A Blog by International Students at Leiden University
Completed the semester-long International Leiden Leadership Programme last Saturday, this article is the second and last part of the series on my ILLP Experience. You can read the first part from here: The Road to Leadership: My ILLP Experience- Part 1.
The Business Game
After we completed our seminars and training sessions, we had the chance to practice the leadership skills such as negotiation and conflict resolution in a two-session activity: Business Game. We simulated the situation famous Dutch department store, V&D (which Hudson’s Bay replaced in Leiden), who went bankrupt couple of years ago.
We divided in different groups of stakeholders such as V&D management, the suppliers, the labor union and landlords. Looking for an agreement acceptable to everyone, we had heated discussions. Every party has its own concerns and priorities with one goal in common: to avoid bankruptcy. Payment plan negotiated, agreed upon a solution where everyone compromised. It was a unique opportunity to be a almost-real life negotiation table and practice the skills that we don’t find chances to do as current students.
Spent 4 months together, we had our graduation ceremony more than a month later we were done with our meetings, on 25th of May. After the last seminar on excelling in skills, we had a tour of the Old Observatory building where we had our sessions, one of my favourite university buildings. The tour was given by an astronomy student and filled by quite interesting facts on how the observatory was first founded or how a then brand-new telescope was torn into pieces and hid in different locations to protect from Nazi invasion during WW2. We even got to look through two biggest telescopes and sit on the chair where (allegedly) Einstein sat.
When we gave each other’s certificate and said a couple of words about that person was pretty emotional. It is amazing to see how you can bond with people you only see a couple of times a month for only, especially considering how diverse our backgrounds are. The borrel afterwards went on until we basically were asked to leave because the building was closing. Even then, we continued at Van der Werfpark and Keyzer. Think about all the promises to keep in touch with each other, I think the most important gain of the programme for me was to meet with so many nice people I would definitely want to stay friends from different programmes and with different aspirations.
Would you consider joining to ILLP next year? Share your thoughts in the comments!