Pascal Cagni speaking at the MBA Afterwork Event

The First Global Afterwork Event

During the last week of October 2017, 200+ HEC MBA alumni had gathered across five cities to celebrate the strength of the MBA alumni. In Singapore, Mumbai, Paris, London, and New York, MBA alumni from the Classes of 1989 to 2017 joined Dean Masini, MBA Staff, prospective and current students, and each other as part of the first ever Global Afterwork Event.

The MBA Afterworks began with a conversation between Amit Bhatt (MBA.12) and Mike Mills (MBA.16) in the spring of 2016. Amit runs a catering business and Mike had worked with Amit on catering several events on campus. Excited about how useful it was to develop cross-promotion working relationship, they wanted to create more opportunities for alumni of different MBA intakes to meet each other in Paris. They agreed that a healthy and vibrant MBA network required regular opportunities for cross-pollination between promotions. Indeed, graduates of the best MBA programs in the world say it is their network that makes the MBA continue to pay off for them.

Believing that this opportunity could be made in Paris, the Afterwork was born. A month later, they reserved a bar, emailed everyone they knew, and hoped for the best. The event was a hit: over sixty alumni showed up from various intakes, and all of them asked when the next one was.

Since then, the team has expanded to include Santosh Prasad (MBA.15) and Timo Marquez (MBA.16). The Global Event was the ninth event. Over the past year and a half, the nine events have attracted hundreds of alumni from forty years of promotions, made thousands of new connections, and even connected two alumni who are now engaged. One of the events also had Pascal Cagni (MBA.86, Former CEO Apple EMEIA and head of Business France since 2017) speaking of his experience at the MBA, his own career path, and his advice on what current students and recent alumni should do with his career.

The HEC Paris Global MBA Afterworks with Dean Masini

The HEC Paris Global MBA Afterworks with Dean Masini

After months of events, the team was convinced that they should not limit this to Paris. They came up with a grand plan: one Afterwork in every city in the world. As a trial run toward this, the team recruited like-minded colleagues in four cities and put out the word: one event, one date, five cities. As was expected, the first Global Afterwork Event was a great success and set the social media space on fire, thanks to the MBA Communications team.

The team plans to find help in other cities to run local Afterworks to execute on the grand strategy of one truly Global Afterwork: one event, one date, and 20 or more cities. They plan to execute this in the first half of 2018.

A few words from Dean Masini, HEC Paris MBA

“We were very happy that our valued alumni took the initiative to plan the Global Afterwork meetup. An event like this, held around the world, perfectly represents the HEC Paris MBA and our participants’ resourcefulness and ability to work together to get things done. We have students from 52 nationalities who come together to learn how to work with people from other cultures all around the world. Nearly 50 percent of our diverse student body secures employment outside of their home countries upon graduation.

These networking events offer a great opportunity for our alumni and students to reconnect with fellow classmates and to meet like-minded professionals in their region, whether that be in New York or Mumbai. Being part of the broader HEC Paris alumni community of 57,000 people in 132 countries is definitely one of the most valuable benefits of doing an MBA here.”

HEC Hommes & Commerce

This story was originally featured in the October-November 2018 issue of Hommes et Commerce, the official HEC Paris Alumni magazine. Every two months, HEC magazine offers interviews, expertise and testimonials from HEC Paris' unique community of alumni. Subscribe here to receive 6 annual issues of HEC Hommes & Commerce and to access exclusive video, podcast and photo content available only to members.