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The library of essays of Proakatemia

SYNTRE and Novio´s learning Journey

Kirjoittanut: Doneé Barendze - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 5 minuuttia.



“l’excellence n’exige pas la perfection” – excellence does not require perfection. 


You may or may not have recognized some new faces during the past 2 weeks wandering around in Proakatemia´s premises with our SYNTRE gang. These were students from Switzerland Team academy located in the middle of the Swiss alps, in a town called Sion. They were first year students, traveling to Finland to complete their learning journey together with SYNTRE. Our main objectives were: 1.To create and learn how to implement an international business network, both personally and on a corporate level and 2. To create a clear sales strategy for the annual sales days which SYNTRE participated in. The Hesso students themselves were very interested in forming a project together with SYNTRE regarding sales days, since they have been thinking of implementing the same type of concept in their own academy in the future and they gained a much clearer perspective on how exactly it works by working with us on it. In this essay we will take a deeper look into what I have learned as a leader of this learning journey, as a team mate and personally. I will also touch on the topic of what will happen in the future and generally discuss Swiss culture, which you can hear more about in the podcast above. 


My main learning points throughout the learning journey are based on three different points of view: 

  • From a project leader POV:

I have learned a lot about project management during this whole learning journey, mostly during the organization part of it, the months before the actual learning journey took place. If I reflect back on it now, I can definitely recognize how my fear of judgment as a leader played a big role in my initial decision making. As one of the more natural leaders in SYNTRE, I felt a certain responsibility for us to change our attitude towards sales days and thought this learning journey would be the perfect opportunity for just that. Looking back now, I am still unable to conclude whether this was the best decision for the team or whether there could have been a better project potential. Regardless, as the planning process proceeded, my fear of judgment as a leader started to loosen its grip bit by bit. I have always known in the back of my head that you cannot make everyone happy, but during this learning journey I truly realized just that and it has made me as a leader feel so much freer to lead authentically. Releasing the thought of people pleasing and using that to focus on the actual project and how to meet the objectives truly came through to me during this journey. Another big learning has been the importance of having a safety net around you as a leader. To be transparent, SYNTRE has not been in the best place in terms of commitment and shared responsibility during this semester, and during this learning journey, the issue really raised to the surface very quickly. Even though this was the case, I had a safety net of  team members who really helped me with crisis management halfway throughout this project and without these key players in our team, leading this project would have been impossible. I learned to trust them even deeper than prior to our learning journey and learned as a leader to focus on the people who have the commitment and the ones who want to be there. I have learned crisis management skills along with my key player teammates when we faced a situation that in the middle of the journey one of our project managers dropped out and we had to come up with solutions in a very short span of time. I have also learned that it is a skill to have high expectations and strive for excellence, but also that it is okay if things do not work out exactly as they were initially planned. This journey opened my eyes a lot to the importance of people skills and emotional intelligence, reading the room and working with a new culture, which was very interesting. 


  • From a team mate POV

As a team member of SYNTRE during this learning journey, I have experienced a roller coaster of emotions. From happy tears to angry tears. I have learned the importance of mutual responsibility in terms of team learning and that selflessness is a skill that needs to be present in order for a person to be an active team player. Even though I am a firm believer of strong boundaries and a good work-life balance, I do also believe that in order for a team to flourish, selflessness needs to be present. In a sense that decisions that are best for the team even if they are not always the best for individuals, need to be respected and understood. I have also made a lot of observations on why commitment and motivation levels are low and tried to come to possible conclusions for this. There are many reasons and of course it is impossible to identify all of them, but I have truly noticed how important it is to have a sense of purpose and a sense of direction, both personally and as a team. I am not saying that we should have it all figured out and know exactly what we want, but more in a sense that there needs to be a general purpose, a reason for waking up in the morning and a reason for doing the things you do. Without this, it is very difficult to activate individual and team motivation buttons.


  • From a personal POV:

From a personal perspective, I have gained a lot of understanding on how to work with my perfectionism and how to use it as a strength, rather than a vice. This is a continuous learning process and during this journey my perfectionism really got tested, to a point where I had no other option than to simply let go and let things be. Looking back at it now, things didn’t go as well as I expected them to go, but they also didn’t fall apart completely. They went as they went and everything worked out in the end, despite not meeting the high expectations I had in mind and I learned to be okay with that. High expectations and striving for excellence will always be part of me as a person and I am proud of that, but I am learning how to make use of that and when it is the right time to simply let things go and let things be. I have learned a lot about pleasing people as well, as this is something I have been struggling with for quite some time now, but as mentioned above, you cannot make everyone happy. Ever. I tried my best and this time my best was not great, but it was still good enough and that is okay. 


Future opportunities:

Even though most of these learnings were reflected on things that maybe did not go too well during the journey, overall we had a great learning journey and met some really great people. We expanded our network and currently I am in touch with our Swiss friends for a potential working opportunity there at the end of this year. I would say our networking was highly successful and we have even had talks about potential future projects such as creating a podcast channel together. If you listened to the podcast above, you will also hear a lot about a project called “Formula Student”, which also intrigued some of SYNTRE´s team members and this learning journey might have opened a potential project for us to collaborate. 



Overall I enjoyed our Swiss visitors and hope to do business with them in the near future. Even though it was an intense two weeks filled with blood, sweat and tears, we learned a lot and we will miss our Swiss friends, until we see each other again. 



 Perruchoud, A. Team Academy Hes-so. Read on 26.3.2023 https://www.hevs.ch/fr/team-academy-hes-so/ 

Soundcloud. Accessed on 26.3.2023. https://soundcloud.com/discover

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