White Water Rafting – Stanley Tormey
You might think that coming into banking is work, work and more work, but this isn’t always the case. MUFG has a Sports & Social Committee who organise several events throughout the year such as this one – White Water Rafting at the Lee Valley White Water Centre. On a Thursday evening in July, 32 employees from a range of departments took the train from Liverpool Street to Waltham Cross, underestimating the challenge ahead.
First, there was a test of your swimming abilities. The novices among us assumed this was to tick a box when it came to health and safety, but we soon realised its importance. After an easy practice run through the course, the wave machines were ramped-up. On subsequent laps of the course, people were being thrown out of boats at each turn, while two of four boats capsized throwing everyone, including the instructor, into the water. The centre’s staff rushed to throw ropes in and get everyone out as quickly as possible!
As each lap passed, the wave machines became more and more vicious. One member of my raft snapped her paddle in half and had to spend the rest of the evening holding onto the side of the boat. At each wave, the instructor would roar “LEAN LEFT!”, and we would all lean to the left to stop us capsizing. For other rafts, this didn’t work out so well.
After two hours on the water, we were physically drained and needed some respite. This respite came in the form of a barbecue and drinks on the centre’s balcony. The barbecue was a good way to meet people from the business in an informal setting and get to know them. Analysts, VP’s and Directors all mingled just as we had in the rafts, and laughed at those who’d fallen into the water. A good evening was certainly had by all.
The evening exemplified the culture at MUFG. There are no barriers between departments and everyone is both open and willing to meet and speak to other people from across the firm. For Analysts like me, this was an invaluable way of hearing more about MUFG and gain an insight into other departments.