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Take a Selfless Selfie  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Feb 2018, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Take a Selfless Selfie
3rd January 2017. Freshly ironed shirt, neat shoes, gel in my hair for the first time since years, I enter the IMD terrain. Even though I am 31 years old, it feels like the first day of high school all over again. 

Now, one year later I look back.  Realizing that I never expected many of the things that the year at IMD brought me. But most of all I never thought that it would give me the freedom and support in pursuing my own social idea and making it what it is today.

Before my IMD year, I volunteered for a year in a township in South Africa. It was right there that I realized four things that led to Selfless Selfie:

The first thing I realized was how privileged we all are. There is still so much poverty in the world. Something we never actually face in our day to day lives.

Second is how much you can actually achieve with little money. The one dollar we will not even miss can mean an evening meal for someone who might not even have access to that.

Thirdly, when I look at my own generation – the millennials – I realise how little we donate to charity. We might think about improving our world a lot but we do not open our wallet for it.

Fourth is the power of networks and the benefits of sharing stories on a common platform. A fact that the charities of the world have not figured out yet. Otherwise they would not compete for donors so fiercely.

Combining these four steps led me to Selfless Selfie. A platform where you can micro-donate as little as one dollar to a cause of your choice for every selfie you upload to social media.

You take a Selfless Selfie, choose a cause categorized by the UN Sustainability Goals (by the way, the UN has got our back), add a cool filter and by uploading it to social media, it makes your selfie selfless so that everyone can see that you care.

If you believe in our idea to make selfies a little more selfless, please support our crowdfunding. Ideas or business partners are also very welcome to get in touch.

Philippe
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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When all you want is “nothing”  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: When all you want is “nothing”
my tryst with minimalism

One of our MBA partners this year, Swati Dalal, shares her impressions of Lausanne and new opportunities.

 

Last year, I came across a beautiful article on minimalism, in which the author eloquently explained how her family had taken a conscious call to follow a minimalistic lifestyle to unclutter their lives. The article really struck a chord with me. It was like looking into the mirror.

More clothes than we can wear, more food than we can eat, more work than we can do, more friends than we can love – maximum life (or minimum) in maximum city. While excessive consumerism has become synonymous with well-being, you don’t need an understanding of welfare economics or Pareto’s principle to comprehend that socio-economic divide is at the helm of most (if not all) conflicts in the world. We love blaming the politicians, the corporate houses, even God, while we hide behind an occasional visit to the orphanage.

I would be a hypocrite to say that I am any different. While the article made me ruminate on my lifestyle, I did not find it very practical. To me, it was an American thought propagated by an Instagram mom. It was her “thing”. Good on Facebook, not so much in real life, at least not in my life.

However, sometimes the Universe knows what’s best for you. A month back, we moved to Lausanne – a new life, limited means. It is incredible how much our context defines our lifestyle. With no family, no jobs and no friends, we had no context in Lausanne to influence our choices. We were “nobodies” and trust me, at times, that’s the best thing that can happen to you!

As we went about laying our new life, I knew it was time for me to embrace what I had been wanting all along. It was my chance at having “less” and living “more”. For the first time in my life, I started differentiating between need and want. And it was not just me!! As I got to know the city of Lausanne, I was overwhelmed by its efforts to reduce improvidence.

This was in complete contrast to my perception of the western world (defined by Hollywood, books, sitcoms etc.). No QSR outlets choking the streets, no big malls luring customers, no under-construction multi-storey buildings, no neon signs glaring in your face. Lakes, parks, walking and cycling tracks, quiet restaurants, antique boutiques. A walk down the lane and you would know that this town is not looking to BUY, not looking to SELL. More people on walk-ways than in the supermarkets, more people in the community centre than in H&M. You already know what the city stands for, and if you don’t, then try recycling! This town does not believe in wastefulness.

I was amazed to see that a city that has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, houses people that consider it a personal responsibility to allocate trash in eight (or maybe more) categories for recycling! From house sizes to recreational activities to food choices, the austerity is evident.

I came across people who make soap at home to protect the environment from harmful chemicals, and those who would feed only whole grains to birds at the lake (no white bread please!). I had never come across this level of social consciousness and it was overwhelming.

Needless to say that the goodness rubbed off, not just on me, but on my daughter as well. From having a room full of toys, she came down to a couple of dolls. And, from having a huge wardrobe, I came down to a couple of sweaters. The change had a purging effect. It was incredible how little we had to choose between, and how much time and energy that saved. I discovered recipes that she enjoyed, and she made paintings, which I put on the wall. We cooked, played, walked, trekked, and we did not need anything to do anything.

Just a couple of days before we left to return to India, we went to a shop which had some toys. As my daughter had not bought a single toy in three weeks, I thought of treating her with something small. I asked her what she wanted to buy, she just looked at me and said “Mom, I don’t want anything. I have toys at home.”

Swati

P.S- We are back in Mumbai and trying hard to keep up with our new lifestyle!

 

 
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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And when the Polar Vortex hits…  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2018, 14:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: And when the Polar Vortex hits…
…the class heads to the Chalet Suisse for a nice cheese fondue!

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Raj Ramful

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Lifting Spirits  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2018, 15:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Lifting Spirits
Week 7 just ended with a bang. We started by learning about regulatory control on businesses. The most interesting takeaway from the class was the unfortunate dilemma of compulsory pharma licensing in India and its effects on the availability of innovative pharmaceuticals in the country. We then took a deep dive into market segmentation and pricing through the marketing core course. Interesting strategy cases gave us a sneak peek into the basics behind M&A decision making. . We had two leadership lectures on how individuals harness power and how we can influence people. One of the class exercises on negotiation took me back to memorable days negotiating with Middle Eastern clients. And finally we welcomed alumni from different batches who gave us insightful tips on job search during the year. The MBA office then arranged a delightful fondue evening for us on Friday which gave us much needed relief from the dungeons.

We had a free Saturday after several weeks and everyone took some time off to visit nearby places and get some much needed rest. I took the time to connect with family and friends and roam around nearby Pully to meet my chosen psychoanalyst. We had a deep discussion on my motivations and goals from the MBA. After several weeks of being at war mode and stressed to the maximum, the free Saturday was helpful in reflecting back at what had transpired since I came to Lausanne. There have been many highs and lows in such a short period of time at IMD. I couldn’t help but wonder at make of the course, which is designed to mimic the intensity of a stressful work environment and forces participants to learn how to deal with it and to do so rather quickly. One important aspect of the learning is your secure base, the circle of family, friends and partners who help you through the journey and lift the spirits when needed.

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Lifting spirits by Jean and Marianne Bremers

Indeed “Lifting Spirits”, the sculpture by Jean and Marianne Bremers in the gardens of the campus that we pass by everyday in our rush to catch the 8 am class signifies this important aspect of personality development

I will leave you with some welcome comments from my classmates about last week.

Parth

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Featured image of a Lausanne sunset by MBA 2018 participant Kshitij Verma

“After some extremely hectic weeks, this Friday’s fondue dinner at “Le Chalet Suisse” and the wonderful skiing day at Verbier, have charged my batteries to tackle next week’s deadlines full of energy” –

“Hearing from the alumni was very interesting and it was good to hear about their approach to the job search”- Lauren Versagli

“During this week, we enjoyed several insightful moments: from learning about harnessing power and influence others in a workplace, to experiencing from IMD alumni how to search efficiently for a job. We ended the week with skiing on the magnificent slopes of Verbier” – Pierre Ghobril  Image below from Pierre’s ski trip

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Chiara refuses the status quo  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Feb 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Chiara refuses the status quo
My name is Chiara and I grew up in a maritime Italian town overlooking the Adriatic sea. Although it may seem outmoded these days, I feel deeply European and I am happy I had the opportunity to freely travel, study and work around Europe. I think that business today is called to play a leading role in society to build greater inclusion and equality.

Before IMD:

After few years in consulting in sustainability and technology, in Italy and France, I undertook the role of executive assistant international business in Exprivia, an Italian group of 2,000 people delivering information technology services for different industries, from banking to manufacturing, healthcare and the public sector, in Europe, Latin America and China.

Curiosity and the constant desire to become better are my main drivers in life. I have a sort of refusal to the status quo, and I love to see continuous improvement around me. I consider myself to be a well-rounded person that always tries to have a balance between work, humanistic and civil interests, people, and sports.

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Chiara Altomare, Italian

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EBA Med – Group 5 Startup  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: EBA Med – Group 5 Startup
Arrhythmia, a heart condition in which the heartbeat is irregular, affects millions of people globally. While in many cases arrhythmia can be harmless, certain types of arrhythmia, such as Artrial Fibriliation (AF) or Ventricular Tachycardia (VT), are known to pose significant health risks. About 80% of sudden cardiac deaths are a result of VT.

Many advances are being made in treatment of arrhythmias which include the use of medications, surgeries (catheter ablations), pacemakers etc. Catheter ablation surgeries can be complex and expensive. This is where the startup we are working with, as part of our startup project, comes into the picture. Our team is working with EBA-Med, cofounded by Adriano Garonna and Giovanni Leo, whose mission is to introduce a non-invasive treatment for arrhythmia using proton beams. This procedure also has the potential to reduce the cost of treatment significantly.

Our team is a wonderful mix of professionals coming from varied backgrounds – healthcare, law, technology and finance – exactly the milieu of industries EBA Med is touching. At the same time, some of our team members already have experience in one form or the other in the world of startups and have an understanding of the kind of journey that an entrepreneur makes in the startup phase. This makes the project very relatable to us and there is a strong level of commitment to add value to EBA Med. We are really excited to work on this project as we think it is one of the only few effective ways to teach entrepreneurship, if at all entrepreneurship can be “taught”.

Our team from left to right: Roy, Rodrigo, Irina, Dimitrios, Mithlesh, Lauren

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This space, where healthcare meets cutting edge technology, is one of the most dynamic areas in the medical field. We feel happy to contribute to this project which aims to bring an innovation in healthcare.

Mithlesh

 
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Snow fight outside the auditorium  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2018, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Snow fight outside the auditorium
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With the arrival of snow on campus, a fairly rare occurrence, the MBAs found some time for fun!

Suzy

 

 
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Ramiro – a Chilean Engineer  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Mar 2018, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Ramiro – a Chilean Engineer
I was born in the south of Chile, in a small city next to the sea surrounded by lakes and mountains. Puerto Montt is a place of exuberant nature where “rain becomes song”. In a centralized country like Chile you have to work twice as hard to get into university and also move to the capital if you aim for the best schools, and I did so at the age of 17.

I started my career working in transportation planning in Canada designing road networks and mass transit systems. Then I moved to the construction industry as project planner and finally transitioned to the manufacturing industry with the lead supplier of road safety barriers and corrugated steel structures in Chile. There I led the engineering team and later the operations department.

A unique experience

The first time I travelled abroad was on a 9-day trekking trip through the Andes to the Argentinian Patagonia with a friend of mine. With no GPS we followed the footpath all the way to a border crossing that remains open only two months a year. We got lost a couple of times during the trip and due to bad weather had to ask for shelter by the locals, amazing people who live isolated most of the time enduring nature and lack of communication. I went back several times after that, increasingly growing my friendship with the inhabitants of that secret valley.

What does success look like to me?

Success to me is about spending your time and energies in something meaningful to others and having the clarity of choosing where and how. It is about deploying all your capabilities and making an impact. Success is about happiness, not only your own, but that of others as well. That is one of the reasons why I chose IMD, I’m confident it will help me to become a successful leader who can impact the life of many others.

Ramiro Villagra

LinkedIn

 
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And then Sakshi said: There is always going to be sunshine in the dung  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Mar 2018, 17:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: And then Sakshi said: There is always going to be sunshine in the dungeons..
This week, I am taking over the rally-baton from Parth and inspired by his authentic style, I add some personal testimonies to the usual insight into the MBA Class of 2018.

Walking home on a cold winter evening, severe wind stings my cheeks. I am reflecting on the last weeks and contemplating about the stage we reached on our MBA journey. February passed by in a wink, stretching our heads and minds with new information and leadership experience, but also leaving cheerful memories behind.  We celebrated Chinese New Year and Holi, the Indian festival of colours, with traditional decorations and national food specialities at the IMD restaurant, bringing feelings of home to many of our class.  We swiped over radiant pictures from carnival in Rio de Janeiro and paid tribute for the immense support to our loved ones on Valentine’s day.  For me personally, February 2018 will always resonate with a memory of the countless hugs and smiles I received, the happy birthday song performed by the class in unison and me dancing chachacha well-led by Hans on the Lorange auditorium “dance floor”.

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Beginning of March takes us directly into the hot phase of the module one, bringing  certain unease to the game: with nine courses running in parallel, we are juggling with readings, case preparations, analysis and evaluations, presentations, process flows, group assignments. On top of that, we are working closely with our start-up partners to deliver tangible outcomes to development of their business model; last week we had an opportunity to showcase our first achievements and validate our approaches in pit-stop meetings with a recognized start-up expert from EPFL Innovation Park.

The workload accumulates and we are curving out more and more from our pool of sleeping hours. Time management and efficient communication skills are scrutinized. As the complexity of materials discussed in the class increases, we employ holistic view on analysis of the problems, connecting dots and leveraging knowledge gained in the nine courses running in parallel.  There is no doubt that we are speeding up, increasing our performance.

The cohesion and emotional bonding of new experiences holds us solidly on the fly, yet frictions and conflicts naturally emerge. Apart from the funny anecdotes about grave fights over the last mouse-au-chocolate in the lunch breaks, some conflicts go deeper into the layers of our personalities, challenging our deep-routed perceptions. We are doing our best to handle these constructive conflicts professionally, keeping in mind our own blind spots, yet not refraining from our contribution to the feedback.

With the amount of time spent in the famous “Dungeons” (study rooms in the basement of Chemin de Bellerive 32, with some of them with a luxury view on the side wall of the staircase), days, respectively nights can get tough. Latest by now every each one of us figured out ways to free our minds and find balance to recharge batteries. We play table tennis in the Maersk building, go jogging in the lunch breaks, hit the IMD gym, kick the football balls we have in the dungeons, play guitars and sing, chit chat over a coffee or a dinner or simply sleep. Some of us create fascinating pieces of arts – as Sakshi, for example, who I quoted in the title of this blog and who, to my complete astonishment, decorated dungeons with a beautiful collage featuring sun. Commenting on her own masterpiece, she told me: “You know, with this picture, there is always going to be a sun in the dungeons”.

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I feel grateful to be surrounded by such versatile personalities, giving me strength and energy to overcome tough moments and …keep running – recalling one of the seven personal learnings, shared with us by the CEO of Almarai, guest speaker from last week – “Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve to death. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a lion or gazelle. When the sun comes up, you’d better be running.” Echoing another classmate of mine telling me: “I am not afraid of anything anymore”, I can audaciously sum up: exams come, we are ready!

Martina
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Matteo  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Mar 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Matteo
“The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

― Christopher McCandless

My name is Matteo Armanino, I’m 30 years old, and I believe the above quote perfectly summarizes the reason I’m here. I don’t think there has ever been a constant in my life, except for my friends.

Born in Brazil, coming from an Uruguayan and an Italian family and studying in a Swiss school I think I can say I had a pretty multicultural childhood, the sense of belonging was always present even when in very different places. Of course, that ended up having a major role when choosing an MBA. A couple of years later and here I am at IMD, feeling more at home than I ever did, facing life-changing experiences with people from all over the world and countless nationalities.

Before coming to IMD, I changed course many years ago from a billion-dollar multinational tech company to managing my own business with just a couple of employees. It had its ups and downs, definitely. I enjoyed the freedom of managing something I had complete control over, but I missed the people and working in a big environment with many energetic people.

My biggest learning in life is not to make choices based on what you think others expect from you. Do what you feel is right, inside of you. That doesn’t mean you won’t fail or suffer, but looking back you’ll definitely smile. And above all, focus on the people, they’ll make you smile even more.

I can unmistakably confirm that I’m in the right place, living my new adventure, contemplating a totally different horizon… with amazing new friends.

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Matteo Cocito Armanino

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Snow Day Fun Day!  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Mar 2018, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Snow Day Fun Day!
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Raj Ramful

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Anna’s intake on women in leadership  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Anna’s intake on women in leadership
 

Anna is an executive leadership coach for women. Originally from New Zealand, she holds an MSc in Occupational Psychology and started her career in HR at Shell in both European and Global roles. She graduated from IMD in 2007 and was recipient of the Award for the best all-round female. Following her MBA she joined Mars Chocolate in the UK and worked in a range of senior sales & marketing roles, most recently as their Commercial Strategy Director. She now combines her psychological insight with her commerciality as an executive coach, inspiring women at all career stages to achieve their potential at work. She lives in London with her husband and is a Mum to three very energetic boys.Image

“I believe women have so many leadership skills to offer. I started my MBA as a strong listener, keen to hear and integrate the views of others and to help others play to their strengths as well as develop. During the MBA I developed further as a leader, where I valued others’ views while also being clear on my perspective and recommendations and developing my influence and impact. I would love to see more women reach senior levels in organisations so that the impact of a more inclusive yet direct style of leadership can be felt.

The first couple of years after graduating were key to getting immediate value from the program and switching function and industry. I’d previously worked in HR in an Oil & Gas company and after graduating I secured a role in Sales & Marketing in FMCG. I then spent a number of years in very varied and commercial roles. The team work and leadership experiences from IMD gave me the confidence to manage sizeable teams.

One of my concerns about doing an MBA was making sure I had enough work and life experience under my belt to truly get value out of it, while leaving at least a couple of years post-MBA before I thought about starting a family. I was 27 when I started IMD, with 4 years of work experience, and then had my first child aged 31, so things went to plan!

I now choose to work for myself as this allows me the flexibility to be there for the family when needed while still doing rewarding work. Both my career and my role as Mum are very important to me. The balance is never perfect – it’s a constant evolution – but I find reminding myself of what is important to me in life usually helps.

I think an MBA gives women more appetite and confidence to take risk. Before my MBA I couldn’t read a balance sheet or a P&L. After my MBA I’ve managed business areas with a P&L of more than £100m; I’ve invested in one start-up, am an associate with another and started my own business a couple of years ago. There’s no guarantee of success in these, but my MBA gave me so many new skills and knowledge across all aspects of business that I now feel confident I can turn my hand to most things, even if I have no prior knowledge!”

Anna Johnstone

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#Inspired and #inspire  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Mar 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: #Inspired and #inspire
Today, we celebrate International Women’s Day here at IMD. Beside several events running at campus, online discussions with faculty and a week long series of Instagram posts dedicated to achievements of women in our class, this day turns our full attention to gender parity and equality. The official theme of this year’s IWD is #PressForProgress and this powerful call out urges all of us to take action and strive for impact. At the same time, we are aware that higher gender parity cannot be achieved without men caring for gender inequality, acting as male role models prompting diversity. (Below photo: Juho recognised this day by offering each woman in the program and MBA office a rose – thanks for this touching gesture!)

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Looking around the Lorange auditorium during the MBA finance class, I strongly believe ambassadors of both sides of the coalition are sitting here. Spotting female fellow cohorts, brings me to thinking what did it take us to get here:

….who ingrained the idea of  becoming a leader in us and who nurtured it

….who encouraged us to strive for more

….which events and milestones in our career and private life shaped us to not give up despite headwind and further headwind

….who were our role models and which mantras did we repeat to ourselves in unfavourable situations

Twenty six of us took action many times in the past, broke stereotypes and changed mindsets about gender parity. We lead for change in the transformational within and beyond business. We came to IMD to reinforce and refine our leadership styles to make an even bigger impact in the future.

Some of the Women in the 2018 Class shared who they are inspired by and how strong women role models impacted their lives and careers:

“I grew up on Enid Blyton, Louisa May Alcott and Margaret Mitchell whose Scarlet O’Hara has remained my ultimate female role model and even after all these years, she has been my source of personal leadership principles.  She taught me how to take responsibility for my actions, how even the most overwhelming tasks can be tackled with a “can-do attitude” and willingness to do whatever is necessary to not just survive but thrive and to always strive for more. ” Neharika

In challenging moments, Claudine follows words of wisdom by Audrey Hepburn : “Nothing is impossible, the world itself says I’m possible”.

Oriane’s role business model is Coco Chanel. “She was a successful business woman working in a man’s world, way ahead of her time”, she explains. To remind herself of the vast progress society has made since Coco’s times, Oriane recalls a quite by Coco: “The most courageous act is still to think for yourself. Aloud.”

Both Candice and Suyun draw inspiration from Sheryl Sandberg:

“I hope you find true meaning, contentment, and passion in your life. I hope you navigate the difficult times and come out with greater strength and resolve. I hope you find whatever balance you seek with your eyes wide open. And I hope that you — yes, you — have the ambition to lean in to your career and run the world,” are the words of motivation for Suyun.

“We must raise both the ceiling and the floor” are the words of action for Candice. She explains: “It’s relatively easy to encourage women, it’s another thing to lead by example. For me, Sheryl Sandberg is the ultimate example of an inspiring female role model. She demonstrates great leadership acumen, charisma, and humility, and does it while fully harnessing, not shying away from, her emotions. She inspires me to not only smash the ceiling, but also raise the floor.”

As  female business and political leaders of my home country can be counted on the fingers of one hand,  I found inspiration in the empowering words of Hillary Clinton: “Always aim high, work hard, and care deeply about what you believe in. And, when you stumble, keep faith. And, when you’re knocked down, get right back up and never listen to anyone who says you can’t or shouldn’t go on.”

Irina shared her testimony on the transformational impact of a strong female role model she encountered in her previous career: “My former boss, Nuzhat Naweed – at that time the only woman VP in a technology company of 11 000 people – motivated me to be much more professionally daring. …. She openly spoke about diversity, shared what challenges she faced as the only female VP, and how she handled them. Thanks to her empowering example, not only did I go forth and deliver on ambitious projects, but I also became more engaged in encouraging female colleagues to aim higher.”, Irina comments.

She adds: “Thanks to Nuzhat’s vibrant example, I would love to call forth all the women in leadership positions to leverage their power of role models. In fact, I believe that role models can bring the broadest, most sustainable impact on gender balance in the management world. The more visibility female achievers have, the more other women will be inspired to follow, fuelling change bottom-up.”

….Happy International Women’s Day!

Martina

 

 

 
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Real Learning  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Mar 2018, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Real Learning
The very intense learning style in the past two months has brought us to this week where we’ve seen an amalgamation of different topics. Streams such as Marketing, Operations, Finance, Strategy, Organizational behavior etc are blending in seamlessly into the group work and case studies and we as students are looking at each problem from a combination of these very different perspectives.

The Entrepreneurship stream saw a session from Patrick Hoffman who is the CEO of OtradaGen, a pig farming startup from Russia. We saw a passionate and hands-on entrepreneur talking about how technology and changing regulations helped OtradaGen in becoming one of the top pig farming companies in Russia. Pig farming is traditionally a male-dominated industry, and Russia is often perceived as a male dominated place. Patrick, as a newcomer to the industry, tried many things, one of which was to change the male-dominant workplace by giving most key positions to women.

The Finance stream especially has been an efficient and uncluttered learning experience. From the basics of valuing investments to evaluating large scale projects in corporations, the evolution has been seamless. We had our last Finance class with Prof. Salvatore Cantale last week from this module. It was an absolute privilege to learn basic corporate finance through his engaging style infused with funny skiing stories.

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The Operations classes have been packed with a multitude of information from various aspects of supply chain management taught through case studies, group exercises, in-class simulations and presentations from the participants with operations experience. We learned about efficient supply chain systems and turnarounds through guest speakers from the industry and concluded the Operations class last week with an interesting session on sustainable sourcing.  Again, it was a pleasure to learn from Prof. Ralf Seifert who is continually pushing the experience with his teaching methods.

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To celebrate International Women’s day on the 8th of March, we had a wonderful speech from Hanne de Mora who talked about her most consistent themes of leadership- Entrepreneurship, problem solving and independence. She took all our eager questions on diversity and impact in organizations with ease and inspired us with her energy and enthusiasm.

We are now almost at the end of Module 1. The integrative exercises begin in a couple of days where we get a chance to test our group dynamics and understanding of the business concepts and apply them to real world situations. Until then, the weather in Lausanne has improved quite a bit and has given us a chance to go out and explore more of the city.

Parth

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Featured image of a Lausanne Sunset from Veronika Razler, MBA candidate class of 2018
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“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Mar 2018, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: “It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves”
“It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves.” – Edmund Hillary

Mountains have their own special magnetism. When we gaze at them, we instantly feel inspired and possessed by deep curiosity. It seems as if they are calling us, we desire to peer from the top, to explore their vastness, then the need to challenge ourselves follows and we find ourselves energized with great passion.

My name is Arie and I was born in Santiago, Chile a bustling city tucked away in a valley surrounded by the Andean foothills. Like many of my fellow countrymen I would often escape the city noise by taking long hikes and losing myself into the quiet beauty of our mountain range. This scenery provided the perfect setting for longer sessions of contemplation and self-reflection. Quickly, I discovered that the more I explored this vast landscape, the more I was willing to explore inwardly and the more I felt like challenging myself to reaching new heights.

The parallels between climbing and life have always fascinated me and as such I try to approach life with the same mentality of a mountaineer: always desire to reach further, to explore and to succeed regardless of the obstacles.

For the past seven years I have been working in corporate finance roles, specializing in M&A and capital raise transactions across the Americas. In my previous role as M&A manager for Latin America at Diaverum, one of the largest renal care companies in the world, I was responsible for executing the inorganic growth strategy throughout the region. While I encountered many hurdles in the process of generating and closing deals, I always faced up to those challenges with determination and stillness, always remembering to appreciate the struggles for the reward of reaching the summit.

To continue my path of self-development, I decided to come to IMD to become more self-aware and polish my leadership skills. Much like mountaineering, the leadership stream offers the chances to explore inwardly, to understand who I am, where my limits lie and how I can live more and become more. Lausanne is also fittingly flanked by a chain of gorgeous mountains and as I stare at them for a few minutes every morning I draw the inspiration to explore the mountains to my own inner psyche, and set goals for my future.

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“..in the end it´s not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves” – Sir Edmund Hillary

Arie Bacal

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Stretching the Limits of Electronics  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Mar 2018, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Stretching the Limits of Electronics
Constant innovation is arguably the most important key success factor in the consumer electronics industry. Through the IMD MBA Start-up Project, my classmates and I have had the privilege of partnering with Feeltronix, a Geneva-based start-up that has developed technology that has the potential to drive the next wave of innovation in wearable electronics.

Feeltronix started developing its proprietary technology in 2015 after the founders recognized that the current electronics used in wearable devices are rigid, while the human body is soft and elastic with dynamic surfaces. Therefore, for the market for wearable devices to truly take-off, there is a need to develop and incorporate fully flexible electronic technology. Feeltronix’s technology enables the integration of flexible electronics into rubber-based circuits. The electronics are highly pliable and can be stretched, twisted or elongated over a million times with no damage to the components.

My group has been working closely with two of the founders, Hadrien Michaud, PhD (CEO) and Arthur Hirsch, PhD (CTO) to help Feeltronix map out its competitive advantage and build a go-to-market strategy with the hopes of finding an industry partner to develop a proof-of-concept in the smartwatch segment.

We have leveraged off the skills we are learning through the IMD MBA program to add as much tangible value as possible, including conducting industry analysis, building a sales toolkit, arranging meetings with industry experts and potential partners, and preparing the Feeltronix team for investor pitches.

We are now at about the half-way point for the project, but a significant amount of work remains to be done! We look forward to continually engaging with the Feeltronix team in order to maximize our impact for the company.

Philip Hudgens on Behalf of Group 7

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From Left to Right: Pierre, Soren, Philip, Veronika, Sonia, Ramiro, Hadrien (Feeltronix CEO), Arthur (Feeltronix CTO)
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The journey has just started!  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The journey has just started!
Coming from a family of railway officers, I have always been fascinated by trains. My name is Kshitij, and I spent my early years travelling across the length and breadth of India on numerous train journeys. While the last stop was important, it was always the thrill and experiences of the journey which left lasting impressions in my mind. I believe the same has been true for the rest of my life as well, where I’ve learnt to enjoy and imbibe from the journey itself rather than the destination. The end goal was never a problem, but to take the road less travelled and to enjoy the journey made the difference!Image

After few successful years at academics, I joined the corporate world through the leadership cadre at the Tata group. Over next 9 years, I worked in a variety of functions across geographies of Africa, Asia and the US. Through these opportunities, I not only learnt how to handle large businesses in foreign markets, but also lead sizeable multi-cultural teams. After an initial business development assignment in Indonesia, I went on to lead the international supply chain for Tata Motors, responsible for exports to over 44 countries. My interest in the subject helped me drive multiple strategic initiatives across international markets, leading to savings of over $20m each year.

As the next stop I handled larger P&L responsibilities for the most promising continent – Africa, where I managed the $200m top line across 14 countries and got opportunities to structure transport solutions for key African cities. One of the key achievements was signing the Abidjan mass transit deal witnessed by heads of state of India and Cote d’Ivoire!

After 3 years in Africa, I joined the corporate strategy team and from there was keen to join an international MBA program which focused on developing leaders capable of handling businesses across geographies. This brought me to IMD, which through its unique program structure is extremely suitable for the long-term development of professionals.

For me, how you achieve something is as important as what you achieve. My father is an idealist and his ethics have deeply impacted me in life. Always learning from him, I truly believe that leaders don’t just achieve goals, but achieve them in style – in the process creating best practices, innovation and new leaders. IMD is helping me put a structure to achieving this, making it a habit.

After all, it’s just like the train ride where the journey is more important than just the goal!

Kshitij Verma

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Nicolas – diverse and active  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Mar 2018, 07:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Nicolas – diverse and active
My name is Nicolas Berczely, and I was born 33 years ago in the sunny city of Buenos Aires. I’m the fifth of 6 children, and we all attended a German school. After high school I studied Industrial Engineering, which provided me with the required knowledge to work in very different industries, and I’ve always based the decision for my next career step on the search for a new challenge and knowledge. This is how I now have working experience in finance, business development, operations, sales and marketing; both in multinational companies and also SME; and why I decided to do this MBA at IMD.

Outside of work, I’ve always been an active person. I played inline hockey for the Argentinian national team and like to play tennis and train at the gym. My friends also play an important role in my life. I enjoy every opportunity to meet them, especially if it takes place around a grill, where we can cook a famous Argentinian asado!

The biggest learning in my life came when I was working in the UK and decided to move back to Argentina, mainly with the idea of going back to my “old life”. Although my experience in London took little more than one year, when I returned to Argentina I didn’t find what I was expecting: My friends were no longer meeting that often, some of them were getting married, others having children, and I didn’t feel comfortable at my parents’ house after having lived on my own. That’s when I realized that every moment in life is unique and can’t be repeated. With this in mind, I always try to make the most of the present and to embrace every new experience I’m faced with.

I’ve been asked several times at IMD why I have 3 flags on my name sign in the auditorium. In fact, I once had a funny situation about my multiple citizenships: While I was doing a 1-semester university exchange in Germany, I decided to fly to London for a weekend. At the border control, I presented my Spanish passport and the officer asked me where my surnames (Spaniards usually include both father and mother surnames) come from. My answer was: Hungary and Italy. Then he turned to his colleague and told him: Look at this guy… Spanish passport, Hungarian and Italian surnames, born in Argentina, currently living in Germany and flying to the UK!

I leave you with a picture that was taken on my IMD admission assessment day, on June 27th 2017. That day, I would have never imagined the amazing experiences (and counting!) and people I would encounter just a couple of months later…

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Nicolas

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Experiential learning on Entrepreneurship with CoatChecker  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Mar 2018, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Experiential learning on Entrepreneurship with CoatChecker
When we look at the past two months of our IMD MBA, the start-up engagement project has been a unique learning experience. The IMD MBA provides an unmatched emphasis on learning about the reality of entrepreneurship by letting us engage directly with an early stage start-up and work with them to provide tangible results.

We work with Joris Storskogen (CEO and co-founder) and Nusret Salihi (CTO and co-founder) of CoatChecker Gmbh, which is a start-up based in Winterthur, in Switzerland. Joris and Nusret saw the potential in the construction industry for a single device that would enable non-destructive testing of the thickness of different types of coating on any type of substrate. They developed CoatChecker, a coating thickness measurement device, with a unique measurement technique and a new software database which allows them to provide quick non-destructive thickness readings. Such a device has potential to improve the quality and reliability of constructions – take a look at this quick video demonstration:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LNvLPXFm0-E

Our team is working with CoatChecker to create a market entry strategy for their innovative new product. Through our market analysis, we received first-hand feedback from the market and learned how different businesses define the value for the product. We got to see the differences in the market between Switzerland and other countries in Europe, and could glimpse into the start-up scene in Switzerland. We have had our work-to-date reviewed by coaches and professional advisors who provide us with a new way of thinking and ensure we are in the right direction.

Our diverse project team has people from 6 countries across 4 continents spanning the East to the West with backgrounds in sales & marketing, business development, engineering, finance and consulting. The collective synergy and alternate perspectives have provided unique learning in developing business models, testing the markets, using digital marketing tools, and evaluating financial models. We’re happy to be together on this project and glad to be able to contribute to CoatChecker.

Our team from left to right: David (Spain), Korbchai (Thailand), Praveen (India), Joris (CEO and co-founder, CoatChecker, Switzerland), Lauren (USA), Nusret (CTO and co-founder, CoatChecker, Switzerland), Maria (Russia), and Pedro (Brazil).

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Praveen
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Hans the Dutchman  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Mar 2018, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Hans the Dutchman
My name is Hans Bergers and I am an Aerospace Engineer by training. This year I am the only Dutchman in class. This means that the responsibility is on my shoulders alone to live up to the stereotypes, such as riding my bike to school every day. In the morning this makes for an easy whizz downhill to the beautiful lakeside. In the evening a bit less so. Among many other things, these little trips emphasize for me the quality of life that you can find here.

My wife is in the Netherlands. Although we talk nearly every day, I am really looking forward to seeing her again at Easter. In the meantime, I am conscious of the strain I am imposing, and grateful for the sacrifice she is bringing.

Having a flatmate really brings me back to my days at TU Delft. Coming from Peru, Rodrigo has very different, and at the same time very complementary, personality traits and behaviors from me. This way it is not only a lot of fun to share an apartment, but also a great opportunity to become more self-aware.

In the meanwhile, I try to hone my leadership skills and fine-tune my intercultural sensitivity, whilst leveraging the ‘Dutch brutal honesty’ to contribute to effectiveness in our project team. Through constant learning in the pressure cooker of the IMD MBA program, our team has by now become a streamlined delivery outfit, able to churn out numerous academic tasks, in parallel to the work for the startup company which we are supporting.

Before coming out to Lausanne I was working at Royal Dutch Shell in various roles and together with my team members and stakeholders we rolled out a number of projects.

Here at IMD, I am again experiencing what a world class company this is. Having worked with my very diverse colleagues, proves to be an invaluable resource which I frequently tap into during this transformational journey.

Success to me is when my team – or colleagues for that matter – feel that in working with me they have obtained an outcome which they otherwise would not have achieved.

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Hans Bergers

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Hans the Dutchman &nbs [#permalink] 23 Mar 2018, 04:00

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