Meet The HEC Paris Alumni: Emma Zaraisky

Emma Zaraisky

Class / Grad Year: Class of 2020

Current Employer / Role: Google, Partnership Development Manager

Best memory at school:
My fondest memory from MBA school is the evenings where my friends and I gathered, savoring French wine and cheese, and sharing dreams of our future careers. As we laughed, toasted, and encouraged one another, we realized that this was not just evenings of enjoyment but defining moments when we collectively decided to challenge ourselves and pave new career paths.

Biggest achievement at school:
My memories of my time in MBA school are like a vibrant mix of adventure and achievement. I vividly recall the moment when I flew to Shanghai for an international business competition, feeling the buzz of a new culture and the pulse of global opportunities. Standing on the stage at CEIBS business school, we presented our innovative project with confidence and were thrilled to learn we came second in the competition! It was the culmination of countless hours of teamwork and dedication. It was a surreal experience when, after our presentation, representatives from the Chinese government approached us, intrigued by our idea and eager to explore collaboration. These remarkable experiences not only enriched my education but also affirmed the boundless potential that an MBA program can unlock.

Your advice to incoming first years:
Embrace networking, excel in teamwork, and soak up every lesson – your MBA journey is not just about the degree, but the connections and knowledge you gain.

Where do you currently live?:
I’m based in London with my family.

Fun fact about you:
Here’s a fun tidbit about me: I’ve travelled to more than 75 different countries!

Why did you choose your school?:
I chose my MBA school for a multitude of reasons. Firstly, the allure of being surrounded by the rich tapestry of French culture was undeniable. The opportunity to immerse myself in this vibrant culture, from its cuisine to its art and fashion was exciting.

Another factor that stood out was the relatively short duration of the program, spanning just 16 months. This not only meant that I could expedite my career enhancement but also minimize my time away from the professional world, a balance that resonated with my goals.

Moreover, the school’s emphasis on leadership development was an enticing prospect. I aspired to refine my leadership skills and the program’s robust offerings in this domain were a perfect fit.

Lastly, one of the most distinguishing aspects of my MBA school was the diversity of my classmates. Interacting with individuals from various backgrounds, cultures, and industries not only broadened my horizons but also enriched my learning experience, fostering a global perspective that I consider indispensable in today’s interconnected world.

What student organizations did you join?:
Plenty of things kept me busy during my MBA journey! Achieving a balance between my professional and academic pursuits was paramount. I actively participated in, and eventually took the helm of, multiple clubs, including the Luxury Club, Finance Club, and Strategy and Management Club. Additionally, one of my close friends happened to be the president of the Wine Club, and the insights I gained from her leadership were incredible!

Favorite trait in others:
My favorite trait in someone is their unbridled passion for exploration, an insatiable curiosity that fuels their constant quest for new horizons and knowledge.

One thing you would’ve changed in the MBA experience:
To maximize the benefits of my classmates’ international diversity, I’d propose a structured global immersion program, cultural events, mentorship initiatives, and international consulting projects. These initiatives would promote cross-cultural collaboration, knowledge sharing, and global perspective building throughout the MBA experience.

Favorite class?:
Surprisingly, my favorite class during my MBA program was a part of the Finance specialization, focusing on long-term financing, particularly in the realm of large construction projects. Little did I know how significantly these learnings would impact my post-MBA journey. The knowledge I gained not only opened my eyes to the intricate world of financing, but it also equipped me with the tools to make a substantial difference in financing conversations. This class was the catalyst for my successful career transition and a testament to the real-world applicability of what I learned during those academic years.

One secret to success:
A valuable secret to success during an MBA is to strike a balance between academics and networking. While excelling in your coursework is crucial, building strong relationships with your professors, peers, and industry professionals can open doors to opportunities, mentorship, and a broader perspective that extends beyond the classroom.

What is your biggest regret?:
If there’s one thing I’d tweak about my MBA experience, it would be to seize more of the moments with my core group, the team I was a part of in those first few months. It’s astonishing how swiftly that period zoomed by, and I wish I had treasured every minute even more. Fortunately, these incredible individuals remain some of my dearest friends from the MBA, a testament to the lasting bonds that form during this transformative journey.

What is the next thing you’re going to do on your bucket list?:
To go to Antarctica!

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.