The new semester started with a bang with a three day trip to Luxembourg. Because we have a large number of new students in the second semester, the administration thought it would be a good idea to have some sort of bonding event for everyone before classes officially start. What better way to do that than a trip to another big financial hub in Europe?
The entire Master of Finance Class of 2018 gathered in the foyer of the Frankfurt School at 8 am. The room buzzed with excitement as friends reunited for the first time since December. We all loaded up in busses and four (short) hours later, we arrived at the youth hostel in Luxembourg which would be our venue for the next few days.
After we settled into our rooms, the group headed straight for lunch. Most everyone seemed to be in agreement that the food at the hostel wasn’t very good (even for being free food), but I loved it. The first meal we had there was basically chicken pot pie and it tasted so much like home. I wish I could have taken a big to-go box of it back to Frankfurt with me.
After lunch, we were welcomed by our event coordinator, Faszinatour. They’re the same company who hosted our Outdoor Campus so everyone except for the new students had a good idea of what to expect. A lot of people (including myself) groan at the team building type exercises that are Faszinatour’s bread and butter. Lucky for me, I was also at work during the Luxembourg trip filming for a promo video so I managed to avoid most of the exercises (many of which I had actually done before in 4-H or leadership conferences).
After the exercises (half of which were outdoors in the rain) we had a discussion panel by FS alumni about living and working in Luxembourg. I have to admit that the topic didn’t interest me before the event but once I saw the city and the opportunities there, I paid much closer attention to the alumnus advice.
That night the hostel threw us a barbecue and many people went out for drinks and to explore the city. I was super tired already from working practically all day and I knew that Thursday would be worse so a few friends and myself stayed in to get as much rest as possible. We actually ended up talking until the early morning, but hey, we had good intentions.
The second day of the trip was a mixture between more group exercises and a Sustainability in Finance lecture by Dr. Hakan Lucius. I really, really enjoyed his lectures since a lot of it relates back to climate change, biodiversity, and other things that I know a lot about from growing up in a rural environment and the many biology courses I’ve taken through the years (I somehow managed to get out of every chemistry and physics class by substituting it with a biology class my entire academic career). After the lecture, I approached him to ask some questions and express how much I enjoyed his lecture, and in the process, may have found my thesis advisor.
That afternoon we had another panel discussion on the topic of fintech (financial technology). While I may not be overly enthusiastic about the subject matter, the rest of the class was so interested that they asked if the panelists could stay longer to answer more questions. The panel ended up running long so we had a late dinner and then hung out in the lounge until everyone decided it was time to venture out into the city.
After getting lost several times (although is it really getting lost if you were unsure about the destination to start with?), we finally camped down in a really great bar for some drinks. Shortly after, some people wanted to go dancing so the group split and my half went back to the hostel to get some sleep.
Friday was a pretty short day. We had breakfast, checked out of our rooms and then hopped on busses to catch a presentation at the European Investment Bank (EIB). Although the presentation was very interesting and chocked full of useful knowledge, I think most people were too tired to really listen or appreciate the opportunity. It was very cool though to be in their oval room with each seat having their own monitor and microphone (much like the UN setup).
We departed for Frankfurt a bit behind schedule but still got home with plenty of time before dark to get home and take naps. Many people decided to carry out the “bonding experience” of Luxembourg by going out that night but I really felt like I was getting sick so I spent the majority of the weekend sleeping.
So that was my three days in Luxembourg! I overall really enjoyed it. It was especially nice to have the school take us someplace that most of us would never go/had never been. One more country to cross off the list!
Also, the video I’m making for the school about the Luxembourg trip is almost finished so I will be sure to share the link once it’s up! Although it’s my first video I’ve ever (officially) edited, I think it will be pretty good and I’m already very proud of it.
EDIT: It’s finished. Enjoy! (It’s my first video so be nice please.)