By Ayan Mukhopadhyay, Global MBA student
The Global MBA’s trip to the ESSEC Campus in Singapore was something that was planned from the program’s start. Although the numerous engagements of the program didn’t leave us much time to think about it ahead of time, the topic came up quite abruptly when it came time to choose hotels. In spite of this not being the most important thing to worry about in Singapore, it was a reminder that a long trip was approaching fast.
Preparations for the trip were going at a different speeds for each of us. While some of us were up until 3-4am celebrating our last night in Cergy, some others probably went to bed early. While (almost) all of us were packed and ready to go, a few were still clueless as to what to take (and ended up packing few hours before the flight!). Nonetheless, the people living in Cergy reached the bus stop to take the 10:45am bus to CDG international airport. For one member of our group, the trip’s main focus was clearly weather-related, as his t-shirt (despite Paris’ sub-zero temperatures) indicated. The proper bus stop at which to alight was the source of some controversy, since a few of us were not satisfied with the short ride of 1 hour, while one person was keen to get off (and quite correctly). Luggage check-in went without any problem, except for one, whose e-visa was interpreted incorrectly by the airline employee. However, upon his proclamation that although he has been silent, he can be violent anytime, everything fell into place. One more person had the same problem; however, he got away with it (as usual).
We are travelling by the Airbus A380, which Emirates has lined up against the aerobridge, especially for the GMBA team. Boarding and take-off went without much of a problem. The interior of the brand new airplane was looking good (together with the crew of course), especially the in-flight entertainment. It was a 7 hour long flight and most of us started browsing through the in-flight entertainment system when we saw a small gathering at the back of the cabin. A few of the GMBA students were already in the process of setting up a small skybar. At a height of more than 10,000 metres the team managed to find the right way to keep everyone entertained and at one point, 7 hours seemed too short for the entertainment that was at stake. Several people, true to their networking spirit, started off with networking with the crew (and quite successfully); all except for one took part in the ensuing festivities!
7 hours passed as if in the blink of an eye and we reached Dubai in what felt like no time. We had few hours to waste until the next flight to Singapore. Whilst most of us were looking for food, the smokers’ team met with a rude shock when they found out that they had a walk of almost a kilometer to find a smoking room which had no ventilation! But for their determination and spirit, this challenge was no match.
No sooner had we all eaten and explored than it was time for the next flight to Singapore. As we bid goodbye to Dubai airport and boarded the next flight, we knew that in just 6 hours we would be welcomed by Singapore, our home for the next 5 weeks. For most of us it was the first visit to Singapore and the exciting prospects that lay ahead were enough to bring a sparkle to our eyes. Who knows what the future has in store for us, but that uncertainty will not deter the GMBA team from setting our eyes on a bright term ahead with a spirit of positivity…