In my last blog, I warned about the deep dives that normally followed “breaks”, so right on cue, the infamous Integrative Exercise welcomed us back from the Easter break. It essentially required us to conduct a case study incorporating all the knowledge and skills we had been graced with in Modules 1 and 2; 48 hours of intensive analysis, presentation, and review. We had the chance to present, receive feedback, amend our submission, then present again. No group wanted to have to re-do it a second time, so it was all hands on deck, it was not odd to find students in the dungeon area as late as 2am. After our second, and much improved, presentation, we left the Lorange Auditorium with our heads held high and a collective sigh of relief, looking to channel our efforts into the final week of preparation for startup project submissions.
Our startup project was unique, in the sense that while other projects were early-stage businesses, their mission as an incubator was to help create such early-stage businesses from within the HES-SO ecosystem. Their directors were a joy to work with, and their zeal for inspiring and guiding participants along their entrepreneurial journey was evident from our very first meeting. Funnily enough, a week before leaving Ghana to join the MBA program, I was brainstorming the concept of incubators with an older colleague, so I relished the opportunity to be actively involved in assessing one and providing a strategic solution to help it develop even further. Having completed our submission, my startup journey with Mads, Amy, Nandini, Usman, and Rohan came to an end. I appreciate the many learning opportunities with them, and even the hurdles we had to cross regarding teamwork. There was an underlying je ne sais quoi that held it all finely together and I wish them all the best with the remainder of the program.
After successfully presenting our solutions to our respective startups, the cohort prepared for the MBAT a week later. Over 1500 students from 17 schools would gather at HEC Paris to compete for gold in multiple sports disciplines. I featured as a supporting cast member in the football team, which surpassed expectations and finished fourth overall. Hats off to every member of the team, and the contingent, which returned with a school-record haul of 12 medals.
Such was the seriousness with which we took the MBAT. Special thanks to our one-woman band Gyopar Sipos (and her megaphone), Jacqueline-Sylvia Anders, and our ever-enthusiastic Dean Omar Toulan, who all accompanied us. Omar capped off our journey by getting his hands dirty in a brutal tug of war, which he won alongside Gyopi and Camille Inabnit, to the delight of the cohort and the HEC Paris contingent.
Until a later date,