Of High Walls and Handy Life Jackets

Nearly 200 students kickstarted their semester with an adventure-charged NUS MBA orientation held at Outward Bound School on the island of Pulau Ubin.

It’s almost two months now from when we officially started our NUS MBA journey.   Looking back at the numerous events during orientation week, I think fondly of the 2 days spent in Outward Bound Singapore.

Early morning of August 1 found two buses-full of NUS MBAs en route to Pulau Ubin, an island off the northeastern part of Singapore.   It felt like going to summer camp. (In the end, all that was missing was a bonfire! 😛 ) You can feel the excitement (interspersed with a dose of concern maybe, with some—including me—wondering how physically intensive the activities would be!)

nus mba orientation 2011
Sunny orange undoubtedly reigned.
nus mba orientation 2011
Resounding laughter was the order of the day.

With nearly 200 students in this year’s intake we’d want to get to know, OBS provided a great means to kick-start connections and form bonds.  It’s no easy thing building rapport with new colleagues. You can’t just put groups together and expect them to feel comfortable and work seamlessly at the onset. (Ok, ok, there are exceptions. Some people do meet and click, just like that. *fingers snap*) The teambuilding session allowed us to be creative and resourceful together in a fun and informal setting.

From the line-up of activities, two left the greatest impressions on me. One had to do with water. The other had to do with heights. Nevermind that I don’t know how to swim, or that this wall-climbing would be a first. It was great to go out there, face the ‘challenge’ and put trust on yourself and your teammates.  As we worked beyond our limitations and leveraged each other’s strengths, we marveled at how much we can do and how far we can go.

Barrels? Check. Rods? Check. Ropes? Check. Time to build a raft and sail!  
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All aboard!
Are we on billet?
nus mba OBS orientation 2011
Great partnership in action. Thumbs up for a successful climb!

 As we navigate through the next 15 months of business school life and then what’s beyond, sure there’d be high walls, tough times. Definitely. But  as we grow and get better from the experience, remember, we also have our MBA family life jackets on. We say, bring on the fun and the challenge!

nus mba orientation 2011
The NUS MBA 2011 intake at the Outward Bound Singapore (Aug 1-2, 2011)


Carissa Caparas (Filipino) 
Full Time MBA Student, Class of 2013