In the beginning of Autumn 2017, when the third semester had just started, a brilliant idea struck us: We want to go on a week long vacation together approximately a year from then, after all our MBA commitments (read: Master Thesis submission) have been fulfilled. Two generous classmates volunteered their time for the whole organization and pitched the idea along with destination and other details in a presentation in November to our class. By the end of December 2017 almost all of us committed to the trip with eagerness and anticipation – not only will we have our MBA coming to an end in August 2018, we will go on a weeklong vacation in September 2018!
Why did we find this idea so great to begin with? Who gives away a week of their vacation (all of us being employed full-time with demanding jobs), plans almost a year in advance to spend time with their MBA classmates? We do. We have had a good start from the get go at our leadership camp. And through the first and second semester we always made it a point to spend time with each other even outside of school and in between lecture days – sometimes in smaller groups and sometimes in a bigger group.
All of this reached the peak when we ended up spending a week in Shanghai together because of our International Management week block at CEIBS. Those days allowed us to get to know each other in close proximity – be open, be uninhibited around each other and have a sense of easiness and trust with each other. We realized how well we get along and how innately similar we are in many ways.
That connection could be felt when we met each other about two months after the Shanghai trip for our third semester lecture. People did not care if the professor was there or what was happening around them – each of us entered the class and, if necessary, climbed over tables and chairs to hug each and every one. It was so impactful that at the end of the lecture the professor made it a point to mention this incident and expressed his surprise about how closely knit we seemed to him.
And so came the day – 8th of September 2018, meeting point Frankfurt international airport. Many of us had not seen each other for many months. The meeting and then flying together to Ibiza was delightful. As expected we did anything and everything that we could together – from enjoying the sun and being on the beach to partying together. All of it filled with catching up and laughter. Saturday to Saturday – time flew by.
Now that the vacation is behind us, looking back at the time in Ibiza, our time in Shanghai and the last two years, it seems like for some unperceivable reason we are growing into a real family – we love each other even when we sometimes do not like each other, we are there for each other even though we do not always understand each other. We appreciate the friends and connection that we have found within our class.
That is us, ‘Part-time MBA Class of 2018’ family: We do not know how we ended up in the same program, which method makes the bond grow stronger, but we are thankful that things turned out the way they did. Now there is no getting rid of each other!
And so every time we say goodbye, we say it with tight hugs and smiles. Because we know, no matter how long it takes and what manner of corporate life is keeping us busy, this goodbyes are only a temporary one; and there will always be ‘ONE MORE TIME’.