Two weeks after setting foot on HEC’s campus for the first time, the MBA September ’16 intake (Class of 2018) embarked on “Integration Weekend,” which consisted of a glamping trip to Dune du Pilat and Bordeaux.
Starting from Montparnasse, spirits were high the entire train ride, with lots of food, drink, and an impromptu salsa party. After an additional hour by bus, we reached the camp site around midnight, and immediately got cosy in our cabins (another interesting French cultural experience – how many people are supposed to fit into a tiny cabin?!) – some in their beds, some on the porch to continue socializing.
The next day started with a brunch, followed by a game of Capture the Flag. As it turned out, playing CTF with a bunch of MBA students wasn’t an easy feat – strategy AND team-work strength meant that both sides successfully defended their flag for a very long time.
The afternoon meant free time, so most of us decided to climb the dune to lie on the beach and go for a swim. Fortunately, the weather played along against all forecasts, so the sun was shining and the water wasn’t too cold. Others preferred the seaside bar with its selection of Bordeaux wines and splash-effects from actual ocean waves.
Once the afternoon was over, and everyone had rid themselves of as much sand as possible (which was, by far, not enough – just how could there be so much sand?), we were off for dinner, followed by card games and – of course – a huge party, which featured, among other things, dancing in the pouring rain.
This of course made the next morning a less than pleasurable experience for most! Unfortunately, there was no time for lie-ins as we were off to the city of Bordeaux for some delicious food, canelés, sightseeing, and a multimedia scavenger hunt. As a result, the returning train ride was a far cry from the arriving one, with most of us sleeping soundly.
Our integration weekend was a wonderful way to get to know the co-students of our intake, and it was a welcome break after two weeks of intense introduction to the program. While most of us certainly struggled to get up in time for lectures on Monday morning, the weekend was definitely an experience not to be missed!
Text by Christine Weitbrecht, photos by Baskara Aditama