Tag: Integration Week

Full-time MBA integration week – Block I

86 people. 14 companies. 4 days. 1 final showdown.

What does that line get you thinking? Analysis? Time? Game? Research? Competition? Tension? Whatever you are thinking, you are right.

That represents the stats of our integration week. Block I of our Full-time MBA came to an end on 25th of October 2019 with this incredible week.

The rules were simple:

  • 86 people are split in 14 teams
  • Each team
    • Is assigned a company
    • Analyses the assigned company on three fronts – strategic, financial and organisational behavioural
    • Prepares a 15-minute presentation to answer given questions
    • Answers questions by experts for 10 minutes

And that was probably the greatest catch – the simpler the rules, the wider the scope.

This week taught me importance of:

  1. Precision

When time is scarce, it is important to avoid beating around the bush and boil down the content to what is asked for. Let me try to simplify this by an example:

Question: Tell me who you are and how can you get better at what you are?

Answer #1: “When I was a 3-year-old child, I saw this movie that showcased life of a marathon runner. This inspired me to be a runner myself. I started training pretty early in my life. I used to get up early in the morning every day and go for a run in a park near my home. Sometimes I missed my classes to get better at my running time and speed. But you know, that really did not work out that well. My running times are not that good today, although my stamina and endurance improved over time. Strangely enough, I have been working at it for over 10 years now and I still feel the thrill of running. I have been good at sports all my life. I was even part of my school relay team! I think I should buy a proximity clock. I saw one of those at a store the other day, with a robust terminal, one that’s ISO certified. It also came with a clocking-in machine solution with holiday and sickness calculations. Yeah, I think having one of these will be a good way to improve myself.”

Answer #2: “I am an inspired marathon runner, although my greatest strengths are stamina and endurance, I need to work on my timing – an absolute key for success. A possible solution is to invest in a proximity clock and stop relying on guesswork so that my training is put to a better use.”

Answer #3: “I am runner. I can better myself by buying a proximity clock.”

You want to be Answer #2. First one is unstructured, has a lot of unnecessary information, goes off tangent, and does not correlate. Third one is simple and straight but does not provide a complete picture.

You should be able to balance storytelling and precision. Precision is what your audience is looking for, storytelling is what keeps their attention and binds things together.

  1. Teamwork

I know it is cliché to mention the importance of teamwork. You might ask, am I not ignoring my first rule of being precise? I want to highlight what will happen if team does not work well together:

It is crystal clear that you will end up not being the best. If you do not understand teamwork and do not work well in cohesion, you will:

    • Paint an unprofessional image of not only yourself, but also your teammates
    • End up having an uncomfortable work environment, to the extent that you feel like leaving the room is better than working with people in it
    • May risk your future of being someone nobody wants to work with
    • Feel disengaged, demotivated and burdened your team instead of being part of it

For anyone who is looking out for leadership roles, getting people from different backgrounds to work together efficiently is an immensely important skill. Develop it by using every opportunity provided.

  1. Hard work

There have been plentiful debates and there are roughly three million research journals about smart work vs hard work. From what I witnessed in this one week, given the time crunch, smart work is important. But nothing beats the hard work. The hardest working teams were the ones that won. It is taught to us time and again that “correlation is not causation”. So, this might not be the reason, but it definitely correlates.

 

 

If you want something, you need to work hard to get it. In my experience, there is no substitute for hard work. Yes, smart work complements hard work very well, but does not replace it.

It was a great pleasure to be part of this amazing week. Looking forward to Block II’s integration week.

 

Sushmita “Sushi” Nad, Full-time MBA (2020)

Choose your Business School based on how hard YOU will work for it

First of all, let me be upfront about one thing. Hard work matters.

I will explain. Earlier this week when thinking about my first ‘blog’ I harbored grand visions. Visions where thousands of followers would log on to read and share my clearly inspiring posts covering politics, education and culture. The reality is, that after three months of a full-time Cass MBA I realise there are at least two things wrong with this image. First, that perhaps my writing isn’t as interesting as I thought it was, and second, that successful internet bloggers put in hours upon hours of work a day to earn their keep. I mean, check out this guy!

parachute​-selfie


Clearly, I have a long way to go, and don’t expect me to buy a selfie stick. If my very short time in MBA studies had taught me only one thing it would be that talent alone will not bring you success. Hard work, and a lot of it, is what will get you to the top. Quite simply, I haven’t yet put in anywhere near enough work into this blogging. For now, my audience will be only the very eager few who are currently putting in enormous amounts of research into Business Schools and have probably stumbled across this article by mistake. And that works for me, as you are the ones who understand hard work already.

And so it is with that realisation that I begin this entry to you now. It is the end of Block II and we have just finished our second ‘Integration Week’. The pace of the course is relentless. Cass run a 12-month full time MBA which really moves. It is just over 3 months since I began my studies and already we have covered the basics of Accounting, Economics, Investment, Strategy and Analytics. As well as completing a week long leadership course at Royal Military College Sandhurst, extensive public speaking and personal development workshops, and several networking opportunities with industry and faculty. Having said all of that however, I am writing to you from an apartment in Paris while on a short ‘study break’. Life is tough. (Of course, the pain au chocolat taste even sweeter knowing I have earned them.)


Integration Week #2

This was initially going to be an entire post in itself, but I soon realised that I would never be able to capture the energy, spirit and tension of the week that was. I will leave you with a few notes however. Integration Week will leave you mentally and physically exhausted. Even typing about it makes my eye twitch uncontrollably.

But despite the late nights, heated debates, terrible instant coffee and countless hours trying to master business theory I can hardly begin to express how rewarding it is to work together with a motivated team of individuals and deliver something that we are truly proud of. It is the lessons learned during times like this that will forever be with me, long after I have graduated from Cass. Lessons that unfortunately do not reveal themselves through reading an MBA syllabus or looking up FT rankings.

Another reminder that the real lessons in life lie far beyond the text book. But you already know that. So just keep working harder than everyone else.

Sam Cook, Full-time MBA 2015, Cass Business School


Now, let me share with you some photos from Integration Week

It is fair to say its a week of mixed emotions!

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During Integration Week


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After Integration Week. Nothing more to say really.


Later

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