MBA Consulting Clubs find New Ways to Collaborate in the Face of COVID-19

Some students really know how to make an entrance. For instance, consider the 10 members of our September 2020 and January 2021 intakes who, even before submitting the last of their HEC Paris enrollment forms, have reached the finals of their first MBA competition.

HEC's finalists include Matthieu, Anisha, Fatima, Leonardo and Mohamad

Clockwise from top left: MBA consulting students Anisha Khadilkar, Mohamad Fleifel, Fatima Dilruba, Matthieu Allexant and Leonardo Quiñonez

Like so many things in 2020, their story begins with COVID. This summer, members of the HEC Paris MBA Consulting Club, leery of skyrocketing COVID cases in their home countries, decided to forego traveling and instead proposed a collaboration with other top European business schools. The result is Beyond Disruption, a new initiative in which the MBA consulting clubs from HEC Paris, Oxford, London Business School, Insead and Cambridge work together to tackle global issues. First up: Globalization Revisited, a post-COVID business-strategy competition.

“We wanted something simple, so that students could compete but still have time to enjoy their summer,” explains Hassnan Gardezi, MBA ’21, former president of the HEC Paris MBA’s Consulting Club. HEC Professor Gonçalo Pacheco de Almeida drew up the competition’s parameters, Oxford student Maya Basa built the official website and started its social media, and each school contributed to the £4000 in prize money.

Beyond Distruption includes MBA consulting students Helena, Gagandeep, Zack, Khaled and Arnow

Clockwise from top left: HEC consulting students Zack Harper, Helena Averty, Gagandeep Singh, Arnav Bhatyal and Khaled Serhal

More than 50 teams and over 250 participants from around the world entered, enticed by the chance to represent their universities in the finals. For the first round, Professor Georg Wernicke volunteered his time to judge HEC’s presentations. Each team submitted six slides illustrating how they would improve a pharmaceutical company’s supply-chain strategy over the next five years given the business and political challenges of COVID. The final round involves a video presentation and Q&A with the judges.

The top two teams from each of the European business schools are competing in the finals on September 4. Judges include Patrick Gaparayi, a supply chain manager from UNICEF; Tony Cook, the head of global supply chain planning for oncology from GSK; Bernard Naughton, an Oxford research fellow.

We wish the best of luck to the two teams who are representing HEC Paris MBA consulting! They include Matthieu Allexant, Anisha Khadilkar, Fatima Dilruba, Leonardo Quinonez, Mohamad Fleifel, Helena Averty, Gagandeep Singh, Zack Harper, Khaled Serhal, and Arnav Bhatyal.