o, here it was. Presentation day. It’s amazing how far we’ve all come for such a little time. I’ve met these people some few months ago and still feel like they are family. After a long sleepless night of being appointed as the sentry for my team it is now the time to wrap it all up and put them to one final test. You are watching after so many things, thinking how you must show yourself as responsible, yet not come up as too stiff, how you need to be there for your team and help them but must not break any rule that might get them disqualified. In all that rumble you hope that nothing goes wrong. And as funny as it seems, it always does.
My team, the Singaporean masterminds, had some trouble of saving their presentation. Watching them in those final few moments made me realize how amazing those people are: so much effort was put into the case solving yet they did not succumb to the technical difficulties that might have ruined it all. I was constantly on the phone with their lovely advisor, who treated them with love only a mother could have for their children. That energy I am yet to see in another group of people. We left the teams to get ready for the finals and went to set things up for the presentations. Our guile bosses always provided us with briefs that made it so much easier. The whole competition was so well constructed and there was very little room for errors on our behalf. After some time we gathered our teams and went to the great hall. It’s showtime. You could feel the anticipation of everybody in the room, dying inside to see the results. And there it was – National University of Singapore was announced as finalist.
It struck me for a moment, but I somehow knew that was going to happen, they really were amazing. Full of pride and joy I looked at them as if they were my own, giving them a few last words of encouragement before they were instructed out of the hall to prepare for the final presentations. All my fellow ambassadors congratulated me because we all knew what it meant to all of us – after immense amounts of effort we put in our teams. Finalist started presenting, and all I can hear in my head was: please, let them win! Minutes of powerpoint solutions and q&a went by so slowly, yet so quickly. After the last team finished their performance, the jury had some time to debate on the results.
Those were the most excruciating 20 minutes of the whole week. Everybody had a poker face, trying to kill the suspense with their slick looks, but you can feel everybody was nervous. And then, NUS was announced as winners.
I swear, I jumped out of the chair as if it was me who won. Somehow everything fell into place in that moment, and it showed me that it was all definitely worth the effort. I congratulated them and backed off to let them enjoy that wonderful moment. The ceremonial part that was later on was amazing, but nothing can compare that feeling of realization that your team won. I believed in them from day one and I felt like all the effort that I’ve given in accommodating them definitely contributed to their victory.
That week will remain as a highlight of this year, if not this part of life, because I’ve met some great people from all around the world and more important, I’ve met some friends for life.