This year´s edition of the Leadership Weekend was the largest ever, with a total of 44 students from the four focus areas of the MIT Portugal Program. This event gathers annually 1st year PhD and Master students at Gerês – Braga, in a weekend dedicated to improve leadership skills, namely through workshops, group dynamics and outdoor activities.
On Saturday morning, the group woke up early and was divided in nine groups after a briefing by the Program Faculty to explain how the weekend would be organized. This first day was dedicated to outdoor activities like slide, rappel, archery or rope climbing. The teams had until 5pm to finish all the tasks so the strategy adopted was a crucial part of the job. In the evening it was time for a new challenge, and all the groups had to participate in a night orientation activity using a map to reach some strategic points.
The second day started with a Leadership class led by MPP Faculty Isabel Rocha, followed by group activities to test leadership skills but mostly developing skills on how to work in teams to reach common goals. The idea was to test how a good strategy and a cohesive team can help to better achieve objectives, not only in these exercises but also in everyday life.
Finally, and to close the activities, each group had to prepare an artistic performance related to their life experience and their MIT Portugal Program PhD. Singing, acting or even juggling were part of the demonstrations which showed their creativity and artistic abilities.
This year’s Leadership Weekend, organized by professors Lígia Rodrigues and Isabel Rocha with the participation of professors Eugénio Campos Ferreira, Alexandre Ferreira da Silva, Fátima Lopes and João Bigotte, gave students the opportunity to step out of their comfort zone, test their limits, promote teamwork and also allowed to strengthen bonds between students from the four focus areas. At the end of the weekend everyone was clearly happy with the event and certainly more prepared to face new challenges and apply these useful guidelines in their daily lives.