A blog post by Arthur Enz
When I received the confirmation letter that I was accepted to the prestigious University of St. Gallen, it was like receiving the Hogwarts letter I had secretly hoped for years. Unlike the saga, however, what I was about to discover during the first week was even better because all of it was real. All the people I was about to meet and exchange with during my induction days, and our learning experiences are worth enough to elaborate more about it.
Arriving at the University of St. Gallen for the second time, after completing a bachelor’s degree there, was a feeling I was so happy to have it back again. Nonetheless, this time, line 9 of the bus took me a little bit further than usual as I was about to step into the MBA building for the first time. After a quick coffee and, to my surprise, discovering the goodies bag I had on my chair, I sat down to listen to Amanda Shantz, the Head of the program, tell us more about what was awaiting us and present us to the exceptional team that is working with her to support us in this journey.
As the experience is new to each of us, and because we all come from different horizons, we had a teambuilding event straight after lunch to get to know the city better, but also, and primarily, to encounter one another and start to create what I feel will become strong and deep friendship connexions. What else could have been more original but finishing the day with a welcoming dinner and quiz contest that we all enjoyed?
After those two induction days and while seated on the train on my way back home before our first class in Zurich, I took the time to step back a little to think about our kick-off management class, we had on the second day, where we were reminded about the importance of emotional intelligence and how crucial it was also to enact our human capital. In other words, to leverage the MBA network to connect as much as possible with everyone and give what we have best to offer each other. This made me realise that I could not wait to discover all those new experiences and expectations awaiting us.
Zurich experience sets the tone. The intensity of the four days made it clear to all of us that preparation, active listening, and participation were key elements to fully integrate all the materials and concepts that were presented to us. Such intensity gradually speeds up as well, as
every coffee break has been designed well enough to create opportunities for students to make new encounters and to start connecting the dots between us. All of this goes without saying that many after-work initiatives were also launched on our side to start to know each other on a
more personal level. The class ended up with a panel discussion in which we had the chance to have brilliant speakers that helped us to connect the theoretical approach we had learnt with the reality of the Swiss market environment.
Overall, there is so much more I can talk about during this first week that it cannot be summarised only in a few lines, but what I will remember for sure is the energy of the team, the common set of expectations of my classmates, striving to achieve their best during this MBA journey, as well as the great professionalism of the whole MBA team and the deepness of the program in terms of career opportunities, industry insights and leadership programs that have especially been designed for us to experience the program to its fullest! And to that extent, I must confess, magic has started to operate, to be continued…