1 May 2012

All work and no play… Striking the work-life balance

Being a CEMSie is demanding, make no mistake about it!

The benefits that come from being a CEMS student, however, far outweigh any kind of sacrifice one might associate with the degree. Working hard is simply part and parcel of the CEMS playing rules, so if you consider having to study for exams and work on time-consuming group projects a burden too great to handle, then you’ve signed up for the wrong game.

Being part of CEMS has enabled me to make the most of a unique opportunity to study a world-class and academically renowned Master’s program, that has taken me to study and live in exciting and truly fascinating cities such as Sydney, Istanbul and currently, Barcelona. The experience of living and working in three completely diverse countries in the space of just one year leads me to say that international mobility, the breaking down of cultural barriers and the forging of life-long friendships is what CEMS is all about. However, as we all know, nothing is for free in this world and CEMS is no different. Yet the ‘price’ you have to pay to live this amazing lifestyle is symbolic and relatively small. The only ‘investment’ you need to make consists of being relentlessly committed and dedicated to your studies and projects throughout the full duration of the program. From my personal experience, I can say that the willingness to enter this ‘psychological contract’ is something that takes place subconsciously from the moment you become part of this community of extraordinarily diverse and talented students from all over the world.

For all the work you undertake, it needs to be said at the same time that CEMS is by no means ‘all work and no play’. Thanks to the drive and creativity of the CEMS Clubs in Australia, Turkey and Spain, my time as a CEMSie was made all the more enriching through numerous activities and events organised by the respective clubs that allow students to see each country’s sights and sounds, taste its flavours, take part in its traditions and simply unwind at local parties. Within your group of friends, you also quickly forge spontaneous travel plans in the surrounding region of your exchange destination to visit places you would normally never dream of getting a stamp from in your passport. In my case, Hungary and Lebanon are now etched in one of my passport’s pages and serve as a future reminder of the unforgettable times I was lucky enough to have had as a CEMS student.

In summary, and as my CEMS experience sadly draws to a close in these final weeks in Barcelona, I already look back on my time as a CEMSie as one that was shaped by equal amounts of work and play, both providing me with valuable skills for my future career, but also blessing me with some of the happiest and thrilling moments of my life. Therefore, if there is one thing about CEMS that you can be sure of it is the fact that for every ounce of hard work you put into your projects and assignments, there will be an equal amount of excitement and adventure waiting around the corner.

This is, in my opinion, what made the challenge of managing the balance between work and life all the more worthwhile.

Author: Jan Wappler - CEMS student, Winner of University of Sydney Business School Master of Management Scholarship

Ignite Your Career 
Join the University of Sydney Business School for our Postgraduate Information Session to talk with our leading academics and learning support staff for detailed advice on postgraduate study options.
Date: Wednesday 9th May 2012
Time: 6-8pm
Venue: Establishment Hotel, 252 George Street, Sydney
Register now: http://bit.ly/IpiKgg

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