Why the Master’s in International Finance at HEC Paris is general, not specialized

The Master’s in International Finance (MIF) program at HEC Paris provides students with a theoretical grounding across all areas of finance. Alexei is adamant that this is a crucial aspect of success. 

“In our view, a broad-based training in finance is extremely important for students who are starting their careers in finance,” he explains. (00:42) This is reflected in the core phase of the program. In this phase, students learn the fundamentals of finance, with subjects such as Behavioral Finance, Corporate Valuation, Macroeconomics, Financial Regulation, and Asset Management. 

Alexei elaborates that elective courses allow students to delve deeper into Corporate Finance and Capital Markets. “It is our strong belief to be a successful finance professional in the future, it’s important to have fundamental training in both Corporate Finance and Capital Markets areas,” he stresses. (00:30) These are reflected in the advanced phase of the program.

Once you have gained this foundational knowledge, you can start crafting your program to suit your career goals. Though Alexei feels that “specialization is not necessarily the answer,” he emphasizes that the MIF program does “provide training and specialized courses in specialized areas once students get to the elective phase of the program.” (00:48) These courses range from Energy and Finance and Real Estate Foundations to Post-Merger Integration and Financial Dimensions of Strategic Decisions.  

Applied, not academic

All content in the MIF program is research-based and academically led, but Alexei is quick to point out that this is an “applied master’s program.” Because of this, there is a “good blend of both theory and practice in our curriculum,” he explains. (01:10) This also means that the faculty members teaching on the program comprise a mix of academics and industry practitioners. “The core courses are taught by top academics in the world and the elective courses are taught by world-class practitioners,” Alexei elaborates. (01:21

Ensuring that all content is applicable means that the MIF students are ready for the job market when they graduate – and it shows. On average, 99% of MIF students at HEC Paris are employed within three months after graduation. Add to this an average starting salary of EUR€76,000 and you can understand why Alexei is proud of the program’s ability to “build that bridge from theory into practice.” 

“Once they graduate from the program, they’re ready to hit the road running and start applying the skills that they learn in the program,” he states. (1:31

More than academics

The MIF program is, of course, about the academics. Students will gain the knowledge and skills to become finance professionals attractive to employers. Yet, the program offers more than just content.

“In addition to the strong academic curriculum, what the HEC Master’s in Finance program offers is the exposure to a wide and deep alumni network of former HEC graduates,” Andrei says. (01:52) The HEC alumni network boasts more than 38,000 members across all continents. This means that, wherever your career takes you in the world, you will always have HEC peers to connect to. The alumni network fosters a community through events, updates, and continuous learning opportunities.

In addition to the alumni network, the MIF program will provide students with potential employment opportunities both locally and abroad. An average of 300 companies recruit from the program, both through personal outreach and job fairs taking place on campus. As Alexei puts it, the program gives you “access to top-notch employers in Europe, in London as well as in Asia.” (01:52)

Judging by Alexei’s overview of the MIF program, coupled with the fact that the program has consecutively been ranked #1 worldwide by the Financial Times Master’s in Finance ranking, if you’re looking for a global career in finance then this might just be your program.