I always say that every business school has the mandate to teach the necessary skills to equip you for the business world, academic prowess is what they fight for, but not every business school makes the effort to make you academically fit and personally developed.
Every now and then we encounter problems in a business setting that requires us to put our characters to test in order to achieve the required goal, something that no text book or case study can equip you with, none at all. This is where experiential learning comes in. Something pilots would understand as they use flight simulators during their learning processes.
Last week we went to the Tata Adventure Camp as a class for an Outdoor Leadership Course. This was a course like no other, the hardships were real, sleeping in a tent on the cold hard floor, using buckets to shower (at least for the ladies, don’t get me started on how then guys managed to shower everyday lol), doing obstacles and activities that had us at the end of our wits. i will just highlight the important parts of the camp, at least in my own opinion.
We conquered rock climbing, now this is no easy task, there were techniques we had to be taught before embarking on this task, and we were working in groups of six, some of our members were either afraid of heights or claustrophobic, meaning that this was way out of their comfort zone. The most amazing thing is that we did not leave anyone behind, we encouraged and pushed each other to move on, both figuratively and physically, we lent each other support, meaning that those who were fit would sometimes have to go back to fetch others, but at the end of the day getting to the top felt so good, the first picture is a mixture of pride and a sense of achievement.
The following day we had water sports, getting to learn how to paddle in congruence was daunting, you end up chanting words like “in…out” until you run out of breath, then begin again, we knew if one person in the team messes up, the rest are basically screwed, so someone had to take leadership and command the team, the rest had to give support. Then our greatest task was to build a raft with four tanks, a bunch of ropes and bamboo sticks, row it across the lake in competition with two other teams and come back. I really didn’t believe that ours would be able to hold water literally but surprisingly it did, and we did row ourselves across the lake and back, becoming second after the team of over achievers :p
The last day was the most difficult, mountain climbing. Now this is not an ordinary mountain, it was 2100 ft and a literal jungle, not forgetting how steep it was under almost 32 degrees celsius. I was dying, honestly I was. My friend and I were ready to give up a couple of times, but we were not ready to go back alone at the same time. There were moments we felt like sitting down to just cry and question our abilities to go up that mountain, but the most amazing thing was the support we got from our classmates, some literally held our hands and got sticks for us to help climb the mountain, they would encourage us to rest and move at our own pace and eventually we got to the top of the mountain, our all carbs lunch never tasted do good sigh.
The greatest lessons I learnt last week were:
- If you want to go fast, walk alone, if you want to go far walk with others.
- Never leave anyone behind just because you can make it alone, you are better together.
- Encourage one another, don’t put others down because they cannot work at the same level as you do.
- Celebrate small victories, the amount of cheering we did for each other was incredible.
- There is a great feeling in communal accomplishment, the feeling doesn’t go away easily.
- There are people who will be completely insensitive to the plights of others, or the nature of their speed, be quick to admonish them, it is distasteful.
- Believe in your abilities, we didn’t think the improvised raft would work but it did.
- Don’t be afraid to admit that you are struggling in any area, we all need help in our lives.
- If your mama makes you light firewood and you hate it, it will help you one day 😀
- Push yourself out of your comfort zone, face your greatest fears, and have friends who you can rely on to help you accomplish your impossible.
- They say it is impossible until it is done, the day before the rock climbing, one person said, “Can you imagine us climbing that thing, it is impossible!”
- The most enthusiastic people could be the most afraid, people hide their fears well.
Have an amazing week, teamwork always wins, if done right. 🙂