment side of the industry (in the form of sustainability consulting or investing in agritech solutions). An MBA at HEC Paris provides a strong platform for me to make this move.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Other MBA programs I applied to included SDA Bocconi, Melbourne Business School, and UCD Smurfit.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into HEC Paris’s MBA program? Make sure you know what you are looking for in an MBA, before seeing if HEC’s program aligns with your goals!


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