HEC Paris organises the HEC Business Game, where they select 100 participants from all over the globe to solve real-life business cases. This year their theme was around sustainability and innovation. The partners for this year were Bain & Company, Ferrari, Michelin, AB InBev and Schneider Electric. The event also included networking dinners, presentations from the partner companies, a tour of the HEC Campus and a closing night in the heart of Paris.
I applied for the HEC Business Game online. Soon I was informed that I had cleared the first level of screening and was given a marketing case to solve. Based on my submission, I was selected among the 100 students for this year’s event.
The competition involved solving 4 business cases over a period of 2 days. Each company was given 45 minutes for the presentation and case introduction. After each presentation, we were divided into random teams of 4-5 people and given 3 hours to solve each case and submit a PowerPoint presentation with our solutions. After submission, each team was allotted 10 minutes to present their solution in front of a jury composed of managers from the respective company. The cases were quite extensive, with a lot of data given to us related to the company. There was not much time to do research, which made the cases even more challenging.
The overall experience of solving the case was a hustler’s delight. It was a high-pressure situation working with a bunch of people you have never met before and whose strengths and weaknesses you do not know about. It was a nightmare getting to know your team, sharing your ideas, trying to choose one of those ideas by convincing each other, designing the execution plan and then putting it all in a PowerPoint presentation while maintaining the aesthetics of it, all in 3 hours!
But I feel that was the beauty of this format. It helped me develop some important skills that will be useful throughout my professional life. At the end of it, the satisfaction you get after solving the case and the comradery that you develop with your team in those 3 hours is unmatched.
This event was as much about networking as it was about solving a business case. There were opportunities provided to us where we could interact with other participants and learn more about their fields, culture and education. There were also networking dinners and lunches where we could talk to the representatives of the partner companies and maybe understand how we can be a part of the company in the future. We had a karaoke night along with pizza on day 1 and a closing night in Paris at the end of day 2. Gatherings like these also helped us know each other better and develop bonds for life. I had a great time with people there, from having conversations about their start-up ideas to their life back in their university.
Participating in the HEC Business Game was a very enriching experience. A few of my learnings from the event would be:
I am very grateful that I could represent Frankfurt School at the HEC Business Game and receive sponsorship at the same time. For everyone interested in business cases and who loves solving problems, I would highly recommend participating in Business Games. It will not only help you gain practical experience but will also provide you with the platform to network with some of the brightest minds in the world.
If you want to know more about Business Games or want to know more about my experience being a participant at HEC Business Game, feel free to reach out.