The important lesson we have learned ...

As the Covid-19 outbreak became more prevalent, there were certain adjustments that needed to be made as we underwent the “new normal” following this unprecedented global emergency. While this phenomenon has posed, and continues to pose, obstacles to the CIMBA community across the globe, it is important to look back and reflect on how this experience impacted our lives, and the important lessons we have learned as a result.

Although the past few months have brought a significant new challenge for individuals and institutions alike, CIMBA truly employed the principle of looking at glass as being half-full. In seeing and conveying the benefits of engaging in a lockdown and social distancing, it captured several important aspects of the experience we can use moving forward.

Our weekly Zoom town hall during the mandatory lockdown was effectively used by participants to discuss our emotions through practices we have been using to recognize our fears, anxieties, things that frustrate us, what we hope for, and, most importantly, what we are looking forward to becoming.

Moreover, participants took advantage of this space to show support and appreciation, which nurtured an environment of positive reinforcement. The format in which the courses were established online allowed for professors to keep students engaged, even when classes weren’t in session by creating discussion assignments, virtual office hours, and even Zoom aperitivos!

From a broader perspective, the set of skills students were able to hone during the quarantine period will reshape our strengths on a long-term basis, as we enter the next chapter of our lives after CIMBA. CIMBA made an effort, through several techniques, to urge students to create and uphold a supportive community, which is a powerful tool to combat negative feelings such as hopelessness, loneliness, stress and anxiety even without a quarantine or lockdown requiring it.

Furthermore, CIMBA put in place a series of interactive online courses to approach today’s current issues not only for individuals, but for companies as well. RE-AGIRE (RE-ACT in English) as well as the free online courses on offered emotional and cognitive support. These series were born with the intent to guide us in managing our emotional and cognitive well-being, helping us to manage fears, emotions, intrusive thoughts, and to generate behaviors in line with the achievement of our personal and professional goals.

Similarly, CIMBA developed online courses for companies such as UniCredit and Electrolux Professional. These courses were centered around encouraging personnel in how to cope with months of self-isolation through good habits, an optimistic and healthy mindset, dealing with stress, and creating a community among coworkers and loved ones among other topics. CIMBA prides itself in taking initiative in searching for ways to be proactive and to build a positive mindset amidst the negative circumstances around us as individuals, companies, and as a society. In general, after all, our true strength comes out when our character is tested during times of adversity!

The support CIMBA brought to the students became a pivotal element showing us how the power of community and team-work builds supports, resilience and perseverance. These are important traits that allow us to bring out several virtues, such as diligence, self-restraint, mutual respect, and kindness, which in simple terms speaks to the true strength of CIMBA’s effective support system. The effort in putting the students first, and by providing the necessary means for a healthy mindset is a powerful statement of CIMBA’s commitment to success, and the students’ ability to be resilient.

The environment of the community created is a testament to its everlasting commitment to success through belongingness. We are truly wired to be social!