Learning from a Unique Experience
You learn in various ways and through various methods in a rigorous program like MBA. But how often are graduate students exposed to opportunities that combine simple fun and valuable learning experiences? On Sept. 11, the UConn MBA Class of 2017 did a scavenger hunt in downtown Hartford.
“A scavenger hunt for the MBA students?” you may say, with certain hints of skepticism. This may have been a purely relaxation technique or an absolute waste of time. However, if you try to understand the underlying purpose of the hunt, you will feel differently about this.
As business students, it is essential we learn how to collaborate with teams and drive them towards success. At all the MBA programs, a significant focus on team activities is perceived through mediums such as case studies or presentations. However, this two-hour scavenger hunt allowed the class learning opportunities that an entire semester of academic team work cannot provide. The rule of the game was basic – the players were supposed to analyze clues, perform activities and discover items, like in a regular scavenger hunt. The twist was that students were teamed up randomly. From identifying fountains and statuary, to looking for restaurants that serve macaroni and cheese, the students had fun while working together strategizing and problem-solving. After two hours of scavenger hunting around downtown, the teams came back to school for awards and pizza.
The end results were extremely valuable. The results of such a scavenger hunt at the beginning of the semester of an MBA program can be classified into two parts:
- Primary Result: It ended up being one of the most efficient ways of strategized team-building. The players on each team barely knew each other at the beginning of the hunt and they ended up being a closely knit bunch – as seen at the after-party. There is simply no alternate way in any academic program to achieve such a result in team cohesion within just two hours.
- Secondary Result: Most of the students who attend a reputed MBA program are from various parts of the country or the world. In order to perform optimally, it is ideal for these students to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. This hunt allowed the students to familiarize themselves with downtown Hartford in a fun and efficient manner.
Everything you do in an MBA program is a unique learning opportunity. This scavenger hunt proved to be exactly that. It started off being just a game, and very quickly the players came to realize how engaging it could be. All the players were able to show off their individual skills as well collaborative skills, and they were closer than ever. At the end of the hunt, there wasn’t that small part of skepticism anymore – there were only faces with pure sense of achievement.