MBA Games – The Ultimate MBA Experience

It was 6 am on the morning we were heading home from the MBA Games and I was happy that I packed my bags the night before! After only a couple of hours of sleep, it was time to wake up and get something to eat before joining the rest of the A-team for our flight back home to Edmonton. That morning I felt particularly exhausted. My eyes were red and puffy and my voice was nonexistent. As soon as I joined the rest of the A Team in the hotel lobby, I noticed that I wasn’t the only one who looked exhausted. But man, it was worth it!

I vividly remember the day of our departure. Everyone was ecstatic and couldn’t wait to compete against other MBA students from across Canada in case competitions, athletics and spirit events. What is more exciting than an opportunity for MBA students to compete alongside their peers from other schools across Canada. In 2016, the Games were hosted by York University’s Schulich School of Business, located in Toronto, Ontario. After a 2-hour long tryout session for athletics at the beginning of my first semester and an extensive application process, I was so happy that the MBA Games executive team accepted me to represent my school at the Games alongside a very talented group of Alberta MBA students. I was scheduled to compete in the spirit events on the first day and in Dodgeball the second day. But before the games began (just like the Olympics) there was an official opening ceremony on the day we arrived in Toronto.

Every school had to perform a group dance. Our dance was loosely based on a dance performed by Will and Carlton in episode 8 of season 6 “Viva Lost Wages” of the TV show “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air”. After hours and hours of practice throughout the fall semester, our hard work finally paid off and we took home third place for this performance! The noise from the crowd only fired us up more and fuelled our competitive side for the days to come. After the opening ceremony was over, the host school organized an evening event at a local venue to allow students to mingle and socialize with students from other schools.

After a long night and a few hours of sleep the Games officially started with Basketball, a Triathlon, and business cases in Finance and Marketing. The spirit event for that day consisted of teaming up with students from another MBA program and building a maze for kids based on various themes such as superheroes, the universe and an underwater experience. At the end of the day, the children had to judge which maze they liked best based on the ‘fun factor’ for each maze. The rest of the A Team members who were not part of this spirit event went to cheer for those that were playing basketball and/or participating in the triathlon.

The second day of the Games was my turn to show off my skills at dodgeball! I had never really played dodgeball before but I am pretty good at anything involving a ball and I had played handball for several years, which helped. In addition, the dodgeball practices leading up to the games really helped me to understand the rules of dodgeball and how to play together with my teammates. We had a great team and all the games we played were very intense. After a couples of losses, we started to win our last games, which allowed us to proceed to quarterfinals. Those who were not on the dodgeball team came to watch us and cheer for us. We had a few match balls that would have brought us to the semi-finals but we ended up losing by a few points. Learning how to lose gracefully is also an important skill that you are likely to learn at the MBA Games!

This year, the 2017 MBA Games will be hosted by Vancouver Island University! Besides being the best and most intense experience of my MBA program so far, it was also an opportunity for me to travel to another Canadian city and get a small break from Edmonton life. I would strongly encourage you to consider applying for the MBA Games at Vancouver Island University this year. I have heard that the location of the Games and the student accommodation at the Tigh-Na-Mara resort this year will be incredible. For more information, check out the MBA Games website I encourage you all to apply and I hope to see you there!

Written by Sebastien Hammacher