After an exhausting week full of exams the FIM class of 2015 had an exciting week with extraordinary topics: Our so called FIM Winter School. The goal of the Winter School’s is to grow together as a team and to develop everyone’s abilities by challenging team building actions and workshops. Therefore external experts share their knowledge about various soft skills and presentation techniques – everything wrapped up in a lot of fun!

Our first day mostly consisted of outdoor events in which we had to face various challenges. Here, we could only achieve our objectives by working together as one team closely and strategically. For example, we had to form two overlapping squares using ropes – with everybody being blindfolded. Also we had to crack a complicated code without speaking to each other at all. As time was usually scarce, we needed to be quite organized to be successful. The day reached its climax in a team task on a huge area where the most challenging part was to get small groups to work together efficiently and to succeed even when our plan did not work out as intended. At the end of the day we summed up our experiences to actually realize what made us successful and how we might transfer these insights into everyday life.

The next two days were all about communication. We had a balanced mix of theoretical information and practical experiences shared by psychologist Christoph Burkhardt. We learned about different roles you can take at a networking event and what to have in mind when standing in front of an audience in order to be a convincing speaker. Here, our main focus was on how to react to questions from the audience sensitively. The last day of our Winter School introduced us to a lot about presentations and presentation techniques. The day was divided into two parts. One was about structure and content. The other one about rhetorical aspects and body language. We were asked to hold presentations spontaneously – either on a chosen topic or in a “PowerPoint karaoke” where we got a random set of slides and had to present them to the audience instantaneously. Besides gaining very valuable experiences, everybody received honest and constructive feedback. There was great value in the fact that no one could embarrass himself, but rather learn a lot from the given feedback. Most importantly: We had a lot of fun together!

Not only did we develop ourselves during these days, but we also got to know each other even better than before and grew close together as a group. We are happy to have the privilege to be in a group of classmates who became true friends.