“The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team.” - Phil Jackson
One of our final blogs for the year, and you all are probably tired of hearing about the famous (or infamous depending on your perspective) course called CSI. With the project reports turned in to Steigenberger Hotel Group and the final presentations executed in front of company executives and Professor Nicolas Graf, this blog will focus on my personal experience with what I believe to be the one of the most valuable, challenging and exciting courses in the entire IMHI program.
CSI: Competitive Strategic Intelligence… Or Chipotle, Stress and Imagination
The CSI journey began in April with the determination of the different groups. The morning we received the email with the list of group leaders, a flurry of messages, phone calls, and personal meetings occurred almost instantaneously, as each student sought to secure the best group based on his or her own individual criteria. The group that I had the good fortune of being a part of was made up of students from all over the world – yours truly from the US, Alexandra from Peru, Alex from Germany, Ioanna from Greece and Sara from Lebanon. But there was one characteristic that united us all: a strong determination to provide an excellent deliverable for Steigenberger Hotel Group.
Funnily enough, many of us had never worked in a group setting together. Nevertheless, from the first group meeting that we had at the beginning of May, each of us put our best foot forward for the benefit of the group. Assignment after assignment, we worked hard to present a concise, pertinent and creative analysis to Professor Graf.
Boy, was it stressful… But it is an experience that I will never forget not only because of its educational and professional merits, but also because of the four people that I had the opportunity to get to know even better and whom I can now call some of my closest friends. There were very positive moments, such as our countless lunches at the nearby Chipotle restaurant whenever we met at ESSEC’s La Defense campus, the many laughs we shared about everything and anything during work sessions, the immense feeling of joy when our financial forecasts turned out not to be negative… In addition to everything that I learned about the methodology to determine future opportunities in hospitality, these are the moments I will most cherish and remember. I learned so much about myself during the two months that constituted the project, and more than anything, I learned a great deal from my four teammates who were each tremendously gifted and talented in their own domains.
Looking back on the entire CSI project, I can say with certainty that it is one of the most rewarding experiences that I have had during my time at IMHI, and this is in great part due to my four teammates. Pushing through the challenges, strengthening each other and finding the right balance between work and play was what made working on the project truly satisfying and enjoyable. It is a part of IMHI that I will never forget, carrying with me the lessons and memories from Peru, Germany, Greece and Lebanon as I embark onto the next chapter of my professional career.