GBS and IBCE Students Develop Their Leadership Skills and Team Synergy in Qingyuan, China

A group of 40 students from Global Business Studies (GBS) and International Business and Chinese Enterprise (IBCE) programmes engaged in a two-day-and-one-night synergy workshop in Qingyuan in late October.

A group of 40 students from Global Business Programmes – Global Business Studies (GBS) and International Business and Chinese Enterprise (IBCE) – learnt the beauty of team spirit and the importance of stepping out of one’s comfort zone through a two-day-and-one-night synergy workshop in Qingyuan in late October. Such experience has laid down a solid foundation for students to become a global business manager in the future.

Held in Qingyuan on October 29 and 30, this Leadership and Synergy Workshop was hoped to provide participating students an opportunity to develop crucial management soft skills, as well as to strengthen the team spirit among GBS and IBCE students. Although we had opportunities to sit in the hot springs and recharge our body and soul, the outdoor trainings were the actual highlights through which we learnt, felt and grew. The two-day schedule was a continuum of physically and mentally demanding tasks.

One of the activities required participating students to divide themselves into three groups, each having to bounce a tennis ball with a pan-sized Chinese drum. Its surface remained even only when the group members exerted an equal amount of force to the connected ropes. The task might sound like an easy one, but once somebody pulled the rope too strongly or pulled it at the wrong timing, the drum immediately became off-balanced and the ball flied towards random directions. After all, our group made a big success in seeking an effective solution, bouncing the ball more than 60 times within 100 seconds – an incredible outcome. As what Dr. John Lai, Programme Director of Global Business Programmes mentioned, “To achieve goals as a team, each of you has to go all out!” Without the bold decision-making, effective communication and mutual trust among the team, the conundrum would have remained unsolved.


The more exciting tasks that stimulated our nerves were awaiting us on the second day where we were engaged in high beam exercises. In one of the challenges, we had to climb up a vertical pole about 15 meters high. From the top of the pole, we were asked to jump and catch the bar that was hanging in the air. If we failed to catch the bar, we would fall and we could only depend on a single wire that the teammates were holding from the ground. Under such enormous psychological burden, we had to rely on our team and ourselves. In the end, some made it to catch the bar and some failed. But under the same crisis, we empathised and encouraged. We are bonded together with a stronger team spirit.

Participating in the Qingyuan workshop was indeed a fulfilling experience. I understand how to develop more effective leadership, teamwork and capability in which audacious decision-making and mutual respect among the team co-exist. We did not learn about it as we do in lectures, but we felt with our heart, mind and soul, which render our experience even more meaningful. For the year-one students like myself, the workshop was one of the first steppingstones towards becoming a successful global business manager in the future. In the coming three and a half year and beyond, our journey will continue.

By Jeno Seo

Seo is a current student from the IBCE programme of CUHK Business School.