Why I Chose the HEC Paris EMBA Program

Nishaat Tajbhai and Prakash Joshi are two members of the most recent track to begin their HEC Paris EMBA journeys. Both participants—from different parts of the world and from different professional backgrounds—offer their take on why HEC Paris was right for them.

Nishaat TAJBHAI on why she chose HEC Paris

My experience from the application through to my first day in class was one of extreme professionalism and ease.

Still, both the application and interview process were extremely rigorous. Throughout, it appeared that the school was looking for more than just a bunch of really smart people to fill seats. What impressed me (but was also daunting) was the time taken to understand who I am as a person apart from technical competencies. Why is this at all relevant to mention?

Making sense of the rigor

Fast forward to January 2022 and the rigor and care to curate the class is evident. I am incredibly proud and humbled to be part of my cohort. I can with confidence say that I am in the most diverse setting, with the leaders of industry and thinking and am surrounded by people who all genuinely want to lead us into a brighter and better future.

I am not at all sure how it was done, but the sense of community and family between the cohort is already strong!

I would be remiss if I did not mention the other women who are in my cohort. They are strong, ambitious, generous, and kind. Between all of us, we hope to contribute in a small way to more women joining the program. Between the women, we represent all the possibility that is attainable, and most importantly, the support that is so fundamental in making sure women succeed.

The school drew me to it because of the world-renowned academics, the opportunity to participate and experience new things (it’s not every day you get to interview Hubert Joly), the diversity, the social entrepreneurship discourse and because I knew it would be a challenging but rewarding program.

I knew that my thinking would be expanded, and boundaries tested by being surrounded by as many different nationalities and industries as possible. It’s only when we step outside of our comfort zone that we truly grow!

First impressions

It’s early days, so I am settling into a new normal with work, life and school. The support and love I feel from my cohort as we go through this together is tangible. I am mostly looking forward to the person I will become over the next 18 months, the value I will add with my Capstone, acquiring new skills and ways of thinking and to lifelong friendships.

Nishaat Tajbhai is Head of Compliance at Cape Town-based Allen Gray Propriety Limited.


Prakash Joshi on why the EMBA is right for him

“Learning never exhausts the mind.”- Leonardo da Vinci

While I was learning French during high school in India, I never imagined that one day I would be studying in France.

Presently, I’m a Pre-Sales Technology professional working in the Telecommunication industry with Ericsson. My role is to develop and shape opportunities in emerging technology areas and to solve complex customer problems with digital products and solutions.

Beginning the EMBA journey

Fate and a decade of global professional experience brought me to one of the best business schools in the world. I became an Executive MBA participant at HEC Paris in January 2022.

Having established technical presales and delivery background, I wanted to grow in areas like strategy, finance, and leadership. I was looking for a program that is beyond academic excellence and focuses on honing general management skills built on practical learning methodology. This will position me to facilitate executive-level conversations, work with high-performing teams and grow as a complete business leader. In these unprecedented times, I realized that I needed to make a substantial career pivot.

This guided my decision to pursue an Executive MBA, and HEC Paris was my first choice.

For me, the HEC EMBA program is the start of an adventure that arrived after a lot of preparation, personal reflection, professional searching, and discussions with leaders in my company, alumni, friends, and family.

I have just returned from an exciting and intense 10-day first EMBA module held on campus at HEC Paris, attended by 60-plus participants coming from different parts of the world.

The value of HEC Paris

I believe the greatest value of HEC Paris lies in returning to the classroom alongside highly driven people. It’s the energy you surround yourself with that makes the difference, and it’s invaluable. For example, getting challenged on a point of view and hearing good ideas you hadn’t thought of goes a long way in challenging your mindset and thinking. It gets you out of your comfort zone.

In addition, a program like HEC Paris’ EMBA attracts people from wide-ranging industries—to name a few, there’s a police officer in France, another is a Plastic Surgeon in South Africa, a neurologist in Saudi, a few heading banking domains in Asia, while a others are working on founding their own dream businesses. I don’t know where else in the world I would have the opportunity to work alongside these diverse backgrounds, as my world is very specific to Telecom.

I realized that the program will be demanding, intense, and will be challenging— it would take me and my peers out of our comfort zones.

Prakash Joshi is based in Dusseldorf, where he works as Senior Solution Sales & Business Development Manager at Ericsson.

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.

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