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IMD MBA Admissions and Related Blogs!

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Senior Manager
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Day 3 of the IMD Innovation Week  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2019, 05:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Day 3 of the IMD Innovation Week
I’m told it’s day 3 of Innovation week, however there are moments where I am not so sure! Today has been a whirlwind of discussion and activity as we ventured out of the traditional business school environment and into the tangible reality of innovation and design.

The challenge of taking the UEFA EURO Fan experience to the next level has been accepted enthusiastically by the class. Each of the 18 teams are now coming to terms with the obstacles that stand in the way of their ambitious design goals and there is a real buzz about the place…

Image
Peter grappling with the endless possibilities of MDF

Our new location for the next 2 days is the 3rd floor of the UniverCité Coworking design space, a short bus ride away from the centre of Lausanne. Large warehouse-like working areas make up the top floor of this industrial looking building and there is a somewhat controlled chaos of desks, flipcharts, start-ups and people strewn across any and all of the available space here. It’s hard to tell exactly what’s going on, but something reassures you that, whatever it is, it’s pretty exciting and you should definitely be getting involved!

Image
Alfresco dining meets innovation warehouse

Coming from a start-up myself I
was fairly confident that I would have something to bring to the table this
week. I’ve dabbled in a bit of innovation here and there I thought and I’ve definitely
been to enough football games in my time…

… turns out however, it’s a touch trickier than I had anticipated. Apparently there are a lot of really useful design principles and working methodologies (such as parkour) which have the added benefit of guiding you away from coming up with something that is designed entirely with yourself in mind. Who knew?

Image
Marta from ECAL in action!

So, after a few soul searching
moments where I tried to understand my own relevance in the world I awoke to
the fact that my team were getting on with things and slowly but surely our
idea was beginning to take shape. We are specifically putting the experience of
families at the heart of our work for UEFA and after each carefully considered
iteration you truly begin to appreciate the investment, dedication and team
work required to bring about significant innovation…

As Philippe Starck once said
“Getting to the heart of things, is never easy”, but hopefully 2 days is still
enough time!

Alex Berry
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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Joined: 02 May 2019
Posts: 6
Re: IMD MBA Admissions and Related Blogs!  [#permalink]

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New post 02 May 2019, 05:59
James Hewitt rationalized Mika’s behavior through a medical perspective, epitomized in the old saying mens sana in corpore sano- a healthy mind in a healthy body or wellness as we like to call it. This can only be achieved through an adequate balance of task orientation and rest. Physical exercise and can help us disconnect, restore energy and creativity levels and focus once more to the task at hand. Repeatedly avoiding breaks to continue working because of time constraints is unhealthy and unproductive.

At times, I struggled to reach the right balance, especially in fast paced assignments with a tight deadline and little margin for error. Walking away for a short time to detach my mind contributed to generating new ideas. This is exactly what happened when working with Xiaomei and Silke on our Healthcare 2.0 presentation for navigating the future. We turned the technical concept of integrated healthcare in Alzheimer’s disease into a valued chain of three steps to highlight the need of strong collaboration among industry players. What we initially considered a complicated and abstract concept was broken down into a main message everyone can understand.
Senior Manager
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 463
Innovation week – the Grand Finale and end of week reflections  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2019, 05:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Innovation week – the Grand Finale and end of week reflections
Friday. That was
the day we were all waiting and preparing for – day when 18 teams presented
their ideas and prototypes to the UEFA Jury. Through the semifinals, six teams
were selected to pitch their innovation ideas to the UEFA senior management and
the entire IMD and ECAL community involved in the Innovation Week.

Our team made it
to the finals too. We were excited to present our idea, but also very curious
about the work of other teams we could not closely follow through the sprint of
the last days. We went on stage, presented and waited… Finally, the verdict
came… Although we did not win the competition, we got a very positive feedback
and hope to see our idea implemented in EURO 2024. But we were not sad – we were
happy for the winning team and very proud. Proud of ourselves and of all the
teams who put their talents, creativity and sleepless nights to contribute to
the beautiful idea of football.

Tired, but happy
we headed back to IMD for in-class and group discussions that was planned for Friday
evening and the whole following day. It seemed a bit odd to be back in the
auditorium after the emotional rollercoaster of the last days with its peak at
UEFA HQ, but I soon understood the reason and the value behind.

This week was
about UEFA, about innovating the fan experience of the future, but it was also
about us – 90 IMD and 18 ECAL students, learning and living the process of
innovation. The closing classes helped us to understand what happened in the
last days – we reflected on the methodologies and the process we applied as
well as on how to switch on the ‘innovation mindset’ through the ‘A.L.I.E.N.’
framework developed by our professor Cyril Bouquet.

Last but not
least (definitely not least Image
), we reflected on ourselves and the team
dynamics we experienced. Who were I this week? An organizer, a critic, an idea
generator, …? Or maybe I had different roles depending on the day and task we
were working on? What about the others? How did we perform as a team?

Contemplating
the seven traits of high performing teams and to what extent we were a ‘high
performing team’ was the true Grand Finale of this week. We discussed, gave and
received feedback on our behaviors, both helpful and unhelpful to better
understand ourselves and our leadership traits. I learnt a lot this week about
diversity and how the variety of talents and ways of thinking we had in the
team contributed to the final product we are so proud of. Finally, I learnt also
a lot about myself and how my behaviors can impact the team thanks to the
honest, direct and also kind feedback I received.

Thank you IMD,
ECAL, UEFA, ThinkSport and all other organizations and people behind this
experience for this learning opportunity!

Team ‘Safari’ – Alex, Cosima, Daniel, Lukasz, Mischa and Wasan

Image

With gratitude and pride to my fellow teammates: Alex, Cosima, Daniel, Mischa and Wasan – it would not be the same experience without you.

Lukasz
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
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 463
Innovation Week – the Grand Finale and the end of week reflections  [#permalink]

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New post 05 May 2019, 11:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Innovation Week – the Grand Finale and the end of week reflections
Friday. That was
the day we were all waiting and preparing for – day when 18 teams presented
their ideas and prototypes to the UEFA Jury. Through the semifinals, six teams
were selected to pitch their innovation ideas to the UEFA senior management and
the entire IMD and ECAL community involved in the Innovation Week.

Our team made it
to the finals too. We were excited to present our idea, but also very curious
about the work of other teams we could not closely follow through the sprint of
the last days. We went on stage, presented and waited… Finally, the verdict
came… Although we did not win the competition, we got a very positive feedback
and hope to see our idea implemented in EURO 2024. But we were not sad – we were
happy for the winning team and very proud. Proud of ourselves and of all the
teams who put their talents, creativity and sleepless nights to contribute to
the beautiful idea of football.

Tired, but happy
we headed back to IMD for in-class and group discussions that was planned for Friday
evening and the whole following day. It seemed a bit odd to be back in the
auditorium after the emotional rollercoaster of the last days with its peak at
UEFA HQ, but I soon understood the reason and the value behind.

This week was
about UEFA, about innovating the fan experience of the future, but it was also
about us – 90 IMD and 18 ECAL students, learning and living the process of
innovation. The closing classes helped us to understand what happened in the
last days – we reflected on the methodologies and the process we applied as
well as on how to switch on the ‘innovation mindset’ through the ‘A.L.I.E.N.’
framework developed by our professor Cyril Bouquet.

Last but not
least (definitely not least Image
), we reflected on ourselves and the team
dynamics we experienced. Who were I this week? An organizer, a critic, an idea
generator, …? Or maybe I had different roles depending on the day and task we
were working on? What about the others? How did we perform as a team?

Contemplating
the seven traits of high performing teams and to what extent we were a ‘high
performing team’ was the true Grand Finale of this week. We discussed, gave and
received feedback on our behaviors, both helpful and unhelpful to better
understand ourselves and our leadership traits. I learnt a lot this week about
diversity and how the variety of talents and ways of thinking we had in the
team contributed to the final product we are so proud of. Finally, I learnt also
a lot about myself and how my behaviors can impact the team thanks to the
honest, direct and also kind feedback I received.

Thank you IMD,
ECAL, UEFA, ThinkSport and all other organizations and people behind this
experience for this learning opportunity!

Team ‘Safari’ – Alex, Cosima, Daniel, Lukasz, Mischa and Wasan

Image

With gratitude and pride to my fellow teammates: Alex, Cosima, Daniel, Mischa and Wasan – it would not be the same experience without you.

Lukasz
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
Senior Manager
Senior Manager
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 463
MBAT Paris  [#permalink]

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New post 09 May 2019, 09:00
1
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: MBAT Paris
The MBA class are enjoying team work and networking at the MBAT games in Paris.

Image

[*]Image
[/*][*]Image
[/*][/list]

[*]Image
[/*][/list]
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
Senior Manager
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 463
Lausanne Alumni Club Merit Scholarship Winner  [#permalink]

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New post 10 May 2019, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Lausanne Alumni Club Merit Scholarship Winner
Shweta Mukesh was recently selected as the best all-round applicant from the first application deadline and was subsequently awarded the Lausanne Alumni Club Merit Scholarship. Here’s a bit more about her:

“I wear two professional hats. The
first is as a founder of a for-purpose organization called KidsWhoKode. The
second is as a VP of Solutioning and International Business at an HR Technology
company called Belong. I consider my greatest professional achievement so
far to be buiding Belong’s two largest growth engines from ground zero. Both
were strategic pivots for the organization and transformed the DNA from customer
acquisition to customer lifetime value and from pure products to bundled
solutions.

At the same time, I am very proud and humbled by the work we do at KidsWhoKode. Over the last one and a half years, we have built computer literacy and coding skills in over 5,000 students. More importantly, we have increased our student’s exposure to technology and have created pathways for them to realize their dreams/unique talents. 

Image

I believe that ability is evenly
distributed. Opportunity is not. I want to use my career and the different roles
I play, in either the corporate or the non-profit world, as a platform to
create a more equitable society. 

I am honoured to have been selected as the first winner of the Lausanne Alumni Club Merit Scholarship and am grateful to them for creating this opportunity. Knowing that a part of the financial burden of the program will be taken care off, ensures that I can keep an open mind to all possibilities. I hope to use my education and experiences to contribute back in a meaningful way.  

Shweta Mukesh
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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IMD Conversations: Mother’s Day Special!  [#permalink]

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New post 13 May 2019, 16:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: IMD Conversations: Mother’s Day Special!
They are our first home.

Our first friends. Our fiercest protectors.

The give the best hugs. They help us stand after we fall,  their belief in our abilities unwavering. They teach us how to do our hair, buy furniture, and nourish relationships. They help us get those precious remote controls from our dads.

Mothers. Beautiful. Flawed. All striving to make a better world for their offspring.

This Mother’s Day I caught up with the three moms at the IMD MBA program. I am personally inspired by these women, and how they manage to thrive through this intense year, all while being present and generous in their children’s lives. Let’s learn about Camila (Brazil), Kristina (Russia) and Swati (India) …

Image

What about IMD influenced your decision to pursue the MBA program here? Which aspects are appealing to you as mothers of young children?

Camila: Switzerland is a place that I find wonderful for kids to grow up in. This environment is super healthy for my son in terms of infrastructure. Also, my family is already based here so that helped me with my decision.

Swati: Agree with Camila. I also feel that IMD has a slightly more mature peer group that understands that you have a family and a life beyond the MBA. This makes all the difference to me, a benefit that I felt only IMD will provide. Also, the partner support services and the work that Marcella does, these aspects make a huge difference for me.

Kristina: I felt that IMD is one of the shortest MBA programs and since my family is in Russia, I felt that I can manage it in a good way and also see my daughter on some weekends. We also have a month off in July which is great. The partners’ program made my husband feel more inclusive and understand the importance of the program for me. It helped him adapt to being a single parent for this year and made our transition easier.

And what has been the role of family support for you?

Camila: This was crucial, and there is the difference between a mother or a father attending the program, with exceptions of course. Usually, a mother can be home taking care of a kid and it is more acceptable and the model that is more widely spread. When a father provides childcare you need some arrangements in place. My husband works so creating a strong support network is critical, and then doing the program is feasible.

Swati: This program is a big decision, especially if a mother is doing it. You do need to be cognizant of the demands of the program, and be realistic and create your infrastructure around it. The IMD community is special. I experienced this last year as a partner and this year as a participant. Last year I needed a nanny urgently and I just didn’t know what to do. So many partners offered help and Marcella called me and told me that she has a nanny available if we needed one. So, the community really makes a difference.

Kristina: For me, there was a commitment from my family to help out, even though they all work. They have helped me much more than I expected. We have planned every weekend throughout the year, who would stay with my daughter and how all the visits would be coordinated. There were unexpected changes. For example, I planned that my daughter would stay in Moscow initially and join me in the summer with the nanny. Now she can’t so I got consents for all my friends who can potentially travel here so that whenever there is an occasion someone can bring her here for a day or two.

Image
Kristina and her daughter, Mia

As future CEOs and change makers, and as moms of future leaders, how do you wish to influence society? What do you think is vital for us to achieve for the next generation?

Kristina: I want to show to my daughter that you don’t have to sacrifice your career or your personal aspirations towards family. You can be successful at both. There is a focus on flexibility in my life which I think is important and I’m teaching to my daughter to be adaptable, to explore, and not to fear change. As a leader, I would want to create in my organization an attitude to dare to change, dare to be flexible, for example going from more bureaucracy in companies to flexible time and allow employees to be with family.

Swati: This is a difficult question. There are individual goals, but as a part of society, we need to think about how we want to transform. As a collective, gender parity is important. We know it will take 200 years before men and women are equal in society. We have studied about bias in class, we know this exists. If we don’t push this issue, it could take us 400 years. If we make enough noise it could take 150 years. I think we have a significant social responsibility in this respect.

Camila: For me, the MBA was an enabler to have a positive impact on the world. I was at a moment in my career where I was thinking, in the future, in 5 or 10 years, how proud will I be with what I do. Motherhood has changed me in that I now think how proud will I be telling my son that I am where I am, making the choices that I did in life. So, this is about role modeling and about thinking deeply on how to make my work more meaningful and impactful.

What would you like female applicants, especially mothers, to know about the IMD MBA program experience?

Camila: Overcome the fear. Honestly, I think as successful women we struggle a lot. And it’s really hard to get where we were before the MBA. I think the biggest fear is what if I leave and I don’t go back to the same level. Or something happens. Or will my husband be able to manage? Just put the fear aside. Put your infrastructure in place. It’s doable and it’s worth it.

Swati: A lot of moms ask me about the MBA program and what I tell all of them is that this is the best thing you can do for your child. Switzerland is a unique experience and children just love it. Lausanne is fantastic for kids. If you plan it well, you can manage a great experience in a cost-effective manner. Do your research and be pro-active. The Partners’ program is so robust at IMD. It can find you jobs, schools, and kindergartens.

Kristina: It is not easy to be on the program and be a mom. But it really is all about how you manage it. I am happy that I am going through it. Even though my daughter does not stay with me full time, even for the short visits that she makes, she’s already made friends with Amaya (Swati’s daughter) and each time I speak to her on the phone she asks for her! This program is not just for me now. It is for her. And this is very precious.

Image
While mums study the little ones play! Mia (Kristina’s daughter) and Amaya (Swati’s daughter) enjoying some sunshine

Massive thanks to Camila, Kristina, and Swati for your time and thoughts!

To all moms, those with us and those watching over us, thank you for all that you have done, and for all that you do. Happy Mother’s Day!

Surbhi
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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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
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The MBA alumni network: a glimpse of an inspirational and effective co  [#permalink]

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New post 21 May 2019, 09:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The MBA alumni network: a glimpse of an inspirational and effective community
One
of the reasons I chose the IMD MBA was its strong, active, and supportive
alumni network. I am convinced that such a network will be invaluable both for my
career and for my private life, providing an open platform to exchange
challenges, experiences and ideas in an informal way. Therefore, I was looking
forward to the on-campus reunion last Friday, when our class met MBA alumni from
the last few years here in Lausanne.

Let
me first share a few words about the IMD alumni community, which is structured
around three axis: clubs (50 clubs with 230+ events per year), program
communities (e.g. the MBA community), and expert communities (8 chapters with
37+ events per year). Expert communities include the Alumni Community for Entrepreneurship
(ACE), which organizes events to connect IMD MBAs with entrepreneurs. A number
of my MBA colleagues have already participated in these events this year.

Last
Friday was one of the yearly reunions of the MBA community. Not only a chance
for the recent graduates, who have spent an intense and possibly life-changing
year together, to reconnect, but also an opportunity for the 2019 class to
interact with a large crowd of MBA alumni in an informal and friendly atmosphere.
I was impressed by the number of people who came to Lausanne and attended the
event, which proved that the spirit of sharing and networking from the MBA is alive
far beyond this one year.

I
personally enjoyed many insightful and fun conversations with alumni from all
kinds of industries. Whether they are currently in senior roles at Nestlé,
Roche, or Honeywell, all of them were curious about our year as well as enthusiastic
to offer their support and share their experiences with me. For instance, I got
to know Georg from 2017, who directly introduced me to one of the alumnae of
2016, who works in an area that is highly interesting to me.

Similarly,
my classmate Tamil spoke to Roy from 2016 who, after he understood her
background and interests, introduced her to various relevant people from the
MBA alumni network. She was extremely glad the event took place at this point
in time, as it helps us prepare for the job search by understanding companies’
challenges better and what they may be looking for.

I
only regret that I did not manage to talk with all the people I really wanted
to. One of my classmates suggested VR-enabled networking, so I’d be able to
better navigate the crowd – in the sea of alumni it was not always easy to
quickly find out who is who.

Overall, the first encounter with the IMD MBA community exceeded my expectations; the people’s curiosity, openness, and support, was outstanding. I am proud that our Magic 90 will be part of this powerful community by the end of this year, and I already look forward to meeting the IMD MBA class of 2020 in one year’s time Image

Daniel Leutenegger
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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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
Posts: 463
Practice makes Perfect at IMD  [#permalink]

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New post 28 May 2019, 01:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Practice makes Perfect at IMD
When I started my company to scale early-stage tech projects, I was convinced that my exposure to Europe and my tech background would be sufficient to take me through my career. Dealing with ambiguity head on, I realised that there are so many other pieces to the puzzle. While I knew that technology was my forte, I wanted to know how everything fits together to drive positive impact. It was then that I decided to aim for a leadership program that would not only help me go outward, but really help me understand what makes me tick. That’s when I joined the IMD MBA.

Image
Me with Professor Knut Haanaes

Having lived and worked in 9 countries in Europe and Asia, I
was very happy when I met my class for the first time. It was a great feeling
to join a bunch of diverse people, who were in the same boat as me, pushing
their boundaries to understand what drives them. I was very curious about how
we would work as a group. And that’s where I have been having the most fun.

In my start up project, we helped a day-care center build a corporate sales channel from scratch in 8 weeks. Before this, I had no idea how powerful surveys could be! In our innovation challenge, we built a prototype in the form of a gift box in one week to help UEFA bring more fans to the Euro 2024 fan festival. We were placed top 2 out of a group of 18 and got featured in CNN Switzerland.

There is a different kind of energy here in Lausanne and the learning itself, it’s multi-layered. After every IMD Project, we are prompted to look within, as individuals and as groups. And that’s where I feel I get my biggest learning from. I had always struggled with being able to provide early feedback but, with practice, I am slowly learning how to do so properly. This gives me confidence.  

I am looking forward to translating this confidence into
action in our upcoming International Consulting Project, where my team and I
will be looking to add value to a really innovative Cyber-security company with
a legacy in Media.

Warmly,

Arjun
IMD MBA European Diversity Scholarship Winner
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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The Greatest Glory  [#permalink]

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New post 30 May 2019, 07:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The Greatest Glory
Image

“A good head and a good heart are always a formidable combination.” – Nelson Mandela
Madiba had foreseen, perhaps, that those who aspire to shape the world need a reminder, that in the pursuit of intellectual and economic success, we should take our hearts along for the ride.

After Module 1’s rigorous training on frameworks and discounted cash flows, I daresay we felt pretty good about our knowledge on the essential MBA toolkit. But is there value in using tools without a burning mission, or a vision that sees beyond profit?

Nope.

Enter Professor Knut Haanaes, Professor of Strategy at IMD and Dean of the Global Leadership Institute at the World Economic Forum (WEF). Since the first lecture of our Business and Society course, Professor Knut asked us to evaluate cases and ideas through three lenses; systemic change, corporate contribution, and individual responsibility. With this in mind, we dived into the tough conversations about maintaining performance while protecting the environment, ending inequality, and driving accountability for ethical behavior. For me, the striking thing is that despite our cultural and personality differences, and even if we disagree on how to proceed, as a class we have been united in our concern for society at large, and are seeking ways to make a fast and effective impact.

Image
“Magic 90” with Professor Knut Haanaes at the World Economic Forum

A fresh perspective on vision and intent: Stories are incredibly powerful in their ability to change minds. We benefited from many through a range of guest speakers during the course. Our session on the WWF goals reminded us how much in peril our natural world is. Yves Daccord, Director-General of the Red Cross (ICRC) wowed us with his adventures and learnings in overwhelmingly high-stress and often unfamiliar situations. He is one of our most memorable speakers in the program thus far, and believe me, the bar is set high. He achieved this without slides, his stories so visceral and relatable that we hung onto every word. Our President at IMD, Professor Jean-Francois Manzoni, also did a session with us on navigating corporate culture and even redefining it as we progress in our careers.

Challenging companies to do better: This is where it gets trickier. During a class discussion on palm oil, the narrative drove me to question consumer choices. Do we really need palm oil to be in everything? Can we be weaned off of it? Do the orangutans really need to die because we like Nutella on toast? And the corporate argument against ending palm oil use is that livelihoods of farmers are then being taken away. The “aha” moment here is that even if my heart is in the right place, my mind needs to have a business plan. It is more convincing to show that we can transition farmers to other crops such that a manufacturer can still realize profits, just in a new and different, perhaps even more lucrative way, without causing harm to the planet.

Image
Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):
SDGs are a call to action, comprising of 17 global goals set by the United Nations General Assembly in 2015 for completion in the year 2030. Professor Knut assigned each group to a Sustainable Development Goal (SDG). For each SDG we needed to state the current status, challenges, and the role of business in generating solutions. My team worked on SDG 3, Good health and well being, with a focus on Mental Health in the Workplace. Presentations were conducted yesterday, the last day of the course.

We began early with the sunrise to drive over to Geneva. We met with Professor Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of WEF who reminded us that the future will not just be hinging on technology, but also on talent and trust. Furthermore, he urged us to pursue our goals using brain, soul, heart, muscle, and nerves, all our faculties, to make the best decisions for all stakeholders.

After a fascinating afternoon at the United Nations, we arrived at the SDG space. While listening to my peers’ presentations, I realized these issues aren’t unsolvable. As consultants, bankers, and executives, problem-solving is part of our ammo. “Fix it! Create it! Figure a way around it!” The challenge is really the scale of the issues that plague sustainability. And they are of our own making, our miserable track record of individual focus and ignorance of widespread consequences.

“The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” – Nelson Mandela

Professor Knut asked us if we felt optimistic or pessimistic. When I think of the Great Pacific garbage patch or gender equality being 200 years away, my heart sinks. But my friend and colleague, Mirko, shared a message of hope as evening approached and it was time to head home to Lausanne: “I am more positive about the world’s outlook, because all of us in this room are leaders of tomorrow and this course showed us the importance and urgency to act and bring back the balance between profits society and the environment. My wish is that every one of us will take the big responsibility to take these learnings into the real world by adapting our lifestyles and leadership for a better future on our planet.”

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Professor Klaus Schwab at the World Economic Forum

I remain an optimist, with good reason.

And I end this post with words of wisdom from Professor Knut. When I asked him about sustainable goal setting and his aspirations for our class, he shared the following …

“Good business is about balancing the short and long-term. If we take a long-term perspective it is clear that sustainability needs to be a top issue for all companies. If we take a short-term perspective, it may look less important, but only until you are attacked in social media. So today any smart company needs to address sustainability for the short and the long-term. That, to me, is great news!

The MBA class will be better leaders that we have seen thus far. In part, because the future will demand more leadership, even put a premium on it. And I think you have it in you. I know you will set higher targets on yourself than even I would have!”

The course has ended, but our contribution to the change has just begun. May we do good, and do well. May we find our greatest glory.

Sustainably yours,

Surbhi

(special thanks to Olivier for the incredible photos!)
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Global Assessment Impressions  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jun 2019, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Global Assessment Impressions
Anna Farrus, Director of MBA Recruitment and Admissions at IMD, shares her impressions of the new global approach to our Assessment Days:

“Assessment Days are designed to get to know our candidates better, and for candidates to get to know IMD better. Besides the admissions interview, candidates are asked to participate in a number of individual and group activities. It is an intense day, for both candidates and Admissions! It also allows candidates to start developing their network. They spend the whole day with other candidates, and many of them already create friendships during the event.

For the first time, the MBA Recruitment and Admissions team
have travelled all over the world to carry out our famous assessment days. We
have visited Dubai, Sao Paulo, Mexico DF, New Delhi and Singapore, and assessed
more than 40 candidates during these international assessment days.

I personally travelled to three of those cities, and it was a great experience. And yet, not very different from the assessment days in Lausanne. Everyone is nervous, with a look of anticipation in their faces. Most of the candidates meet before the event, and so there is always a sense of camaraderie amongst them.

While the groups that we met at the international events were less diverse, we were still able to see some of the same behaviours: the candidate(s) who would try to take the lead, the candidate who tried to involve everyone in the discussion, the one who remained quiet for most of the time yet had great insights,… Discussions were lively and interesting and, in some cases, quite loud!!

By the end of the day, we were all exhausted but happy. For us, the difficult part started a few days later, when the Admissions Committee had to make some difficult decisions!

For more insights into these days, read the posts later this week from Tyler, who took part in an Assessment day in Lausanne, and Ruchi, who did hers in New Delhi.

Anna Farrus
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The IMD MBA Assessment Day, Lausanne  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Jun 2019, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The IMD MBA Assessment Day, Lausanne
Tyler Lewis shares his experience of the IMD MBA Assessment Day in Lausanne.

“It was definitely a risk traveling to Lausanne for my assessment day, not just because of the time and money spent that might not have resulted in an acceptance, but also because my wife was 37 weeks pregnant and I ran the risk of missing the birth of our second child! But ultimately the risk paid off. I got to know 8 other fabulous candidates from around the world, got to see inside the campus and how the school works, got a feel for Lausanne, and got a good sense of what my year at IMD would look like. And I didn’t miss the birth of my daughter!

Investing a year of my family’s life, moving to a new city (and in this case, continent), and spending a large amount of money warranted that I visit every school to which I applied or was even thinking about applying to. I visited eight schools in my MBA search. Every single visit was a valuable use of time and money, because in the end I felt confident in all the schools that I applied to.

Of all the school visits, none was as insightful as my assessment day at IMD. The experience actually started a few weeks before, when the school put me in touch with other candidates that were going to be attending the same assessment. We started a group chat and ended up making plans to meet for dinner in Lausanne the night before the assessment. I don’t know about you, but I don’t usually get to make dinner reservations with a group of strangers in a foreign country. The dinner was great, and we all got to know each other. It made the next day flow more smoothly, as there was a general sense of camaraderie and amiability that might not have been there otherwise.

The day showed us all about the character of IMD: intense, intentional, and intimate. Naturally, the tasks were complex and high-stakes, but rather than intimidating, the whole day was energizing. The busy schedule gave us a taste for the expectation of future participants. The fact that the school set aside a whole day to interview candidates shows that it has an eye for detail and an intentionality that goes into everything it does. Finally, the group-work nature of the challenges was very personal. IMD was the only school that I walked away from with the feeling that I’d made new friends.

And of course, traveling to Lausanne gave me the opportunity to see the city firsthand. What really sealed the deal for me was the breathtaking view on a gorgeous, sunny day while we all shared a post-assessment beer by the lake. You just can’t beat Lausanne for beauty. I wish I could have spent more time exploring the city, but every moment away increased the chances that I’d miss my daughter’s birth! It’s ok, because I now have a whole year to get to know Lausanne, which we are thrilled, anxious, and excited about.

Tyler with his wife, son and new baby daughter!

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Tyler
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The IMD MBA Assessment Day, New Delhi  [#permalink]

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New post 07 Jun 2019, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The IMD MBA Assessment Day, New Delhi
Ruchi Senthil shares her experience of the IMD MBA Assessment Day in New Delhi.

“I attended the IMD Assessment day in New Delhi, India on 14 March 2019 and what an amazing experience it was! Prior to my application to IMD, I had read numerous blog posts and spoken to IMD alumni who could not stop gushing over the Assessment Day. So it was not like I wasn’t prepared for it. But what I saw…. and what I experienced, far exceeded my expectations. While the day was challenging both mentally and physically – it was by far the most inclusive, tailored and personalised approach to MBA participant selection I have witnessed since I started my own MBA journey.

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Since IMD was always amongst my top schools to pursue an MBA, travelling to Lausanne for the Assessment Day was something I expected and accepted because it would give me a shot at studying at such a prestigious school. However, I was mildly surprised, and to some extent disappointed, when I realised that IMD was pulling no stops at enrolling the crème de la crème for their MBA program by expanding their interview process to places outside of Lausanne – New Delhi being one of them.

While it saved me quite a lot of money, I wondered if they would be able to replicate the same atmosphere that I would have experienced in Lausanne. Overall, I did miss the whole ‘sit in class and eat lunch with current participants’ bit, and it would have been nice to experience the atmosphere at IMD before actually starting my course, but I guess you can’t have it all. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that not only did they bring the flavour of Lausanne to my literal doorstep, they did so with panache!

The Assessment Day was brilliantly organised in a 5 star hotel in the heart of Delhi city. IMD reserved the entire floor for just 10 of us, giving us enough space and privacy if we needed it. The order of the day was well organised, each of us got customised folders outlining exactly when we were expected to do what and the day moved more or less exactly on that itinerary. Both Anna Faris and Paola Eicher were professional yet friendly, putting all of us at ease and trying to bring out the best in each of us. The attention to detail was phenomenal and it reiterated all I had heard. Each task that we were asked to perform that day had a specific function – to highlight qualities of leadership, team work and general competence to successfully undertake a gruelling MBA course.

All in all, I think the IMD Assessment Day at New Delhi worked like a well-oiled machine – no glitches!

Ruchi
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A mid-year overview of a leadership journey  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jun 2019, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: A mid-year overview of a leadership journey
Ombudsman and Ombudswoman

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Sebastiano Pizzinelli and Camila Scaranelo

February 2019: the 90 IMD MBA participants had worked shoulder to shoulder for approximately one month. IMD decided it was time for the class to have two representatives: a male and a female.

IMD took an innovative approach. Our class was simply asked to choose, in an anonymous poll, the people we saw as good class representatives: no popularity contest, no advertisements, no speeches, just true community spirit. The results came shortly after and we had been chosen.

Now, in June, almost half of the program is over and … it was tough! “He who learns must suffer” as Aeschylus would say, but the amazing part has been bonding with our fellow participants and the support we feel.

Here we share what this journey has meant for us so far, and the challenges we have faced.

“Camila, what was the hardest
moment for you?”


I believe it was right before the module one exams, when we had so much going on at the same time: meetings with our “start-up” clients, studying for the exam week, and representing all of our class requests. In hindsight, it was a great learning and we could see a clear difference in module two.

“Sebastiano, what was the feeling right after the announcement we had been chosen?”

I was flattered and concerned: representing 88 future leaders is an honor and I knew it would be hard to stand up to their high expectations. I realized not only how much our batch deeply cared about inclusion and bonding, but also how much I cared about it. However, it was all very fast, we immediately had things to do for the class. It has been an amazing journey and a chance to know many of these extraordinary individuals better. I do everything in my power to deserve the trust and responsibilities that were imparted to me.

“Camila, what is
the class feeling at the moment?”


I believe the class has come together with its own identity. We are no longer 90 individuals, we actually became the Magic 90. For many, there was this strange sense of relief after the pressure of module one and even when exams were imminent, things were smoother. There’s a lot of excitement for the discovery expedition and the summer break, and we’re using all our spare time to network and investigate the companies we believe will be the best fit for our future.

“Sebastiano, how do
you think the class would describe these two modules?”


In the first module, classes are just part of the typical day: a chance to learn and start living the IMD journey together. Then group projects, essays, assignments, presentations, and tons of deadlines drop from everywhere building considerable pressure. But it also creates a tight bond within the groups as a survival response. In Module two the pressure is perceived differently: we are all stretching our limits and comfort zones, and being in groups is an additional push to raise the performance bar. In a way, module two is also about reflection and retrospection, with peaks in the negotiations course and innovation week.

“Camila any final words?”

Overall the experience has been great and the support of our classmates was crucial for this to happen. It’s a better learning opportunity than I could have imagined, and as such, it is presented with many challenges as well. “Learning to lead without hierarchy” seems to be a recurrent motto around here and it is no different for being an ombuds.

Camila and Sebastiano
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Discovery Expedition, Part 1: Magic 90 in Silicon Valley!  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Jun 2019, 19:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Discovery Expedition, Part 1: Magic 90 in Silicon Valley!
I am on the flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong, 12 hours of occasional turbulence ahead of me, with 89 other IMD MBA students and our program team. Two observations of note; first, if you travel quickly enough and have a packed schedule that would put some presidential candidates to shame, jet lag may have a tough time catching up with you. Second, regular passengers are a bit freaked out when they see 90 loud people who all know each other. Haha, I kid. Partially.

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At Stanford University, Hasso Plattner Institute of Design
So, we wrapped up the first leg of the infamous Discovery Expedition. In these reflections, I will not go through the entire list of people met and visits made because some suspense is good for the incoming class and honestly, I would have to list the entire itinerary because they were all incredible experiences. Professor Jim Pulcrano asked us to share three learnings from our time in Silicon Valley. Where to find the best burrito and the secret behind Peet’s delicious coffee do not count.

Here are mine:

Tech will always need a human touch: We spoke a lot about AI during this trip. We discussed extensively on the Future of Healthcare and the Future of Food. We learned about technologies and products that perhaps only the Jetsons envisioned. And yet here they are, things considered the stuff of science fiction, just a few years away from launch. A common thread regarding the development and success of tech was the importance of empathy, and human connection. Peter Schwartz, futurist extraordinaire, spoke to us on how worrying about robots taking away human jobs is not as much of a concern as we, and Hollywood, are making it out to be. The robots will take on mundane, detail oriented, and repetitive tasks. Humans will have the bandwidth to focus on what really crafts our reality, the human experience, managing change, and understanding what customers want by spending time with them. This resonated with me since I cannot imagine industries such as healthcare or hospitality without in-person connections.

Silicon Valley is a mentality: Growing up in the 90s I heard much Silicon Valley lore. The best and brightest go there to create the impossible and make bank. This is true, even today, though this means that San Francisco as a city is raging its own war with astronomical rents and demographic change. But what has changed is the localization of innovation. Ideas influencing humanity are mushrooming everywhere, in Zurich, Bangalore, and Shanghai. Silicon Valley, then, is a mindset, as Professor Pulcrano reminded us. A mindset to embrace experimentation, learn from failure, and move rapidly towards improved products and services. Wherever we end up in the world, we can create this mental ecosystem for ourselves.

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Design Thinking workshop at Stanford

Do not ask for permission: My personal favorite. A lot of moon-shot ideas get lost in social niceties. I absolutely loved that so many of our entrepreneurs, such as the creator of GYANT, Pascal Zuta, and corporate leaders, such as Bask Iyer, CIO of VMware, and our very own IMD alumni encouraged us to walk on the edge and to not ask for approval for doing so. It really is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. I suppose the only caveat here is that we ask ourselves if what we are trying to achieve benefits the planet and everyone on it. With power, and borderline rebellion, comes responsibility.

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Gary Bradski, on the Future of Computer Vision
I am feeling so grateful for these three and a half days in the Valley. As my colleague, friend and flight neighbor Mischa just said to me, “The first leg of the Discovery Expedition blew my expectations. It was spectacularly well organized. The speakers and the level of seniority they had were mind-blowing. My favorite was the session with the futurist, Peter Schwartz, and Bracken Darrell, CEO of Logitech. I’m leaving with this incredible feeling that there are almost endless opportunities out there. We need to keep thinking about what customers need and being creative while attracting the best talent. It was a new and rewarding perspective.”

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IMD MBA students in San Francisco
Suffice to say we are feeling quite chuffed. Time to browse United’s movie selection. Onward to Shenzhen.

Surbhi
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Shenzhen Photo Blog  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2019, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Shenzhen Photo Blog
The second lap of the Discovery Expedition is nearly over! After four days in Shenzhen, meeting companies, startups and alumni, tomorrow they will complete their final company visits and depart for their next destination: Dublin.

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Re: IMD MBA Admissions and Related Blogs!  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Jun 2019, 08:48
Interesting. Thank you very much for the information.
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Discovery Expedition Part 2 – China  [#permalink]

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New post 28 Jun 2019, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Discovery Expedition Part 2 – China
After a 14 Hour hop over the Pacific the class touched down in Hong Kong, en route to Shenzhen, for the second and much anticipated part of the MBA Discovery Expedition 2019!

For many of the class this was our first visit to China and came against the backdrop of increasing trade tensions between the US and our new hosts… An interesting moment to discuss and learn more about the rapid rise of the private sector here in China!

First and foremost, the efforts made by the Chinese members of the 2019 class cannot go without mention. Whether it was organising evenings out in great local restaurants, helping with on-the-fly translations or organising Karaoke for the entire class, their contributions made our experience of Shenzhen an incredible one. They were always extremely generous with their time and as a class we are extremely grateful to all of them for the welcome we received and the experiences we shared as a result of their help and organisation! It was a great example of the value such a diverse group brings to this year and they should be extremely proud!

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Of
course, there was also the small matter of our intensive 5-day back-to-back
schedule. Professors Bill Fisher and Mark Greeven had clearly invested months
of work into this trip and it showed. The class was also very grateful to the Haier Group and James Wang for their insight into the local
market and start-up community.

During our first day we were sent out into the sprawling metropolis of Shenzhen to complete a number of day-to-day tasks ranging from ordering a DiDi taxi purchasing something at Hema Supermarket or enjoying some daytime Mini-Karaoke TV, naturally… Needless to say, if you don’t have WeChat or AliPay or your Mandarin is rusty, these tasks can prove far more challenging than you could imagine… but in the oppressive 35°C heat we managed it, eventually, and the trip was off to a great start!

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The next few days went by in
a matter of seconds. Company visits to Tencent, Huawei, Ping An, UBTECH and others demonstrated more than could be
satisfactorily recorded here. These companies are operating at a scale only
possible in China and they are unafraid of the risks and scepticism surrounding
new applications of AI, Machine Learning and Facial Recognition. They scale
fast or they fail fast.

On top of this, a few common
themes prevailed throughout our visits to local companies – a 6-day work week
for many start-ups pursuing market domination, a government willing to go to great
lengths to support technological development locally and a national obsession
to educate the next generation in STEM & Computer Programming subjects.

Last but not least an unexpected detour! After meeting a French E-Bike start-up at one of the sessions, 10 members of the class took a spontaneous trip out to Huizou 惠州. We wanted to understand what it was really like to setup and scale a manufacturing operation in China, away from the bright lights and skyscrapers of the city. After a supposedly short ride, that turned into a 3 hour marathon of traffic and rain, we made it to the Carbo Factory. There we saw first-hand the challenges of going local here – finding a partner, setting up a JV, raising funds, getting the right shipping in place, protecting your IP from the competition – and it was truly impressive to see how founders Lynne and Lauryn have managed to overcome these. One of the many highlights of the trip.

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As we headed to Hong Kong Airport the following day it was clear that even though we had experienced so much, this was only just a tiny perspective of this complex and vibrant market. But, most importantly, it had given many of us a unique perspective to build on for the future…

Alex Berry
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Discovery Expedition Part 3 – Dublin!  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Jul 2019, 09:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Discovery Expedition Part 3 – Dublin!
The last stop of our Discovery
Expedition was by no means the least one. After another 13+ hours flight, Dublin
greeted us with a wonderful weather only seen few days a year. After the
experiences in Silicon Valley and Shenzhen, I was wondering how Dublin was
going to surprise us and I am glad to say it did not disappoint.

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I could write a lot about every company we visit and every speaker we had, from Mike Beary, AWS Country Manager, who told us about the importance of storytelling when doing your presentation, or Shay Power, from IDA the Irish Industrial Development Agency, who told us the history of Ireland’s growing economy, or our visit to Accenture, Facebook and Citi, but it would not do justice to the visits, plus it is impossible to cover everything from just my point of view.

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What I want to share in this post
are some of the things that made an impact on me:

Gary McGann on entrepreneurs: this year at IMD has been all about learning about entrepreneurs: the ideas, the drive, the effort it takes to make it to the other side. We got a chance to meet entrepreneurs here in Switzerland via our start-up project, and also during this trip in Silicon Valley and Shenzhen. Entrepreneurs come in all shapes and forms and there is no magic recipe for success. What Gary said that resonated with me was that a good entrepreneur will need a wing man that keeps them out of trouble. He also talked about the need to have equal amounts of fear and courage.

Accenture on what the post-digital era will look like: Accenture visit was filled with great presentations that included banking, the forces shaping the changes in the world, and their work with non-profits to drive users to make positive choices. My personal favourite was the presentation on the tech trends are creating the foundation for the post-digital era where we saw five trends they believe we need to keep an eye on. You can read more about it here

Tiernan Brady on how to make change happen: Tiernan talked to us about how he successfully led the campaign for marriage equality in Ireland and Australia. Even though his experience was on “getting the majority to vote for the rights of a minority” I personally found his message applicable to all our future careers as business leaders. He talked about the importance of showing respect even when you don’t agree on the ideology and how the world is too quick to decide who you are and the way you deliver your message is as important as the message itself. We were happy to learn that on the same the Dublin Pride Parade was happening and some of us managed to join to show the support for diversity and inclusiveness.

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Overall an extraordinary experience, with fully packed days and a lot of ideas to open our minds to the realities of the world. Professor John Walsh and our program Dean Sean Meehan put together an incredible agenda for us. I cannot close this post without thanking the MBA team that supported us through the whole two weeks: Gitte-Marie, Gyopi and Sandeep: you guys are rock starts! It takes a lot of planning and patience to carry 90 people around the world and keep us on our toes, thank you for all your help and support!

Now we are all getting ready for
a much needed break and hoping the next four weeks don’t go by as fast as the
last six months have!

Helena
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Summer postcards begin!  [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2019, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Summer postcards begin!
Now that the Discovery Expedition has reached its end, our MBAs are ready to enjoy a well-deserved break!

Over the next few weeks they will be traveling the world to visit family and friends; explore career opportunities and network; relax, sightsee or try out new activities. As usual, they seem determined to make the most of every second, and will be sharing blog / instagram postcards with us to share their various summertime adventures.

Here is the first one:

Visited the flavor and fragrance company, Givaudan in Geneva, with 11 of my classmatese today – a chance to engage our senses!

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Have a nice summer!

Jia Song
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Summer postcards begin!   [#permalink] 04 Jul 2019, 02:00

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