Sunday, September 6, 2009

First week at Kellogg: CIM

I just finished my first week at the Kellogg School of Management. This was the first week of the three day pre-term called CIM, or Complete Immersion in Management. CIM is designed to help students to get familiar with the Kellogg culture based on teamwork, and helps you get to know your classmates. It consists of several components, all of have been a lot of fun:

1. Section Time: Kellogg students are divided into eight sections: Poets, Highlanders, Cash Cows, Moose, Turkeys, Bullfrogs, Big Dogs and Buckets. The names of the sections are based on the background of people they used to put on these sections. For example, Poets were the Arts Majors, Highlanders were the foreign students, and Cash Cows were the former investment bankers. At some point, some wise person had the bright idea that diversity is good. So they retained the names, but mixed up people into different sections. Also, each section has one sister section and one rival section.

Everyday during CIM, my section, the Highlanders, would get together and go through various activities with our section leaders. Probably the most fun activity was the name game, where you learn your section mates' first and last names. To help facilitate this, all students come up with adjectives starting with the same letter as their first name's first letter. We also spent a lot of time preparing for various activities like the cheering contest and the CIM showcase. Also, when someone would show up late, they would be asked to do some fun activity, like performing an 80's dance (see video below).

2. Cheering Contest: On the first day of CIM, we prepared for and participated in a inter-section cheering contest. We dressed up in all sorts of gear, and prepared a coordinated 3-minute cheer for their section. We also prepared a supporting cheer for our sister section, the Bulfrogs, and an anti-cheer (or rather a jeer) for our rival section, the poets.

3. Amazing Race:
Another inter-section contest was the amazing race, a race/scavenger hunt on campus. I served as one of the home-base personnel, which means I sat on the computer and waited for my teammates to call me so that I could google their clues, and help them figure out the right places to go to.

4. CIM Showcase: The CIM showcase was a 7 minute skit put together by each section. Our only requirements were that we reference atleast one recent Chicago area event, and show one cultural misunderstanding. We did our skit in the form of a newscast from Kellogg, taking our audience all the way from KWEST to all the different activities at CIM. The winning section's skit featured a guy who did the Tiger Woods golf ball commercial(see below)!

Here are few videos from last year's showcase.

5. CIM Olympics : The final event in the week was the CIM Olympics, in which we competed against other sections in five events, including a tug of war and golf ball toss. The best event was the dizzy bat race, where you run to a bat, roll it on the ground with your head on one end, and then run back to your section mates on the other end. Needless to stay several people fell while running back, and made for some great laughs!

6. Other stuff: Between all this madness, we have been going out every night, and also attending a class on Leadership, in a very intense format (one 3 hour class every day of the week). I love the class and will write more about the class later.

The whole week has been fun, and I feel like I already have learned several lessons about teamwork and leadership. My section mates are awesome, in their backgrounds, talents and friendly manner. There have been some moments where we butted heads, but we got through them. I am glad I joined Kellogg. I sum up this week in one sentence from one of the CIM showcases: the most expensive summer camp in the world, but definitely the most fun.


  1. Thank you for the fascinating (if not nauseating) insight into the American MBA. How interesting that you are paying all that money to 'have fun.'

    It is further incredible that such bovine activities resulting from the endemic American developmental delay, are so popular amongst those paying so much, and with so much to gain/lose in life.

    The Kellogg course is clearly designed around 'how to be an American' as opposed to learning how to lead an International business.

    Perhaps this is why so few MBA's from the US make it. The longitudinal research data on American MBA ratio's show this.

  2. It is awesome to sit and judge the value of an American MBA sitting back and doing research. If so few MBA'S from the US make it, which MBA's make it? W

  3. Hi Dear,

    Thanks for sharing about your MBA experience. I am also starting my MBA at CEIBS this year and my experience are posted at

    Hope you will enjoy the same......