Now, there is no perfect way to respond to the given prompt of questions from HEC. HEC weighs a variety of factors when reviewing applications, from your background to your schooling to your internship experience and beyond. However, the question response section is the perfect opportunity to highlight your unique qualities and experiences that set you apart.
The HEC recruitment team is asking you to convince them through your words alone that you are the right match.
An important skill taught at HEC by many professors is the art of marketing yourself. The ability to show your confidence in your array of skills is a tremendous asset, not only in applying to graduate school but for job interviews as well.
Here are a few tips as you begin to write:
- Brainstorm your best qualities that would set you apart from a line up of 60 other candidates.
Are you an accountant by trade with a soft spot for non-profit work? Had a killer internship working hands-on at a consulting firm? An engineer with a technical background hoping to round out your skills set with a business foundation? Have you had no business experience whatsoever but can clearly express your enthusiasm for one specific line of study at HEC?
- Use specific examples of times these qualities or skills were demonstrated
Don’t just say you’re a “hard worker” “ambitious” or “driven” – show it. Given an example of a specific project or competition that allowed you to highlight your leadership skills, what you specifically contributed to it, and how the result would have not been the same had it not been for your contribution. If you prefer to shy away from the spotlight in projects, perhaps recount a narrative that illustrates your detail-orientation, stating the approximate number of hours you worked on a deliverable to get it just right.
- Articulate why you would choose HEC specifically over other schools
The recruiter sees you would be a perfect fit.. but a perfect fit for any of the other top business schools. Why did you apply to HEC specifically? Are you looking for opportunities in Paris or France after your studies? Can you speak French, or are interested in French culture? If it is for the reputation, what specific connection interests you – the ties to large banking, consulting, luxury marketing firms etc.?
- Demonstrate that you would be an asset to HEC beyond academics
Recruiters want to see you are well-rounded, and that you have a rather globalized perspective. Most students speak at least two languages, and many students have lived in multiple countries. Even if those do not apply, what unique perspective can you bring to HEC from a cultural or social perspective? Are you interested in extracurriculars such as sports, arts, volunteering? If so, how will you be integrating your interests into the larger fabric of HEC student life?
These questions and tips are thought-starters that will get the ideas flowing to craft your own personal narrative, but there are many other topics you can bring up as well, including failures and how you learned from them. It is important to remember that above all, be honest and authentic.
Good luck on your application!