Answers To Your Executive MBA Questions

We've answered the top questions asked by prospective students to help you kick-start your EMBA journey.

The summer break is now over and everyone is ‘back to school.’ Or likely ‘back to my makeshift home office.’

With (hopefully) some time to decompress and reflect during the holiday break – from let’s be honest, a year like no other – perhaps you found yourself thinking about your goals and how at this stage of your career, you could strengthen your position in a competitive job market.

If you fit this description, you likely stumbled across the idea of an Executive MBA during your late-night deep dive into Google’s advice on executive education programs or noticed a colleague’s LinkedIn testimonial about how their EMBA has transformed their career.

So now you find yourself eager to know more about the EMBA, and if it could be right for you. And you should be.

To help you kick start what could be a new chapter in your professional and personal life, our Marketing and Recruitment Managers have answered some the most frequently asked and important questions from prospective participants.

I have a full-time job. What are my study options for balancing my EMBA with my work responsibilities?

There are five different tracks available (including one in Doha) which allow participants to choose a format which best fits in with their personal schedule.

The block programs allow participants to take your classes in a denser format, coming on campus for 5-10 days at a time with full days of classes. This format suits participants who wish to use their personal leave to attend classes in less frequent, more intense blocks.

The end of week programs allow participants to take the program at a steadier pace, working regular bi-monthly classes into their fortnightly schedules. This format suits participants who are able to negotiate flexible work arrangements and attend classes on some weekends.

With 5 different intakes, participants can start their EMBA in either January, February (Doha), March, September or November, and plan their 15-18-month journey around personal and work schedules.

What is the Return on Investment?

Capstone Project

The first return on investment (ROI) is the Capstone Project. This is a project which will build a bridge between where you are, and where you want to go. You’re going to apply and use your well-researched ideas which is going to be advantageous to your career, whether it’s applied to an organizational project or a personal entrepreneurial venture. The guidance and feedback you will receive on the Capstone Project from world-class professors and your experienced peers is an invaluable ROI.


The cohort environment which requires our executive participants to work together, provides the opportunity to network with people from different professional backgrounds and is one of the most valued aspects of the EMBA.

Additionally, all participants instantly gain access to our 60,000+ strong HEC Alumni network which offers endless opportunities for connecting and networking with a prestigious business alumni network.

Career progression

HEC Paris EMBA participants were ranked no.1 in career progression in the Financial Times’ EMBA rankings. Graduates reported to receive promotions either during or within the months following the completion their EMBA. From moving into C-Suite positions or making a successful switch to a new role, sector or location, the EMBA is the bridge helping participants to reach new career goals.

Salary increase

Naturally with promotions comes salary increases, as organizations can see the value that their employees’ new skills and knowledge is bringing to their teams. Most participants report salary increases upon completing their EMBA

Entrepreneurial mentorship

The HEC Paris EMBA has a strong focus on entrepreneurship and teaching individuals how to nurture innovative ideas, whether to be applied in a personal business venture or within your organization. Participants also have the opportunity to take the Test Your Startup specialization, with a focus on developing your entrepreneurial skillset.

How can I convince my company to sponsor me?

This discussion is specific to each candidate and company.

The first thing to highlight is the Capstone Project in your discussion with your employers. Our participants usually use this project to gain the backing of their company in terms of out of office time and (co)funding. The Capstone Project is the final deliverable of the program and the topic must address an issue that is of strategic importance to your company, or personal business endeavor. This project can have a significant impact on the company’s future development and save the company considerable financial investment in external consultant fees.

With guidance from HEC faculty, the final deliverable is a report, presented at a level that one expects to find submitted to members of an executive board, followed later by an oral defense. Designed as a realistic exercise, Capstone Projects are frequently launched into market, which is a big ROI for companies who contribute to sponsorship.

Secondly, the skills and knowledge from the EMBA you will be bringing back to your team and sharing amongst your colleagues is a valuable tool for your organization.

Lastly, having the desire to enroll in an EMBA shows your motivation to grow and learn, which are priceless employee attributes. It may also be possible to suggest signing a contract to remain with your employee for X amount of time after completing your EMBA, to assure your organization that their contribution to your EMBA will be financially beneficial to them.

Can I apply for an HEC scholarship?

All applicants admitted into the HEC Paris Executive MBA will have the opportunity to be considered for scholarships. Participants receive guidance from Admissions Officers (the scholarships are based on excellence from HEC Paris and the Forté Foundation) upon admittance into the program. Scholarships can represent up to 10 percent of tuition fees (and cannot apply to students with company sponsorship) and decisions are announced following the final jury of admissions.

Do I require a visa, and if so, what type?

We offer a part-time program so if you were travelling from outside the European Union usually participants apply for a multiple entry visa (“MULT”) which allows limited entries during the validity period. And if you have any questions, we recommend contacting your local French consulate directly.

How is Covid-19 currently affecting the EMBA program?

The French government has allowed for classes to resume on campus from September with strict sanitary and hygiene measures which have been put in place. This includes mandatory masks, distance between chairs, hand sanitizer on campus and having a maximum number of people per class.

HEC Paris has a work group that is monitoring the situation on a continual basis. They are surveilling new information and implementing guidance coming from the French Government to ensure a safe return to campus for all students and staff, as this is the school’s number one priority.

Additionally, as we understand that different countries have different Covid security measures in place, if it proves to be too difficult for a student to participate on campus at this time, students for our September intake have the flexibility to join some classes online. There is also always the flexibility for participants to postpone their EMBA for up to 2 years.

Do I need to speak French to join an EMBA at HEC Paris?

No. As this is an international program, English is the required language for the course.

We have both 100% English and English/French bilingual programs for participants to choose from.

Why should I choose HEC Paris for my EMBA?

#1 EMBA program in the world

For starters, it’s currently ranked #1 by the Financial Times as the world’s best Executive MBA program. There are several components that have given the program it’s #1 ranking, such as career progression, work experience performance, salary growth, faculty and class diversity.

Your teachers

Our EMBA program is delivered by world class faculty and industry specialists who are experts in their respective fields, giving our participants the opportunity to engage with and learn from an array of brilliant minds. Participants will not only learn the latest trends and industry information but receive training for real-life business scenarios and crisis situations.

Class diversity

There are over 50 nationalities represented in our EMBA program which creates invaluable opportunities for learning about different cultural and business perspectives. Learning to do effective business with people from different ethnic backgrounds is an essential skill for anyone working in an international business environment. It also creates an environment for rich cultural explorations and discussions.

Our cohorts are made up of 30% women. The HEC Paris EMBA is a strong advocate for more female leadership and is working to increase this percentage to parity.

Our participants come from roles and sectors covering finance, energy, consulting, engineering, communications, medicine, media, defense, law, entrepreneurship, and more. This diversity allows for valuable networking opportunities for participants seeking a change in role, sector or location.

Prestigious International Academic Partners

The HEC Paris EMBA has a number of partnerships with top academic institutions around the world giving our executive participants the opportunity to go abroad for part of their studies to gain international experience and exposure to different perspectives.  Some of our EMBA partner schools include:

Babson College – Boston, USA

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) Los Angeles, USA

Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Bangalore, India

Fundação Dom Cabral, Belo Horizonte, Brazil

University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (Cape Town, South Africa)

Tsinghua SEM (Beijing, China)

New York University (Stern, USA)

How long does the admissions process take?

1. Visit the admissions page on our website to see our specific admissions requirements
2. We have a rolling admissions policy so you can apply at any time of the year. You’ll find the list of the decision dates here ( at the bottom of the page).
3. Successful applicants will move into the interview round, where they will meet and discuss their EMBA Project with two HEC Paris EMBA Alumni
4. The whole admission process takes a maximum of 5 weeks. 

Ok, I’m interested to know more. What are the next steps?

We encourage you to share your CV and introduce yourself to us here. From there, one of our recruiters will be in touch to plan a call and learn more about your goals and coach you through your application.

You can also register at an upcoming webinar to learn more about the program, or download a brochure here.

More CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies have graduated from HEC Paris than any other university in Europe. Nearly 4,000 graduates are currently CEOs, CFOs, or have founded their own companies. According to the Financial Times, the HEC Paris offers the best EMBA program in the world; click here to learn more.

To get the latest news and information about the HEC Paris Executive MBA delivered straight to your inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

If you’re ready to take the next step in your EMBA journey, introduce yourself