Life Lessons Learnt by Bangkok Christian College Students
The Crimson Education Thailand team was recently invited to conduct a 3-day Leadership Workshop during 27 - 29 October 2016 at Bangkok Christian College, one of the oldest and most well-known private all-boys schools in Thailand. The program also includes 10 Personalized Coaching Sessions tailored for the 23 students enrolled in its special Dual-Degree Intensive English Program (IEP). Workshops included topics such as cultural immersion, time management, and improving your college candidacy through leadership and extracurricular skills. For the Crimson team, the task of putting together a 3-day workshop that would leave a profound impact far beyond its duration was a challenging, but worthwhile experience.
Lesson 1: The merit of an overseas university experience lies in the cultural immersion and rapid maturation students undergo, perhaps even more so than the educational value that initially attracted them.
Kickstarting the first day was Thai native and Carnegie Mellon Alumni Professor Mock who shared a motivational speech into his personal journey from attending a Thai high school to becoming a student at an institution which boasts an impressive 19 past and present faculty and alumni members who’ve received Nobel Prize Laureates. The inspirational introduction to our workshops ignited the students’ enthusiasm, captivated by the overarching message of his speech. Professor Mock discussed his passion for Computer Science and even touched on his journey beyond higher education to literally the high altitudes, flying as a pilot on his numerous outdoor treks.
Lesson 2: ‘Imagine your life is an empty jar. You can choose to fill it with small pebbles and big rocks. What happens if you fill with small pebbles first? There’s no space to fill it with big rocks!’
Students were introduced to this analogy early into day two of the workshops and were asked to analyse and dissect its relevance.
Through this process, the 23 students realised the importance of strategic planning and time management; you must learn to prioritize important tasks over the less dire ones, not only on your college application, but in life beyond the classroom in order to achieve your goals.
Lesson 3: Motive-based communication, active listening, project planning and teamwork - are so indispensable to leadership.
Later on day two, students struggled with the seemingly simple task: to run across the room with their legs tied together. As they were prompted to reflect on the chain of events that led to them scattering across the floor, an epiphany struck and it dawned on them why the skills they had been exposed to earlier - motive-based communication, active listening, project planning and teamwork - are so indispensable to leadership.
Lesson 4: How to stand out and make your presentation memorable
On the last day, each student stood up front and presented on their dream university, putting their recently acquired public speaking skills to the test. Managing Director of Crimson Education Thailand, Pom, posed a question to the group, asking them which talks were the most memorable and why.
By likening the importance of memorability to how teachers are influenced when writing their letters of recommendation, she cemented the relevance of soft skills to each requirement of the application process in their minds, an invaluable insight for their future college applications.
By the end of the three days, it was plain to see the Crimson Team had achieved what they set out to do, as the farewells from students were followed by sincere gestures of gratitude and appreciation. It was easily noticeable in their eyes that we had sparked their enthusiasm, fuelled their dreams and cemented an unwavering drive to accelerate towards them. By exposing each student to the world of opportunities beyond their motherland, and pushing them beyond their comfort zones, they had become inspired to set high ambitions and expectations for themselves.
You can see an example of the three-day workshop program here:
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