A group of strangers was left in a very special and beautiful outdoor center, located approximately 40 minutes away from Frankfurt. Those strangers were from different cultures, religions and nations, but they were ready and pretty excited for the next two, I can say, extraordinary days. Those strangers were the new Masters of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management and the first challenge of their respective two-year Master programs was the Outdoor Campus, which happened to be one very important adventure from their path.
This year outdoor activities were luckily met by very sunny and warm weather. The first day of the Outdoor Campus was really unusual and what can be seen is a lot of people, not knowing each other, but in the same time they are smiling and keeping a positive spirit. Moreover, they were ready to make new friends and to perform at 100% for the upcoming activities. These young people were met by a group of really good and experienced trainers, who have prepared different challenges with varying difficulty through which they wanted to provoke every psychological and physical skill of the new students. On the very first day, these professionals showed us the “Five fingers”: five extremely meaningful words, which should lead us not only in our career path, but also in our everyday life:
The influence from the ‘Respect finger’ (intentional capital R) had a leading part in all of the activities during the two days. We learned how to respect each other no matter from which country or culture we are. Through games like walking blind until reaching a certain objective or hanging from a rope, in order to collect coins, we learned how to develop a strong team of people, who can communicate and properly organized every task, while believing in each other skills. In the end of the day, we were friends, who were sharing their knowledge, experience and stories at an amazing barbeque organized at the Outdoor Campus. Here is the place to say our special thanks to the Barbecue Team, who after the long day, volunteered to prepare delicious dinner for everybody creating a very emotional atmosphere.
Everybody was prepared and excited for the upcoming activities, but this time we had the needed skills from the previous day. The main task was to apply them, but this time with people from our own programs – our future classmates. We were separated into little groups with one professional trainer, whose purpose was to provoke from us skills like leadership, observation and analysis, while playing not so physical games, but psychological. In a game like “Magic Wand”, one can really see how the new Masters are cooperating with their knowledge and skills, in order to perform the task with high efficiency. Moreover, after every game, we had a discussion with our trainer in order to think about the weak sides of our plan or to emphasis the best in it. This made us really listening each other and seeing that we have more in common than we thought. In the late afternoon, while we were writing letters to ourselves in 2017 and preparing a journal regarding our experience at the Outdoor Campus, together we realized that we helped each other to succeed as a team, while struggling and exploring together.
The Outdoor Campus is not the usual type of ‘team-building’, it is an experience, which provoked our minds and knowledge. An experience, which showed us various perspectives presented by different people and their cultures. Meeting people of the same professional interests and endeavors but of different cultures is not only for you to enter the unknown area, but to incorporate new ways of seeing the world and probably integrate new useful approaches into your daily conduct. In the end of the campus, we were ruining stereotypes and laughing at our own jokes as an old friends. In conclusion, the whole experience can be described by one sentence and that is: The family of Frankfurt School of Finance & Management.