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MBAT: The Olympics of the MBA world

At HEC Paris we learn a lot about business and leadership, not only from books and cases, but also from hands-on projects. The most complex project we are involved in during the program is the MBAT (MBA Tournament). Tarun Rangi, President of the MBAT 2017 organizing team, defines it as “a unique, one of its kind tournament that brings together the brightest folks from the top b-schools of the world and creates the ultimate potpourri of competitiveness, sportsmanship, fun and networking across 3 action-packed days.” Organized by HEC Paris MBA students, the tournament is the continent’s largest annual gathering of MBA students.
Started in 1991, MBAT is a deep tradition in our HEC family and every year students put a lot of effort to make all HEC family proud. This year, the HEC MBA class of 2018 welcome you to the 27th annual MBA Tournament! MBAT includes 23 different competitions: from badminton, beach volleyball to rugby, swimming, and tennis. But this is not only about sports, we also have baby foot, fusion dance, ultimate frisbee, salsa, and battle of bands! Diversity is a distinguished aspect of our MBA program and we take that very seriously.
But why students would involve in organizing such a major sport event on top of our very demanding MBA workload? For Andrew Unsworth, VP of Communications, “the organization has been a very challenging and taxing role”. However, he states “it has been very rewarding at the same time applying MBA learnings such as marketing, problem solving, operations, finance, ethics and, possibly the most relevant, organizational behavior”. We consider MBAT as an intensive leadership program akin to managing a complex multinational organization facing fresh challenges, multiple constraints on a daily basis and providing us a platform to test our decision making and collaborative skills in a multicultural environment.
It is a very challenging experience but very rewarding as well. A great and unique learning adventure in a MBA program with 3 main take-aways:
1. Prioritization and time management: working smarter (not harder) to enhance productivity! You will get more done in less time, even when time and pressures are high. It has been very fascinating to see how different people have managed, prioritized their workload and different components of a rigorous demanding MBA (classes, assignments, pursuing career opportunities, socializing, and organizing the MBAT) and reacted to these pressures which are very similar to those we face in a professional corporate environment.
2. Communication: not only your words send a message, it is all of you: your attitude while talking, your posture, do you do eye contact? Communication is what separates a poor leader from an exceptional one. Moreover, it is really important to set in place clear communication channels early on to open up discussions between relevant parties and to be able to refer back to these communications.
3. Adaptability: in such a dynamic situation, we must be able to cope when things do not go as planned. And believe me, working with so many different suppliers and participating schools, there are always changes in requirements or modifications! As in a professional corporate environment in MBAT we face with new, unexpected, and urgent tasks, and as in many highly evolving and fast-paced company, we accept new roles and responsibilities expanding our experiences and skills.
The MBAT organizing team has made a concerted effort to improve the overall experience of the MBAT, by improving the digital systems to provide more efficient process, allowing students to relax and concentrate their energy on competing, conversing and celebrating! A black tie gala in Paris will close out the tournament in an elegant function hall just a few blocks away from the majestic “Arc de Triomphe”, so chic! The theme for MBAT 2017 is BLUE FIRE, which is the hottest part in the fire, symbolizing MBAT 2017 will be the hottest sports event in the MBA world! The temperature of Blue Fire can go up to 1,700 degree Celsius, which is also the number of participants for MBAT this year!

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Posted on April 17, 2017       


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