Mother Nature and my class were not friends. I don’t know if the staff knew this when they planned our outdoor activity, but it’s true. Volcanoes, unseasonably cold weather…we just didn’t see eye to eye. Perhaps that’s when a weekend of hydro-speeding and white water rafting seemed like such poetic justice. But in the end, it was us who were taught a lesson.
We had just started our core courses and were in the depths of leaning about how to manage the volatility of the markets. As cheesy as it sounds, the rapids that weekend provided the best metaphor. Just as companies and managers must be ready to weather an increasingly volatile economic climate, so we had to weather the rapids.
Hydro-speeding taught us perseverance. Clutching onto a small board in the face of a fast current, focus was key. Even though we all went out in a group, hydro-speeding is a solo activity. With nothing but white foam, icy water, and rocks in your line of vision, you’re forced to think fast and act accordingly. It’s a moment I haven’t forgotten. Not used to the Alpine waters, this particular activity was a challenge for me.
One in which I had to decide: do I just give up and pack it in? Or do it keep going? I’d be lying if I told you this thought didn’t cross my mind during the MBA later on. Business school isn’t for the faint hearted. But the rewards at the end, make everything worth it.
Mine that day? A well deserved nap in the sun.
When it came down to teamwork, it would be fitting to say that it was white water rafting that taught us that, but here, all credit is due to to Professor John Harper. Heading up the Personal Development course, he guided our “down time”. We learnt more about each other and how best to capitalise upon our team member’s strengths and help them overcome their weaknesses.
All of which are invaluable lessons.