By Federico Maffioletti
- As the financial sector increasingly becomes one of the most competitive to break into, it is absolutely key to have a first class degree. This is why I chose a Masters of Science in International Finance (MIF) offered at HEC School of Management.
HEC in the rankings
Firstly, MIF has been ranked #1 among pre-experience MSc Finance worldwide by Financial Times for three consecutive years. The reasons?
Second highest salary three years after graduation, first in terms of student return on investment and 100% of the faculty holding a PhD.
If this does not satisfy the more exigent students, consider the Times Higher Education Alma Mater Index, which ranks institutions by the number of degrees they have awarded to the top CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies: here HEC is ranked #5 worldwide.
Armed with this knowledge, making the decision to apply was a natural and easy one.
The HEC experience
Once I arrived at HEC, I had big expectations, both from the program and the university, and I haven’t been disappointed so far. HEC Paris is a lively place to live and study: I often find myself having conversations about recent developments in the markets with my international classmates, who come from 29 countries and attended top universities such as Yale, LSE and Cambridge. Besides, the school hosts conferences held by prominent speakers (over the last 2 months: Frédéric Oudéa, CEO of Société Générale and James Kenneth Galbraith, executive member of the World Economics Association, among others) as well as workshops (very recently, TEDx conference on innovative scientific and business ideas).
The environment is extremely stimulating, especially in the classroom: my professors are world class researchers and practitioners and I’ve found them very engaging and approachable. Outside of the classroom, the feedback lunches organized by the program director are only one example of the initiatives undertaken by the school to let students express their own ideas and suggest further improvements. Another characteristic that is worth underlining is the strong HEC alumni network, which allows students to build mentorship relations with former HEC graduates.
This collaborative environment is a huge advantage for a young student and for me in particular, since I have never studied abroad before. I am happy to say that HEC is allowing me to see a perspective that I had not been exposed to during my undergraduate studies in my home country.
The HEC campus
Though the campus is not in the centre of Paris, its location is crucial for the atmosphere it creates. The HEC campus, comprehensive of 10,000 m² outdoor sports fields and 1,600 m² multi-purpose gymnasium, is in fact an incomparable environment for students to learn, socialize and practice sports. Facilities such as the 43 lecture theatres, the 80 classrooms and the 3 language labs have been designed to foster learning in a supportive and dynamic environment, which is very important for young talents living here for the whole duration of the master.
Finance at HEC
After the recent financial crisis, finance professionals are required to show more passion and commitment, but also strong ethics and advanced technical skills. This is exactly what I found at HEC Paris. The MIF is really demanding but the efforts are definitely worthwhile: in fact the program provides a complete set of knowledge and skills that builds a pathway to a successful career in finance.
As an engineering graduate without previous experience in the financial industry I couldn’t fit in a program where every student attends the same set of courses. In this regard, HEC has designed a tailor-made program which comprises two tracks: business, for students who have a first training in finance, or accelerated, for those trained in maths physics and engineering. This exceptional flexibility leverages the pre-existing skills of the students, allowing them to build a strong and deep financial knowledge very quickly.
I am proud to say that my Masters in International Finance at HEC Paris is helping me distinguish myself from my peers and will lead me to a rewarding career in the financial sector.
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