Here I am thousands of miles away from home in the city of Sydney. It’s my first day at the Australian Graduate School Of Management (AGSM) and, yes, I’m excited as I enter the building for the first time.
After an hour of welcome and introductions by the admissions team and our two main lecturers, we’re told to gather downstairs for our first exam.
Did I hear that right? I know an MBA is hard work, but an exam on the first day? I hope they’re kidding.
As we settle into our chairs a bald guy wearing a bright orange shirt takes center stage and starts talking about music, drums and African tribes.
Over the next 90 minutes that follow, we’re told, we’ll be doing something called “Musical Experience Learning”. Apparently it’s an AGSM ritual that before any teaching begins, each MBA class must prove its Musical Experience.
The ritual involves playing a ten-minute concert using various African drums and musical instruments after only 90 minutes of training.
Orange-shirted Chris, a professional drummer, is our trainer. He’s an amazing guy and an awesome musician. He was funny and strict and our concert sounded really good. In 90 minutes he’d turned 70 MBA students from more than 30 countries into amateur African drummers.
A mind-blowing start to my MBA.