It might be only the first days of February, but HEC Paris MBA students are already thinking about summer—summer internships, to be exact. For anyone wanting to gain significant experience working in a new sector or industry during the school vacation, last Friday’s MBA Internship Day offered a heady mix of opportunity and inspiration.
Fourteen companies specialized in everything from luxury to telecommunications participated in the virtual event. For those aspiring to work in management consulting, HEC Paris’ corporate partners Bain and Company and Société Générale consulting gave an insider’s view of the industry. Deloitte presented a tantalizing new initiative, Deloitte Afrique x HEC, offering internships focused on risk strategy in Western Africa. And Deutsche Telekom’s in-house consultancy, the Center for Strategic Projects, introduced its Euro-centric Leadership Development program.
Naturally, COVID-19 was a major topic of discussion. Bain and Company’s presentation helped stem concerns that the pandemic would derail this summer’s opportunities—or future hiring. “We know that if we continue investing in our people, we will grow more quickly once these challenging times are over,” explained Marc Lino, a senior partner in Bain’s Amsterdam office. “Eighty-five percent of the company’s revenues come from returning clients, and those clients are using us to strategize the best way forward during the pandemic.”
Presenter and current student Damini Goel, MBA ’21, spoke of the value of a virtual internship. Despite working from home throughout her 10 weeks as an Amazon Launch intern, she still enjoyed the company’s perks. “Lunch and Learn” sessions introduced her to Amazon’s senior leadership, and she chatted with her mentor daily. But Damini’s big payoff comes in March, when she starts full time in Amazon’s Luxembourg office.
Along with Amazon and the consulting firms, the day-long event also welcomed several other companies that frequently recruit from HEC Paris. Infosys and Uber returned with more opportunities in tech, while Johnson & Johnson and Lilly covered the health-care industry.
“The reason we hire top MBAs is we want you to be our future leaders,” said Hideki Takagi, a Consultant and Global Corporate MBA Recruiter and Strategy for Lilly. He explained that the company’s Corporate MBA Program is a training ground for upper management roles.
After each presentation, MBA participants could ask questions individually, in breakout rooms hosted by the company’s recruiters. Each lasted an hour and a half, with much of that time dedicated to personalized question-and-answer sessions.
“The MBA Internship Day was the perfect opportunity for me to talk to a wide range of global companies, both in formal presentations and small networking sessions,” said Jules Chasles, MBA ’22, and current president of the MBA’s Private Equity and Venture Capital Club. “It gave me a deeper feeling about what type of profiles they were looking for, as well as how I could best add value to their teams.”
The day, organized by the HEC Paris Career Center, also spotlighted EMEA luxury roles at Chalhoub and Richemont, retail internships with the Adeo Group, and telecommunications opportunities with Viibe.