MBA Stories: Oron Amsalem

 Oron Amsalem was a control tower manager in the Israeli Air Force before he graduated from Tel Aviv University with a degree in business management and law. This set him up with the skills to work in law for a few years, however, he wanted to develop his business knowledge and decided to study for an MBA at HEC Paris. He cites that the MBA is really interestsing due to the diveristy in the cohort, and is enjoying learning about French culture.

At just 20 years old, I knew wanted to a respected Master’s degree at an international school. As I pursued my professional career, I kept that desire and set my sights on an MBA. During my research for a compatible MBA programme, I found HEC Paris, which seemed like the perfect fit with its tight-knit MBA class of 140 students consisting of 40 nationalities. Now, after more than two semesters in the programme, I believe that my time here will help me become a truly multicultural manager.

For many years, I served as a control tower manager in the Israeli Air Force where I directed all control tower operations. It felt natural managing people and being responsible for important tasks. When I finished my three-year service, I decided that my first step as a civilian would be studying business management and law at Tel Aviv University. I saw these studies as a stepping stone for business and leadership positions, and I tried to get some international exposure by participating in a student's exchange programme in Germany.  

During this time, I continued in the active reserve service and had the privilege of training air traffic controllers. I helped develop their managerial skills alongside their professional abilities.

After graduating from Tel Aviv University, I started working as a lawyer at Will Itzhaki & Co. I was lucky enough to work with great people while practicing diverse and intensive legal work, ranging from defending our clients against class action lawsuits to negotiating and writing mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures contracts. I was also a legal counsel for individuals and corporations. In many ways, my career path at this time was clear in my mind.

After several years, I felt I wanted to create a significant and personal impact beyond legal consulting. I wanted to have an international career, make a difference in the world, and fulfill my potential. I knew I was ready for an MBA abroad.

With the support of my wife, I decided to apply for Business School. I knew that the MBA at HEC Paris would give me a chance to step up and become a business leader, rather than an advisor, and would enable me to achieve my goals and grow internationally.

So just two weeks after getting married we moved to France, and I can honestly say that the whole experience has been fascinating. My MBA class is 92% international and we come from a variety of professional backgrounds. We have so much to talk about and so much to learn from each other’s experiences. The exposure to different backgrounds and cultures is priceless. If taken with an open mind, it can lead to great personal growth and development. The MBA has allowed me to rethink and question the assumptions and views I hold and learn a lot about myself. Moreover, it is amazing to see how different our backgrounds are, but how much we have in common.

So far, the biggest problem I have is managing my time between my studies, social life, extracurricular activities, career activities and my personal life. I’m also immersing myself in French culture by participating in the competitive sport of tasting French wine and cheese!

I now also have access to the prestigious HEC alumni network, where nearly 4,000 graduates are currently CEOs, CFOs, or have founded their own companies. I also often get to meet and learn from the experiences of these successful managers who come from a range of different industries.

Meeting such inspirational and different people in and outside of the classroom, while handling personal challenges, is enabling me to become a better more rounded leader and person.

I feel like I chose the right time to move to France. It’s a time of change and I know this is the beginning of an exciting and challenging journey where I get to pursue my dreams. I want to make a difference in the world and my MBA at HEC Paris is giving me the chance to do it.