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