After another (surprisingly) interesting accounting class, with Professor Florian Hoos, we were treated to a surprise from our Chinese classmates. Taking the stage in the MBA Lorange auditorium, Times Shi introduced us to a popular gift-giving custom for this occasion. Each class member was presented with a special envelope containing delicious Chinese sweets, and a new Chinese name. I received a name which I understand to mean “fight and soar” by Rita Yuan (I hope I got that right!).
It’s amazing how quickly we’ve managed to get to know each other, given the difficult constraints of mask-wearing, social distancing and keeping meetings down to a maximum of five people. And yet, this success seems to fit so well with the Year of the Ox.
After a bit of reading, I learnt that the Ox is the second animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle. However, it was actually meant to be first if it hadn’t been for the pesky rat. Tricking the ox into giving it a ride over the river and all the way to the emperor, the rat jumped off and claimed first place at the last minute. It simply can’t be coincidence that the turbulence and change associated with the Year of the Rat fell on the year 2020! But the good news is that the Ox represents calm, stability and economic prosperity.
Celebrating with some typical Chinese food at the IMD restaurant
Times said he was ‘bullish’ on this year, especially in relation to our future jobs. I have to add that I am feeling bullish on life. With an expert team supporting the IMD MBAs of 2021, and a resilient group of candidates, I am optimistic that things can only get even better for us as we usher in this new year.
The Year of the Ox is said to be a period where hard work will be rewarded even more than usual. Well, we’re certainly working hard! And I’m already enjoying the rewards.