Plato said that ”the beginning is the most important part of the work”, and Monday 7th of September was definitely the start of something new and the first day of orientation for our S15 MBA intake. The day began with a welcome breakfast, where they met their classmates and were introduced to the MBA team and staff. The diverse and international nature of HEC Paris MBA was displayed in Professor Schulte’s ice-breaking session, where it was discovered that there were many students in the room who looked like ‘the next James Bond’, could speak more than four languages, as well as sing passionate love songs in French and Hindi.
It was also a new beginning for Peter Todd, the new dean of HEC Paris and his welcome address was well received by the students. Although a fresh start in a new place often means a lot of information to take in, the students took it all in their stride and it was evident from the number of questions that they asked that they were very excited in particular about all that the MBA Council and Student Reps have to offer.
The first week was dominated mostly by ‘Act Your Success’, a series of fun and wacky presenting, writing and improvisation workshops that provide MBA students with the necessary communication skills that they need to succeed in the program and in the professional world. The students got to work in groups and showcase their creativity as they competed against each other and the scenario was to design and pitch an idea for a new rollercoaster that would situated in the centre of Paris. With ideas ranging from roller-coasters for pets, to ‘love tunnels’ for couples, the presentations were highly amusing and original and it was truly evident how hard students had worked.
The Negosim seminars were the main parts of week two. With these seminars, students had to work in teams and this time, the task was to virtually build an international company and try to finish with the highest stock price. Just like with ‘Act Your Success’, students really gave it their all and for three days, the classrooms in the S building buzzed with bustle, adrenaline, team spirit and playful team rivalry.
At the end of the two welcome weeks, the MBA Council organized an integration weekend in Bordeaux for the new intake, where they had the chance to bond and get to know each other even more as they played sports like paint balling and indulged in some wine tasting.
The two welcome weeks were definitely crammed with activities but every activity offered a learning opportunity for the new MBA intake and it’s been great to see them getting to know each other better as they acclimatize to the HEC Paris environment.