Applying to top French Msc Management programs - what are my chances?

Application & Admission
  • Posted by EBFrantri on 07/20/13 2:42am


    So I completed the GMAT for the first time today - 660 was my final score, pretty happy with it, though was hoping for a 700+. Missed it by a bit, but I won't let it get me down.

    I aim to get my applications out to the following schools within the next month or two:

    • ESSEC
    • HEC Paris
    • EM Lyon
    • ESCP Paris
    • HEC Montreal

    With my GMAT of 660, I have a GPA a hair under 3.0/4.0 from my undergraduate degree in Management/Communications from the University of Toronto.

    I have almost two years' worth of work experience, in a consulting firm for business software and in the IT department of a local distributor/retailer (I live in the Caribbean).

    I am bilingual, English is my first language with French my second, and I also have French citizenship. I'll be 24 in December, and it's two years since I graduated from University of Toronto.

    What are my chances of admission or obtaining at least an interview with any of these schools?

    Thank you!

    • Posted by Thomas Graf on 07/22/13 4:12pm

      Hi there,

      thank you for your question. Your GMAT score should be fine enough for all of these schools. Your GPA may become a problem at some schools that emphasize the academic degree very much, for instance the HEC Paris. But even there your total profile may be sufficiently interesting for them such that they invite you for an interview. Just make sure that you write good essays. Once you have reached the interviews, your GPA is not relevant anymore anyway.

      So, overall, I think your chances are quite good to become accepted or at least reach the second application stage at all of these schools. Given your work experience, however, and the fact that you will start the studies with more than 2 years I would consider rather doing an MBA than a Master in Management. Please visit our MBA Compass platform if you need information on MBA programs.

      Best wishes

      By Thomas Graf

    • Posted by EBFrantri on 08/26/13 6:58pm

      Thank you for the help Mr Graf.

      However, I failed to mention a rather important part of my profile.

      Here is my GMAT score breakdown: 39Q (46%), 41V (93%), 5.5/6 Analytical Writing and 6 in Integrated Reasoning.

      Would such a Quant score be a dealbreaker, or is it at least a surmountable obstacle?


      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 08/27/13 2:23am

        Hi there,

        thank you for your question. The low score in the quantitative part can become a problem at SOME schools. I could imagine that schools such as St. Gallen, for instance, with a strong financial emphasis would be a closer look at that. Considering also your the GPA score you may not become invited for interviews.

        All of this, however, is speculative. You will have to find it out by yourself, and there is an easy and risk-free approach. Just send those schools an email that you are interested in. Send them your GMAT information (full score and individual scores) and your GPA and ask them if you can still apply - with some likelihood of becoming accepted - or if the chance of becoming accepted will be too low.

        To save resources, however, I recommend you to make a list of your most favorite schools first. You don't need to ask St. Gallen if you know in advance that this school does not meet your preferences. So clarify for yourself your favorite schools - e.g., regarding content, recruiters, country, tuition fees, length etc. - and then contact them and just ask.

        Best wishes

        By Thomas Graf

    • Posted by EBFrantri on 12/02/13 2:30am

      Hi Thomas,

      Just replying to this already created topic instead of making a new one.

      So, after asking each school, I got responses from HEC and EMLyon affirming that a higher GMAT score would be helpful. I retook the GMAT this Friday past and came out with a 700 (43Q, 42V, IR 8, AWA pending). I'd imagine this score would help immensely.

      Now, my top choices would be HEC, ESSEC and EMLyon for the MiM programs. Alternatively, I did send a score report to INSEAD MBA admissions as well. You mentioned an MBA might be more suitable for me, given my work experience. However, for now, I'm standing at basically 2 years flat of work exp, none of it managerial experience. Of course, it could still be worthwhile to try, HEC and ESSEC have 4 and 3 year minimum work experience for their programs; INSEAD being one of the best in Europe seems unlikely to be different. Is it still worthwhile to try for MBA with such restrictions?

      Also, last question, before this post gets too long: do you know of any significant differences between my abovementioned preferred MiM programmes, differences not apparent on the brochures? (whether it be quality, etc.)?

      Thanks again, sorry for mini-essay!

      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 12/02/13 11:48am

        Hi there,

        congrats to your GMAT score. I am sure that this result helps although a GMAT score is never a guarantee for admissions. Schools always take into account the whole picture. In your case, however, since the schools already expressed their interest in you, you should now fulfill all their requirements and receive admissions.

        MBA students at INSEAD have 5 years work experience ON AVERAGE, ranging from 2 years (!!!) to 10 years. Check the respective site here. So, yey, you can try it.

        Also, keep in mind that at the beginning of your MBA studies you will have nearly 3 years of work experience - still not sufficient for HEC or ESSEC, but for most other MBA programs worldwide.

        Best wishes

        By Thomas Graf

    • Posted by EBFrantri on 02/22/14 8:17am

      Hello again Mr Graf, once more

      Firstly I would like to thank you for your prompt and helpful responses.

      Secondly, I'm pleased to inform that I successfully managed to obtain the shortlisting for the interviews at HEC, ESCP and EMLyon for their MSc in Management programs.

      Now, my interview was yesterday, in Paris. 25-30 minutes, tops, with 3 ladies from ESCP, HEC (I believe) and SKEMA.

      I'd like to say I acquitted myself well enough; I was able to demonstrate and talk about my somewhat unconventional background and the fact I am bilingual (Eng/Fra). I also talked about what my most valued work experience was.

      They didn't quite ask all the (general) questions I had come to expect, based on what I read on MIM Compass. And I've become unsure as to whether my response to the "why MIM, why now, why France" question may not have been as convincing as it should have been. While I emphasised that working in France would be my preference, I noted that due to my EU citizenship plus other citizenships as well (American, for example), I was fairly open as to where I might end up (country or field) since with a Masters', several languages and several passports, my options are fairly broad and I am quite adaptable to circumstances.

      I have a feeling though that while it seems a pragmatic position, it may have been better left unstated. I cannot tell how well the interview went; not badly, per se, but it didn't feel as good as interviews I've had in the past, where the conversation was more fluid and so on. It may not have helped that I was the last interview of the day. I didn't add anything more at the "Anything else to add" question at the end, which I wonder if it might have been a missed chance.

      I might be reading too much into it of course. Reading that interviews count for 20-25% of one's assessment on MIMCompas is more comforting than not.

      I'm hoping for the best. Do you happen to have any insights on how to determine the success of an interview?


      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 02/24/14 7:19pm

        Hi there,

        honestly, I recommend you to lay back and relax now. You managed to get interviews at three schools of your choice and I am sure you did well. I am hundred percent convinced that you will get at least one study place (if not all three).

        Best wishes

        By Thomas Graf

    • Posted by EBFrantri on 03/06/14 6:32pm

      Mr Graf,

      Thanks for your response; and it appears your advice was on the money again!

      I was admitted to HEC and ESCP, and I'm (slightly surprisingly) on EMLyon's waiting list.

      So thanks again for your advice and I will be sure to mention this site as a useful resource when I can!

      • Posted by Thomas Graf on 03/09/14 2:53pm

        Congrats! All the best and thanks for recommending my platform to the schools.