It all started as any new adventure starts, you know nothing and nobody. Or at least we didn't. The first semester went by as fast as a bullet. A lot happened and a lot changed since the beginning. AMSlife asked around and this is how we, the students, experienced our first semester.
Once upon a time
In the beginning, things were starting a bit slow. Everyone is getting to know each other at first, no-one not too many deadlines. What most people liked were all the "bonding" activities at AMS. This is not limited to the exhilerating and intensive seminar, that gave us the opportunity to bond with our classmates! Even cross-program wise we had the City Game, the International Dinner and the Halloween Party – great events that provided us with exciting new ways to get to know new people in a fun and cosy atmosphere.
AMS' multiculturality is a plus that is noted multiple times - people feel in a different country and learn a lot from their foreign friends, although working together is not always easy.
Fun and games
The Halloween Party, on the other hand, was the ideal opportunity to just relax and dance (...and drink) the night away, while complimenting each other on the outfits! At the same time, during the International Dinner, we could all get a taste of the different cultural dishes that were being served. We tasted a few very interesting ones, sometimes with a taste that was totally new to us! This shows how much emphasis Antwerp Management School puts on cultural diversity and a global environment. For a lot of us, this is most certainly a strength of AMS, the sharing of experiences with different people. It is fun and exciting, and you'll always learn something, or get to know someone new.
It is nice to note that every masters program has its own football team. Needless to say that the competitive side of some students showed up once in a while, which resulted in some exciting football games to watch and some great cheering squads amongst the supporters. A couple of clashes later we can conclude that the Master of Global Management (MGM) has the best AMS football team... at least for now. With the organization of the AMS Football League in the second semester, this could certainly change - to be continued!
On a more serious note
Of course it is not all fun and games. We also have to work very hard. For most of us, the semester progressed in the same way. A slow start and then... BAM! Deadlines scattered all over the place! Through all the papers, presentations, exams and other often stressful moments, there were some other corporate activities. Many programs had a bunch of interesting company visits, such as the AB InBev HQ in Leuven. We should also not forget the Career Fair early on in the semester which gave us great networking opportunities.
Some of us noted the Leadership and Career Development Track and its different seminars as an important part of the first semester. We saw people develop from nervous wrecks to accomplished communicators thanks to our public speaking seminars. We noticed a trend that went from makeshift ideas to more creative out-of-the-box projects after our creative thinking seminars. There is greater understanding thanks to our intercultural awareness seminar. AMS puts a lot of time and effort in our personal development, which of course had an early peak with the residential seminar. This certainly pays off, and we speak for a lot of students when we say this is greatly appreciated.
And all the while, MGM and its Dutch-speaking counterpart, the Master in Management, were battling away in StratSim for the title of ‘best program’. You can read more on this in the very near future.
Endgame, part 1
After only one semester AMS became something like a second home. All students are part of one big family living by the same motto "work hard, play hard". Through all the events, assignments and experiences we keep improving to become better versions of ourselves.
The semester is coming to a close, and the Christmas break is almost upon us, so let's not dwell on those deadlines, presentations, papers and cases – let’s just remember the nice moments and look forward to celebrating Christmas and New Year, whether that is with our newfound friends in Antwerp or with our long lost family back at home.
There is only one way, and that's the way forward. After New Year we find ourselves in the same place, but with new exciting ideas, more experience and a determination to succeed.
Happy Holidays everyone!
In collaboration with Renzo Noulez de Miguel.
We would like to thank the following people for their contribution to this article: Aretha Chang, Lisa De Deygere, Laura Hoekx, Alexandra Moens, Alisha Nasrin, Mateo Prezelus and Victoria Stepanyan.