MBA EssaysMBA Applications

HEC Paris MBA Essay Analysis 2021

HEC Paris MBA Essay Analysis 2020-2021

If HEC Paris is your B-school destination for 2021 and you require help in crafting the best application essays, then you are in luck! This blog will explain how to go about the different essay questions and attempt them successfully.

With the tagline “Alma mater of CEOs,” HEC Paris has a 130-year legacy of educating future leaders. They do this by building an entrepreneurial environment to help students start their businesses. Therefore if you harbor a great startup idea, this is the perfect place for you to be.

If you wish to know more about HEC Paris and its programs, visit this page.

If you would like to watch what our GMAT and MBA Expert, Arun Jagannathan has to say about writing your HEC Paris MBA application essays, you can watch the video here.

Now let’s look at the essay questions for HEC Paris this year.


HEC Paris has one of the most extensive sets of essays, and you must answer a total of five essays to complete your MBA application. We shall be discussing each of them in detail below.

Essay Question 1:

Why are you applying to the HEC MBA Program now? What is the professional objective that will guide your career choice after your MBA, and how will the HEC MBA contribute to the achievement of this objective?
Word Limit: 500 words

This question is a career goal essay, and in the first half of the question, the word now is essential. We will be dividing this question into three parts for your convenience, to give it a structure.

The three parts of this essay question are:


In this part, you need to mention your journey, how you have grown as a person, what you have learned, and what you have realized about yourself. You can also write about the series of decisions you made that have led you to your present, what you wish to do for the rest of your life, and how you will equip yourself for that future. But keep in mind to avoid speaking out the obvious details that are present in your resume.

For example, you can mention your decision to leave your comfortable life and start an MBA course at HEC Paris.

It is crucial to specify the job roles and functions you are looking at immediately after graduating. Once you’ve answered how you can equip yourself for that future, you have responded to the first section.


In the second part, mention your goals or your professional objectives.

Let us give you an example:
Say you are a marketing professional, but now you wish to understand how an organization works from an analytical perspective. You need to add precisely how you want to fulfill your goals. It can be that you wish to expand your knowledge base or improve your leadership skills.


For the third part, mention how HEC Paris would help you achieve your goals. Remember to be specific and detail out what aspect of the HEC Paris MBA program would help you reach your career’s next level.

Divide the essay into three parts, each with a word count of 150 words. The remaining 50 words are extra that you can add for a tight introduction or a conclusion.

Essay Question 2:

What do you consider your most significant life achievement?
Word Limit: 250 words

There is an implied question here- What do you consider as your life achievement?

To work on this essay, you can use the format called START. In this format:

S stands for Situation. In this section, explain the background and how you came into the situation. Then you need to explain the gravity of the problem.

T stands for Task. In this section, explain what was expected of you. Alternatively, you should also mention what other things could have happened and what you could have done differently.

A stands for Action. For this section, you need to specify the different tasks you were assigned and explain how you performed them.

R stands for Result. This section must explain what results you received for your action and how it impacted your life.

T stands for Takeaways. This section must explain what you learned from this incident and how you evolved from this situation.

Using the START format, you get a clear and structured essay that is engaging and ties perfectly with what HEC Paris is looking for in you.

The Takeaway section is critical, as this explains what you have learned. Remember to highlight the necessary details and how it improved you.

Essay Question 3:

Leadership and ethics are inevitably intertwined in the business world. Describe a situation in which you have dealt with these issues and how they have influenced you.
Word Limit: 250 words

For this essay question, remember to mention an ethical dilemma you faced and how you emerged from it. You can say about a personal incident, big or small, that created an internal or external conflict for you.

For example,
You have noticed one colleague regularly uses office supplies for personal use, and this bothers you. Here, your conflict would be two-fold. The first is the ethical dilemma because your colleague is essentially stealing from the office. The second dilemma would be that you both work together.

When you mention such an incident, be sure to add what this entire episode has taught you. Remember, it does not matter whether the magnitude of what you faced was large or small; what matters is how you dealt with it and how it invariably changed you.

Use the same START framework. Begin with the situation, talk about the incident, then mention the task assigned to you, how you reacted, and finally, your takeaway from the entire scenario.

Talking about ethics does not mean you should mention bribery. Be sure always to have a clear ethical stand.

Essay Question 4:

Imagine a life entirely different from the one you now lead; what would it be?
Word Limit: 250 words

This question essentially wants to know about your hobby, passion, or the unlocked potential in you. When you write this essay, there has to be a logical explanation, and you also need to connect it with why you are not doing it now.

For example, one of our students wrote about their favorite team, and in an alternate life, he wanted to be a reporter. He wanted to travel with the team and generate content as he loves the game.

We can divide the essay structure into the following pointers:

1. First, mention what you always wanted to do.

2. Second, talk about your fantasy but remember to not over orchestrate.

This essay gives you the space to be creative, so be fun and spontaneous. Remember to be your authentic self and mention your passion.

Essay Question 5:

Please choose from one of the following essays:
a) What monument or site would you advise a first-time visitor to your country or city to discover, and why?
b) Certain books, movies, or plays have had an international success that you believe to be undeserved. Choose an example and analyze it.
c) What figure do you most admire, and why? You may choose from any field (arts, literature, politics, business, etc.).
Word Limit: 250 words

We will provide advice that will apply to all three questions, irrespective of which topic you choose.

For the first question, it is obvious there will be many monuments in your area, and you shouldn’t be a tour guide for them. In this essay, you can essentially add a personal connection that is more than just information about the site.

For example, let’s say you are a jogger, and you want to take them to a park in your city. You can talk about your passion and also mention why it is your passion. You must add a personal touch and remember, the essay is about you, not the monument.

For the second question, the Admissions team is trying to see if you are inquisitive or question things as a person. Therefore, if you are passionate about a book or a movie, you should attempt this question. But if you think you do not have much information about the subject, it is safe to ignore it.

For the third question, make sure that you do not make it about the person you admire the most. The person is not essential. People tend to spend a lot of time speaking about the person; instead, you must focus on why you admire them.

It is crucial to present your authentic self in all three questions and not fabricate information to impress.

Essay Question 6:

Is there any additional information you would like to share with us?
Word Limit: 900 words

When it comes to the optional essays, you need to ask yourself, is there any question you would like to pre-empt? Is there anything that the HEC admission committee would look at in your profile and have questions that you can’t address otherwise? It can be about your work experience, education gap, etc. Use this essay to share this information, and remember to keep it precise.

However, if you feel you do not have any information, you shouldn’t worry about it.


Rounds Application Deadlines
Round 1 Aug 14, 2020
Round 2 Sep 14, 2020
Round 3 Oct 14, 2020
Final Nov 16, 2020

Want to know more about the MBA Application Deadlines for Top B-Schools? Here’s the entire list of top B-Schools along with their deadlines – MBA Application Deadlines 2020-2021

We hope you are ready to attempt your HEC Paris application essays. Remember that you need to be precise and be your authentic self while addressing all the essay questions. Since HEC Paris has many essay questions, it is always essential to maintain a structure that will make it easier for the readers to follow.

If you require any clarity and expert opinion on drafting and reviewing your essays, you are just a click away from talking to our experts.