A Wonderful Opportunity for All Our Students to Build a Truly International Network

Interview with Jean Talbot

An interview with Jean Talbot

Director of the MBA Program, HEC Montreal

About HEC Montreal

HEC Montreal is Canada's oldest business school, and the first North American school to hold AACSB international, EQUIS and AMBA accreditations. It offers courses in French, English and Spanish and boasts 17 research chairs and 24 research groups. The Wall Street Journal has rated the school as one of the top 100 in the world.

Could you describe your MBA program?

Students can take our 53-week international full-time MBA in French or English, and some courses are offered in Spanish, as well. The program consists of over 600 course hours and 51 credits, divided into four phases. Students start by mastering business fundamentals and management techniques, then acquire a specialization, ranging from corporate finance to investment and portfolio management, energy management, marketing and international business. The fourth phase of the program concentrates on managing change in all its forms: new technologies, organizational transformation, personal attitudes and models and trends in the corporate environment. The program includes over 100 elective specialized courses in all and a five-week supervised team field project. More than 50% of all teaching methods are practical, based on case studies, debates, computer simulations, role-playing and team assignments. Our program has an international focus - in fact, over half of our full-time students are from outside Canada.

What kind of people are drawn to your MBA?

Professionals and managers who already have five years' work experience, from a wide range of cultural and professional backgrounds and industries. The HEC Montréal MBA attracts world-class students, with exceptional academic and professional profiles, from around the globe.

What sets your program apart from other MBA programs?

Where should I start? Its multilingual, multicultural dimension. The number of international students about 50% of MBA students, from 20 different countries. It's a wonderful opportunity for all our students to build a truly international network of contacts and broaden their horizons. The wide array of teaching methods and the emphasis on technology -students are required to use laptop computers from day one, and our ultra-modern building, with its computer and telecommunications infrastructure, is the envy of many other institutions. There are over 7,200 network connections throughout the School! We're proud of our trading room, one of the best-equipped at any university, updated with real-time financial data by Bloomberg, Reuters and E-Signal. Our superb library is the largest bilingual management library in Canada and one of the biggest in the world. We also bring in leading business figures as guest lecturers, with our “Professor for a Day” program. Small class sizes - a maximum of 40 students per class. The supervised five-week field project, in an actual corporate environment, gives students invaluable practical experience. And then there is Montreal itself - a bilingual city, a wonderful, safe place to live and a perfect crossroads between Europe and North America.

What kinds of firms recruit your graduates?

Recruiters range from Bombardier to Ernst & Young, Citibank, Goldman Sachs, Imperial Oil, ING, L'Oréal, Pratt & Whitney and the World Bank, to mention only a few. Our placement rate within six months of graduation is 90%. The HEC Montréal Career Centre offers a life-long interactive job-search service to give alumni access to job offers any time, wherever they are, and European companies regularly post openings on our site.

What are your school's plans for the future?

We would like to focus more on corporate social responsibility in our course content. We are also looking to develop “customized MBAs” for different companies, as we already do for Pratt & Whitney Canada. An executive MBA is in the works, and we will be making a greater effort to attract European students, as well. Finally, we are hoping to arrange more exchanges with universities in Europe.

About Jean Talbot

Professor Jean Talbot, Director of the MBA program at HEC Montreal holds an MBA from HEC Montreal himself, as well as a doctorate in management systems from Universite Montpellier II. He is also a member of the Research Group on Information Systems.

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