HEC School of Management, Paris

Age: 130

History: HEC Paris was founded by the Paris Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a Grande Ecole in 1881. The HEC MBA program was created in 1969, and whist excellence and tradition are still at the heart of the MBA, the academic curriculum has been redesigned to reflect the changes in today's business world..

Address: HEC is located on a 300-acre wooded campus, 10 miles (16km) southwest of Paris, where the culture, history, and charm of the French capital are easily accessible. The HEC campus is the largest of its kind in Europe is also close to La Défense, the Parisian business district. Many MBA participants choose to live on the fully autonomous campus.

Ambience: The HEC MBA incorporates a strong French heritage with international diversity and curriculum delivered in English.

Vital statistics: Accredited by AMBA, EQUIS, and AACSB, the MBA is divided into two eight-month periods – the core phase and the personalised phase – ensuring that participants master the essential business skills but can still customise the programme to meet their own professional and personal goals. English is the only language required for entry, but participants may take courses in French.

Added value: Each HEC MBA participant receives personalised job-search advice from alumni, consultants, coaches, and peers, before they are exposed to the hundreds of job recruiters who visit campus every year. Our dedicated career services team actively supports participants in transforming their MBA experience into a real-life career trajectory and offers a bridge to the job market, where a network of 40,000 alumni and more than 200 recruiting multinational corporations are waiting for HEC MBA graduates.

Easy to get into? GMAT is mandatory (average GMAT score: 680). Applicants need a first degree, two letters of recommendation, essay responses, and pass two interviews. If you're not a native English speaker, you'll also need a TOEFL, TOEIC or IELTS qualification.

Glittering alumni: Henri de Castries, CEO, AXA; François-Henri Pinault, chairman, PPR; Pascal Cagni, vice president and general manager of Apple EMEIA, the Europe–Middle East–India - Africa division of Apple Computers.

Gurus: Jean-Noël Kapferer, marketing and brand strategy; Pierre Dussauge, strategy and business policy; David Thesmar, finance; Itzhak Gilboa, economics and decision science.

Student profile: Non-French participants make up 83 per cent of the programme, with 55 nationalities represented overall. The average age of MBA students is 29.5, and 29 per cent of participants are women. The average work experience is 6 years.

Cost: Tuition fees are €45,000.

Who's the boss? Bernard Ramanantsoa is the Dean of HEC Paris, and Valérie Gauthier is HEC MBA Associate Dean.

Prospectus: + 33 139 67 95 46 / 71 67; www.mba.hec.edu; admissionmba@hec.fr