🎉 Happy New Year 2024, Everyone! 🍾
It’s been a while since my last update here– how’s everyone kicking off the new year? I hope it’s been fantastic for you all. As for me, I rang in 2024 in style with a glass of Veuve Clicquot Millesime 2015.
In today’s post, I’m excited to share what’s been brewing on my end as we step into this fresh year. So, grab your coffee (or maybe some leftover New Year’s champagne), and let’s dive in!
Introduction and Intitial Considerations
I’m still heading Product Security at Catawiki, and have recently stepped up to a Staff Security Engineer role. As I climb the career ladder, I find my interests broadening beyond just the technical side. I’m increasingly drawn to understanding the long-term business trajectory and how my work aligns with it. While crafting top-notch products remains a priority, I’m venturing into realms like corporate finance, digital marketing, people management, and branding. This shift is especially relevant in smaller VC-backed companies where it is often require to lead and align stakeholders with different backgrounds and objectives.
With this evolution in mind, I’ve set a new challenge for myself in 2024. Instead of pursuing an nth cloud certification, I’m diving into an Executive MBA. My goals are twofold: firstly, to bolster my business acumen beyond engineering, particularly in new industries with both a founder and investor lense. Secondly, to connect with like-minded professionals who, while sharing a drive for ownership and change, offer diverse perspectives.
Chosing an EMBA program
The first step of this journey began with choosing the right program. Given my commitment to my current role at Catawiki, where I’ve built efficient processes and relationships over the past three years that allowed to improve my work efficiency and workload so I can follow such program, the program needed to be in Europe to balance work and study.
I aimed for a top-tier program with global recognition. After scouring the FT 2022 rankings and weighing options like HEC, LBS, and Insead, I settled on HEC. Its accessibility, my French citizenship, and the possibility of a lower-rate student loan through HEC’s French banking partnerships were decisive factors. Plus, HEC’s status within the French Grande Ecole network resonated with me, being an alumnus of Telecom SudParis.
Before applying, I engaged with HEC recruiters, current students, and alumni to grasp the program’s demands. This insight was invaluable in planning my journey.
Applying to HEC
The application process was a trip down memory lane, retrieving old academic records and crafting challenging essays, which I had friends and family review multiple times. HEC also places significant emphasis on international experience and extracurricular interests on their application process. After the essay, interviews with alumni were crucial to showcase my analytical skills, presentation abilities, and motivation for the program.
That sums up my admission journey. My advice? Start 3-4 months in advance to allow for any hiccups. For instance, I encountered a snag with one document in my application, which I only discovered after following up with the school, causing me to miss the October admission jury!
This is just the beginning of my EMBA journey, and I plan to share more over the next two years, in both English and French (repurposing the dormant Dutch section of my blog). Stay tuned for more posts like this! 😆