It's been awhile! It's crazy to think about how fast this semester has flown by! Life in the College of Business has been exciting, challenging, and super rewarding. This week is the first week back from Spring Break, and as most people say, the year flies by from here. We have about four weeks of class left until finals, which is simply crazy!
This year, I had an amazing Spring Break trip. Except, I wouldn't really call it a "Spring Break trip"...it was not your standard cross-country travels with friends! I was in Athens, Greece with Deloitte!
Why, you might ask? For the past five years, Deloitte has hosted an event called ISBF, or the International Student Business Forum. This year, 72 students from across the world visited Athens, Greece to learn about leadership, understand cross-cultural relations, and participate in a case competition.
Out of these 72 students, 10 were from the United States, representing different schools. I was the sole representative from the University of Illinois, and I met other students from across the country--students from Berkely, Notre Dame, USC, and more! Other students were from places around the world! My 6-person team was comrpised of students from the UK, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and Portugal! It was an amazing group.
Deloitte also brought 24 coaches, 2 per team, to lead us in our endeavors. Our coaches, one from HR and one from the business practice, helped us work together, got us through challenges, and provided us with individual feedback at the end. Working with my team was extremely exciting and forced me to work with others in different ways. I truly worked across cultures, and we all had to understand each other and our backgrounds to give a cohesive presentation. The leadership characteritics we learned about ourselves, in the meantime, definitely encouraged more self reflection.
The case itself was super exciting and challenging. We had 24 hours to complete it (and we had to actually sleep, too!). We were given an abundance of materials, and we had to figure out what was useful and what wasn't. The final presentations were amazing. We all wanted each other to do well. We prepared beforehand by completing a Nestle case with a professor from IMD, a school in Switzerland. I defintiely saw all my work in cases at Illinois pay off in a big way--I was very prepared for the task at hand.
I look back on this trip and could not have asked for a better way to spend my sophomore year Spring Break! I learned so much, grew as a leader, and am ready for even more challenges and exciting experiecnes in the years ahead!