Earlier this month, as part of HEC Paris MBA’s leadership in action and learning by doing focus, the entire MBA class (both full-time and part-time) took part in the annual 2-day off campus leadership seminar at the elite Saint-Cyr Military Academy in Brittany.
Students were challenged both mentally and physically through a series of individual and team activities, under the supervision of French officers. Some of these officers were current MBA students like Christophe De Ligniville from our September ’15 intake. “My biggest objective was to help each of my peers identify key factors of efficient leadership and in the same time realizing how they could enjoy from leading a team,” said Christophe.
For the various activities, which ranged from building rafts and bridges to scaling walls, solving crisis scenarios and getting an injured person to safety, students took turns being the team leader for the activities. “Two exercises were undoubtedly my highlights of the seminar: the X-bridge and the zip line. With the X-bridge exercise, I realized how good ideas cannot succeed without good communication and with the zipline, I learned that sometimes reflection has to follow action,” reflected Teles N’Guessan, one of the MBA participants.
The tasks were designed to take students out of their comfort zones, allowing them to put their problem solving capabilities to the test, in a unique and different environment from the classroom. “Working as a team (#team8thebest) in a non-academic atmosphere was challenging and rewarding. We all worked at choosing a leader, coordinating efforts and following instructions. In an MBA classroom, we discuss a lot to find answers but in Saint-Cyr, it was more about learning to trust peers’ directives and to find adequate solutions,” said Teles N’Guessan.
For more pictures from the seminar, visit the HEC Paris MBA Facebook page at www.facebook.com/hecparismba.