The IMBA program recently concluded its annual leadership and teambuilding camp for its 2021-entered students at the Shangrila Boutique Hotel located in Yilan, last February 26-28, 2022.
Caption: Leadership and Team Building Class of 2022
Under the theme "Learning, Linking and Building," the students got the chance to experience interactive activities that challenged them to think about their experience, re-orient their understanding of learning, and reflect on the importance of transformational leadership.
Professor Foo Nin Ho, the newly-appointed IMBA Director, gave the opening remarks. He talked about the significance of an IMBA degree from NCCU and how it provides the students a competitive advantage due to its mix of Eastern and Western management philosophy lectures and its diverse student body and faculty. He concluded his speech by encouraging the students to make the most of this program by collaborating as a team and having fun.
Caption: Professor Foo Nin Ho shares his opening remarks
NCCU's leading professors from the College of Commerce facilitated the team-building activities. Distinguished Professor Changyu Hu headed the team as the overall designer and facilitator of the three-day camp. In her opening session, Professor Hu highlighted the necessity of learning about oneself, working with orders, and leading oneself.
Caption: Professor Changya Hu discussing the importance of learning
The students visited the Kavalan Distillery in the afternoon, a well-known Taiwanese single malt whisky producer. This field trip was followed by a discussion on diverse drinking cultures around the world and their importance in the business environment.
Caption: Students learn about whisky production during the site visit.
Dr. Steven Park, Assistant Professor from the Department of Business Administration, supervised a simulation game dubbed the "Fishing Game" to round up the day. This simulation challenged the students to extend their horizons and consider scenarios in which corporate social responsibility and economic interests can collide.
As the students interacted with each other, it formed a strong sense of camaraderie amongst them and it was clear that there were decisions that were somewhat uncomfortable to make, but the game forced them to look at things from a different perspective.
Bianca Bai, a local student expressed, “Even we’ve already worked together in class for one semester, the lectures and activities that we had during the camp help us form deeper connections with our classmates whom we don’t have chance to work with before. Also, the camp encouraged us to stop and reflect why we joined the IMBA program in the first place, and what we want to achieve in the future.”
Understanding Cultural Differences
As an international program with students hailing from different countries globally, the IMBA program seeks to instill in its students a multi-cultural perspective. The second day continued the discussion about cultural contexts and systems. Dr. Wei-Chieh Su, a professor of International Business, led the discussion through a series of activities to help the students understand the nuances of culture and working in a culturally diversified environment.
Innovation Training and Systems Thinking
A series of innovation training and systems thinking workshops were also conducted to help the students hone their problem-solving skills.
Dr. Arthur Shao-Ren Wang, who teaches NCCU’s EMBA and IMBA students as well as a respected entrepreneur with several well-known restaurants and hotels, led the afternoon innovation training session with a series of learning activities that challenged the students to think beyond the box.
"Dream big, start small, work hard, stay focused, and keep going." These are the takeaways from Professor Wang's creativity session for Mickey Wongchinda, an international student from Thailand. Mickey explained how important this was to his work as an International Business development manager. "This is exactly the way I'd like to work towards my entrepreneurial journey. Keep learning, link it to what you have, and use this approach to lead you to your ultimate dream."
Caption: Professor Wang making his rounds during discussion times
Complementing the innovation training session the following day was the system thinking lecture by Dr. Howard Chuang, an associate professor of Management Information Systems. The camp's curriculum included system thinking as a means to help students form mental models and apply them to create solutions that can lead to transformation.
Linking Everything Together
All students were challenged to put their learnings into practice on the last day of the camp. Each team was tasked to design an activity that could synthesize their learnings from the workshops and sessions and had to facilitate it.
This end-of-camp round-up activity provided all participants an opportunity to showcase their takeaways and also learn from one another through the moderated discussions that followed.
Maja Peters, a Dual Degree Student from the University of Mannheim, Germany, shared the value of the camp to her, "The Leadership and Team Building camp was a great opportunity to connect with my classmates from all around the world. Developing a deeper understanding of learning and leadership concepts will help me in my future role as a manager in a global environment."