It all started with a clear announcement “be on time!” The first challenge of our short Geneva trip was to meet at 8.30 am in front of Frankfurt School on a Sunday morning. Challenge accepted.
Some of us had not seen each other for about two months, some of us had only recently joined the Master of International Business Programme and it was nice to see everybody taking a seat in the bus so happily.
9 am. Mario, our benevolent bus driver, started the engine and we took off. On a spring morning heading south.
After about 8 hours (including long breaks) we arrived safely in Geneva. Armed with suits and sunglasses. The next two days should be sunny, stimulating and insightful.
Next morning we visited the World Economic Forum (WEF), where Sebastian Buckup, Director of the Programme Team, provided us with very interesting information about the WEF as a Platform and its impact on international business. With open mouths, amazed, we listened closely and took notes.
The following presentations on the WEF were equally interesting. We had the opportunity to listen to co-authors of the WEF Global Risk Report and the WEF Global Competitiveness Report and to discuss our questions and thoughts with them. The atmosphere was always relaxed and interactive. The premises of the World Economic Forum are quite comfortable. We talked about so-called “Davos Moments”, accidental meetings that inspire your thoughts. Moments later, some students came across Philipp Rösler, Germany’s former Minister of Economics and Technology and Vice Chancellor. A Davos Moment.
At the WTO
Loaded with information on the WEF we boarded the bus again and Mario drove us to the World Trade Organization (WTO), where Daniel Pruzin, a well-known journalist and WTO information officer held a presentation about the WTO, its challenges and its purposes. Mr. Pruzin was competent and honest and took his leave accompanied by a big applause of MIB Students.
The evening programme, again, consisted of a big challenge. “Where can we have dinner in Geneva, without spending a small fortune?” Difficult one. Challenge accepted.
Jonathan noted the variety of Geneva, “To me, Geneva has two faces. On one side, it’s a quiet and peaceful city with a lot of parks, fancy restaurants, historic streets and inviting cafés. On the other side, it’s a modern dynamic, well-connected and vibrant centre for international diplomacy and business.”
The next morning, our last day, we first visited the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). While Mario was patently guarding the bus, we enjoyed a multimedia presentation on the UN’s assistance to refugees. We were touched. Displacements cause incredible suffering all around the world and the UNHCR does a great job in protecting refugees. In reward for their difficult and important job, they are equipped with a very good canteen. We can confirm that.
Here I would like to call attention to their most recent campaign. It is called #ibelong and its goal is to end statelessness. For more information, please visit their website.
After lunch, we visited the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), where Diana Rosert, a German UNCTAD staff member, presented her work at the UNCTAD, distributed informational materials and gave some hints on how to join international organizations such as the UN.
Mario picked us up in front of the United Nations European Headquarters and drove us safely back to Frankfurt. This time though, everybody fell asleep immediately. Exhausted, but happy.
“The trip to Geneva was unique in every aspect, it was educating and fun and brought us all closer as a group,”commented Diba.
This MIB Trip was awesome. We had the possibility to spend some time together and to explore the breathtakingly beautiful city of Geneva, while learning all about the different international organizations that participate in shaping the world.
In Tina’s words: “The trip to Geneva helped to broaden my perspective of international careers and was a great bonding experience with my classmates. It was an inspiring experience to be in one of Europe’s most interesting cities with regards to globally relevant institutions.”
I want to thank our Programme Management Kathrin and Claudia for organizing the trip and our bus driver Mario for taking such a good care of us, but in particular, I want to thank you guys, my fellow MIB Students, for making this trip – as always – an unforgettable MIB experience.