September 2020 MBA Send-off at the Musée d’Orsay

Even on an overcast day in mid-December, the Musée d’Orsay stands out among the grandiose buildings lining the Seine. It’s here that the HEC Paris MBA’s September 2020 intake is gathering for one final afternoon together to explore French culture and Impressionist art.

After dividing into groups of 7 to 8 students, everyone undertakes a timed challenge to answer questions about the museum’s paintings. The aim? To learn some of the history behind these masterpieces – and to test their leadership skills one last time as MBA students.

An intense study of Le Moulin de la Galette

An intense study of Le Moulin de la Galette

A treasure hunt set in this renovated train station is an unforgettable way to end their 16-month MBA journey. The students examine masterpieces by Cézanne, Monet and Renoir, and snap photos in front of the museum’s iconic clock window. They respond to questions such as “why did this painting cause a huge scandal in 1860,” and recreate – in their unique styles – Manet’s famous work, Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe.

Students re-enact the Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe by Monet as one of the challenges

Re-creating Le Déjeuner sur l’herbe by Manet in front of the museum’s iconic clock window

Along with the treasure hunt, there is an academic component to the visit. Professor Daniel Newark has asked the students to write essays analyzing their own leadership styles, and to reflect on the relationship between leadership and the arts.

Coffee and dessert in the Musée d'Orsay's restaurant

Coffee and dessert in the Musée d’Orsay’s restaurant

At the end of the event, the students gather under the chandelier-lined ceiling of the museum’s restaurant to indulge in a French-style goûter. Next, a call goes out for one final group photo. It’s a picture-perfect ending to an afternoon filled with Impressionist art.

Our September 2020 MBA's final group photo before graduation

Our September 2020 MBA’s final group photo before graduation

Please note: Masks have been exceptionally removed for the needs of these photos.