Transcontinental Track in Canada : Flash-back on the teambuilding week-end

Carole Attia,  graduate student from Grenoble EM, and Sivansh Padhy, student at Simon Fraser University come back on the teambuilding week-end organised for both SFU and Grenoble EM students.

Little time was wasted pressing the comfort zones of both SFU students and GEM students alike, as we were all whisked off on a retreat to the Sunshine Coast of BC for a few days of team building, fresh air, and learning about the importance of sustainability.

The outing came only days after students met, leaving ample room for new connections to be made.  So after a quick bus ride and a windy trip on the ferry, we were off. This weekend, however, the Sunshine Coast mustered as much grey sky and rain as it possibly could in an attempt to teach us all the true meaning of irony, but we stayed optimistic. After getting used to the weather and acquainting ourselves with our warm cabins, we were immediately off to team building exercises. Team building consisted of everything from some nice and easy name games, to canoeing in the ocean, and even group presentations (because it just wouldn’t be a business program if we didn’t do a few presentations). One of the most intriguing parts of the retreat revolved around Myers-Briggs personality testing. Every student was tasked with doing a personality test that gives a snapshot of how we think, perceive the world, and interact with other people. Through our discussions about our personality types, it was astounding to see just how different people’s thinking styles were. We often judge people by their actions, while judging ourselves by our intentions.

This discussion we had was a great way to see what the intentions and logic of others were before jumping to conclusions. Those who like to talk a lot do so because they learn through discussion, not because they want to be loud. Those who like to make sure people are doing their work don’t intend on being overbearing, they simply want to ensure things are fair and that everyone can stay organized. It was minor insights like these that seem so obvious in passing that truly allowed us to understand value the differences we held among each other. Running alongside all of this personal reflection was the discussion of sustainability and it’s importance around the world. Our conversations stood far away from the preaching and often associated with environmentalists. We instead found our conversations more oriented to our personal experiences with travel and even our families, all of it somehow finding itself back to the topic of sustainability. Whether we cared about global sustainability or not, getting the chance to peer across the Pacific Ocean onto looming tree-covered mountain was truly an amazing sight to see.

Questionable weather, a strict timeline, and a high level of activity seem like an equation that wouldn’t equate to “relaxing”. And though we had little time to relax, the Sunshine Coast was an opportunity for us to break down cultural barriers and breathe easy.

Thanks to Mark Anthony Wijaya for his pictures.

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