They are a talented lot, our MBA students. Not only do they have some of the sharpest business minds out there, approaching and tackling complex business cases without breaking a sweat, but they also count accomplished singers, dancers, artists and musicians amongst themselves. Not bad.
Now, we would be lying if we said that we took these talents into consideration when judging an MBA application – not once has a candidate been asked to don a Sumo Suit and wrestle during an interview, nor have they ever had to perform a complex dance mat routine whilst the Admissions Jury looks on holding clipboards – but that is not to say that their talents and accomplishments go unnoticed. Indeed, the MBA Talent Show, held every year in December as a grand send-off for the graduating class, is undoubtedly one of the highlights of the MBA calendar, and this year was no exception.
It opened with a classically understated dance number – think spandex, bright colors and novelty sunglasses – and from there the energy only increased. Talents on display ranged from the traditional – Indian Bollywood-inspired dance routines, Spanish guitar solos and a beautiful vocal performance – to the completely off-the-wall-how-did-they-think-of-that routines, such as a dance mat performance that took me longer to watch than it took the student to do it, a staged wrestling match between a sumo and a lightweight, and a live art performance that had the crowd holding their breath for the final result.
And live performances were not all that were on offer; one of the highlights of the evening would have to be the newly-released trailer for the upcoming blockbuster release: “HEC MBA: The Final Term,” coming soon to a theater near you, starring our students and teachers in a joint-collaboration to rival even the greatest of Hollywood partnerships. It was high adrenaline, high octane stuff with bombs, gun battles and explosions left right and center. Without wanting to give too much away, let’s just say that Jouy-en-Josas looks set to rival Cannes as the film capital of France, and with Oscars season looming in the distance it would hardly be surprising if there are a few familiar faces on the red carpet next year.
The Talent Show as a whole served as testament to the strength of the friendships that are built through the MBA experience: each performance was met with whooping applause and the final act, a fitting karaoke rendition of We are the Champions, was a powerful – albeit slightly out-of-tune – tribute to the HEC Paris MBA community.
The evening was rounded off with the presentation of the Leadership Awards, marking the outstanding contributions of the graduating class. The chosen winners, elected by their classmates, were presented with their awards by Bernard Garrette, the Associate Dean of HEC Paris, as they took to the stage to thank their classmates for a truly amazing and life-changing 16 months.
Of course, an event on this scale doesn’t just happen overnight. The evening – and indeed, this very blog post – would have been nothing without the tireless work of the September 2013 intake, solely responsible for the organization and execution of such a grand-scale event; you truly provided a fitting send-off for such a brilliant class. Special thanks to Arthur Hennes, the mastermind and our compere for the evening, as well as all of the performers, hosts and backstage crew for their efforts!
Finally, we would like to take this opportunity to say another big thank you and congratulations to our graduating class; we hope that you have enjoyed your MBA experience as much as we have enjoyed sharing it with you. Good luck for your future and please stay in touch as you make the move from MBA students to part of our Alumni network: participation is mandatory.