Integrating HEC After a "Small Preparatory School" (Without Taking a Gap Year and From a Difficult Situation)

Lucas Charbonnier

Hatched by Lucas Charbonnier

Apr 24, 2024

4 min read


Integrating HEC After a "Small Preparatory School" (Without Taking a Gap Year and From a Difficult Situation)


Integrating into HEC, one of the top business schools in France, after attending a "small preparatory school" and facing challenges along the way may seem like a daunting task. However, with determination, strategic planning, and the right mindset, it is possible to achieve this goal. In this article, we will explore the journey of a student who successfully integrated into HEC and provide actionable advice for others in similar situations.

Preparation Before Preparatory School:

  • 1. Assess your strengths and weaknesses: Before entering preparatory school, take the time to evaluate your skills and areas for improvement. Start working on your weaknesses during the summer before entering the program.
  • 2. Read classic literature: Reading classic literature can be beneficial for the culture general section of the entrance exams. As time may be limited during the preparatory school, it is advisable to start reading classics beforehand.
  • 3. Focus on language skills: Work on improving your language skills, particularly English, as it is essential for success in the entrance exams. If possible, attend oral exams at ESCP and HEC to gain exposure to the process.

During Preparatory School:

  • 1. Identify target schools: Determine the schools you are interested in, both your preferred choices and backup options. This will help you stay motivated throughout the process.
  • 2. Create a study group: Collaborate with like-minded students who have similar goals and aspirations. This group can provide support, exchange knowledge, and help you stay motivated during challenging times.
  • 3. Develop time management skills: Adapt your study approach based on the weightage and nature of the exams for different schools. Additionally, practice time management techniques to optimize your performance during exams.

Organizing Study Time & Lifestyle:

  • 1. Prioritize long-term subjects: Differentiate between subjects that require long-term preparation, such as languages and culture general, and those that need more focus as the exams approach, like mathematics.
  • 2. Utilize memory techniques: Associate historical dates and events to aid memory retention. Creating a list of daily learnings before going to bed and revisiting it in the morning can also enhance memory recall.
  • 3. Stay motivated: Focus on your progress rather than the distance still to be covered. Participate in inspiring events like alumni testimonials and conferences to envision your future and identify areas of interest.

Preparing for Interviews:

  • 1. Film practice sessions: Request to be recorded during mock interviews to review your performance and gain insights from jury feedback. This video analysis will help you improve both in terms of content and presentation.
  • 2. Prepare an elevator pitch: Craft a concise introduction about yourself, including your background and career aspirations. Be flexible to adapt the pitch as per the conversation flow.
  • 3. Research the school: Familiarize yourself with the institution, its associations, specializations, and international academic partnerships. Asking well-thought-out questions during the interview demonstrates your genuine interest in the school.

Understanding Justice and Law:

Justice and law can be viewed as both institutions and moral values. Justice represents the ideal order where everyone receives what they deserve. Law, on the other hand, encompasses the regulations established by society to govern social relationships. The relationship between justice and law is complex, as justice can serve as the norm for law, and law can be the norm for justice.

Seeking Personal Justice:

The question of whether one can seek personal justice, or take revenge, arises. However, true justice demands renouncing vengeance and entrusting the final verdict to a judge. Seeking personal justice perpetuates conflict, as the offended party becomes an offender themselves. Legal punishment, based on impartial judgment and adherence to general laws, can pacify human relationships.

The Role of Violence in Justice:

The question of whether violence can be a remedy for injustice arises. Violence, defined as an excessive use of force, may be considered legitimate and just when the established law is violated. However, justice is built upon the condemnation of violence, as it signifies the transition from a cycle of vengeance to a system governed by laws.


Integrating into HEC after attending a "small preparatory school" and facing various challenges is an achievable goal. By following the actionable advice provided, such as assessing strengths and weaknesses, creating a study group, and managing time effectively, aspiring students can increase their chances of success. Additionally, understanding the relationship between justice and law can shed light on the importance of legal punishment and renouncing personal vengeance. By embracing a mindset of growth and resilience, individuals can navigate their academic and personal journeys with confidence and determination.

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