The January Track on Their First Days as HEC EMBA Participants

The January intake for the English Modular class of 2022 kicked off their EMBA journeys in an illuminating, rich, and inspiring week of work.

It was an unforgettable beginning for the 73 participants of the HEC Paris Executive MBA English Modular 2022 Intake (EM2022).

The intake, representing 38 different countries and averaging 37 years old, represents the cream of the crop of their chosen professions. The participants average 14 years of professional experience, much of it spent in the upper echelons of management.

Associate Dean Andrea Masini set the tone for the 16 months to come. “HEC is a school that has tradition, and we’re standing on the shoulders of giants. We are at the forefront of innovation and the generation of new ideas,” he said. “Make no mistake: you’ve been accepted, but now is the time for you to roll up your sleeves and work.”

The top 3 professional backgrounds of the January intake

The top three industries represented in the January intake.

Swede Fredrik Johansson, a Senior Leader at Proximus in Belgium, agreed. “Dean Masini summarized it well. Here, we will grow, be challenged, and network. I am fully aware that it is going to be challenging, but this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn – and un-learn – some things that I already know.”

Indeed, Veljko Gucic, Director of Operations for BENU Pharmacies in Serbia, echoed the sentiment, saying he eagerly anticipates the program’s transformative possibilities. “I’m looking forward to meeting my peers, the professors and faculty, learning from everyone’s experience and sharing with the group,” he says. “I hope to deeply benefit from what HEC Paris offers – a self-exploration full of networking, fun times, and learning in an international atmosphere.”

Getting to know each other

The intense pace of learning was thrown into stark relief almost immediately. The participants began their program with the traditional leadership courses. The Leadership Styles & Decision-Making class, taught by the widely popular Professor Randy White, included a breakdown of everyone’s personalities through the celebrated FIRO-B (Fundamental Interpersonal Relations Orientation – Behavior) assessment, which helps individuals understand their own behavior and that of others.

HEC Paris Executive MBA participants paying close attention

Participants — together and apart — during the opening week.

“This is a very extroverted group,” Professor White explained about the results. “There are going to be times when you have to figure out how to share decision making. The important thing is to realize you can still be assertive and allow others space,” he said, adding that he “wants to create a safe, open space, where you can approach people who know things that you don’t and ask, ‘can you teach me’?”

“I have already been so impressed by my classmates since day 1,” marveled Kozue Hasegawa, who has spent the bulk of her career in the public sector in Japan and joined HEC to help facilitate a move to the private sector. “There are so many things to learn from them.”

So close, yet so far

For the participants “in Zoom land,” as Professor White called it, being asked to respond and interact virtually offered a glimpse into the positive aspects of the hybrid learning style made necessary by COVID-19.

Alexander Hadjipateras jointed from afar.

Alexander Hadjipateras, an American logistics professional based in Greece, was among those who participated from overseas.

Alexander Hadjipateras, an American logistics executive based in Greece, was among those who connected synchronously from afar.

“I am really impressed with the academic leadership so far. We all have personal and professional lives and in order to accomplish an EMBA we need structure. I believe the HEC team offered that,” he said, noting that among the reasons why he chose HEC are its rich history in corporate strategy and its physical and institutional proximity to Station F, “a hotbed of innovation” in the entrepreneurial world.

“I would like to represent the best, and HEC has remained the best in Europe.”

The participants’16-month journey – at times a sprint, and others, a marathon — includes 500 teaching hours, 2 weeks of specialization study, 30-plus assignments and exams, and one all-important Capstone project. Though it’s still very much early days for EM2022, it’s clear that even now participants know they’re part of someting special.

HEC Paris Executive MBA January intake at a glance.

The HEC Paris Executive MBA January intake at a glance.

Lydène Kombo-Packou, Head of Internal Audit at MTN Congo, summed her sentiments up in no uncertain terms. “HEC has always been a top choice for me during university years. It’s an institution that stands for intellectual stimulation: academic excellence, leadership development, global networking, and a unique learning environment,” she said. “HEC proudly takes a stand for women in leadership, and that is what leads my energy towards the school. I would like to represent the best, and HEC has remained the best in Europe.”



More CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies have graduated from HEC Paris than any other university in Europe, and nearly 4,000 graduates are currently CEOs, CFOs, or have founded their own companies. According to the Financial Times, the HEC Paris Executive MBA is ranked #1 in Europe and #3 in the world; click here to learn more about this world-class program.