The day I was waiting for so long. HEC has always been a dream, and now it is reality.
After a thorough application process, I was selected for the HEC Summer School Luxury program. I had the chance to participate in the HEC Business Game earlier this year – but that lasted for 2 days and a half. I am now at HEC Summer School for the next two weeks.
As I arrived, I was warmly welcomed by the Summer Associate Team, which consists of outstanding students from world-class institutions, including HEC and Princeton, who volunteer to support the Summer School operations. They have kindly shared with me the unprecedented schedule they have prepared for us, ranging from sports and team building activities to after-studies get-togethers. I was also given goodies –that will keep me motivated to take effective notes and enjoy even more my time at HEC.
First things first, as I arrived I made my way to the room where I will be residing during my stay in HEC. I am located in a recently refurbished building and it seems like I am the first person to stay in. It is clean, fully equipped with a kitchenette and a bathroom and an adorable balcony overlooking the green lands of HEC.
After settling in, I run to our Orientation, which was given in the Bellon Auditorium. I discovered the full range of HEC programs and also learnt about the many legendary alumni that attended the school from Francois-Henri Pinault (Kering), Stephane Richard (Orange), Henri de Castries (Axa) and Jean-Dominique Senard (Michelin). The question is: who is the next?
Following the Orientation, we were split into our respective programs and the excitement at this stage was unprecedented. We were about to start our two-weeks program with world-class HEC professors and exceptional guest speakers!
At the Luxury Management Summer program, our week started by a presentation of a business case, we will be solving over the course of the program. The presentation was given by the team from the company of focus. The company being within the perfume industry, the business and brand presentation was followed by a tasting session that was central for gaining a full understanding of the company’s DNA. Among other things, I learnt a fun fact about the perfume industry: in French the mixes of natural oils is cold “accords”, just like in music and there is an organ in perfume making recalling the musical instrument. The task given requires us to develop a brand extension strategy for the company of focus and I am already looking forward to working on this with my team-mates soon!
After our first lecture, all students were more open to networking and I made a number of acquaintances. I then decided to “take a walk on the wild side” and made my way to the legendary lake of HEC where there was a student gathering. I could feel the HEC spirit in the air. The birds were singing and the breeze was spoiling my feelings. As we were told at the Orientation, there is a photo competition for the best picture taken at the HEC territory. And the lake has had the greatest success in the past two competitions. Fingers crossed to lake photography amateurs, it might well be a favourite this time again!
In the evening we were offered a complimentary diner in the S building – our home for the next two weeks. This is where I met a lot of students from other Summer School programs and made some good connections. I am sure some will reveal beneficial in my future career. Students here come from all over the world: there are 35 nationalities, 162 participants and the female/male ratio is dazing: 52% females and 48% males. A glass of vin rouge français was a treat at this stage.
In a few words, by the end of the day, I was filled with warm emotions, impatient to start my Luxury Management program with the Program Director Gachoucha Kretz the next day. Can’t wait to share my full experience at HEC with you very soon!