Over a span of four gruelling days from 29 April to 2 May 2016, nine staff did SIM University (UniSIM) proud as they pushed their limits and trekked for 112 km through portions of the great Gobi Desert that were part of the old Silk Road, an important trade route from 2nd Century BC to 14th Centery AD.
"The Industrial and Commercial Road – Second Gobi Expedition of Chinese Entrepreneurs" saw about 300 participants gather in the city of Dunhuang in western China, with the UniSIM team being the only one representing a Singapore university. Inspired by the team's "battle-slogan" of “新跃大学，跨越戈壁” ("SIM University, Leaping Across Gobi"), and armed with essential items such as water, food, walkie-talkies, personal tracker and GPS navigation device, our colleagues triumphed over harsh rocky terrain and extreme weather conditions to complete the expedition.
The Gobi Expedition was conceptualised as an experiential challenge for graduate students and alumni, and staff members, from business schools specialising in entrepreneurial and executive management studies. It not only symbolises the entrepreneurial dynamism of ancient travellers who had trekked through these routes in search of business and trade, but also embodies the spirit of Xuanzang, a Chinese monk who had braved many obstacles along the Silk Road to bring Buddhist teachings from India to China in a 16-year journey.
Associate Professor Lee Pui Mun, Dean of School of Business (SBIZ), shared: "We assessed the value of such an experiential activity and found it relevant in support of UniSIM's 'Head, Heart and Habit' educational principles. Acquiring the Gobi Expedition experience may invoke a positive transformation for our participants, where one will learn to be always mentally ready, passionately committed and physically capable to meet life's many opportunities and to tackle any obstacles."
(From left) Dr Ding Ding, Head of the Finance programme; Associate Professor Lee Pui Mun, SBIZ Dean;
Mr Allan Chia, Head of the MBA programme; Ms Tan Lee Cheng, Senior Lecturer in the Business programme;
Dr Yu Yinghui, Senior Lecturer in the Finance programme, Professor Tsui Kai Chong, Provost;
Ms Kristin Suaw, Manager of School of Human Development and Social Sciences;
Ms Annie Lee, Senior Counsellor in C-three; nd Dr Lim Tai Wei, Senior Lecturer in UniSIM College.