Live and On Stage with the MBA Talent Show

From tears to triumph, the 2019 MBA Talent Show proved to be one of the most impressive events on the HEC Paris MBA calendar, as well as a wonderful send-off for our September 2018 batch. The theme of this year’s show was the MBA’s Game of Talents, based on the Game of Thrones. Participants (both MBA students and staff) represented one of the houses from the TV series: House Stark, House Baratheon, House Lannister and the White Walkers. Everyone was competing for the most sought-after, priceless award to which a member of the MBA community can aspire: bragging rights!

Talent show photo

Sea Ho Oh had everyone banging their heads to Pantera

Needless to say, such a grand evening required significant preparation.

A few weeks after beginning my job as the MBA’s Marketing and Admissions intern, I decided that my internship would not be complete without trying something out of my comfort zone. When a colleague told me about this annual event, I agreed to participate…after all, what better way of challenging yourself than performing in front of an entire theatre of spectators, without any backing track or accompanying instruments to hide behind?

One thing that I have learnt about the HEC Paris MBA community is that it is the embodiment of the “work hard, play hard” motto.  Even though the talent show took place during exam period, everyone performed at an impressively high standard. Considering that most of the performers were juggling rehearsals with a full-time class load, exam preparation and the countless social and cultural events happening that month, this was incredibly impressive.


Annie Zykova, the MBA’s Marketing and Admissions intern and author of this story, plays Depeche Mode

During one of our rehearsals in the P-Bar, preparations were well underway for American Cultural Week. My fellow performer and I arrived into a room full of MBA students preparing food for Thanksgiving, a huge meal taking place later that week on campus. We used the room’s piano while the cooking continued. Little did we know that we were situated next to the area where the chopping of onions was taking place. With tears in our eyes and plenty of tissues ready, we simply claimed that our song moved us very, very profoundly. If this is not the epitome of HEC multitasking, I don’t know what is.

On the day of the Talent Show itself, there was a definite buzz around campus. Flags representing the competing houses were erected around the T building, and sound and light checks took place throughout the day. Seeing the other performances for the first time during the dress rehearsal was impressive enough, but once the setup was complete and the theatre full of people, they were even more spectacular.

The Duo of Monica and Mohit

The Duo of Monica and Mohit

The backstage environment was remarkably supportive. Everyone was experiencing some degree of nervousness, yet we all made sure that this was reduced as much as possible. We cracked plenty of jokes to ease the pressure and ensured that everyone knew that this was nothing to worry about. After all, our audience were our friends and colleagues, who were nothing but supportive of us throughout the process.

The show included an eclectic mix of musical performances, dancing, stand-up comedy and even acrobatics. Despite being very nervous before going on stage, the feeling of achievement and fulfillment that comes with overcoming such a challenge is worth the stress!

Performances take place in front of students and staff, including Associate Dean Andrea Masini

What I have taken away from this experience is that the HEC Paris MBA provides numerous opportunities for self-improvement, both professionally and personally. There are countless occasions throughout the year where you can push your limits and discover something new, all while becoming closer to the HEC community.

Watch the talent show in full at:

All photos taken by: Amanda Shih (S19) & Neelesh Chakra Ravi (J19), with post-processing by: Jonas Kanafani (S19)