Kia Ora (Hi in Maori) everybody!

My name is Eran Arkin, first year MBA student and one of four members of team KIWI.

We are working with a New Zealand based software company, advising it on how to expend the business. In this short blog post, I would try to capture some of our experiences during the first week of the in-country experience.

To start from the beginning, we landed in Auckland, NZ, on Monday 6am, and at 9am we already started working in the office, meeting the CEO of our 20-strong Bio-IT start-up client and her executive team. We briefed them about our findings that we worked on for the last 3 months. While they were happy with some of the findings, they challenged some others, and we had a good discussion about our in-country work plan.

Over the week, we worked hard in order to dive much deeper into the problem and start crafting our initial recommendations. A brainstorming session with “sticky notes”, a technique we learned in Prof. Beckman’s course at the beginning of the year, helped us a lot.

sticky note breakthrough

Working as a team in-country does pose a challenge, as you work much closely on the field than we used to do during the semester. Immediately, obvious differences in working styles and background showed up among the group. Nevertheless, everyone is respectful and tries to do their best to coach and be coached in order to complete the project. I also found it interesting to see how laid back the “Kiwis” are in working. Actually, one of the company’s software developers is an Israeli PhD who chose to live in New Zealand for this very reason!

During evenings, we had an opportunity to explore Auckland’s night life. Although it is not as exciting as San Francisco or Tel Aviv, we visited some top-notch restaurants and even found a “back packers” night club where we all had an opportunity to show our moves learned earlier the year from Kojo!

not only do they grow sheep they cook them well!

The real fun would begin on the weekend. We rented a car and drove to one of the most famous nature reserves in New Zealand. There, each of us had his own plans. Because we enjoy being together, and because we are all “overachievers”, we decided to do all the distinct plans in those 2 days… Therefore, we did the 12-mile Tongariro Alpine Crossing – considered to be a top 10 day hike in the world, jumped from 12,000 feet in the “world skydiving capital”, and visited the famous Glow Worm Caves. I attached some photos, and I will let another teammate expand on these amazing experiences.

Tongariro – started down

… and jumped up

while flying, Mohamed doesn’t forget to represent

Can’t believe a week has passed, hopefully the next two will be as good and productive!

—Eran Arkin

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