Thursday, June 07, 2007

What makes a good Section?

I can't believe we're nearing the end. On the one hand, and all credit to the 1 year programme, I think we all want to go back to the real world and conquer it and prosper, but on the other hand, the sight of losing track of such wonderful people is scary. I guess London people don't feel the loss as acutely, because, as they say, London is going to be their P6. But for all the others we'll need to turn the page with conviction. To me, it just seems that some people I will meet again and again, some I will do business with, some I will help or will help me. In brief, some I will keep in touch as long as can be. At 30 years old odd, one must be able to discriminate people, and know in absolute terms which are worth and which are flimsy, or good-to-remember. I can...

So which one was the best Section of Fonty July 07? I'd be tempted to say mine, because it is a really great one.
Facts are:
- Best section tshirt was E4, then E2, E3, and E1 getting the prize for making history of not having a Section Tshirt (E3 getting the one of the ugliest of the year, and worse, with 10 Student names missing on it).
- Most active sections were E4, then E3...
- Most Dean's List productive Sections were E4, then the pack... E3 and the rest.

So E4 the best? It's funny because whenever I attended it I felt not home (some bias well known by statisticians and OB theorists). The point is, whatever your values, E4 made it glued more than others.

You readers and future intakes, here are some invaluable insights. Make sure you take care of your sections like that:
1. Probability is, sections have equal chances of gluing. INSEADs do share similar values whatever section they belong to. Sections become the Nerd section (E1) or the crazy section (E4) not because of some different profiles, but because they've been turned into that.

2. Section Social Rep, who are elected by the class, are key. Ideally you'd like to elect someone who does not care too much about grades (like a sponsored Consultant or a super bright individual), but also does not care too much about himself. Dedication is key, for at least P1 and P2. E4 actually got 3 Social Reps when the elected one graciously decided to share his burden. The result is, Win-Win situation, as the Section enjoyed more fun for less pressure on the Reps.

3. Ideally, a house that could accomodate the Section parties would help.

4. Section parties must start soon enough. Two in P1, 2 or 3 in P2, would be a good number. It's like Change Management, there is a definite "tipping point", or "critical mass" of parties that will make the Section glue together. E3, was a perfect Section, but did not have enough parties/gatherings, and in that sense never really passed that all-important tipping point.

5. Create a Section Tshirt early enough to foster some team spirit and belonging feeling. That sounds cheesy, but it works. And there is a balance between democracy and leadership. E3 struggled for weeks on its slogan (E3 got to be? E3 wannabe?) and its design, to, in the end, come up with the lowest denominator, several mistakes on it, and delivered the last night of P2 when 50% of people already had flown home for Christmas.

6. Individuals do matter. Strong values can balance loose section bonds. In my section, people have always been very cooperative, helpful, great networkers, and with such a great heart and mind.

With these tips, you'll have no excuse not to make it the most fun sections.
Again, fun to me is not partying "à gogo". Just non-work environments to know fellow participants more, in less formal settings, and without masks...

My section may be second best in objective terms, but to me it's still my favourite!


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At 12:27 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hard to believe the competition among sections here on Europe campus. There was big friendship between A1 and A2 in Singapore! All parties and BBQs: together, T-shirts: together, good memories: all together... The advantages of a smaller campus...

At 3:34 PM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Hey don't dramatize lol. Competition is a very big word. There were different cultures, that's for sure. I do believe traditions, rites, are important (cf. LO).


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