On 3 May 2023, CJBS students and their partners travelled to the annual MBA Tournament (MBAT) at HEC Paris business school in France. This year saw the largest ever turnout from Cambridge with over 170 people representing CJBS in sports, e-sports, board games, music and dance.

MBAT is a highlight in the MBA experience and this year was no different. Among 17 schools and 1,500 participants, I am so proud to report that Cambridge moved up the rankings to place 3rd , beating historic rival London Business School, and completing the podium behind HEC in 2nd and Oxford in 1st (winners for the 5th consecutive year). This result was a truly collaborative effort, with teams and individuals reaping in medals across the board!

Organising 170 people to travel to another country and compete in 32 activities is a massive undertaking for which we started planning back in October 2022. I was fortunate to be surrounded by an incredible MBAT organising crew of Sports Directors: Takumi Sano, Teruyuki Morino, Mario Parussini and Srinath Vijaysampath, Music and Arts Director: Padmanabhan KP, Sustainability Lead: Shreya Sharda, and Logistics and Support leads: Jimmy Qiu, Jo Tilley, Ananya Velmakanni, Harris Khan and Chirasmita Amin.

Leading a team of volunteers offered a valuable experience in leadership skills and communication. We were ambitious with our planning and I think our peers would say that we smashed it out of the park! We had a strong sustainability focus, promoting sustainable and responsible behaviours to create a positive impact to society at large. As an organising crew we committed to ‘walking the talk’ and I was delighted by the impact we had. For example, we chose to travel on the Eurostar train, and a number of participants commented that they would not necessarily have thought to travel by rail when the alternative, flying, is much cheaper. Given its affordability and relative comfort, many have said they will consider travelling by rail as their preferred choice in future.

The highlights for me were watching our CJBS people – and in particular the women who may not have had the same access as men to sports growing up – compete and have fun in new sports and games. The ‘give it a go’ spirit was inspiring – many participated in sports they’d not even heard of before! – and the comradery was second to none. 

MBAT was a great opportunity to strengthen ties with our fellow Masters in Finance (MFin) cohort and within our MBA programme. We also expanded our global networks through meeting hundreds of other MBA students from across the world. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know so many people and playing all the sports I loved as a child growing up in New Zealand. 

MBAT will forever be a lasting memory of my Cambridge MBA, as will be the third place trophy which mysteriously did not make it back to Cambridge…