Posted on November 19, 2019

The wait, according to Michael Lefante, HEC Paris in Qatar’s Marketing Director, was well worth it.

HEC Paris’ International Executive MBA (EMBA) program has been ranked number one in the world for 2019 by the Financial Times (FT) – up from the sixth spot it earned in 2018. The announcement was made today by the English-language international daily newspaper that has a special focus on business and economic news.

The latest ranking also places the Paris-based business school’s International EMBA program ahead of its key European competitors, the London School of Business in the UK and INSEAD in France, both of which have their own renowned global EMBA programs. And the ranking is especially significant for HEC Paris’ campus in Doha, established in partnership with Qatar Foundation in 2010. Lefante says the ranking is recognition of HEC Paris in Qatar’s EMBA programs, the talent of its students, and “world-class faculty, innovative curriculum, and outstanding alumni community”.

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“Last year the FT rankings assessed the EMBA that was delivered only in Paris into consideration,” he said. “The International Executive MBA is composed of English modular and Doha tracks. These tracks are fully taught in English by the same professors, and offer the possibility of complete mobility between tracks. “This was an important distinction as it meant our International EMBA was seen as one program, irrespective of where it was delivered. This means that the results of our Doha-based cohort contributed to the overall ranking that was released today.

“EMBA alumni have consistently achieved significant career and financial progression, with an average salary increase of 89 percent three years after graduation. The program was also ranked number one on the Career Progress ranking. The latest announcement reflects positively on the achievements of not only the Class of 2016, but on the preceding and following cohorts as well. “Looking forward, aside from a reputational point of view, FT’s ranking is also going to have an immediate impact on the prospects of our past and current students. Their salaries are going to increase, as potential employers realize the quality they bring to the work force, and will be willing to pay more to hire or retain them.

The Doha campus offers International EMBA programs, in addition to Specialized Masters degrees and shorter Executive Education programs – all of which mirror the courses offered in the main campus in Paris. To date, over 600 students have graduated from HEC Paris in Qatar. “The achievements of our Doha cohort are a direct result of an excellent partnership between Qatar Foundation and our main campus in Paris,” said Lefante. “From supporting our growth, helping us expand our academic programs, to encouraging us to develop locally-inspired business modules, Qatar Foundation has helped our campus in Qatar exceed its expectations.”

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In 2010, HEC Paris was ranked as the top European business school by FT; and in 2019, the financial newspaper went on to rank its overall executive education program number three in the world. Lefante explained how multiple factors set the HEC Paris International EMBA program apart from those offered by other reputed business schools. “First, it offers mobility; students can opt to study modules in Paris, Doha or in Beijing,” he said. “This, in turn, provides them with a better understanding of market settings in some of the top business-driven cities in the world.

“Second, our programs lay as much emphasis on soft-skills as much as they do on academics. This is something special about our International EMBA. We work with students to develop a career plan – be it to change a sector, or shift to another country; we help students acquire skills in negotiation, diplomacy and communication. “And third, we invest a lot of time and resources on extra-curricular content. We offer students opportunities to take part in master classes which we run on a monthly basis. They can also take advantage of the entrepreneurship days that we conduct. Additionally, they have access to 60,000 HEC alumni – a relevant factor as just three weeks ago, The Economist voted HEC Paris’ alumni as the best alumni network in the world.”

HEC Paris was established by the Paris Chamber of Commerce in 1881. Today, the business school has expanded and established its global reach through a growing network of international alumni who aside from business men include former heads of state, academics, ex-servicemen, and sportsmen and women.