Russian-Armenian, living in France, working for an American bank, Anna embodies the HEC Paris Executive MBA’s international spirit. She also heads the France chapter of JP Morgan’s “Women on the Move-Men As Allies” program, which advocates for gender diversity across all organizations, industries, and levels.
Through her EMBA, Anna has been able to cultivate fruitful ties with similar initiatives at HEC Paris, like HEC au Féminin and the MBA’s Women in Leadership club, making certain bespoke events at JP Morgan’s Women on the Move available to HEC Paris students across programs.
“…the Executive MBA experience..helps to develop situational intelligence and leadership skills. In my case, I made improvements to key soft skills were immediately applicable to my work.”
She discusses how the EMBA has facilitated growth in her career and how the overlap between strategic priorities at HEC Paris and JP Morgan helped lead her to the school’s Executive MBA.
In which way(s) has your EMBA program at HEC Paris enabled you to immediately apply your learnings at work?
Anna Safaryan: If I were to name just a few points, then I would say that the Executive MBA experience first teaches you to think out of the box. It helps you to challenge yourself and others to find the most appropriate solutions to a given challenge.
Second, it helps to develop situational intelligence and leadership skills of participants. In my case, improvements to key soft skills were immediately applicable to my work.
How has being at HEC Paris helped you build broader networks?
AS: HEC students and alumni form not just a community, but a family.
The culture of the school and the sense of belonging is very strong: this is not just about creating a network within your track or cohort at HEC, but about accessing a community to which you can contribute and seek help and advice from at any time in your life.
My own experience with my track and Specialization classes has been truly incredible. Through these experiences, I have friends and contacts from all across the globe, from different industries and backgrounds.
The journey we have been through was so intense that I think that we formed truly lifetime friendships, and this is precious.
How have you been contributing to your class—outside of coursework?
AS: I believe that my greatest asset is my international background, my roots, and personal and professional experiences, which is something I am always more than happy to share with my peers.
I am the youngest female student in a group that is 2/3 male, so it was important for me to contribute to the diversity within my class. Furthermore, Diversity and Inclusion is very close to my heart, as I have been part of J.P. Morgan’s “Women on the Move” leadership team in France since its inception.
“At HEC Paris, we learn, we take bold chances, and most importantly, we share. For me, it is inspiring to see the women within my cohort— all so different and so talented!”
The Women on the Move network (WOTM) was created in 2013 as a firm-wide commitment focusing on the empowerment and advancement of women employees. Building on its success, it was then opened up to outside organizations, underlining a commitment to empowering all women to grow their careers, companies, and skills.
To help lead the change, the “Men as Allies” project was created a few years ago as an extension of Women on the Move, in order to allow for men to advocate for gender equality across all organizations, industries, and levels.
As part of my commitment to WOTM, I am responsible for the Men as Allies chapter in Paris.
I love motivating people, sharing positive energy, and encouraging others. I love learning, sharing, contributing, and making real impact. Since beginning of my EMBA program, I’ve wanted to reach out to HEC students—sharing what I do, the company I work for, and the positive impact it creates— through WOTM.
“…the sense of belonging is very strong. This is not just about creating a network within your track or cohort at HEC, but about accessing a community to which you can contribute and seek help and advice from at any time in your life.”
We will be exploring the initiatives on which we could potentially be working together. In the meantime, I am happy and extremely delighted to be hosting a number of MBA, EMBA, and Grande Ecole students at J.P. Morgan’s premises for a panel discussion around diversity and inclusion in the near future.
In my opinion, there are two things that empower women: knowledge and confidence. Both are crucial.
At HEC Paris, we learn, we take bold chances, and most importantly, we share. For me, it is inspiring to see the women within my cohort— all so different and so talented!
I hope my example inspires more to apply for the program.
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. The Executive MBA at HEC Paris perennially ranks among the best in the world; click here to learn more.
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