What started off as a calm, gloomy Wednesday morning with a pack of sleepy MGMers, quickly changed into a – what we like to call – an #AMSlife experience. As a result of a border control, the MGM bus suddenly got pulled over by the border officers. I am not sure who was more confused at that moment: on the one hand about half of the class didn’t have a single clue of what was going on, on the other hand we had the ‘Koninklijke Marechaussee’ who just heard that a mix of 14 nationalities were on their way to Wemeldinge… Either way, after a couple of minutes of checking IDs, we were quickly back on our way. Already a promising start for a memorable residential seminar.
Our first day revolved around individual development and increasing self-awareness. Before receiving our DISC test results, we first had to guess the DISC profile of our peer group members. Surprisingly – or not – our guesses were not so far from the real results. This created a platform where you could get honest and sincere feedback from people, which is necessary for self-awareness.
After the lunch break, we had a walk on the dyke of Wemeldinge with our peer group members. During the afternoon things got really personal. We all shared ‘our story’. Who are we? Where are we coming from? Where do we want to be? After the debrief it was food-o’clock again! The catering team was so kind to prepare some delicious spaghetti for all 45 (!) of us. Thumbs up and a big thanks, guys!
Day one was over. Or not? Since we found ourselves in the capital of nowhere, the headquarters of nothing-to-do, we had to entertain ourselves. This appeared to be very easy. It’s not only MIE who scores high on innovation and creativity! Give us a pen and some paper et voilà: MGM came up with a whole night of laughter and entertainment.
There we were, 42 highly educated young potentials playing a very simple game. Happiness doesn’t imply complicatedness. It does, however, imply some variety. Out of the blue our classmate Willem switched things up and revealed himself as a true quiz master. The rest of the evening we were listening to music fragments, shouting song titles and singing at the top of our lungs. Some balloons were flying around as well. Another fun fact: there were two teams: one of 4 people and the other one of about 10. Sense: it made none, which made the whole situation even more hilarious.
Day two, the rooster crows, time to wake up! We ‘jumpstarted’ our day with a group picture. After that, we were hungry for some tasty breakfast. The day would even get tastier: since it was Cat’s birthday, the thoughtful catering team ordered numerous, personalized birthday cakes. Gefeliciteerd, Cat!
Besides birthday wishes and cake, the day was filled with team building activities and the concept of trust. This day revolved around the MGM group dynamics. Tied to each other and blind-folded, we managed to find some hidden ribbons in the spacious backyard while trying to evade the necessary obstacles. After that, we conquered a huge spider web that consisted of rope. Thanks to our magnificent teamwork we all found our way to the other side. Some even got there by some really spectacular moves. I think Nafees surprised us all with his impressive ‘tiger jump’.
Of course, the residential seminar wasn’t all fun and giggles. Or at least not only. I think we can speak on behalf of the whole class by stating that these two days really made us think and stand still. Our friendships got even closer. Even though our class was only about 30 hours together, it felt like we’ve been away for a week. In short, the residential formed the perfect opportunity to get to know each other better, to learn how to appreciate each other and to get new insights.
And there’s one last insight I’d like to share: MGM is a warm, caring group of very diverse persons who are energetic, enthusiastic, cheerful, ambitious, unprejudiced, sometimes crazy, hilarious, open, comforting and basically just awesome. And I’m very happy to be a part of that group!
– Octavia –
Co-author: Sean Jonckheere
Pictures: Derk Mooiweer