The first week of CIM was insane. We had activities scheduled throughout the entire week from 8am to 12am (sometimes later depending on how long you stay out “networking”) with our section, which is made up of anywhere between 60-80 classmates. The schedule doesn’t leave much time to sleep, and that coupled with late nights, socializing, and germs being imported by KWEST from all over the world, leads to a phenomenon known as “CIM SARS”, which refers to the fact that the majority of students will be sick by the end of the first week. I saw this gradually happening everyday, as a few coughs in the auditorium slowly expanded to a large chorus of coughing, lost voices, and runny noses.
Some of the CIM activities are primarily informative, such as listening to student panels on diversity, but other events are competitive and scored by a variety of judges across the eight sections. The scores are tallied and overall standings are maintained on a scoreboard in the main hall of the Kellogg building. At the end of the first two weeks, the top section is crowned the winner and given a much higher amount of money for social activities throughout the year.
I don’t want to get into the details of the competitions that we had, because I think that would ruin the fun for incoming students, but I may change my mind. The CIM Executive Committee changes it every year, and I’m sure other people have already written up detailed accounts of the entire experience, so I may not be actually giving much away. That said, I’ll always try to notify you in advance if I have included a CIM spoiler in my post.
My section, the Jive Turkeys, has a history of winning CIM (1st in 2006, 2nd in 2007, and 1st in 2008). Our section leaders, who were members of the 2008 (Class of 2010) section, let us know that they were counting on us to keep it going. Their enthusiasm towards winning got them branded as the “crazy” leaders by students in the other sections, but honestly, I think they are awesome! They are very outgoing, energetic, and fun, and they have been working diligently towards building up strong bonds in our section. This isn’t to say that the entire experience has been rosy; the fact is, when you get so many accomplished individuals in a group with no clear leadership structure, personalities are going to clash. This was very evident during the planning for one of the big competitions. Modern Business Cow, who is in my section, can probably attest to this.
During the beginning of the week, the Jive Turkeys started out with solid performance, but we weren’t able to make it into the top 3. Nonetheless, we were pretty motivated (in large part due to our section leaders’ enthusiasm), and we managed to win the competition that is worth the most points, propelling us into 1st place overall. Now, we just have to hold off the other sections through 2 less-challenging competitions, and then victory will be ours!
Last Wednesday, I started my first class, Leadership in Organizations, which is a compressed class taken for 2.5 weeks during CIM. The class so far has been absolutely amazing, in large part due to the professor, who I’ve been told is one of the most highly sought-after professors for Negotiations. We’ve been covering general leadership topics, such as the decision-making biases that cause us to make flawed decisions and persuasion techniques. The discussions are dynamic and very informative, drawing upon the professor’s experiences as a very successful consultant, as well as the classes various work experiences. I’m hoping the class is an indication of what I can expect throughout the rest of the program.
This week, the CIM schedule has become a bit more relaxed. Our activities now only run from 10am to 5pm everyday, with a large dosage of HW sprinkled in between.