The HEC Montréal MBA: What You Need To Know
Few places in the world are seen as student-friendly as Montréal, a walkable, safe city in French-speaking Quebec that is home to no fewer than 11 institutions of higher-education and 190,000 students, 20,000 of whom hail from overseas. It is also recognized as a great place for people looking to move to Canada, because Montréal is a thriving hub for tech start-ups, as well as the Canadian home to 60 foreign organizations, meaning high-quality jobs are in plentiful supply. Given that 45% of MBA students are international, Montréal proves a soft landing for new arrivals to Canada.
The school has been offering an MBA for 50 years, making it one of the oldest in the francophone, or French, world. Besides being deeply embedded in the entrepreneurial business culture of the city, HEC Montréal enjoys a healthy on-campus cross-fertilization between the corporate and academic worlds. Beginning this fall, its new downtown campus located in the heart of the business community will facilitate that circulation of knowledge.
Uniquely, HEC Montréal runs both French- and English-language full-time MBAs in parallel, and students can move between the two. It is important that prospective MBA’s know that Montréal is a French-speaking city, which has been known to pose challenges for MBAs looking to find work in the city as well as great opportunities to polish their French.
The MBA offers electives in a variety of areas such as entrepreneurship; finance, strategy, and consulting; marketing and business intelligence; general management and leadership, and international management. Students have the opportunity to participate in the Campus Abroad program to experience the cultural, political, social, and economic realities of another country, in locations such as China, India, or Brazil. They can also apply for exchange in France.
HEC Montréal prides itself on giving students a blend of hard skills in areas like managing digital transformation, supply chain management, big data, and tech start-ups, but also places equal emphasis on the “softer” skills such as self-reflection and leadership. Driving home the fact that HEC Montréal offers a transformational experience, the final course is named Changing.
Kevin Johnson, director of HEC Montréal’s MBA program
Our MBA is more than a series of courses. While students undoubtedly learn a lot in class, either through formal or experiential learning activities, it is also a life-changing experience. Growth and development opportunities are consistently offered both inside and outside the classroom through learning and networking expeditions abroad, working with start-ups, assisting VCs, and meeting local and international CEOs. We rigorously value the principle that students must have many opportunities to integrate their learning and apply their knowledge. Great emphasis is placed on the personal journey from “knowing” to “being” a leader, a manager, or an entrepreneur. In the end, our purpose is to develop and promote reflective and responsible managers who are positive and constructive change leaders in our organizations and society.