2024 Best & Brightest MBA: Victor Heaulme, HEC Paris

Victor Heaulme

HEC Paris

“Hyperactive, passionate, and deeply caring.”

Hometown: Paris, France

Fun fact about yourself: I have lived in 11 countries!

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor in Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Tech, Class of 2017

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Product Manager, Baker Hughes, Scotland

Where did you intern during the summer of 2023? Type One Ventures, Germany

Where will you be working after graduation? NewSpace Capital

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School:

MBAT 2023, President
MBA Council 2022, Director of Events
Scholarship for Excellence
MBA Leadership Award (15 out of 250+ students)

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Without a doubt, MBAT – the MBA Olympics. I applied only to HEC for my MBA, and a big part of that was because of MBAT. I wanted to help organize it and bring this event to life that I had never witnessed in my life but already dreamed about. I was elected President by our team and we were fortunate enough to get elected by our peers to organize this 3-day event with 1500 MBAs from around the world. Together, we organized an incredible event full of competition, parties and memories – while keeping finances at breakeven!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? Simply breaking into VC. I had zero finance or entrepreneurial background before the MBA, and Private Equity / Venture Capital are notoriously difficult to break into. Very few roles, very small firms, specialized skills – you really need to find your niche. Entering this industry requires networking, putting yourself out there, a lot of dead-end conversations, and infinite patience. I’m really proud to have interned in VC and to be continuing my career in this sector after graduation.

Why did you choose this business school?  MBAT was the main reason. As soon as I found out about this event hosted at HEC Paris and organized by the MBA students, I knew it was the direction I wanted to go in. I knew the MBA would include a ton of great coursework, but I really craved a concrete way to apply these skills throughout the program outside of class. Events like MBAT are the perfect way to do this. Operations, Finance, Marketing, Strategy – we did it all!

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? The first month of the MBA is filled with organized events to get us to mingle, know one another, and feel at home in this new environment. One such event that stands out for every cohort is the French Touch event. With a majority of the HEC Paris MBA being foreigners (<5% French), it’s important to discover this new culture you have arrived to (possibly) live in – discover its wine and cheeses, music, decorations, customs, etc. The MBA is as much about learning about business as it is about network and community ties, and these cultural events are an amazing starting place in the early days of the program.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would make a more active effort, in my first months, to get to know other MBA Cohorts. One of the best parts of the HEC MBA is how close we get with our entire cohort, especially in the first months – countless events, trips and visits to Paris really bond you together. However, there is very little overlap with previous cohorts, so you really need to make an extra effort to meet and be exposed to them.

What did you love most about your business school’s town? The proximity to Paris (exploring the city on the weekends was very easy) and being in Jouy-en-Josas provided the best of both worlds. Jouy-en-Josas is a really cute, quaint town outside Paris, with many restaurants and bakeries – everything you need from a small town on a weekday! And the city of Paris provides infinite activities on the weekends to unwind from the classroom. It was the perfect combo!

What surprised you the most about business school? I think many come into an MBA thinking they will master finance, become a marketing professional, or truly understand what it takes to be a public company CEO. The truth is… an MBA teaches you a little about all aspects of business, but nothing in deep detail. You learn enough to be familiar with most business discussions on any given subject, but never enough to be the smartest person in the room. You learn to lead by relying on your team, not being the subject matter expert.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Arthur Castelo Branco from S22. Ever since we met when we arrived at HEC, I’ve admired Arthur’s ability to manage his time better than anyone, achieve his goals, and lead through empathy. He managed the intense MBA workload in parallel with being the MBAT CFO, partaking in TEC (MBA Mentorship program), case cracking for Consulting interviews, and more. Despite all this, he always has time for those around him, and it’s no coincidence we elected him “most likely to be a CEO” in the future!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Wake up one morning asking “I can’t believe I actually get paid to do this!” and working in SpaceTech, my passion.

What made Victor such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2024?

“Victor joined the HEC Paris MBA program in September 2022, after five years of professional experience in operations and digital technology in UK, Europe, and India, working with startups to help them scale. Victor has dedicated a significant part of his MBA journey honing his leadership talent as President of HEC Paris MBAT, the annual MBA Tournament that is organized by HEC MBA students on our beautiful Jouy-en-Josas campus since 1991. Under Victor’s leadership, the 2023 MBAT edition attracted over 1,500 participants from more than 15 prestigious MBA programs across Europe. Victor and his leadership team organized 38 competitions, ranging from basketball, soccer, and tennis to e-sports, a dance contest, and a tug of war in a specially created mud pool. The sports competitions are complemented by social events, including a gala party in a Parisian palace.

The amount of planning that goes into the organization of MBAT should not be underestimated. Being responsible for housing, transportation, food and beverages, and the security of 1500 people over three full days is challenging – Victor and his team were very reactive to incidents, working together to find solutions. As a result, the event ran super smoothly. What made the 2023 MBAT edition special, was Victor’s focus on safety, sustainability, and inclusivity. Participating schools can get very competitive about winning. While everyone gave their best, the ultimate goal of networking and having quality moments together was never lost out of sight. Community was further enhanced by a dedicated application that was developed and that allowed for sharing pictures, cheering for teams, and meeting new people. The MBAT 2023 was the most sustainable edition ever with special attention to sourcing locally.

Victor led the MBAT preparations, while getting A-grades, running the 2023 Paris marathon, and climbing Mount Kilimanjaro to raise funds to fight childhood cancer. With that, he embodies HEC Paris’ MBA credo of being a leader with the character, competence, and courage to impact the world.”

Kristine de Valck
Professor of Marketing
Dean of Degree Program, HEC Paris:

“‘Life is too short to drink bad wine’, as French say. The same applies to academia: only the relentless pursuit of quality in learning experiences and personal achievements sets students apart from peers. This is how Victor Heaulme approached his MBA program: his ‘leave-no-stone-unturned’ positive mental attitude to business problems and in-class activities was a force multiplier in the classroom. His unparalleled energy worked as a catalyst for academic excellence of his MBA cohort. And Victor understood how learning begins at the end of one’s comfort zone – and went all-out to surpass himself and help others do the same. All in all, he was the quintessence of HEC Paris’ motto: ‘Learn to Dare’. I am honored to recommend Victor for Poets & Quants prestigious “MBA Best and Brightest 2024”.

Gonçalo Pacheco de Almeida
The Dieter Schwarz Foundation Chaired Professor of Strategy and Negotiation
Academic Director of the MBA Strategy Specialization
HEC Paris

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