Sunday, May 27, 2007

The Summer Ball revealed

So there it was. The World's infamous Summer Ball. I'm saying "World" because people really flocked from all over the world to the Fontainebleau Chateau. Not just our intake. People who left 5 and 10 years ago.
I chatted with one Israeli who had graduated 10 years ago, and he revealed that in intake his fellow alumni travelled from places as fas as Australia. Indeed the Ball was a resounding success. Despite the rain, the fireworks welcomed us with Mozart's Requiem in the background, after a Brazilian Capoeira for alumni guys and Samba for alumni girls had warmed the crowd.
In the Colonnades Room inside the Chateau the Insanes (the rock group from 10 years ago) were just as good as the Commitments in their rock and folk style.
In other rooms, music was ok. My personal fav of the moment "Relax, take it easy" was not playing, though. I guess the Summer Ball is primarily for Alumni, to have them keep in touch with School and remind them to give back. So we got Depeche Mode instead, which was still ok...

Girls were absolutely stunning in their evening gowns. And patient too. I sympathised with them because, with so many drinks (champagne à volonté), I had to pee quite often. Their queue was pretty bad (see pic)...

In the end, after breakfast was served and dawn made its way, some people made use of space and tables. And we got a funny rendition of Village People dancing, I guess because that group was "in" 10 years ago, and that because Insead traditionally accepts Students from the top 3 military Schools in France, some alumni came in with their real uniforms so they looked like Village People dancers...

In our July07 intake, I can safely claim that our hymns were more Bob Sinclar's "Love Generation" and "World Hold on". Two songs that captured beautifully our spirits.
In summary: a spectacular Ball for us to remember our great year, see how we'll look like in 5 and 10 years, feel how the School's esprit de corps is still amazingly strong after time. And for the Alumni, a great opportunity to meet again, and feel that whatever they give back is worth it (come on, a Ball in the Chateau for the first time ever!)
Seriously, it was perfect, and I honestly have never been as proud as that night to be part of Insead. That says a lot.

Bob Sinclar's Love Generation
Mika Relax (Take it easy):

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At 3:50 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Domo,

I am a teetotaler and I don't like to party. Reading your blog, I wonder if I am a fit for Insead? Can you please tell me your thoughts?


At 5:23 PM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Hey R.
Are you saying this because I'm writing too much about parties? Remember it's P5 and just weeks before leaving School.
Having said that I won't claim you'll be a total fit, or the reverse. Fit is just not based solely on Parties (thank God). Some people claim one motto could be Work Hard Play Hard. But I do think it is important to socialise, and to party AS WELL. MBAs are not just knowledge, it's also about making friends and participating in the life of the School right?
What do you think of teatotaler's parties??

At 8:04 PM , Anonymous R said...

That's right. You can't decide the fit for me. But your inputs can help me decide the fit.
It's not that I'm deciding based only on parties. Just that the culture should be something I can easily fit into. I am not totally against parties. I do go to parties with my colleagues now and then. My personality is the silent type but I can connect to all kinds of people. I can do sky diving with the adventurous ones, sit idle all day at the riverside with the silent types etc.
Why I doubted was that if the majority of the students are in party mood every week, I won't be participating in all and I would feel obligated to do so for friendship. Once in a while is fine, but regular will be stretching myself too much.
Not that I am singling out INSEAD as a "party school".

And making friends is a very important part of the MBA, I agree.

At 6:28 AM , Blogger Manish Marwaha said...

hey domo..
you should consider reporting for CNN...
the coverage is extensive.. and the pics are awesome..

i think u shud close ur blog with
"this is domo at Fonty for"

At 10:50 AM , Blogger Le blog hog said...

Hey R.

Here are my 2 cents. I believe the social element is a major part of the INSEAD identity and the student culture; this is a major reason I chose the school.

True, it seems many social events at INSEAD include the opportunity to have a few drinks. That being said, I'm not convinced that the willingness to drink corresponds to cultural fit.

Rather, I think the fit comes from one's enjoyment of actively meeting new people, having an interest in the diversity of the INSEAD student body and being willing to share what it is that makes you interesting.

I will not hesitate to combine this with a beer, but certainly wouldn't care if the person holding up their end of the conversation was only drinking water.

At 12:38 PM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Hog, you're so wise... It's the perfect concluding remark. I'm not a party animal either, it't just that spending time with people you really like in an informal setting makes a lot of difference. I'm enjoying so much my whisky drinking 1 to 3AM kitchen chat with my housemates... when masks have all fallen.

At 5:39 AM , Anonymous R said...

Thank you guys for your comments. Let me complete the picture. I am married and will have an infant in the family when I start my MBA. I definitely would prefer to spend time with family more and only occasionally participate in parties. Now does that put me at a disadvantage in making good friends there?

At 1:39 PM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

I don't think so. After all the average age is 29-30 and many people have kids. In my case I tend to hang out with people from the older half.
I would not worry at all about the cultural fit...

At 2:04 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good to know that there will be people in same situation! Thank you for your time.


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