Exploring my Creative Side During the MBA

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Most MBA courses, I’ve come to realize, are the same in terms of their deliverables which usually consist of:

  • In-class participation (XX%),

  • Individual written report (XX%),

  • Group report (XX%),

  • Presentation (XX%), and so on

This isn’t meant as a knock against these courses; rather, I bring it up to highlight how different Customer Experience Design with Markus Giesler was structured compared to other courses.

For one, participation included both in-class and online participation where the latter encouraged students to post on Twitter using the #CX18 hashtag. The individual report was replaced with a 600-page blog column which can be viewed here. The group assignment included a poster and a 90-second video on a topic of our choice. Our group chose to focus on Four Seasons for our poster which was later expanded to include the broader luxury hospitality industry for our video.

The poster was fairly straightforward to put together. Canva has a very intuitive and user-friendly interface that makes putting together most graphical designs a breeze.

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The video, on the other hand, was completely new to me. The extent of my video editing experience - if you can call it that - was using Windows Movie Maker, but even then it was limited to creating a slideshow set to some music. No one in our group of 7 had prior video editing experience either, so I took it upon myself to learn and produce our final video which can be viewed below.

I used Shotcut to put the above video together after looking up hours upon hours of Youtube tutorials. Besides learning the ins and outs of the platform, I also learned the following:

  • Audio editing using Audacity. The voice-over was recorded prior to the video being put together, so it was particularly tricky aligning the audio and video

  • Using PowerPoint to create simple animated visuals which you can see at the 32 second mark

  • How to source copyright-free material from the web. I used Pexels for the majority of the images and videos. The background music was obtained from Bensound.

I was quite pleased with how the video turned out and a huge thank you goes out to my fellow team members Pranav, Stella, Ashima, Heena, Kseniia, and especially to Jennifer for doing the voice-over.

The course presented me with an opportunity to learn something new and I’m glad I took advantage, especially considering we could have simply outsourced the editing process using a freelance website like Fiverr. If nothing else, it’s helped me gain confidence in my ability to learn a skill from scratch and use that to create a final product. By no means have I mastered video editing but regardless, the video met and exceeded the requirements of the project for which I’m extremely proud.

But I didn’t stop there. On another course, Brand Management, our group used video to create an ad as part of our group project. Our final assignment was conceiving of a product and articulating its brand plan. Our group worked on a low-calorie ice cream, named Delite. The ad was compiled to highlight the Promotion part of our brand’s 5P plan (MBA-speak for Price, Product, Promotion, Place and People). The video draws inspiration from a scene in Forrest Gump and is an (almost) shot-for-shot remake of the original. The lip-syncing wasn’t perfect but considering we put this together hours before our final presentation, I thought it turned out quite well - and so did the class which broke out in laughter.

Many thanks go out to my wonderful teammates - Felix and Niil for starring in the video, Pas for helping me shoot, and Cindy and Sara for their support.

I’m extremely fortunate to have been given the opportunities to explore my creative side this past semester. I’m confident this will be a valuable and attractive skill set for all you employers out there!