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IMD MBA Admissions and Related Blogs!

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ICP digitalization time in Norway  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Oct 2018, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: ICP digitalization time in Norway
In Norway winter comes early. As we drive through a picturesque landscape on our way to Kongsberg, we realize that temperatures are already below the freezing point.

Our client for the ICP project is TechnipFMC, a leading service provider for the energy industry. Walking into their facility, we quickly realize how its warm atmosphere contrasts with the temperatures outside. Jens is our point of contact in the company and he has organized a comprehensive three-day session in which we will meet the orchestrators of TechniFMC digitalization agenda. Most of us are new to their complex projects, but our attention is quickly captured by the passion and the competence of our hosts, if it was not for their busy agenda we would probably keep them until nightfall.

As our understanding of the company and their objectives increases, we can make connections to the learnings and the tools we acquired this year, and gradually realise the added value we can bring through the project.

Later in the day, we take a walk through the freezing air of Kongsberg to meet Jens and our sponsor Ann-Christin for dinner, and discuss the key learnings from the visit. The excitement is palpable, and we align on presenting our findings to our hosts before leaving back to Lausanne.

We leave Kongsberg with a sense of accomplishment and the awareness that we will have to work hard to deliver an outstanding outcome. Our target will be to define how TechnipFMC’s “Digital Ecosystem” could evolve in the coming years and, to do so, we will explore different industries and sectors. Jens is satisfied by our primary selection of industries to benchmark with, and we have come up with some ideas, but our work will need several more hours and countless coffee cups before we can put the IMD stamp on it. Not only are we confident of our skills to deliver a job which will bring additional value to the company, but we are also grateful to have a leading expert as faculty leader, Prof. Michael Wade is already helping us in defining the next steps, focusing our research and connecting with experts.

Driving back to the airport we feel satisfied about our visit. We are aware that significant work still lays ahead, but we are convinced we can deliver an outstanding result. Kongsberg and its pine forests are left behind, and we already feel nostalgic about the place and the contagious energy we encountered. It is now time to go back to Lausanne and to do our part. It is a warmer afternoon today in Norway, a bright sun is back in the sky. Perhaps Winter can wait a bit longer.

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The TechnipFMC ICP team: Anish, Andrea, Sonia, Praveen, Rodrigo, plus Ann Christin and Jens at the local restaurant where we ate.

Andrea Bertino

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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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Coucou!  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Oct 2018, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Coucou!
Our lovely Oriane Perryman-Holt, from France, offers today’s post, with some interesting stats!

We talk about #IMDimpact so let’s measure it through “Ori’s KPIs”:

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9600
“Coucou” to great classmates with energy and enthusiasm

482
Hours debating in our team “dungeons” learning from each, other sustained by …

…578
Coffees “at Mireille” to get out of the bubble

33560
Hello & Goodbye kisses as per Swiss use of 3 each time

384
Handwritten notes on my iPad plus some drawings

91
Cases and add one third for consulting interview prep’, sure it will pay off!

123
Movenpick® ice-cream scoops this summer to fuel the 7500 meters swam in preparation for the relay triathlon, not forgetting the two 10K races

27
Different CVs reshuffling my 7-years’ experience in corporate finance and internal audit, managing international projects in 3 industries

288
Bananas as breakfast

8
Networking events to connect with the alumni – across the years, we all share the same core experience – and find a way to my dream job

2
Crypto-kitties to apply the finance class on blockchain

218
Hours consulting for a start-up and now for a Pharma company, bringing new excitement and insights

88
Classmates amazing, challenging and motivating me every day

1
Motorbike licence

0
Job yet ; enjoying the journey and curious to discover the destination

I knew this year was due to be a stretch, but I would not have anticipated all of the above.

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Bisous,

Oriane

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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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Sailing Santa Margherita  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Oct 2018, 22:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Sailing Santa Margherita
A few days ago, 11 of my MBA classmates, 4 alumni and I had the chance to participate in the MBA Bocconi Regatta in Santa Margherita Italy, one of the top MBA sports meetings of the year, and an opportunity to meet people from other prestigious business schools.

Most importantly, it was a true stretching teamwork and leadership experience that could not have been “taught in a classroom nor induced through group assignments in an MBA class setting”, as Hassan, one of my crew members, highlights it. “There’s something about being on a sail boat with 6 of your classmates and an alumni in the middle of the Ligurian Sea, competing for Regatta glory by carefully pulling ropes and forcing tight maneuvers to get ahead of the competition, that brings home what teamwork is all about. It’s observing your crew, anticipating issues, being available to them, reinforcing communication, and giving your best that matters when the horn sounds and the boats set sail.”

What was particular about our setup was the lack of sailing experience of most of us MBAs. This was a real challenge given that safety, on top of performance, was at stake.  Martina, recalls that, “Every wrong maneuverer was immediately visible, no mistake was forgiven.”

So how did it play out for us? The truth is that Daniel and Claude, our skippers and IMD’s alumni from 2014 and 2017, played a pivotal role in our success. In less than 3 days, we managed to pull two crews together, get up to speed and perform.

“Daniel and Claude were not “only” skippers, they were leaders who gained our respect by leveraging the talent which each single individual brought in, by staying calm in tense situations and by focusing on our learning experience and development. Martina.

From our skippers perspective, the Regatta was also a stretch, as Daniel Emeka (MBA 2014) highlights:

” I had to bear in mind that since we didn’t have time to practice much I would be relying on people taking initiative within prescribed limits and a framework. Both Claude and myself made sure we held an initial briefing, and sought to reassign where we thought roles weren’t aligned with requirements and break the entire sailing experience into phases such as getting in and out of the harbor versus racing (third phase) which had a different set of roles. The team then only had to think one phase at a time and focus on those tasks.

The team had heightened IQ and EQ, so they quickly picked up on concepts like wind direction and tacking/gybing (it helped that there were quite a few engineers) as well as self-motivation, team dynamics management, …and waiting for the right moments to bring up issues. This really added to the morale and kept us focused on important things for prolonged periods. As for the usual rookie mistakes, we got the course wrong once, misjudged weather patterns, sometimes didn’t notice some problems early enough. But these were all corrected for and no mistake was made twice”

From Claude’s (MBA 2017) perspective:

“For the second time in two years, I had the chance to be on the IMD racing boat for the MBA Bocconi regatta as skipper. Unlike last year, I was not familiar with most of the crew members who were current MBA students. Getting a crew of seven to perform coordinated specialized activities in the limited space of a boat with the pressure of competitors like Harvard, MIT, INSEAD, HEC, and Chicago is a thrilling and sensational challenge. For the boat to move, turn, and accelerate, everyone needs to know his/her role and objectives, communicate effectively, and understand how to react to unexpected events. The learning curve is steep, and the crew needs to take risks and dare to make decisions with a limited amount of information and time. After a few initial adjustments, we were able to improve our maneuvers, increase speed, and reduce reaction time. And after the first race, I had already forgotten that I wasn’t part of this class: it felt like we were one team and that I knew the crew as well as I knew my classmates last year. Unfortunately, we did not win the regatta, but we don’t need to be on top of rankings to be successful. And for me success, was creating meaningful human bonds with 2018 class, enjoying the time together and leaving in some of them a bit of my passion for sailing.”

This Regatta remains one of the most symbolic, memorable and sensational events of our MBA experience, and a great sports tradition I would like to help future classes maintain and improve. On behalf of the sailing team #Daniel, #Claude, #Filippo, #Chiara, #Gaspar, #Pallavi, #Martina, #Shingo, #Juho, #Hassan, #Lauren, #Irian, #Fabiana #Ana and #Elena and the MBA sports committee, I would like to say a BIG THANK YOU to our dean Sean Meehan, and the MBA staff for their support in making this happen!

Sara, for the MBA Sports Committee

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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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Impressions from a Thai perspective  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Oct 2018, 07:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Impressions from a Thai perspective
“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream” is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. I have lived my life with determination, trying to do things I have never done before.

Going back to 2017, I came to Switzerland for the assessment and immediately knew that this was the place where I wanted to do my MBA. “Why an MBA?” is the question that everybody asked, including the admission office. Personally, I thought that this would be a period where I could give time to myself, a moment to rethink whether the path I’ve walked my entire 28 years is correct and a moment to have a proper holiday – an opportunity I will probably no longer have until retirement.

Now, here I stand at IMD, one of the most prestigious b-schools in the world. I may have thought incorrectly about the holiday because IMD has been keeping us students very busy! Maybe that’s because it’s a one-year program, which is good as it’s not too time-consuming and is wallet-friendly.

IMD is known for its leadership-stream. I used to wonder how leadership would actually be taught and what made it stand out from the crowd. After the first module was done, I became enlightened. I should have realized long before though as IMD makes sure that students get the best out of their tuition. The environment makes sure that everyone can take the lead and knows how to work with people from different cultures, but more importantly, everyone is a secure base for you. I don’t know where and when I will find a risk-free environment again like one I have found at IMD.

Apart from academics, outside of school life has been fantastic. Opposite IMD is Lac Leman, aka Lake Geneva. On weekends in summer, people from everywhere come to walk around the lake. Why? Because it’s very beautiful. The banner photo should speak for itself. I also explore the area by bike. The scenery is impressive and it’s very safe.  Drivers are always aware of cyclists as Swiss people cycle routinely.  I don’t know where else it will be so safe to cycle, definitely not in my home country, Thailand.

Since Switzerland is located in the centre of Europe, it’s convenient to go other countries. Evian, France is only 20 minutes away by boat. One of the memorable things that I and my classmates have done is go to see the 2018 Italian Grand Prix in Monza. It was my first time to see the F1 race, and it’s definitely worth going. As I was walking to the track, I heard the race cars screaming loudly. On the stand, Ferrari crowds cheered Sebestian Vettel and Kimi Raikonen, hoping they would win. Too bad for them, Lewis Hamilton won the race, so Mercedes fanboys became happy. Lastly, a car enthusiastic like me can’t be happier as Nordschleife is only one hour away. People from everywhere in the world are eager to drive here at least once in their life. I was absolutely thrilled by the experience, especially by the steering wheel making turns. The Raggazon exhaust screamed as I accelerated and the tires screeched as I turned.

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Korbchai
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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Innovation comes to pharma!  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Oct 2018, 05:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Innovation comes to pharma!
ICP’s are up and running and all my classmates have been traveling around the world or into the dungeons to deliver their projects. My teammates and I have been tasked with helping a pharma company bring business model innovation to the market.

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My lovely teammates and our faculty coach, from left to right Oriane, Jaime, Goutam, me, Irina and Roy
During the last 5 weeks we have been located at our clients headquarters, discovering pharmaceutical industry from the inside and learning about the peculiarities of our clients business and company culture.

Like most consulting projects ours started with tons of research and interviews, and developed through the delineation  of the deliverables.  Through this project we’ve had the opportunity of not only addressing a real business issue but also applying and seeing why all the concepts we learned this year such as scoping and stakeholder management matter so much. We’ve had a lot of fun together, supported each other through difficult times (try delivering a project while searching for a job) and kept developing our team working and leadership skills.

All in all this is a great learning opportunity and experience, that can only be rivaled by the happiness we have when we get to work from IMD every once in while and see again our classmates (and have wonderful IMD food).

Joyce
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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Life of Consultants – Team Big  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Life of Consultants – Team Big
It’s now 5 weeks into the 7-week ICP, and over this period our team of 5 has lived an extraordinary life of consultants – working together, working remotely, travelling all over Europe- oh yes! we got our hands on some authentic paellas and pizzas – and then back again to the client.

Also coming constantly back to IMD, as a secure base, not just geographically but also in terms of what we learnt throughout various courses this year.

It goes without saying that the art of consulting is not just in the facts and figures but also in people coming together as a team and bringing in diverse perspectives to add value to the client. I have seen my team evolve from being a group of individuals to a high impact, creative, smart team. It makes me feel proud of all that we have done together with our ups and downs. I look back with fondness on all the fun we had in our study room with the air conditioning always not working, collectively weird allergies and our ever supportive ICP Director, Salvatore.

Who knew that working with the flooring industry could be so much fun, especially when you get access to the world of mouth-watering Belgian chocolates and fries every time you visit. It is amazing how our team has earned the reputation for keeping chocolates in the dungeons (study rooms)!

The ICP, as well as the year at IMD, is soon coming to an end, but these memories that we have made and the learnings from this experience will always be close to my heart.

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Our team: Muhammad, Sakshi, Pedro, Ash and Lauren.

– Sakshi
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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Life of Consultants  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2018, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Life of Consultants
It’s now 5 weeks into the 7-week ICP, and over this period our team of 5 has lived an extraordinary life of consultants – working together, working remotely, travelling all over Europe- oh yes! we got our hands on some authentic paellas and pizzas – and then back again to the client.

Also coming constantly back to IMD, as a secure base, not just geographically but also in terms of what we learnt throughout various courses this year.

It goes without saying that the art of consulting is not just in the facts and figures but also in people coming together as a team and bringing in diverse perspectives to add value to the client. I have seen my team evolve from being a group of individuals to a high impact, creative, smart team. It makes me feel proud of all that we have done together with our ups and downs. I look back with fondness on all the fun we had in our study room with the air conditioning always not working, collectively weird allergies and our ever supportive ICP Director, Salvatore.

Who knew that working with the flooring industry could be so much fun, especially when you get access to the world of mouth-watering Belgian chocolates and fries every time you visit. It is amazing how our team has earned the reputation for keeping chocolates in the dungeons (study rooms)!

The ICP, as well as the year at IMD, is soon coming to an end, but these memories that we have made and the learnings from this experience will always be close to my heart.

Image

Our team: Muhammad, Sakshi, Pedro, Ash and Lauren.

– Sakshi
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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Let there be light!  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2018, 11:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Let there be light!
As I looked outside my hotel window into the horizon on the eve of Diwali, a million lights glimmered at me and made me wonder about the power of precious light and the hope that it brings along with it. They say that one must know the darkness before you can really appreciate the light. There were several instances in the last ten months when everything around seemed completely bleak and dim. However, I realized over time that wherever my story takes me, however dark and difficult the theme, there is always some hope because I’m an optimist at heart and there is always always light at the end of a menacing dark night!

The most famous and brightest festival in India, Diwali, also popularly known as the “Festival of Lights” reaffirms the same and celebrates the victory of light over darkness, goodness over evil and hope for the future. As per the Hindi mythology, it is associated with the return of Lord Rama to his kingdom, after his 14 years of exile and victory over the demon Ravana. On that day, he was welcomed to the kingdom of Ayodhya with rows of earthen lamps, lightened throughout the kingdom.

To me, it has always symbolized five days of non-stop family time, delicious sweets, flamboyant decorations, glimmering lights, fiery crackers, traditional clothes and lots and lots of celebrations with the excitement building up weeks and months in advance. For the first time in last 33 years, I was not at home for Diwali and realized the importance of times I would take so much for granted Image
I was in Abu Dhabi finishing the last bits of our International Consulting Project as the rest of my classmates are doing all over the world.

We are a group of 19 Indians in the IMD batch of 2018 and as the biggest Indian festival, Diwali holds a different meaning and importance for each one of us.  To Kshitij, Diwali signifies hope and confidence, the victory of good over evil and of course teen patti (popular Indian Card game) and firecrackers. Shubham, who moved to Berlin five years ago, feels that the day of Diwali has a profound effect on him and even when he is physically away from home, no other day of the year reminds him of his roots as much as Diwali does. He also says that “Diwali fills my heart with joy, like no other day in the year. It reminds me of all the little things that make it special – the childhood memories, things leading up to it, the morning rituals with family, the evening fun with friends, lights, colors, sounds.” For my lovely friend Sakshi, “Diwali has been the most special festival with family time, fun time, Indian sweets, especially the amazing lights”.

And while we all have our own special connotation attached to this festival, Ashish summarizes Diwali through the following Bengali quote,“असतो मा साद गमय, तमसो मा ज्योतिर् गमय, मृत्योर मा अमृतम् गमय” (From untruth, lead us to Truth, from darkness, lead us to Light, from death, lead us to Immortality).

 

Some Pictures from our pre -Diwali Indian Bash in Lausanne

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End of ICP celebration and Diwali lunch with my lovely ICP team:

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Till next time,

Neharika

Linkedin
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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Talking about a generation  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Nov 2018, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Talking about a generation
Making generalizations about an entire generation is a perilous exercise. Stereotypes are not helpful! That being said, for employers, cracking the Millenial code is essential to recruiting – and retaining – new talent.

This week, a panel of five MBAs had a lively dialogue with the participants of the IMD Transformation Summit, an event for Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs). What better way to dispel stereotypes than to bring generations together in the same room?

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Here were some of the hot button topics in this week’s discussion of Millenials in the workplace: Bosses, job offers, patience, purpose, ambition and loyalty.

What is your idea of a good boss?

  • Someone who creates a mentoring and coaching relationship. Someone who explains the “why.”
  • Authentic, honest about the pros and cons of the company and the role I am being recruited for. During the job interview process, it’s important to create trust. It should be a dual exchange and not just being evaluated on a checklist.
What would make you reject an employment proposal?

  • A lack of transparency in terms of where and when decisions get made in the company.

    There has to be fairness and also recognition.
  • It’s about mindset. I love to challenge the status quo. I like smaller brands, not a big, successful company.
  • It’s essential to have responsibility and room to manoeuvre. I need space and safety to develop ideas.
  • I need to feel a passion for what I do, passion for the product.
How long are you willing to wait until you get to the leadership role you’re aiming for (whatever your ambition is in terms of the level of leadership role)?

  • I’m flexible, as long as I can keep growing. It’s about assembling building blocks for the future. I’m looking for a role where I’m completely utilized, where my talents are used.
What big thing would you change in the business world?

  • Short-termism. When you have profit targets, going quarter to quarter limits your options.
Millenials are perceived as being less loyal to the companies they work for and more likely to move around a lot. Is this true? How do you see loyalty?

  • I’m loyal to my co-workers and my boss, but with the company it’s a contract.
What are you looking for in terms of work-life balance and job evolution?

  • A more fluid and flexible schedule: if my task, output and time frame are clear, it makes sense for me to organize myself in the way that suits me best to deliver.
  • I’d like the possibility to move in 3D (industry, geography, function) and to have transversal roles.
Imagine we are a company undergoing a transformation from a traditional and hierarchical organization to a new model. How do we retain you though this process? Inspire you?

  • Show me that there is light at the end of the tunnel: create a career plan for me, map the steps clearly.
  • Be honest and open about the realities of the transformation.
  • Seeing progress is important – even small progress. Show the plan for change. Demonstrate that you’re implementing feedback.
  • The company has to make sure the flame is still there!
Chairing the discussion was Jennifer Jordan, Professor of Leadership and Organizational Behaviour. To frame the discussion, Professor Jordan gave an overview of the unique characteristics of Millenials (see Cracking the Millenial Code). For example, Millenials are the first generation brought up with a child-focussed and emotional style that arose from 1960s counter-culture. They are also the first to grow up in a rich media environment offering complex and non-linear computer games. Values also differ: when asked to choose an object that represents freedom to them, Baby Boomers choose the car whereas Millenials choose the mobile phone, closely followed by sneakers!

Anouk Lavoie

IMD Research Associate

“It was very beneficial to be part of the panel as I had the opportunity to debate what the main challenges are that companies have attracting Millennial talent. I felt that companies have this matter on the top of their agenda, and are striving to create environments where Millennials can have a meaningful career.”

David Ruiz

IMD MBA 2018 Candidate
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Leonard  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Nov 2018, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Leonard
28th November 2008 

Martin Schmidt, German, is the author of today’s diary entry. He shares with us his experience and pleasure of having become a father whilst completing his MBA at IMD.

“What were you guys doing last January?“ This was the question that Benoit Leleux, our Program Director, asked after congratulating me on the birth of my son Leonard. With three “MBA babies” born in October, this was indeed a fair question to ask. So if next year’s MBA program gets even more demanding and stressful during its first month, I fear I might be partly to blame.

That said, the support we had from the IMD community was fantastic. Mareike, my partner, moved to Lausanne when she was already six months pregnant, and without the help of IMD staff, other participants and partners, things would have been a lot more difficult.

I know that some Diary readers are prospective MBAs who may be considering starting a family during their time at IMD. Having gone through the experience myself, I can wholeheartedly recommend it, so let me try to resolve some of your doubts*:

  • You think that becoming a father while doing an MBA adds more stress to an already stressful period of your life? Maybe so, but the joy that a baby can bring by far outweighs everything else. It also puts things into perspective: The company you’ve just applied to announces mass redundancies and experiences a 50% drop in its share price? Things like that do not seem to matter so much if you have a wonderful little baby son waiting for you at home.
  • You are worried about your wife giving birth in a foreign country? I had my doubts too, but as it turned out, hospital staff in Lausanne are very much used to catering to an international clientele. Also, language was much less of an issue than I expected: Most doctors and many midwives speak perfect English, and in any case, during birth language becomes secondary; in fact, if you understand the French verbs “pousser” [push] and “souffler” [breathe], you have already covered 90% of the required vocabulary.
  • You fear that you will be the odd one out as an IMD father? The following picture, showing only the parents with babies that were born during the year, should prove you wrong:
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Looking at this picture now, I can’t believe how much Leonard [the one in the front, dressed in light blue] has grown already! But before I start boring my audience with stories about all the little miracles Leonard performs already [he just started smiling], I will stop writing and spend some more time with our son…

Good night to you all,

Martin

*I don’t want to be sexist, but I’m afraid my advice applies only to male participants – for obvious reasons, things would be a little different for female participants.
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This is not a MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2018, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: This is not a MBA
Image

This is a life changing experience, one of those that turn people into who they were supposed to be.

This will be more than a MBA, but only if you let it. Only if you’re willing to put in the effort, if you’re willing to try new things and do what you normally wouldn’t. I’m not talking about the effort required by the academic rigorousness in order to finish the insurmountable readings, the hours needed to deliver all projects on time, the sleepless nights to learn free cash flows, economic theory, strategic positioning, analytics and all that jazz. I’m talking about the resiliency to take no’s, stand back up and dust yourself off, I’m speaking of the courage to have an honest conversation with a teammate, I’m referring to the strength to look into yourself and at your choices, ask why and then change.

This is not a MBA Program and as such it cannot be measured by any regular metrics. It can only be understood through the stories of those who’ve been here, through the lives it changed, the friendships it built, the people it touched.

Thank you, IMD, for taking us in, I feel honored to carry your name.

Joyce
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This is not an MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Dec 2018, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: This is not an MBA
Image

This is a life changing experience, one of those that turn people into who they were supposed to be.

This will be more than an MBA, but only if you let it. Only if you’re willing to put in the effort, if you’re willing to try new things and do what you normally wouldn’t. I’m not talking about the effort required by the academic rigorousness in order to finish the insurmountable readings, the hours needed to deliver all projects on time, the sleepless nights to learn free cash flows, economic theory, strategic positioning, analytics and all that jazz. I’m talking about the resiliency to take no’s, stand back up and dust yourself off, I’m speaking of the courage to have an honest conversation with a teammate, I’m referring to the strength to look into yourself and at your choices, ask why and then change.

This is not an MBA Program and as such it cannot be measured by any regular metrics. It can only be understood through the stories of those who’ve been here, through the lives it changed, the friendships it built, the people it touched.

Thank you, IMD, for taking us in, I feel honored to carry your name.

Joyce
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Congratulations and good luck, MBA class of 2018!  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Dec 2018, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Congratulations and good luck, MBA class of 2018!
I have been at IMD for 18 years, and yet I never fail to be surprised at how quickly we seem to move from welcoming a new group of 90 to wishing this same group of friends luck on the next step of their journey.

Friday was graduation day. We (all members of the MBA team) clapped as they received their well-deserved diplomas and we partied with them to celebrate the end of this chapter.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to the blog this year. Not only Parth, Neharika, Martina, Joyce, Hassin and our image king, Raj, but so many others have taken the time out of busy schedules to share with us a part of their experience, to give us a glimpse into what makes this year so special.

For 2018, I leave you with a short video



We know this is not goodbye. We look forward to hearing how the journey continues.

Suzy
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The End of a Journey or Is It?  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Dec 2018, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The End of a Journey or Is It?
An alum had told me earlier that his IMD year seems almost like a blip now and I had almost refused to believe him.  As we all graduated with our shiny MBA degrees on Friday, I can’t help wondering how quickly it all ended. As my dear friend Andrea said in his Graduation speech, we have reached our last stop and getting off the train is much harder than we could have initially envisaged.  As, I take another train today, I couldn’t help but reminisce about all that I learned here, built here and how desperately I just want to hold on to the nest and the fond memories that I cultivated so lovingly in the last 11 months:

  • Waking up to that ray of light gleaming on the mountains and lake right across my house!
  • Facing a real problem of choice when I had 50 dishes or more to choose for lunch every day!
  • Perfecting the art of leaving home at 7:53 and making it just in time for 8:00 am classes….
  • Painful psychological process of finding myself and figuring things out with my PDE…
  • Random arguments and discovering a strange sense of unity in diversity with my Module & ICP teams… I know this is as cliché as it is could be…
  • Learning it is perfectly okay to not “start” and be in a supporting cast when needed
  • A marathon of cases, projects and assignments… I’m a self-confessed nerd!
  • Thriving on 4 hours of sleep for almost 3 months in a stretch and then start again….
  • Re-visiting my love for kicking a football and people in the dungeons with my favorite Dutchman!
  • Hogging on croissants during classes so generously provided by my benevolent first friend at IMD!
  • Bonding outside the main building on let’s just say “stuff” in every damn coffee break!
  • Covering three continents in two weeks with 89 similar crazy people and discovering true meaning of digital and entrepreneurship: D
  • Summer barbecues and breath-taking views on Handson’s terrace!
  • Getting hammered before a long flight and relying on my classmates to push me into the taxi….
  • 1 am chats on my balcony with my Avenue d’Ouchy neighbours, cribbing about the Indian value system and how it has ruined us for life Image
  • Dancing in Noname with friends as if there is no tomorrow….thanks for letting me keep my love for swaying alive….
  • Becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable art of unabashedly expressing my emotions…. perhaps too comfortable given the frequency of my crying episodes!
  • Developing an eternal fear of Brazilian falafels….
  • Those warm hugs and smiles in the halls and dungeons which instantly brightened up my days!
  • Writing and reviewing infinite versions of cover letters, late night interview prepping and managing anxiety build ups before interviews with my fantastic four….
  • That it is okay to ask for help…. I feel bad though for some of my friends who after a point had no way out Image
  • Ralf’s flower, Arturo’s trading session, Sean’s 5 C model and Jennifer’s leadership iceberg… I’ve a secret bet with my memory on this….
  • Going to school and dungeons when I had nothing to do…I now very quickly need to find a new safe space….
  • Assurances and confidence boosting from so many of my friends when I was at my lowest…. I’ve no idea how I would have survived the year without them….
  • Realizing that I could trigger “true” emotions in someone and be lucky enough to be part of their favorite IMD memories….
And that extreme feeling of collective accomplishment on what we have made through as we walked in the auditorium on graduation amidst the music and applaud and Sean’s words.

I’m still in denial mode that it has all come to an end and earnestly wish I could relive if not all but a few of those moments. However, I’m confident that this is only a start and I now have secure bases and nests in 43 countries.

Au revoir!

– Neharika

 
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The IMD Factor  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2019, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The IMD Factor
Welcome to the 2019 IMD MBA Blog!

We’re looking forward to officially welcoming this year’s participants in just a few days. The program starts on Wednesday, but we already have a great team lined up to share their insights throughout the year. Surbhi will be our main blogger, with lots of support from fellow classmates. I’ll let her introduce herself next week, but here’s an insight into the start of her journey to IMD.

Suzy

Transformation literally means going beyond your form.

Wayne Dyer

As I marveled at the pristine perfection and organized calm that is Switzerland, it finally struck me. I was in Lausanne, a bit beleaguered after the journey, anxious and elated in equal measure. Tomorrow I would attend the fabled IMD MBA assessment day, the only admissions event cross
business schools where candidates are vetted for an entire day, on campus, to understand who they are as people.

My 72 hours in Lausanne forced me to pause, reflect, and walk away changed, with a stronger sense of my place in this world.

Image
“Towards a new horizon”
Photograph taken by Surbhi Puri at Lac Leman

The IMD assessment is an extraordinary experience, unlike any I’ve seen for university interviews. As the day progressed I realized that this process went beyond being just a means to an admissions outcome. The behavioral interview, impromptu case, role play, lunch chat, case review with Dean Meehan (with much animated conversation), and attending Professor Seifert’s operations class; the entire experience is engineered such
that, regardless of the final decision, you walk away with new thoughts, ideas, and questions bubbling in your brain that can carry you forward.

When Antonio called to share the invitation, he said that the assessment day would provide an accurate idea of what life at IMD is like. In my excitement I took a mental note but didn’t ponder on this statement much till I was in the thick of interviews. And what a transformative day it was! For those who are selected and choose to attend the program, I can only imagine the impact that a year of this experience can manifest.

Here are 3 mantras that I saw exemplified by the staff and students of the IMD MBA program during our assessment day:

The magic lies beyond your comfort zone:

In our cohort, we had all taken time off from our respective jobs and families to prepare for the assessment, and prepare to excel. This is no small feat. You know you are in esteemed company when you share a meal with individuals in their early thirties, an age when roots of routine and familiarity start taking form, and all of you have chosen to invest time and resources in discovering your greater potential. We are comfortable where we are, educated and gainfully employed. And yet the itch to do more, despite the demands it would place on our relationships and lives, is palpable and cannot be ignored. Stepping outside the comfort zone is preached and written about extensively. To practice it takes a higher level of faith in yourself and the program. This speaks volumes about the kind of students who choose the IMD MBA.

Global citizenship is the way forward:

Most introductions during the day and with current students over lunch went along the lines of, “I’m from Country A, studied in Country B, lived in Country C and D before moving to E.” The global reach represented in
a relatively small group of individuals was astounding. Possibly because I have lived almost entirely in cities considered to be ethnic melting pots, the current class mix felt familiar, like home, except with cold winds and mountains as far as the eye could see. Our interview cohort represented both genders, five nationalities, and covered a range of professional roles, from pharmaceutical marketing to military service. As we worked through a case that must have been dissected by many before us, we could breathe new life into the discussion because of the unique experiences that we, quite literally, brought to the table.

The transformation (and struggle) is real:

Armed with ten years of experience exclusively in healthcare, I was now required to discuss my views on an airline industry case and share astute insights on company finances. The exercise made me consider new aspects of business practices and evaluate unfamiliar data. After returning home and in the days that followed, as I flipped/swiped through the news I found myself thinking more critically of the sources I was looking at, and I explored topics beyond my usual biomedical interests. Not just because my worldview had expanded, but also because I felt confident that I could understand and question arguments on topics unfamiliar to me.

The change isn’t just cerebral, there was a sense of confidence and pride that stemmed from surviving the assessment, and the knowledge that we are made of tougher stuff than we sometimes give ourselves credit for. An early taste of the IMD program pushed me towards a better version of myself in less than three days. I speak for my peers when I say that we feel honored and excited to embrace the metamorphosis that the coming year will bring. We are ready, with coffee and chocolate on standby. Bring it on!

Surbhi Puri
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“Magic 90”  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jan 2019, 05:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: “Magic 90”
The IMD MBA Class of 2019 WhatsApp group was born on a warm June day in 2018. The initial participants were 20 odd folk scattered across time zones. Our initial conversations revolved around polite, formal introductions, mentions of when we had travelled to someone’s country, and program administrative questions. Somewhere along the way, as summer blended into autumn, our comfort levels with each other, and the size of the group, grew. A great indicator of how our equation has evolved over the past months is the name we recently bestowed onto the chat group; “Magic 90”.

There is something magical about a group of people who never knew of each other before, now priming to develop some of the more influential relationships of our lives. The common thread? A shared desire to survive and thrive during the IMD MBA program.

We are different. Sometimes the chat is overcome by conversations in Hindi or Portuguese with the rest of us scrambling to Google Translate. On an average day we motivate each other to finish the pre-reads, discuss who makes the best cocktails, inquire about nannies and babysitting services. Some of us volunteered for a babysitting circle to help out our peers with bambinos. We’ve even discussed wardrobe requirements and shopping sales, a conversation primarily driven by the ladies! And all this shared with people we have not even met yet.

Wait, I stand corrected. Some of us have met. While transiting through Taiwan, Basel, Mumbai and Rio, our peers have met over meals and coffee, and then shared pictures with the rest. It’s almost like a blind date, but set up by IMD, and the big smiles show that a fun time was had by all. It makes
me eager to get on campus and get this show started!

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We have also seen a great willingness to help out on the group. Whether someone is sharing pertinent HBR articles or sending across finance reading files that another cannot access, there is a high level of proactive giving happening in “Magic 90”. Our friends currently in Lausanne are generous with their time and wisdom. Swati and Camila, for example, have equipped us with nuggets of knowledge on Swiss door locks, grocery shopping strategies, and insurance and phone plans.

Currently, we are sharing vacation (read: pre-IMD relaxation) pictures and collectively enjoyed the IMD MBA Class of 2018 graduation live stream. As this unity grows, we’re not quite sure where our IMD journeys will take us. But if months of daily chatting are anything to go by, our virtually budding friendships are a prelude to the great times and strong bonds that lie ahead.

Surbhi
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Villars: Of Beautiful Vistas and Good Vibes  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2019, 15:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Villars: Of Beautiful Vistas and Good Vibes
Image

First week down!

The IMD MBA Class of 2019 celebrated completing the first week of classes with a weekend trip to Villars-sur-Ollon in the Canton of Vaud. Known for its top-notch boarding schools and pistes primed for skiing and snowboarding, this beautiful village greeted us with seemingly unending blankets of fresh, white, snow.

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We arrived on Saturday afternoon and explored the local market fair while sampling local drinks and delicacies, including hot wine, crepes, and chocolates. It was a fun way to get to know each other beyond the campus setting, soon to become our second home.

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In the evening we boarded the Red Train reserved for the MBA class that took us up into the mountains where a fondue spread awaited us. Dinner was followed by foosball and then the entire class, including our amazing MBA support team, hit the dance floor and caused much revelry atop an otherwise silent mountain late into the night. All 39 nationalities shimmied it up to Shakira and The Black Eyed Peas. As the next few weeks bring us into the throes of finance and accounting and related academic exercises, I expect this memory of a rousing good time will get us through some late group study sessions in the dungeons.

Image

This morning, in particularly generous snowfall, we headed out for snowshoeing, a first time for many in the group. Among drifting snowflakes and husky-pulled sleds, we enjoyed a truly Swiss experience before heading back to Lausanne, a bit tired, with our fill of new inside jokes and good vibes.

Tomorrow we begin a new week, with new courses and assignments, and no doubt, new challenges for us to grow as humans and leaders.

But we can leave that for another post. Tonight, we dream of snow-covered fir trees Image

Surbhi

 

 

 

 

 

 
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MBA 2019 two week warm-up: what was it all about  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Jan 2019, 16:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: MBA 2019 two week warm-up: what was it all about
Second week down.

Monday, January 14th. Snowy dreams of our Villars trip are over. It seems that real study time begins.

Finance, Strategic Thinking, Leadership and Managing Cases were just the few content areas we kicked off this week, next to more soft training around public speaking and team dynamics. It is hard to believe how deep discussions can go around supposedly basic, fundamental topics. How can we evaluate market entry in a structured manner using strategic thinking techniques? What critical strategic decisions can be hidden beyond ‘current liabilities’ figure? What is country competitiveness and why are some nations more competitive? How the application of a relatively simple toolkit takes your presentation skills to the next level? It was impressive.

Nevertheless, while reflecting today about the last two warm-up weeks one thought hit my mind very quickly. Although we have already learnt a lot, these two weeks were not really about content. Fundamentals we tapped into were just the background music, the first necessary ingredients of our professional toolkit.

These two weeks were about us.

Firstly, about the 90 classmates with 39 nationalities, interacting with each other, broadening each other’s view of this world and pushing us out of the comfort zone to see what else is out there. Whether it was about business or private life, discussions with my international colleagues helped me better understand why things in Portugal, India or China (to name few) happen as they happen. What do people think, feel and believe that makes them act in a certain way? Although I only scratched the surface of few cultures, it made so hungry for more.

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Secondly, these weeks were about inspiration. Last Friday we visited EPFL Campus Biotech in Geneva to meet top scientific minds working on the Blue Brain project – a Swiss brain initiative aimed at understanding human brain in order to diagnose and treat brain diseases that are imposing an increasing burden on world’s societies. We learnt about breakthrough technologies under development that at some point would also need business minds to get traction and make a positive impact in our world.

Image

Last, but not least, we also had fun Image
On Friday evening, we headed up to the hills above Lausanne, to spend some time building bonds that we will keep for life. Cosy restaurant, delicious snacks and even more delicious Swiss raclette were of great help to keep conversations going Image

To all my 89 classmates – thank you for making this experience so rich.

Lukasz
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Brand Thyself  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Jan 2019, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Brand Thyself
As MBAs in training and future visionaries looking to make a dent in the world (we hope), we have already had experience with brand management for products, or expect to learn the latter in the months to come. A subject less often discussed is the nebulous, subjective, and frankly tough job of branding ourselves. In a world where everyone and their pet chameleon are on social media, branding is as universal as it is essential to conducting business, be it medicine, manufacturing, or mergers and acquisitions.

Which brings me to our Career Development session yesterday with Arjen Iwema from W-Focus on Personal Branding. Most of us have some idea of who we are, and are perhaps less clear about where and who we want to be in the future. Arjen, IMD MBA Class of 2003, spoke to us about his journey towards a clear individual brand, professional and personal, and urged us to use a comprehensive framework to begin our exploration into our branding statements.

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The most rewarding part of the day for me was drafting our personal statements and then sharing them within our groups (also our start-up teams). It was a wonderful way to get to know each other beyond qualifications and years of work experience. We shared our feedback with each other and marveled at the various hidden aspects of each other’s personalities. All I can say is, wine enthusiasts, serial marathoners, and auto nerds lurk among us Image

A significant takeaway from the session was the value in being authentically yourself because this cannot be replicated. It is difficult at times, especially since many of us come from cultures where humility is paramount, and speaking about yourself is just plain awkward. As we step into pre-executive roles, it may not be required or even advised, to harp on about our abilities. But it would do us a world of good if we have a clear sense of who we are and where we are headed. In a dynamic environment where many things will not go our way, we can at least have a strong sense of self to share with those we want to influence, and more importantly, ourselves.

Now onto prep for Operations class tomorrow! Have a good one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Blog Team 2019: The Write Stuff  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jan 2019, 14:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Blog Team 2019: The Write Stuff
The IMD blog helped me, and many of my peers, during the application process to the MBA program. Shout outs to the 2018 blog team; thank you for sharing your experiences with candor and humor!

Picking up the baton and upholding class tradition to share meaningful, hilarious, and sometimes trying experiences, we, the blog team of the Class of 2019, are thrilled to introduce ourselves in this post. Helena, Lukasz, Uzair and myself will helm the regular blog posts, while Adrian and Olivier are our skilled photobloggers.

We look forward to being the voice of our class and having many of our peers guest blog in the coming months.

In alphabetical order …



Adrian

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Having spent the last year in Western Australia working as an engineer I believe I’ve possibly come from furthest away for the programme. In my spare time, you would find me kitesurfing, sailing, flying my drone or taking photos. Trying to keep an open eye about new angles and perspectives, through the MBA and through my camera lens. Coming to Switzerland proved to be my 6th country of residence and am very much looking forward to seeing where post-MBA life will take me.

Helena
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Hi everyone! I am Helena from Bogota, Colombia. For the past 8 years, I have been living abroad because of my work in the oil and gas industry. It started back in 2010 when I moved to Kuwait, in 2013 I was moved to Aberdeen, Scotland where I was until 2015 when I went to Trinidad and Tobago. In 2017 I moved to Sahara Algeria up until last year before moving to Switzerland. I obviously enjoy traveling and also cooking: wherever I go I try to learn at least one recipe of local food so I can recreate at home. I’ve been living in Lausanne for almost a month and so far, I am loving my time at IMD, everything from my classmates to the incredible professors have been up to my expectations. I look forward to sharing here my experiences this year as it was through this blog and the past classes that I fell in love with IMD.

Lukasz
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Polish citizen by birth, long-term Swiss resident by choice and strategy consultant… also by choice Image
Although educated in finance, spent last years helping global life sciences companies tackle their strategic challenges. ‘Staying active’ is his middle name. Hiker, biker, and jogger in summer, skier in winter. Passionate about the history of 20th century and classical guitar. Loves dogs. A lot Image

Olivier
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I’m Olivier and feel rather representative of the average IMD MBA candidate, except that I come from Belgium. I just turned 30, got 7.5 years work experience (for the rest, refer to IMD brochure). In life, I enjoy curiosity, humor, open-mindedness, tackling challenges and killing monkey-businesses. I’m also a great fan of outdoor activities in general and more particularly trekking off-the-beaten-tracks. In the past years, I had the chance to explore Patagonia, Lapland, Nepal, and Greenland just to name a few. Last but not least, I have been a photo enthusiast for about a decade now, which is what brings me here. I particularly enjoy simple shots with pure lines, candid portraits and travel photography.

Surbhi
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Hello everyone! I am Surbhi, proud Indian and third culture kid, born and raised in Dubai (I know where to find the world’s best shawarma). During my pre-MBA career over the last ten years, I was a life-sciences strategy consultant in the USA before working on patient-centricity programs focused on Africa and the Middle East. Professionally, I am passionate about bringing innovative medicines to patients and creating efficiencies in the lab-to-bedside process. I am an ardent traveler and most recently went hiking in Bhutan. I enjoy postcolonial fiction, movies, yoga, and love spending time in nature Image

Uzair
Image
I’m Uzair (Uzi) & I come from the highly scenic lands of Jaipur & Hyderabad in India. Previously I was a consultant to an international NGO working in public healthcare and I have also worked for 7 years with a global pharma company. I consider myself an outdoor enthusiast who likes to experiment with new things. I have cycled the Atlantic Ocean road in Norway, Skydived in the Swiss Alps, backpacked through Cambodia, ridden a 5-trotted Icelandic horse through lava fields and traveled across 13 countries. I also train for long distance running & have participated in HM & 10K runs.

Thank you for reading our stories and for supporting us through this journey!

Surbhi

 

 
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Blog Team 2019: The Write Stuff   [#permalink] 28 Jan 2019, 14:00

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