Time always passes by quickly when one is having fun, and it certainly felt that way during the last 2 weeks I had in the Sauder School of Business at UBC. The clear blue skies and late summer weather also uplifted everyone’s mood! In between introductory sessions in the lecture halls, the Orientation week definitely added a lot of value to the program. With the lessons starting officially this week, it is perhaps a good time to reflect on what has been an exciting and activity packed week.
To start the group getting to know each other better, there was a facebook page online and the Orientation started with an ice-breaker scavenger hunt in downtown Vancouver that provided international students like myself an overview of the city centre. Next up was a team-building Ropes course held in UBC’s Point Grey campus itself that provides participants the opportunity to appreciate how working in teams, thinking out of the box and learning to overcome fear and uncertainty will help all of us in getting the most out of the MBA program. This was followed by a career panel talk that introduces us to the Vancouver business community and gives us the chance to think about our future upon graduation. Finally the end of the week was wrapped up with us being spread out into smaller teams to work on a business simulation ‘game’ that also happens to be our first team project.
In retrospect, the last week has been an excellent platform for me to get to know my classmates better and embrace the diversity within. In fact if I am not wrong, all the continents of the world is represented amongst the class of 2013. It is not just geographical representation that provides value, as I have discovered that people who have worked in other professions would have a different way of doing things and solving problems that we might not have thought about. Working in teams with this diverse bunch would definitely allow us a greater breadth of ideas and solutions!
And the start of lessons this week brought us to the topic of sustainability and the process of thought. These two topics are even more essential in today’s globalized economy, considering the need for fresh perspectives in dissecting and solving problems, as well as looking at the longer term and the bigger picture to strive for a better balance between business, society and the environment.
From the outdoor activities to the concepts covered thus far, Orientation week has also been feeding us well. There was a great dinner on the patio facing the beach on the first evening, and I am pretty sure everyone in the class would miss the amazing variety of pastries and fruits served every morning for breakfast. I might have half-suspected that they were trying to keep attendance high during the Orientation week by providing us with great lunch everyday. This also included a dinner at the University Golf Club with the Dean of the Sauder Business School.
Between the fun, learning and the food, meeting most of our core team professors at the start of this week has also been encouraging since they seem to be a great bunch of people to be learning from, and the help that has been provided by team mates within the program has been so spontaneous and enthusiastic that I can’t help but feel optimistic that we have one great team here, and I am hoping that we keep this morale high throughout the next 16 months!