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Follow your passion, say MSM students at PechaKucha event

“Stunning!”, “Brilliant!”, “They managed to surprise us again!” These are some of the comments that were heard at this year’s PechaKucha event at Maastricht School of Management on Thursday 22 March. The eight students who took on the PechaKucha stage impressed the full audience of staff members and fellow students gathered in the business lounge with the personal and sometimes even intimate stories they dared to reveal.

PechaKucha is a concise and fast-paced presentation style that consists in using only 20 slides, and 20 seconds per slide, to share inspiring ideas or projects. Each year MSM and PechaKucha Maastricht team up to organize a special PechaKucha event for the School’s students and staff.

From writing a letter to your future self to embarking on a backpack journey around the world to managing a competitive cheerleader team from abroad to discovering the joys and challenges of gaming or oil painting, many speakers emphasized the value of embracing uncertainty and change. “Accept challenges and develop a positive and fearless attitude,” said Juan Carlos Ramonet Moreno (MM5). “Don’t get obsessed with a clear path and embark on a journey of self-discovery and continuous improvement,” advised Maria Kirichenko (MM5). “Value the importance of having a hobby and what you can learn from it,” highlighted Di Wu and Ramzi AlAshabi (MBA34). “Overcome your frustration and dare to change your career,” said Laura Sala Segura (MM5). Defining themselves as risk-takers, these five students showed how they all got energy and new ideas from pursuing their passions in life.

Natania Leongson (MM5) and Hai Dang (MBA34) delved into deep personal or global topics. “I would like to inspire you to shift your mindset about the concept of identity. Learn to view it not as something permanent or predetermined, but as a malleable, fluid, and constantly changing phenomenon,” Natania said. In her presentation, she used the metaphor of an Indian totem to show how identity can be seen as a series of experiences that continuously shape and color as we grow older. Hai revealed his profound love and sense of care for his home country Vietnam when he spoke about the Son Doong Cave, the world’s largest cave. “Exploring Son Doong with its extraordinarily rich and unique natural environment should be done with utmost care and in an environmentally friendly and sustainable manner,” he urged.

Speaking last and bringing back his fellow students to their year at MSM, Praveen Saragadam (MM5) offered a straightforward and pragmatic tip, based on his personal experience: “Let’s suit up!” he exclaimed with a broad and enthusiastic smile. “In this changing world, the way we dress up has a significant impact on creating the first impression, so let’s suit up and build up our career!”

As every year, the event concluded with much joy and laughter when Oliver Olson, Director Global Education Programs, gave his now famous improvisation on random slides. Oliver used the opportunity to praise the students on their earlier performances and the stories they had shared: “It was wonderful to discover all these secret talents in the MSM family!”

 

By Sueli Brodin