To reflect on a two month journey that zipped by faster than you can say “Nyenrode Business Universiteit” isn’t an easy job; especially when the two months have been nothing like a typical college routine. From the regular group discussion jaunts at the library to hosting CEOs during the Friday program, the International MBA as Nyenrode is nothing short of a roller coaster ride in the echelons of academia. Its amazing how we still managed to pack in a Sunday barbeque, regular Thursday evening football games, a boat trip to Utrecht, an Indian Bollywood night, a Spanish lunch – to name but a few.
My first impression of the college came from the taxi driver just after I landed in the Netherlands. When we drove into the campus, he told me, ”you must be an important man,” referencing the strong reputation Nyenrode has in the country. I let that pass even as I was starry eyed looking at the imposing castle and the beautiful green estate. The extremely international body of students adds to the experience – the variety isn’t just geographical, from number crunching accountants to IT geeks, from Gaming professionals to Hospitality industry folks, from entrepreneurs to UN officials – here’s a microcosm of professionals that mirror the outside world like none other.
Here we are, 33 students from 21 different nationalities – working together on a mission which, although common, has its own different intricacies. Before I knew it, I was challenging my own beliefs and goals. My source of inspiration is indexed all over the campus. The case studies that we literally dissected to understand various industry dynamics, the eye opening discussions in lectures, the various guests coming in with the professors to compliment a subject – the list is long. It’s amazing how inspiration comes from the least expected quarters – like “unwinding” one Friday evening over beer with friends at the friendly Zolderbar on- campus– my mind drifted onto an unsolved issue that came rushing back with solutions galore – right when I was downing my fifth pint. I ran like a man possessed to get my case papers and solve the problem right there. That’s the amount of focus this program has extracted from me within a few weeks.
The reason perhaps is there is no other choice, the culture is such that one cannot help but get absorbed into the intricate fabric that Nyenrode has woven over the decades. With limited participants and high visibility – we never run short of adrenaline. Time is a rare commodity, because of the ocean of possibilities one can invest oneself into. Case in point is writing this blog at 02:00 AM – as some burger loving kid would say – I am loving it.
Friday programs are always the most awaited event. CEOs drop by like they are visiting a friend. Rubbing shoulders with the chairman of IBM Europe of IBM to asking about future strategies to Microsoft’s COO, from having high-tea with Cap Gemini delegates to discussing business plans with venture capitalists – this is a corporate playground where we play to win. The opportunities are myriad and possibilities immense. Do you blame me now that the 2 months seem to have passed in an eye-blink. The taxi driver perhaps isn’t too far away from the truth, after all.