After the week of settling into the environs of the University, it was on to the Induction Program. Conducted over 3-4 days, this was aimed at familiarizing the new batch with the system, the resources and the method of study that would be applicable to us. Also, we were quizzed on what we were looking to takeaway from the program and briefed on what the school was intending to make of us. All of this was conducted by Professors Robert Boyd (an ex- Investment Banker and Citibank Europe head, a lovely old gentleman, the kind you would want to respect), John Beck (organizational behavior(errgh!) teacher and one of the funniest guys I've met) and Michael Connor (a fun loving and excitable Aussie, who conducted a session on making presentations). It was all business jargon and snazzy two-by-twos, so we, as budding MBAs were all suitably impressed.
Prof. Robert Boyd's session on the Case Study method
The class of 2005-06 (around 65 full timers) were divided up into 2 groups. One would head out for outbound team building activity and the other would sit indoors for mock corporate games. The next day the 2 groups would change places.
The ice breaker. We had to get everyone's signature next to a charateristic the individual identified with. Ekta won that by getting everyone's signatures first.
The outbound was loads of fun; the instructors put us in various individual and team activities
aimed at team building. It was a hot day so while we didn't enjoy the running around the huge campus in the treasure hunt game, the others were very challenging. Special mention to an activity where around 30 of us had to fill a bucket with water, without touching it, using only long pieces of string. You can safely assume the outcome of that one!
The string game. A classic team game, but we made a hash of it!
The game where the group had to arrange themselves on a thin plank, in order of their birthdays, without speaking. Lots of charades and falling over.
The next day we were up for the indoors. It comprised of 3 corporate mock games were we would be tested on speed, skill and strategy. This was a new experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed all of these. There were sessions on what was expected from us on the case study method and how to make effective presentations. I left this session pretty enlightened.
My group busy brainstorming at one of the business games, while Prof. John Beck oversees the proceedings...
The final day, however, was most fun. By this time we had got to know each other pretty well so we were all starting to get along pretty famously. One could feel the camaraderie building. The final day's brief was as follows. Divide yourself up into teams based on your country and enact or present something that showcases your culture. Since there was a predominance of Indian and Chinese students, there were 4 or 5 Indian and Chinese teams. We decided to present a few short skits on varied things Indian, starting with a a brief introduction to the country, moving to arranged marriage (topped up with loads of dancing to KHNH's 'Mahi ve') and rounded it off by poking fun at the length of Indian names. I might mention here that the onerous task of playing the bride in the marriage skit fell on me, which I pulled off with a constant laugh and a red chunni over my head. It was quite an embarrassing performance, even by my moderate acting standards. My day was saved when I got to know that the official photographer of the day had missed our entire skit...Thank God, no pictures!
The other skits and presentations were also very enjoyable. Special mention to a Singaporean presentation of how locals speak the English language or 'Singlish' ('Some say leh, some say lah') and the two 'Christian's from Germany, who sang a German drinking song in which the whole class joined in. The Canadian, Hungarian, Chinese and other presentations were also good, though a bit staid and academic, and lacked the boisterous strain that we were getting used to. The day and the Program ended with a dinner session with faculty and MBA office staff.
Bring on the beer!The Germans sing!
It was a thoroughly enjoyable few days and it prepared us in a sense, in gearing us up for the hectic 16 months that were to follow...