International business school HEC Paris has decided to revamp its M.B.A. curriculum following an assessment from Bain & Company and lessons learned from its own faculty members. The strategy consulting firm worked on a pro-bono basis for the school – stating the fact that it also recruits from the school as the main reason.
HEC Paris or École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Paris is one of the foremost business schools in France and in Europe. HEC is among the few so-called ‘Grandes Ecoles’ in France, universities that educate France's top executives and political elite. Based on the number of CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies, HEC ranks as 4th institution in the world and the 1st in Europe.
Voice of the customer and benchmark
The school hired consulting firm Bain & Company to survey corporations that do - and don't - recruit at HEC to gauge what skills those companies seek from students. The consultancy also compared the existing curriculum of HEC against 10 competitor business schools and facilitated a series of workshops with faculty, staff and administration. According to Bernard Garrette, associate dean of the M.B.A. program, it was important to hire an external consultant: “If HEC left the project entirely up to the faculty professors would have argued about protecting their own courses. An external perspective, however, makes them listen much more."
Changes to the curriculum
Beginning this September, the 16-month full-time M.B.A. will include experiential learning – including leadership development programs at a nearby military academy. In addition, Bain concluded that the role of ethics in business and decision-making needed to be integrated further in the curriculum, so a compulsory course on ethics has been introduced. The other key change is the addition of the module ‘Leadership in Global Organizations’, which is a response to companies' comments about the importance of business development skills, an innovative mindset and the need to manage diverse teams.