The legendary MBAT kicks off today! Almost 1500 students are flooding the HEC Paris campus for the three-day sports tournament.
During the 23rd year of this event, MBAs from 14 international business schools will participate in over 20 sports competitions this weekend.
But fierce competition isn’t the only thing in store: there are also themed parties each evening as well, including a black-tie Casino Royale for Thursday, a Woodstock-themed Battle of the Bands event for Friday and a Havana Nights salsa competition for Saturday night.
Between the social gatherings and the sports games, MBAs make some amazing connections, MBAT organizer and HEC Paris MBA Impreet Natt said. Chatting with students from other schools comes naturally at this event, Natt said, since MBAs are usually already very skilled networkers themselves!
“It’s a great combination of the competition and a sense of networking,” Natt said. “You have this huge breadth of talent and knowledge and skills and nationalities in one place.”
The big accomplishment of the MBAT organizers so far this year has been bringing the competition’s first North American team on board: Harvard Business School just signed up to participate a few weeks ago!
“Having Harvard attend this year's event is really exciting; MBAT used to be focused on top European schools, but with the participation of a North American school, we feel that this emphasizes our goal of collaborating with international business schools,” Natt said.
The planning behind this three-day event has fallen mainly on a core group of 20 HEC Paris students, who have been working vigorously since October dealing with event sponsors and signing up participants.
The team has had to deal with a few road bumps along the way, such as sponsors or teams dropping out unexpectedly, but Natt said that is to be expected with such a large event.
Since so many MBA students are arriving at the tournament today, “almost everyone” on the HEC Paris campus will be volunteering this weekend, whether it be as tournament mediators or dealers at Thursday night’s casino event. All the hard work, though, will pay off because of the great connections and memories that come from it.
“If everyone on campus is having a great time, you know you’re doing a good job,” Natt said.
To keep track of live events throughout the weekend, follow @HECMBAT on Twitter.