What is a fad? The dictionary defines a fad as a short-lived craze. Nicholas Yeo, an SMU Master of Science in Management (MM) student, says his postgraduate studies have been all about FAD. No, this FAD isn’t a trend. Neither is it a temporary fashion. This FAD that he spoke of, is about Friends, Activities and Development Classes.
Time cannot be said to be an accurate gauge of friendship; however, it can be said that the foundation of true friendship is mutually shared experiences. The SMU MM programme provides challenges and experiences that have led up to life long friendships. In Nicholas Yeo’s experience, his class bonded deeply through the challenges they faced. The activities helped them to understand and embrace the diversity of the class. “As a class, we will all agree we went to hell and back with the intensity of our programme and we bonded deeply through the challenges we faced… We supported each other through crunch times and celebrated each other’s achievements (and, of course, birthdays)!”
This is me being surprised by my friends when I was in the Group Study Room (GSR), discussing yet another project. I was surprised and astonished over the fact that they knew when my birthday was as I kept mum about my birth date.
Activities are the highlight of the class. At SMU, they study hard but play harder. According to Yeo the most memorable experiences were a Sentosa outing and the Ice-Cold Beer chill out sessions his class had during difficult periods in the school year. “We had the Sentosa outing in the early part of the year and we had a beach day-out! I remember laughing so hard to myself mainly over the fact that collectively, we did not pack food but did pack alcohol instead. We played ice-breaker games and spent the whole day drinking and partying as a class. Aside from arranged outings such as the beach day-out, we have random gatherings which we call ‘chill out’ sessions. These usually occurred when the lectures became way too heavy and most of us needed a time out. Typically, a message will come in just a few minutes before class ended and those who felt the need to relax with a drink would ‘sign up’.”
Everyone had a blast at the MM Sentosa outing!
At SMU, there are development classes that aim to groom students to be better leaders. These come in the form of seminars and workshops, but are not limited to these alone. According to Nicholas, one of the most memorable classes was a game you wouldn’t expect to be played at an educational institution – poker.
The point of the poker sessions was to improve decision-making skills and weighing probabilities and outcomes. The atmosphere at development classes aren’t as serious as you’d expect them to be. Similar to leadership training seminars, these development classes are venues for students to just have fun with the activities. “I remember the facilitator laughing at me and exclaiming, “Lady Luck!” The game was intense as we were playing within our own groups before the winners from each table were pitted against each other to earn the title of ‘Poker Champion’. It wasn’t just 10 dollars that was at stake. For some, it was pride and glory.”
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