The MBA World Summit is a platform for networking and high-impact exchanges amongst business leaders and MBA students from top business schools. The summit is organized by QX-Quarterly Crossing, which is a worldwide ‘network of excellence’, comprising of young and experienced leadership talents from across industries.
After learning that I’ve been selected to attend the inaugural MBA World Summit, I wondered about the type of people I was about to encounter. A quote by Mike Gravel, a former US senator and presidential candidate, came to mind, who quipped about his fellow senators, ‘You know, the first time you get there (the US senate), you’re all excited, and you think, ‘My God, how did I ever get here?’ Then, about six months later, you look around and think, ‘How the hell did the rest of them get here?!’
This was not the case at the summit. More than 2500 MBA students from around the world applied to go through a rigorous selection process. First, students had to submit 2-3 motivational essays. The selection committee then shortlisted the applicant pool down to 600 students, who were invited to a qualifying round to go through a video interview selection process, after which only 60 were invited to attend the summit. A total of 28 nationalities were represented amongst the participants.
This was a gathering of some of the most remarkable students from around the world, with notable credentials and inspiring personalities, and where every single participant offered something worth envying. What particularly intrigued me was how quickly everyone clicked. It was as if we all knew each other…and in less than 48 hours, we walked away with friendships that have the potential to produce great results in the future.
The summit was designed to tap into the expertise of participating students, by giving them the power to shape the agenda of the summit. Students were to conduct lectures, workshops, and think-tank sessions, and were expected to enable in-depth discussion and inspiring exchanges. 18 students were selected to hold these ‘laboratory sessions’, which covered different topics including leadership, evolution of news, RMB internationalization, and my own workshop, titled ‘Business Ethics: An Oxymoron?’
The motivation to hold a session on business ethics was due to the impactful nature of the summit. Since it hosted top students and business leaders, and was a platform to exchange of innovative ideas, it seemed imperative that a voice for positive ethics should fill that space. Together with fellow Mannheimer, Susanna Ingalls, we spent a significant amount of time in researching, debating, and preparing for the workshop, which generated interesting discussions and exchange of views (& disagreements) on the challenges of being ethical in business, and the responsibilities that businesses exist to fulfill in society.
While the first day was focused on introductions and laboratory sessions, the second focused on further integrating the students through top-notch social activities, which included fancy dinners, drinks, visits to tourist hotspots, and an amazing boat tour through Hong Kong’s Victoria harbor.
We even got to crash a modeling shoot that was taking place on-board our boat…
…And also volunteered to lend our modeling talents…
The inaugural MBA World Summit was an enormous success, and top business schools are already competing to host the next one in 2015. All the alumni from this year are invited to attend. A trip to Hong Kong, amazing people, high-quality networking, tourist activities and much more, all for free, sounded like a dream when I applied to attend.
But this was the 3-day reality the folks at QX-Quarterly Crossing created for us, and I’m eagerly looking forward to attending the next summit, wherever it may be.
– Saif Qazi –
Mannheim MBA Class of 2014