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LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 01 Apr 2011, 14:04
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Hi everyone,

I know these two schools (IMD/LBS) are very different, but I'm trying to make up my mind...
I need to make a decision very soon.

If anyone has gone through the process of deciding between the two (or anyone with a decent knowledge of these programs), please feel free to contribute.

- What are the pros/cons of each program in your opinion?
- Which one would you choose?

Thanks for your advice.

T
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 07 Apr 2011, 17:41
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tohin wrote:
Hi everyone,

I know these two schools (IMD/LBS) are very different, but I'm trying to make up my mind...
I need to make a decision very soon.

If anyone has gone through the process of deciding between the two (or anyone with a decent knowledge of these programs), please feel free to contribute.

- What are the pros/cons of each program in your opinion?
- Which one would you choose?

Thanks for your advice.

T


Hi tohin

(saw you on the IMD thread, wanted to ask what you chose in the end)..

LBS advantages over IMD:
- Well, LBS is supposed to be a no-brainer - the first rank in most of the rankings, very well recognized globally. Not-to-miss lifetime opportunity really.

- IMD has some dents in the reputation - not all of the candidates/students like the quality of academics. Also someone on the forum compared IMD with the kindergarden, where a stringent lady times your lunch with a clock.

- Also IMD is in the very quiet place, which to me is rather a disadvantage.

- Also the ties with London business in all the three major fields - consulting, finance and industry are much closer at LBS, I believe. And despite IMD is strong in recruiting, the IMD

- 10 month of education in IMD - looks too squeezed to me. There's even classes on Saturday! Whether in LMD offers more choice in terms of length of the program, as you surely know.

IMD advantages over LBS
- The age difference is significant though, you probably know that better than me. So if you are an older applicant - IMD works out better.

- I believe (it's just my belief!) that IMD works better for those looking at the Swiss job market or those who are confident they will get a job back home. This maybe the most important factor really. All in all, what are you looking for past graduation?

- Class size - 90 people vs LBS's 250+ - considered a big fat advantage

- IMD might be cheaper overall, not sure

Hope you'll make a right choice!
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 12:11
Is IMD really that stringent and conservative ?
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 12:29
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Ivan91 wrote:
Is IMD really that stringent and conservative ?


I thought it's important to find information from both happy students/IMD and the ones who were not all that happy. It's easy to find the former and way harder to find the latter.

This is what I found on the businessweek forum from one of the previous intakes. The guy got dinged (and yes, that made him biased), still it's better to read this, rather than to read solely positive and overly positive feedback.

Quote:
I was dinged by IMD yesterday: I gather my interview didn't go that well. I got into several US schools, so I am still set.

Actually, while after the interview day I was quite keen on IMD, as decision time loomed I was sort of hoping to get dinged and avoid the Europe vs US choice. It's a great school, but it depends a lot on your character: they impression I had is that it's just like a Swiss boarding school for children, and I don't think it's the experience I am looking for.

Also, I have to be honest and say that some of the classes are well taught but extremely basic in terms of depth, because the school does focus on general management. That's fine, as the schools I am considering in the US are pretty much the same, but at least many US schools offer options to do very in-depth courses if you wish to do so (and have other options such as clubs, exchange programs, etc). So, these were my issues post-visit and prior to notification.

So, it's a great school, but I don't want to be told I can eat between 12 and 1:30, while a lady with a stop-watch it's in the canteen to time me (that's what I saw on my visit), so in the end I am happy I got dinged. But amongst the European schools is definetely the best, especially in this economic cycle.


And there's another one from my collection (from gmatclub.com)
Quote:
I realized when I was there that IMD is not the best school for me. Why?
It seems they force 16 hour days on you to teach you time management. I'm a very good manager of my time (IMHO) and I'm not sure I want to spend 5 months of overworking just to be sure.
Secondly, they seem to do something similar in working groups - putting you with people you'll disagree with to teach you how to get along.

the campus and city are beautiful and the people at IMD were friendly. After visiting Insead a day before, it was a wonderful breath of fresh air (Fonty wasn't very impressive in my opinion).

After my day there, I realized that IMD is a great place if you want to be the president of a company and get there fast. However, if you're an entrepreneur or someone with an a-typical background, you're fighting an up-hill battle. The only have to pick 90, so they seem to be looking for "safe bets"

It was no surprise that I didn't get accepted (in fact, only one person from my interview group did that I knew of). I sort of realized I wouldn't half way through my interview based on the questions she was asking, which also made me wonder why I'd made the trip and why they invited me.
......


With this, I absolutely do not imply that IMD is worse than LBS or vice versa. All I'm saying is that there' is criticism, for IMD included, that we should take into account while arriving at our decisions.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 08 Apr 2011, 14:21
Slightly off topic, a very good and wealthy female friend of mine was sent to boarding high school in Switzerland by her demanding parents and she said she pretty felt like being in a medieval high school ;) So if IMD is like this .. :D
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2011, 08:54
Ivan91 wrote:
Slightly off topic, a very good and wealthy female friend of mine was sent to boarding high school in Switzerland by her demanding parents and she said she pretty felt like being in a medieval high school ;) So if IMD is like this .. :D


Honestly I think IMD is extremely far from the Swiss Boarding School type. What is said above about the lady and the watch is from someone who 1. got dinged and 2. was there for the interview day, which is quite busy and people don't know the campus >>> so it makes sense to have someone there making sure everyone gets back on time at the right place for the following interview sessions. Furthermore, the average age at IMD is 31/32. How the hell can one think that these guys needs to be monitored ... come on - that's just silly.

On the contrary I would mention that the IMD seeks self-accomplished people with great achievement. The most typical INSEAD or LBS students (mainstream) would totally get dinged there. IMD does not want the typical guy who did his three year into consulting/banking and wants to take it easy for a year. The program of IMD is the most intense with 80h of work per week. So any spoiled kid "Swiss Boarding school - like" would totally rather go to Insead where - if you check youtube - they spend a year at BBQs, costume parties and chill out at the swimming pool in Singapore or somewhere on an island in that region. I just saw a video of the dean of insead making himself (and his school) totally ridiculous on a party video. Really hilarious.

To get back to the initial topic about LBS / IMD, my personal view is that both are top elite school, but targeting different people, and their students are in different life/career cycles, thus look forward to different 'post-mba' moves. In substance, both schools therefore offer different value to their student and focus on totally different things. If anyone is really hesitant about his choice, I think it means that he just does not know much about what want to do with his mba.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 12 Apr 2011, 11:03
Blueman wrote:
Ivan91 wrote:
Slightly off topic, a very good and wealthy female friend of mine was sent to boarding high school in Switzerland by her demanding parents and she said she pretty felt like being in a medieval high school ;) So if IMD is like this .. :D


Honestly I think IMD is extremely far from the Swiss Boarding School type. What is said above about the lady and the watch is from someone who 1. got dinged and 2. was there for the interview day, which is quite busy and people don't know the campus >>> so it makes sense to have someone there making sure everyone gets back on time at the right place for the following interview sessions. Furthermore, the average age at IMD is 31/32. How the hell can one think that these guys needs to be monitored ... come on - that's just silly.

........
If anyone is really hesitant about his choice, I think it means that he just does not know much about what want to do with his mba.


Blueman, thank you for your feedback, although it raises many objections and comments!

Age thing.
With all due respect, you told the story that the IMD itself likes to tell. However the numbers (and I believe in numbers much more than the hype) tell a different story:
IMD MBA Average age (Businessweek):
INSEAD:
* Median age of entering class: 28
* Mean age of entering class: 29

LBS:
* Median age of entering class: 28
* Mean age of entering class: 28

IMD:
* Median age of entering class: 30
* Mean age of entering class: 30

So, slightly older applicants. But "different life/career cycles" - yeah, not sure...


Another thing:
Quote:
If anyone is really hesitant about his choice, I think it means that he just does not know much about what want to do with his mba.

Well I'm hesitant. Why?
Because we base our decision on:
- Web-sites of business schools - a lot of adverts and hype and success all around.
- Blogs - a lot of hype again from people who were happy to get away from their everyday (boring) jobs and got into a live atmosphere of a school. And those people have interest in making this buzz positive. Should I believe them 100%? And remember, they cannot compare schools, since they only experience one of them..
- Stats from rankings, which is purely subjective especially in such factors as "satisfaction" data

I wonder if there's anyone using logic, rather than heart for making decisions may at all be 100% convinced. There's no even example lectures on youtube of many of the schools (although yes, IMD has some).

It's like buying something very complex like a car. It looks good from outside, your neighbor does not seem to have had any problems with it for like 5 years. But is it good for your very very particular demands and goals? Does it have all the advertised safety, innovation, reliability and whatever built in? And above all, is it better than the other make that state the same key points in the commercial?


And the last bit:
Quote:
Furthermore, the average age at IMD is 31/32. How the hell can one think that these guys needs to be monitored ... come on - that's just silly.

How come this is NOT silly even on the first day? The people are on their interview day (i.e. one of the most important days of their life). Above all they will be organized. And even if they are not, is timing with a clock not silly anyway? Show directions - yes, make announcements - yes, timing with a clock - NO!
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 13 Apr 2011, 01:16
Hi Liget,

Will try to give you some answers. Hope it helps.

1. The average age at IMD is actually 31. That's three years more than LBS. Maybe not a lot from your perspective, but that A LOT career wise, especially in the beginning where the learning curve is still very steep. So yes, at IMD you'll find people who have more to contribute and who endorsed more managerial responsibilities than in other MBA schools.

2. Regarding the choice between the two schools, here is a starting framework of thinking:

- You want to work in banking and have no eduction/experience in that field: then you should totally go for LBS. They are just the best to place students there. They have the best network in London and many electives to teach you finance.

- You want to work in banking but have education in business/finance, and/or some relevant experience in that field (consulting, big4, etc...). Then I think both school would help you. Probably a bit more LBS. However, IMD has two advantages on LBS if you discard the "finance" stream of LBS:

a. Coming from IMD, you won't be competing with another 400 students for the same jobs
b. IMD is massively connected and related to industry majors. Their alumni network is all over there. So as a candidate in finance, you would have a nice selling point: your alumni network, which can open doors to many industry players. That's very interesting for people working in finance from a pure commercial point of view.

- You want to work in the industry: then IMD is probably the best option for its focus on general management and leadership development. LBs could also work, but to me it's like driving an SUV in town: it works, and makes you feel standing above others, but that's not the purpose of such car.

3. I was on the assessment day at IMD and honestly did not see such clock-lady. They were just strict on timing, which I understand for an assessment day as it involves group work on case studies. I just don't see them "taking it easy" at this point of time in the process. You're just applicants at this stage, and the day is VERY full, and teachers are involved to animate the case. So it's just not appropriate to say people that they should come back between "13-14pm".

One thing, true, the IMD MBA is pretty much a bootcamp mba due to its intensity. Therefore, students are always under timing pressure, but that's just because you have to get the things done, not because someone is after you all the time. But yes, if you want to enjoy the student-like life, party, and visit Switzerland, IMD is not the right place.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2011, 07:20
Hi Blueman

Appreciate your answers and those details of the open day!

Best Regards

Blueman wrote:
Hi Liget,

Will try to give you some answers. Hope it helps.

1. The average age at IMD is actually 31. That's three years more than LBS. Maybe not a lot from your perspective, but that A LOT career wise, especially in the beginning where the learning curve is still very steep. So yes, at IMD you'll find people who have more to contribute and who endorsed more managerial responsibilities than in other MBA schools.

2. Regarding the choice between the two schools, here is a starting framework of thinking:

- You want to work in banking and have no eduction/experience in that field: then you should totally go for LBS. They are just the best to place students there. They have the best network in London and many electives to teach you finance.

- You want to work in banking but have education in business/finance, and/or some relevant experience in that field (consulting, big4, etc...). Then I think both school would help you. Probably a bit more LBS. However, IMD has two advantages on LBS if you discard the "finance" stream of LBS:

a. Coming from IMD, you won't be competing with another 400 students for the same jobs
b. IMD is massively connected and related to industry majors. Their alumni network is all over there. So as a candidate in finance, you would have a nice selling point: your alumni network, which can open doors to many industry players. That's very interesting for people working in finance from a pure commercial point of view.

- You want to work in the industry: then IMD is probably the best option for its focus on general management and leadership development. LBs could also work, but to me it's like driving an SUV in town: it works, and makes you feel standing above others, but that's not the purpose of such car.

3. I was on the assessment day at IMD and honestly did not see such clock-lady. They were just strict on timing, which I understand for an assessment day as it involves group work on case studies. I just don't see them "taking it easy" at this point of time in the process. You're just applicants at this stage, and the day is VERY full, and teachers are involved to animate the case. So it's just not appropriate to say people that they should come back between "13-14pm".

One thing, true, the IMD MBA is pretty much a bootcamp mba due to its intensity. Therefore, students are always under timing pressure, but that's just because you have to get the things done, not because someone is after you all the time. But yes, if you want to enjoy the student-like life, party, and visit Switzerland, IMD is not the right place.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2011, 14:43
Just wanted to chip in with a couple of points having done the "student recruiting" thing already.
Blueman wrote:
a. Coming from IMD, you won't be competing with another 400 students for the same jobs

This is wrong at many levels. Even though the class size of LBS/INSEAD might be 400+ you are not competing with all 400 of them for the same jobs, you are competing with MORE than 400. You are competing with all other top schools where a recruiter recruits from for the same jobs. For instance Johnson and Johnson - a strong industry recruiter - will recruit from LBS/INSEAD/IMD and the US schools (same for consulting and banking). So in effect you compete with other people who are interested in the J&J job from various schools.
Blueman wrote:
b. IMD is massively connected and related to industry majors. Their alumni network is all over there. So as a candidate in finance, you would have a nice selling point: your alumni network, which can open doors to many industry players. That's very interesting for people working in finance from a pure commercial point of view.

- You want to work in the industry: then IMD is probably the best option for its focus on general management and leadership development. LBs could also work, but to me it's like driving an SUV in town: it works, and makes you feel standing above others, but that's not the purpose of such car.

This is probably true. IMD has a reputation in industry. But remember a small class size means very small alumni base. It also means a limited MBA experience in terms of the diversity of people you meet. You made some points about the average age earlier. Let me remind you that every year both LBS and INSEAD will have more 31 year olds in their class than IMD. Furthermore, every year both LBS and INSEAD will place many more people than IMD in industry - simple numbers - class size of 90 vs class size of 400+.

I didn't quite get your last analogy but it sounded like you are implying IMD is some kind of limited vehicle that is only suited for a limited purpose - which I'm sure IMD students would disagree with.

Blueman wrote:
One thing, true, the IMD MBA is pretty much a bootcamp mba due to its intensity. Therefore, students are always under timing pressure, but that's just because you have to get the things done, not because someone is after you all the time. But yes, if you want to enjoy the student-like life, party, and visit Switzerland, IMD is not the right place.

And herein lies the big difference between LBS and all other 1 year programs. LBS students probably get to see more of Switzerland for leisure than IMD folks :P On a more serious note - many people use the time during an MBA as an introspective period in their lives where they try out new things and think about what they truly want to do. This is never possible in a one year program.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2011, 14:52
bsd_lover, you are an LBS alum right? how was your class, was it more like blueman says:
Quote:
want the typical guy who did his three year into consulting/banking and wants to take it easy for a year.

or was it more mature all in all? both in terms of WE and personal maturity?
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 14 Apr 2011, 14:53
I am not an alum yet - 3 months to go. Its nothing like that - as I pointed in my last note - every year LBS has more 31 year olds than IMD - it is easy to forget absolute numbers when you look at averages.

ligett wrote:
bsd_lover, you are an LBS alum right? how was your class, was it more like blueman says:
Quote:
want the typical guy who did his three year into consulting/banking and wants to take it easy for a year.

or was it more mature all in all? both in terms of WE and personal maturity?

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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2011, 00:13
Hi bsd,

You come with relevant arguments I think. My main divergence is about these absolute numbers you mention. Then you could argue that the best solution would be a 5000 class which obviously brings all kind of persons in. However, I think one has to consider the quality/volume ratios. If the maturity of the people is a key item to chose an mba, IMD guarantees it 100% while at LBS you may need to "seek" your peers. A friend of mine went to Wharton, where the average is also 28, and, being 30/31, he told me that he really felt a gap between the mainstream crowd there and him in terms of expectations / experience.

Regarding the analogy, I did not talk about IMD. I meant that LBS certainly is good for industry because of its great brand name but one should recognize that LBS is reputated and focused on the financial industry.

Regarding competition with 400 students, you're right. At the end you compete with the entire mba population. But as an LBS MBA, when you send your application, you're just one of these 250 LBS applications they receive every year. So you're upside is probably very diluted. From an IMD's perspective, you will probably be the only IMD applicant there. So this will trigger more attention from recruiters. And if they want some diversity, they will find interesting to see who you are and what you can bring. I know people from Insead who told me that the competition between student is really fierce for the great jobs. At IMD, 60 companies come to meet 90 students. Hence, the bargain power is much more on the side of the students there. Students shop their job at IMD, while at LBS and Insead I think it's more companies shopping around for MBA students. Don't take me wrong, I maintain that for financial industry LBS is the best choice, but I just tried to highlight some cases where IMD can have a small upsides.

Regarding the network/industry placement, I do not agree. IMD has thousands top executives attending trainings in Switzerland every year (60,000 network). The school was founded by Nestle, and later co-financed and supervised by 100+ industry majors to meet their need for developing their executives. The school is therefore much more embedded in the industry and up-to-date than any other school. Besides, so manby industry majors are headquartered in Switzerland... so my conclusion is that the probable 30 students more placed by LBS in industry every year does not balance all that at all.

Regarding LBS being an opportunity to find what you what to do in life, I find it rather expensive (2 years fees and 2 years without salary!). Maybe 1-month meditation in Tibet is cheaper :-D (joke). And if you guys go skying in Switzerland, come visit us in Lausanne. Maybe they'll find a minute to have a beer with you ;)



bsd_lover wrote:
Just wanted to chip in with a couple of points having done the "student recruiting" thing already.
Blueman wrote:
a. Coming from IMD, you won't be competing with another 400 students for the same jobs

This is wrong at many levels. Even though the class size of LBS/INSEAD might be 400+ you are not competing with all 400 of them for the same jobs, you are competing with MORE than 400. You are competing with all other top schools where a recruiter recruits from for the same jobs. For instance Johnson and Johnson - a strong industry recruiter - will recruit from LBS/INSEAD/IMD and the US schools (same for consulting and banking). So in effect you compete with other people who are interested in the J&J job from various schools.
Blueman wrote:
b. IMD is massively connected and related to industry majors. Their alumni network is all over there. So as a candidate in finance, you would have a nice selling point: your alumni network, which can open doors to many industry players. That's very interesting for people working in finance from a pure commercial point of view.

- You want to work in the industry: then IMD is probably the best option for its focus on general management and leadership development. LBs could also work, but to me it's like driving an SUV in town: it works, and makes you feel standing above others, but that's not the purpose of such car.

This is probably true. IMD has a reputation in industry. But remember a small class size means very small alumni base. It also means a limited MBA experience in terms of the diversity of people you meet. You made some points about the average age earlier. Let me remind you that every year both LBS and INSEAD will have more 31 year olds in their class than IMD. Furthermore, every year both LBS and INSEAD will place many more people than IMD in industry - simple numbers - class size of 90 vs class size of 400+.

I didn't quite get your last analogy but it sounded like you are implying IMD is some kind of limited vehicle that is only suited for a limited purpose - which I'm sure IMD students would disagree with.

Blueman wrote:
One thing, true, the IMD MBA is pretty much a bootcamp mba due to its intensity. Therefore, students are always under timing pressure, but that's just because you have to get the things done, not because someone is after you all the time. But yes, if you want to enjoy the student-like life, party, and visit Switzerland, IMD is not the right place.

And herein lies the big difference between LBS and all other 1 year programs. LBS students probably get to see more of Switzerland for leisure than IMD folks :P On a more serious note - many people use the time during an MBA as an introspective period in their lives where they try out new things and think about what they truly want to do. This is never possible in a one year program.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2011, 00:55
Blueman wrote:
Hi bsd,
You come with relevant arguments I think. My main divergence is about these absolute numbers you mention. Then you could argue that the best solution would be a 5000 class which obviously brings all kind of persons in. However, I think one has to consider the quality/volume ratios. If the maturity of the people is a key item to chose an mba, IMD guarantees it 100% while at LBS you may need to "seek" your peers. A friend of mine went to Wharton, where the average is also 28, and, being 30/31, he told me that he really felt a gap between the mainstream crowd there and him in terms of expectations / experience.

I didnt talk about this extensively but I think there is a limit to size. After a certain threshold, size interferes with community. 400 to 450 is just about right from my experience. Chicago Booth (where I exchanged - the exchange program is another advantage of LBS) has about 650 in a class which I felt were a few too many. Anyhow, you are assuming that younger folks have no role to play in your MBA experience and that 30+ people will only get along with 30+ people which is a little discriminating. I have learnt some amazing things from 24-25yos (I'm in my 30s). Having choice and diversity is good (options have value).

Blueman wrote:
Regarding competition with 400 students, you're right. At the end you compete with the entire mba population. But as an LBS MBA, when you send your application, you're just one of these 250 LBS applications they receive every year. So you're upside is probably very diluted. From an IMD's perspective, you will probably be the only IMD applicant there. So this will trigger more attention from recruiters. And if they want some diversity, they will find interesting to see who you are and what you can bring. I know people from Insead who told me that the competition between student is really fierce for the great jobs. At IMD, 60 companies come to meet 90 students. Hence, the bargain power is much more on the side of the students there. Students shop their job at IMD, while at LBS and Insead I think it's more companies shopping around for MBA students. Don't take me wrong, I maintain that for financial industry LBS is the best choice, but I just tried to highlight some cases where IMD can have a small upsides.

There are a lot of Ifs and buts here. 250 apps from LBS but only 1 app from IMD ? Isnt the class size 90 and is generally focused on industry (i.e. surely there will be more than 1 application from IMD for the more desirable jobs).

Blueman wrote:
Regarding the network/industry placement, I do not agree. IMD has thousands top executives attending trainings in Switzerland every year (60,000 network). The school was founded by Nestle, and later co-financed and supervised by 100+ industry majors to meet their need for developing their executives. The school is therefore much more embedded in the industry and up-to-date than any other school. Besides, so manby industry majors are headquartered in Switzerland... so my conclusion is that the probable 30 students more placed by LBS in industry every year does not balance all that at all.

If you are going to include executive program alumni for IMD, then to compare you will then need to include all the G-EMBA, SEMBA, JEMBA, DEMBA, ADP, Sloan graduates of LBS in the alumni pool as well and that will inflate the alumni base for both schools - by a LOT.

Blueman wrote:
Regarding LBS being an opportunity to find what you what to do in life, I find it rather expensive (2 years fees and 2 years without salary!). Maybe 1-month meditation in Tibet is cheaper :-D (joke). And if you guys go skying in Switzerland, come visit us in Lausanne. Maybe they'll find a minute to have a beer with you ;)

Sure but meditating in Tibet is not going to help you "try" that product management job for 3 months or that startup that you have been thinking about launching for the last 3 years. You can do this in a safe environment of an MBA and while it seems expensive, if you screw up, you can always go back to a more "safe" post-MBA path. This particular point is a 2year v/s 1year program argument.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 15 Apr 2011, 01:10
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Very fine to me. Do not totally agree but I think we brought two differents perspectives and enough details to provide the readers with more insights. Let's not make it a chicken combat here :)

Both school are great at the end and will fit better to different expectations and people backgrounds. That's the bottom line of this thread I guess.


If one needs more debates: http://forums.businessweek.com/bw-bscho ... ?msg=85407

Cheers and good luck in your post-mba career!
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 16 Apr 2011, 05:48
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I've experience from IMD, and not from LBS, so I'll give some pointers on what I think IMD offers, and maybe dispel some myths!

"Clock lady" I don't know who that is or what people experienced! I don't remember a clock lady on my interview day. What I do remember was a hosting student, who vaguely knew I needed to be back for interview after lunch and coffee, but that was about it.

HOWEVER, what IS a fact is that during the first half of the year you end up very time-poor, with a lot of work to do and a lot of commitments. These take a few forms:
  • Classes: full day 5 days a week, half day every other Saturday
  • Ongoing projects, in particular your startup project
  • Group assignments and group-work
  • Studying and digesting the material from class, doing assignments and so on
Juggling all of these gets pretty tricky, but I honestly have learned from it (and I had experience in a couple of industries and of team leading and so on before). However, nobody is policing you. It's up to you not to let your study-group down, and to work it out with them if you do. It's up to you not to miss lectures, and to square it with the Prof if you do. And so on.

Things that are a bit different:
  • Startup project. Runs from beginning of year up to summer. This is an ongoing project to "add real value" to a startup. You get to express preferences, and are assigned with 5 others to a particular company. It's intentionally left undefined what you're supposed to do with the company, and it's up to you to coordinate with your team and later discuss it with the CEO and come to an agreement. The opportunity is huge though, both to practice business (every startup has problems you can help with) and to work out the leadership/soft-skills issues.
  • International Consulting Project (ICP). This is a project done within a large company (not a startup). Mixture of corporate blue-chips and medium (say ~100m sales) companies. This is given about 2 months of time and depending on location you may be relocated for that project (real examples India, Nigeria, Brazil) or it may be more local in Europe (Switz, Belgium, Germany, etc.,). The projects are normally set up to have CEO level reporting.
  • Group Work. I had a long conversation with an INSEAD Alum, and this seemed to be a distinctive point (don't know about LBS). In IMD you're assigned to at least 4 groups over the course of the year: Study group 1 (first 3 months), Study Group 2 (next 3 months), Startup (first half year) and ICP (second half year). You almost never get to form groups yourself except for your own initiatives or for the discovery expedition to South Africa. Then you have to work very closely on various tasks with these groups, work out differences, decide who's leading, when, and how, and so on. Meanwhile, you get coaching on group-psychology analysis individually and as a group, and have to review the group-dynamics through a series of graded papers. I'm pretty nuts-and-bolts in most things, but this really does teach you surprising things about yourself and others. The basic principle of why this is done, is that throughout your career in management you will work and exercise power in and through small teams (once you're the CEO your team will be the other CxO's, and it's like that all the way up when you usually have <10 direct reports, and <10 peers reporting to your boss.
  • Profs are pretty accessible. Often you can have lunch with them without making any big deal out of it. If you want to meet them for something specific then it's not a problem at all. This is probably a bit different in bigger schools. Our operations prof used to teach at LBS, and said you would find yourself teaching the same case back-to back for a week working through the various sub-groups in the class (to the point of trying to remember what you said today, and what you said yesterday). The connection with students has to be a bit weaker in that case (though you can of course always make a bigger effort to compensate)

Anyway, just some observations. Hope they're helpful
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 09 May 2012, 20:46
tohin wrote:
Hi everyone,

I know these two schools (IMD/LBS) are very different, but I'm trying to make up my mind...
I need to make a decision very soon.

If anyone has gone through the process of deciding between the two (or anyone with a decent knowledge of these programs), please feel free to contribute.

- What are the pros/cons of each program in your opinion?
- Which one would you choose?

Thanks for your advice.

T


Hi Tohin,

IMD is more oriented towards Operations and Manufacturing whereas LBS is more oriented towards Finance and Consulting.

Apart from this, the class at IMD would be more experienced (in terms of no. of months) than it is at LBS. A lot of people we have known who are doing their second MBA from IMD hence it makes a quite different experience.

Location plays a very imp role here, if you have long term plans to be in UK - obviously you will have to choose LBS and if not then otherwise.

One more point to consider is that in case you want a thorough MBA you will get option of completing your MBA in 15, 18, 21 months at LBS whereas at IMD you will have to finish it in 1 year.

The difference in class size which is around 400 for LBS can be a point of choice if you want wider and may be a diverse network whereas at IMD you will have closely knit 90 people class. Evaluate these and decide. In case want some more information visit http://www.general-ed.com/LBS-essay-analysis & http://www.general-ed.com/IMD-essay-analysis

Regards
Neha Singh
http://www.general-ed.com/
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 14 May 2012, 12:24
IMD has a very typical intake, so most people's career looks like this (and if yours looks like this you are likely to get in):
Business Analyst, Sr Business Analyst, Manager

LBS has a much more diverse mix of backgrounds, finance, arts, consulting, and of course industry.

In the recent MBA class, LBS placed more people in consulting (35% of class) than in Finance (34%). So LBS does more than just finance. With finance jobs going away the fact that they can transition people to Consulting should be very comforting.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 14 May 2012, 12:50
IMD has certain disadvantages:
1) No internships
2) No exchange opportunities
3) Narrowly focused backgrounds of the participants (similar resumes from different countries)
4) Remote location
5) Many students are there for their 2nd MBA...if you don't succeed once try again !
6) Weak courses. Yes they make you slog but look at their coursework, it is rather weak on tangibles but heavy on fluff. Their projects with industry look good though.

LBS's disadvantage right now is that it is in the UK, where the economy is shit. But if you are planning go back home (wherever that is) the LBS brand will carry better.
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Re: LBS vs IMD [#permalink] New post 16 May 2012, 11:05
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I don't know which source you are referring to when you draw below conclusion. Would you please share your source to us.

IMD has certain disadvantages:
1) No internships
Source: www imd org/programs/mba/upload/Brochure_ICP pdf
Source: www imd org/programs/mba/programstructure/content/ICPs cfm

This is true, although they have two ICP projects which works full-time for 8-9 weeks in total for companies like:
ASTRAZENECA
NOVARTIS
GALDERMA
HONEYWELL
NESPRESSO
NESTLE PROFESSIONAL
it is not an internship. Of course IMD students are responsible to present strategies in front of CEO, senior executives to solve real business problem based on real business data, and work in team with company's staff, which is much harder than an internship and makes IMD students works 80-90 hours per week.

2) No exchange opportunities
This is true

3) Narrowly focused backgrounds of the participants (similar resumes from different countries)
Source: www imd org/programs/mba/upload/Profiles-Bluesheet pdf
Marketing & Sales 19 %
General Management 14 %
Strategy & Planning 13 %
Finance 12 %
Project Management 12 %
Business Development 10 %
Operations 10 %
IT / R&D 5 %
HR / Legal / Corp. Affairs / Misc. 5 %

If you believe that someone who works in Marketing & Sales function's resume will be similar to someone who works in Strategy & Planning or similar to someone who works in Finance. I think you are right.

4) Remote location
Source: www jobline net/useurop1 htm
I don't know if a place which is 42mins away from Geneva airport by train, 5 mins walk away from Philip Morris HQ, 20 mins walk from Nestle HQ, less than 40 mins drive away from below company's European HQ: HP, Caterpillar, P&G, AMD, Cargill, JP Morgan Chase, AutoDesk, DHL, Eil Lily, Oracle really means remote. I started to feel sorry for my friends who studied at Cornell, Tucks and etc...

5) Many students are there for their 2nd MBA...if you don't succeed once try again !
Source: www imd org/programs/mba/upload/MBA-class-profiles pdf
I saw one student has studied MBA before she study at IMD. If you believe that "one" means "many", you are right. "If you can't prove once try again!"

6) Weak courses. Yes they make you slog but look at their coursework, it is rather weak on tangibles but heavy on fluff. Their projects with industry look good though.
Source: www imd org/programs/mba/programstructure/Class-subjects cfm
I have looked at their coursework and I cannot understand why it is rather weak on tangibles but heavy on fluff. Can you further explain?

Last edited by nevermindband on 16 May 2012, 13:29, edited 1 time in total.
Re: LBS vs IMD   [#permalink] 16 May 2012, 11:05
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