A HEC MBA 2010 student diary

Thanksgiving – Enjoy the turkey!

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on November 26, 2009

Today, I had an excellent first thanksgiving dinner of my life with people from 3 generations of a truly exciting american family.

Thanks Pat, John, Tom, Henry, Keller & Mike, Letitia & Mark, Morgan, Chris, Tripper and others.

Enjoy the turkey!


Three most important learnings from my MBA

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on November 21, 2009
This topic came up in a recent discussion with a friend of mine and I thought, I should share it further. Now that I’m almost done with my MBA, I can take a jab on to summarize my learning experience.


Three most important things I learnt from my MBA,

  1. Better judgement of individual strengths and weaknesses
  2. What you can do depends on your own vision, initiative, ability to work with people and the extent of your network
  3. Most businesses can be turned around or built up by sticking to basics (cash is king, avoid debt, keep it simple & stupid etc)

Here, I have purposefully avoided mentioning academics. The point being – it really depends on individual needs. You should know finance to a decent extent, but guess what – most business models are simple BODMAS games.

However, academically speaking, I found the following very important,

  1. Marketing (sums up finance + strategy + people)
  2. Communication (especially corporate communication & sales speech. Note sales speech does not mean selling product or services. It could also mean how you pitch to recruit the right talent and so on)
  3. Case methodology (i.e. quickly grasping the situation, identifying the problem, and coming up with a hypothesis)

Makes sense?

mbaStories.com – the story telling begins!

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on October 10, 2009

mbastories.com is now available.

I updated the details of my MBA journey at http://mbastories.com/story/faiz

Whether you are a prospective MBA student, currently undertaking your MBA at a business school or whether you are an alumni, I invite you to follow the link below and read why you should participate,


Ramadan ends, Eid Mubarak!

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on September 19, 2009

Today is the last day of the holy month of Ramadan. By God’s grace, after a month long fasting, Muslim’s all around US & EMEA will celebrate the festival of Eid tomorrow.

I’m a bit sad, as my entire family is back home in India. But, nevertheless, there’s a good bunch of people in my 2nd year MBA class at Darden with whom I’ll be going for the Eid prayers tomorrow morning at the local Buford Middle School.

In the afternoon, there is a lecture from Nobel Laureate Muhammad Yunus at the University Hall organized by the University of Virginia. This event is free and open to the public.

Here is the link to the local mosque in Charlottesville.

and here is the link to the afternoon event,

IPP Seminars Set 1 complete…

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on April 17, 2009

I haven’t updated the blog for some time now. Had been trying hard to secure an IPP (Individual Professional Project) with a company during the last month. I’ll write more about my IPP in a separate post. However, let me write a little bit about what happened this week.

This week saw the completion of the first set of IPP seminars. I, along with about 19 other colleagues who are going for individual professional projects, attended these seminars.

The first 2 day seminar was on “Global Warming & Economic Opportunities” with Walid Malouf who is the City Director – Paris at William J Clinton Foundation. The seminar focused on reviewing some key results published based on the World3 model that forecasts the environmental situation of our planet, until 2100 years and beyong, under various scenarios.

Using the model, we could review the impact of various scenarios on the,

  • state of the world – measured using effect on population, food production, industrial output, level of pollution, non-renewable resources
  • material standards of living – measured using effect on food production per person, services per person, average life expectancy and goods consumed per person
  • human welfare and footprint – measured by calculating the human welfare index and the ecological footprint.

In summary, we concluded that,

  • no one crisis (food, population, resource etc) can be solved independently.
  • we run out of capital before we run out of planetary resources. Huge capital investment is needed if technology is considered as a solution driver.

Finally, we concluded with the opinion that to ensure a sustainable future the high consuming societies will need to rationalize their  consumption while at the same time the socio-economic conditions of the people living at the bottom of the pyramid will have to be raised.

The later part of the seminar focused on Cleantech and the economic opportunities arising from the same.

The second 2 day seminar was on “Personal Assessment and Leadership” with Prof. Alain Keravel of HEC Paris and Stéphane Lhuillier, Associate Director and Executive Coach at Arquites.

The seminar allowed me to undertake the MBTI assessment along with my colleagues. We had a very interesting debrief using group games that allowed us to understand the various scales on which MBTI measures personality types.

This was followed by the plank exercise in which each group was given 15 slotted wood planks that we had to fit together to form the complex design which was given. The task was to create a plan to finish the job in less than a minute. Our group, of 4 participants, achieved the shortest time of 8.94 seconds to deliver the job. The exercise was followed by a debrief wherein we discussed on the team dynamics of the various groups.

More exercises, debriefs & leadership theory followed and the session finally ended today evening.

Tomorrow, we are leaving for the 2 day offsite leadership seminar at the Special Military School of St Cyr Coetquidan.

I’m looking forward to have some fun away from campus.

Coming up – India Week 2009 at HEC Paris!

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on March 15, 2009
India Week Mailer

India Week Mailer

The coming week will be celebrated as the India Week at HEC Paris. Lot’s of preparation is going on. Aside from a movie screening, we are simulating two challenging and entertaining events – A typical Indian Village Fair (Mela) and a typical Indian Wedding Ceremony (Baraat & Shadi).

It’s going to be fun especially considering the fact that a real non-Indian couple, who are also MBA Participants, will get married the Indian way in the simulation.

Here is the link to the official website of the event.

Here is the link to the promotional flyer that I prepared for this event.

I’ll keep you posted.

Bura Na Maano – Holi Hai !

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on March 12, 2009

Pictures speak louder than words. So here’s a sample of what went at Residence Expansiel (HEC MBA student quarters) on the evening of Holi – the festival of colors. Truly an exciting time with colors all over.


Holi 2009 in Residence Expansiel at HEC Paris.

Learn more about the Festival of Holi on Wikipedia.

How important can colors be in our lives?

I was overwhelmed by the answer which partly lies in this video,

May we enjoy all the colors in our life and may God bless us with peace!

Launching the General Management Club at HEC…

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on January 10, 2009

I have set up a new club at HEC for MBA participants interested in developing General Management careers.

Read my post on the club blog about why a new club is needed?

More links

Club Blog (public access)

Closed group for club members (HEC MBA Participants only)

Club Officers from September 2008 intake

Core 1 ends, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year…

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on December 20, 2008

Finally, I wrote my last exam of the first core phase of the MBA. It has been a tremendous experience studying 8 MBA courses + 1 French language course in 4 months.

My readings for the last 4 months

My readings for the last 4 months (HEC MBA Core 1)

In the meantime, I received my Carte de Sejour (French residence permit) as well. I had to go for the medical checkup and collection of residence permit on 17th December. The process was comfortably completed as the HEC Administration arranged a bus which proved extremely convenient for us especially in the exam time.

So finally, core 1 ends and now I can take a break and meet my family. India, here I come !!

For the next 2 weeks, I won’t be updating the blog. But you can expect a lot of interesting stuff in core 2 (starting Jan 2009) as my journey through this MBA proceeds further and the excitement unravels…

Wish you a merry Christmas and a very happy and prosperous new year!

Au revoir!

A lovely couple and their darling daughter…

Posted in Personal Updates by Faiz Wahid on November 9, 2008

The slideshow below is to offer my sincere gratitude to a lovely couple and their beautiful daughter who have become my dear friends and family in this far away place (if you have the feeling that I am being emotive, then you should definitely check out where the place called “Jouy-en-Josas” really is!). May God bless them always with guidance, peace and happiness.

The pictures in the show below were taken on the occasion of Vikas & Neha’s 4th wedding anniversary celebrations at Golden Bengal Restaurant in Versailles. On a side note, the food served was really good and if you happen to be in Versailles then I definitely recommend you to have a meal at this Indian restaurant.