Students pursuing their PGDM (2013-15) at SCMS Cochin recently went on their Out Bound Training (OBT) program, and it turned out to be an experience of a lifetime for them. The three-day training program illustrates the institute’s emphasis on giving its students practical learning experience throughout their course. And, through a number of activities that were carefully chalked out for the students’ benefit, they learned a lot about management concepts, team spirit, their classmates and also their own strengths.
On their first day in Munnar, the students were taken to the Kalypso camp site, which would be their base over the next three days. Staying in tents was an exciting experience for the students, all of whom were eager for an adventure. They were also given a briefing about what the details of the program, as well as the itinerary; therefore, the students had a clear understanding of what to expect. They had the privilege to attend an important, fun-filled program with a wide range of learning opportunities. And, they were ready for the challenge.
The first task involved dividing the students into four groups, with each group assigned a leader. The teams were then asked to keep a ball on a small pipe before lifting it with three strands of thread. Each team member would then have to carry the ball to the other side where another pipe was fixed. Obviously, the exercise was meant to illustrate the importance of teamwork. And, despite the commotion of multiple teams yelling instructions and encouragement, the point of the exercise was clear to the students. The good news for the teams was that all of them managed to complete the task successfully.
One of the aims of such initiatives is to promote overall growth amongst students. The trekking activity on Day 2 did just that. Students were given a brief about the terrain and the measures that they would need to take to cope with the climb. For the students, it was a challenge like none other; however, in spite of the difficulties faced, the students completed the trek, which left them feeling exhilarated and accomplished. They realized that they can achieve their goals by putting forth the effort—and, the satisfaction that they felt was extraordinary.
Another activity, called the Spider Web, played a huge role in helping students know more about SWOT analysis. The task involved helping team members go through a small slot; in addition to being challenging, this exercise brought on a lot of laughs. A number of other fun and instructive games followed, completing a day filled with activities that were a huge learning experience for the students.
The last day was meant for rafting down the lake, which students were looking forward to. But before they embarked on the trip down the beautiful lake, they had to roll up their sleeves and make their own raft with the help of bamboo sticks that were provided to them. It was an arduous task indeed, but one that they managed competently, further understanding the importance of teamwork. Rafting in itself was a lot of fun for the students, who had plenty of other opportunities to let their hair down, especially around campfires in evenings.
One of the highlights of the program was that students had to analyze their performances after every task. Detailed discussions were held after every activity so that students could reflect on the take homes from each one of them. They could evaluate their own performances and that of their team. Not only did it accentuate the learning from the training program, but it also helped them bond with each other and go back to their campus feeling rejuvenated.