As I write this post, Flora is on a flight to Hong Kong for a job interview, Prou is organizing the end of term party for MiM class, Marcus is solving the finance assignment due Monday and Andy is amusing himself with Korean baseball videos on youtube.
Get introduced to the MiM team that, just an hour ago, competed for the European regional finals of One Laptop Per Child Global Case Challenge, held at Imperial College London. The College, in collaboration with Hult School of Business, hosted over 20 finalists from all over Europe, including MBA teams from INSEAD and London Business School itself. The challenge was to crack a real business problem pertaining to OLPC’s current initiative of providing laptops to children in least developed countries. This had to be accomplished in a span of 3.5 hours and presented to a panel of judges. The team providing the most practical and effective solution would be rewarded.
This all-day event turned out to be one of the most rewarding experiences at school for all of us. Being a part of a gathering comprising the best consulting brains all over Europe to work together for a noble cause was a real privilege. Our team dynamics made this experience even more worthwhile. Our objective was to have fun. We ended up doing a really good job and received great feedback from the judges. And we had fun, of course!
Some great moments –
“I jotted these numbers down, can’t remember what they are though”
“Ok, let’s target Brazil, Jordan and Parul (instead of Peru)”,
“Yeah well, that’s the flaw in our strategy… but there is no Q&A so..”
“Would I like to present? No thanks. I like to hear myself listen”
Judge to the team: “You finished 1-min before, so we can ask you some questions”
Team-member: “Orrrr… you could give us extra points for finishing early!”
On a more serious note, it was amazing how we supported each other to perform our very best. Our solutions were practical and effective, if not path-breaking. We probably lacked experience as compared to other MBA teams but our enthusiasm and creativity made up for it. Even when we were lost, we didn’t panic or argue but objectively assessed all possibilities to reach conclusions. I so hope to work with smart and fun people like this in my professional life as well.
After spending 11 enjoyable hours of working together, cracking up over silliest of things, realizing when we were screwed, making last-moment changes and finally putting up a good solution, we came back as five friends who were proud of what they achieved together. Most importantly, we were happy to be part of an effort that will provide better education and learning to countless kids in least developed countries.