John Woods, Natalia Diaz, Afif Syahraztany and Song Jiratanatiteenun (Not-For-Profit Project team four), Class of 2017, reflect on their time in the Lake District
One of the highlights of the full-time Manchester MBA induction period is the Brathay residential trip, which is packed with outdoor activities and intellectual challenges. Brathay is located in England’s famous Lake District, north of Lake Windermere. First and foremost, Brathay is a team building experience designed to expose strengths and skills for individuals and teams, whilst revealing blind spots that we previously had not been aware of. We left for Brathay with enthusiasm, motivated by stories from the Class of 2016 and academic staff about rock climbing, abseiling, rowing, orienteering and team building activities. So, how did our team get on?
“Being the only British MBA candidate in our Not-for-Profit Project team, my advice was to pack coats, hiking boots and umbrellas. Luckily, we didn’t see a spot of rain for the four days we were in the Lake District. My favourite memories from Brathay include rowing the whaleboats, abseiling down trees and rock climbing. Whilst providing lots of practical adrenaline-pumping activities, Brathay included lots of time to reflect and learn more about our team, specifically the team dynamics, our relative strengths and areas of growth. Facilitated by our instructor, Annie, Brathay provided me with lots of insights and skills for working in teams, which I will be able to apply throughout the MBA programme, as well as lots of fond memories!”
“Our journey at Brathay was very useful for our team because during every activity, every team member gained confidence. We discovered strengths and areas of improvement that it probably would have taken longer to discover if we hadn’t experienced Brathay. We were very frank and transparent in the feedback sessions and that allowed us to grow as professionals, too. Besides this, we had the opportunity to build self-confidence in the outdoor activities, especially those involving heights. I realised that I am not afraid of heights, and I really enjoy doing this type of activity now.”
“My four-day experience at Brathay in Lake District National Park will surely be a wonderful memory for me. In addition to the beautiful scenic views of mountains, lakes, and other natural panoramas, l also gained life lessons such as the importance of planning, strategic communication, building trust and solid teamwork. This will help me achieve success not only throughout the MBA, but also in life afterwards. The most important part for me was challenging my height phobia. However, eventually I realised that with the support of my teammates, anything is possible.”
“Even though it was only four days at Brathay, I felt like I was there for four weeks. Brathay gave me an opportunity to make new friends and also a chance to spend wonderful time with my Not-for-Profit project group. There were many kinds of activities, each of them very useful, including adventure activities (which developed team relationships) and review sessions (to understand our strengths and weaknesses). I have learned that teamwork is very important and I will utilise all of my experiences from this trip during my MBA and my future career.”