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Senior Manager
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Joined: 22 Nov 2013
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A Brazilian, Colombian, Indian, Italian and Spanish walk into an Ameri  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Oct 2019, 01:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: A Brazilian, Colombian, Indian, Italian and Spanish walk into an American Dive Bar in San Francisco
Please don’t ask what happens next! I won’t be able to tell you anything without breaking the ten commandments or non-disclosure agreements.

You guessed it right, our group is consulting a US company. We recently presented our first phase findings to the client. The project has been a great learning opportunity for us to understand the consultant way of thinking and working. Long working hours has been the norm of the day, but the enrichment in terms of the depth of the experience is exceptional.

Learning the team dynamics and honing leadership skills continues with the ICP and part of what makes the ICPs so special. The constructive conflicts, challenging of ideas are a few examples of things that will transform into lifelong learnings. However, it’s not all work and no play! As our ICP advisor would put it…. “NO NO NO NO!”. When things get too serious, our group has a solution called “5-minute nonsense” where we resort to stress alleviating activities like funny YouTube videos, sharing weird personal experiences or even a quick game of ping-pong or a rubbish flash video game.

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Roberto, Purnendu, Cyan, Helena and Sebastiano

Although most of our team has prior experience related to the project, the ICP has provided us with a toolkit to look at the problem from a different lens. Things like issue trees and hypothesis testing have become part and parcel of life. Interviewing about 30 relevant stakeholders from the industry and digging through hundreds of industry reports seemed an arduous process, but it was all worth it after seeing the happiness on the client’s face.

Our next phase is underway, and we are pumped to generate valuable insights to close the project with a big bang. Next stop, Boston Massachusetts for the final workshop with the client!

Purnendu
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: 499
Implementing a B2C digital retail strategy, with an international mind  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Oct 2019, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Implementing a B2C digital retail strategy, with an international mindset
In my opinion, an ‘International’ MBA program has as much to do with having a diverse cohort, as it does with enhancing a student’s ability to appreciate the nuances at play when interacting with people from different cultures. Furthermore, leveraging this understanding to forge meaningful rapports in both a personal and professional context is imperative.

The robust team dynamics of my International Consulting Project group was testament to the fact that IMD was successfully able to instil a high degree of cultural awareness and emotional quotient in its participants over the course of the year. Given that our ICP is positioned at the latter stages of this intensive program, this gave us an opportunity to showcase the aforementioned capabilities.

Our group comprised of individuals from four countries; China, Brazil, Monaco and India. Throughout the course of the project, we had our fair share of disagreements, arguments, differences and scenarios where I recall the tension in the room being palpable for days on end. A lot of these issues could be attributed to an eclectic set of beliefs and expectations, as a function of group diversity.

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Alexis, Isabella, Gavin, Marcelo, Shaunak

What resonated with me most was each individual’s willingness to take critical feedback in their stride and make a relentless effort to work on areas of improvement. I was pleased to observe the tangible progress in the quality of our cooperation, mutual respect and interdependence, amongst other facets of team dynamics. This was validated by our ICP mentor. We also made a conscious decision to give every member an opportunity to lead the team through different phases of the project and this turned out to be an enriching experience for us all.

We had the privilege of traveling to France and the
Netherlands for our client interactions and primary consumer research. The
subtle variation in the work cultures in these two regions was eye-opening. For
most of our team members, elements such as the travel, the primary and
secondary research and the client presentations were a unique preview into the
world of consulting. Moreover, the scope our project entailed implementing a
B2C digital retail strategy; a topic that had us engrossed right at the outset.

We also developed a strong sense of camaraderie outside of the dungeons, courtesy of our very own in-house five-star multi-cuisine Chef Alexis, who took the initiative to get our group to bond over exquisite risotto and wine dinners. I also have a vivid memory of the seventeen-hour Sunday, a day before our second client presentation and the jovial spirit with which we supported each other, given the exigent circumstances, was heart-warming.

To my Professor Stephane Girod, thank you for the tremendous support, the attention to detail, wholesome feedback and for ensuring that the learning was fruitful for us as participants. And to the rest of my teammates, Gavin, Isabella, Alexis and Marcelo, “as always, it’s been an absolute pleasure!”

Shaunak Grover
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: 499
A Moroccan ICP Adventure  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Oct 2019, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: A Moroccan ICP Adventure
“Shukraan”, I told my driver, as he warmly said goodbye from Casablanca Airport. ‘Shukran’ translates to thank you in English.  As the plane gained altitude, I settled into my seat reminiscing about my experiences – the intensity of the cobra as it swayed to the snake charmer’s flute in Jemaa el Fna, the sweet smell of mint tea drifting in the bazaars of Marrakesh and the broad smile of street vendors serving sweetmeats and tea in Chefchaohen. Morocco had amazed and sometimes overwhelmed me by its sights and smells and the kindness of its people. The country in one word is “eclectic” in terms of its people, languages and terrain but these eclecticisms make it a whole.

Very much like my consulting project team members
– a Romanian, a Japanese, an American, a South African and an Indian. Each
having his own quirkiness and experience of around ten years to base it on.
Brought together in May, to consult for a large Moroccan company, our ICP
project goal is simple – analyze the market opportunity and define an entry
strategy for a byproduct of current operations. Six months later, even after
spending numerous hours in the dungeons we are still struggling. We must
balance client and stakeholder expectations, deal with changing priorities and
learn to work with each other. Combine this with job search and personal
commitments and the task seems overwhelming.

However, like most experiences this year, the ICP experience has taught me to persist and prioritize. My team is a support system, each member filling in for the other and helping to manage failures with banter. Over the course of this year, I have transitioned from having to take time off after a failure to planning weekend trips right after I have received a rejection phone call. This year at IMD has taught me to “get knocked off and stand right back up, ready for the next punch.” Having a peer group which, like you, is constantly setting stretch goals despite failures, motivates you.

Setting stretch goals is a theme that resonates with my client as well. A national company quickly diversifying its products and geographical focus. Our client team is young, with many folks educated outside the country but returning to serve in their country of origin. It’s fun learning that their lives are just like mine even though spent on another continent. The support from our faculty coaches has been outstanding. For all these experiences – working with a Rockstar team on a challenging problem in a new continent and getting a chance to experience the hospitality of its people, I say “Shukraan”.

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Moroccan Mining Team – Adrian, Takashi, Peter, Jaco and Perwez

Perwez
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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What lovely days – from Lausanne to the UAE  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Nov 2019, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: What lovely days – from Lausanne to the UAE
What lovely days…

“What lovely days
we had, walking to school, chatting with classmates every morning in Lausanne!”
said Peter. I didn’t think about that until he said so, but yes, I also feel a
little homesick. We are now in Abu Dhabi and commute by car from our hotel to the
office because it is still too hot and sticky here to walk outside, even in
October. Maybe that’s the reason we miss our beautiful walk to IMD.

Our team is in the
UAE (Abu Dhabi and Dubai) for the full seven weeks of our International
Consulting Project (ICP), engaging in retail strategy in a financial industry. The
ICP is comprehensive learning opportunity where we leverage what we have learned
over the year to contribute to the client project.

Impactful Classes

Structured
Thinking helped us to analyze the company issues using a logic tree, taking
care of MECEness: what was the issue, why we needed to think of it, how we would
solve it, etc.

Change Management,
taught us how to transform an organization. Of particular help, was the simulation
exercise we did, where we had to recognise the different perspectives of each
stakeholder in the company. We’ve had a lot of interviews with internal
stakeholders to map the current situation: heads of each product, Relationship Management,
and functional teams such as Marketing or Digital. Once we could see the
situation objectively, we followed the Scope of Work and listened to the
opinion of the project owner, so that we could suggest a tangible plan for the
final presentation.

High Performance Teams,
classes that fell under the Leadership stream, helped our team to work collaboratively
and deliver an innovative result from the multiple perspectives.

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Fabulous team- Alex, Atsushi, Lukasz, Filipa, and Peter

Our team is diverse
team of five: a South African from a start-up, a Polish from a consulting firm,
a Portuguese from an investment bank, a Russian from a private equity fund, and
a Japanese from a trading and investing company. Each colleague has different viewpoint,
so every moment we discuss takes a certain amount of time and patience, before the
long but constructive discussions help us to reach the best joint idea.

I need to add one
more comment. We have also been enjoying some sight-seeing such as Louvre
museum, Grand mosque, Burj Khalifa, etc. and playing squash with our teammates!
I truly appreciate this precious experience and chance to learn more about the
cultural difference and team dynamics. If I had not had this opportunity, I
might not have had the chance to come to the Middle East. In the future, I’ll
be thinking “What lovely days we had working in the UAE” …

Image
Dinner with our Faculty supervisor: Professor Omar.

Atsushi
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: 499
The ICP Experience  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Nov 2019, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The ICP Experience
Everyone claims their ICP is special. But ours actually is. I say
this half-jokingly with trademark IMD-self-awareness, half-serious. And this is
because, we set out to “provoke the CEO”. When we chose our project, this was
our scope description and at the same time – if you ask a set of
MBAs-in-the-making – it was no scope at all. This left us with the beauty and
pain to systematically identify which mountain to climb from a number of peaks
surrounding us. 

The team that got together to work on this feat consists out of 5 people who have in total 7 nationalities. Clearly this is only one of many indicators of the diversity of our team, but I can truly say that the mix of people, mindsets and personalities has made the project challenging, exciting and successful at the same time.

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Mirko, Carl, Hameed, Diego, Da Eun

Our main stakeholder was the CEO of a globally acting company as
well as the executive team. It has been quite an experience to work on such a
high profile project and discussing strategic options that will help the
company to gain a competitive advantage. What was especially impressive for us
was to deliver a fresh perspective on the business and bring in opportunities
that would have never been considered otherwise.

During the course of the project we’ve experienced it all: spending 3 weeks plus weekends at the client site, travelling 10h per leg; working late nights; presenting to our faculty directors on the weekend per teleconference out of our hotel rooms; visiting a heavy industry production plant; client dinners (and drinks); and much more.

Image

It was a fun journey which culminated this week in our final presentation of our recommendations. Our client is excited about the result, we learnt a ton and grew close as a team. Who could ever ask for more?

Mirko
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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Work Hard, and Play Harder – A retrospect of our “fun” ICP  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 06:35
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Work Hard, and Play Harder – A retrospect of our “fun” ICP
If you had told me last year that during the MBA I would be working on an international consulting project with a toy brand, and understanding how little kids play with their toys, I would not have believed you; I would not even have been able to imagine it. Yet, after 7 weeks of this fun experience, I am now a proud owner of two sets of our client’s product (Age 16+)!

Our ICP is exactly as advertised: learning through playing. With only a very high-level scope, we were given the maximum freedom to brainstorm innovative ideas from scratch, by talking with experts from different industries and fields, and also by leveraging our learnings from the MBA classes. In order to test our concepts, we went to Germany – the target market – to interview little kids and their mothers. At least for me, I had never imagined that I could have such an insightful dialogue with an 8-year-old. Also, to understand the history and culture of our client, we were invited to visit their establishments and their headquarters for a fully immersive ICP experience.

Learnings have not just been from the project work itself, but also from unexpected places during this playful journey. We were impressed by how innovative our client’s brand has been since its inception, how durable and well received their products are in German families, and how committed the brand is towards a sustainable future – with a constant focus on quality education of the next generations. Personally, I am delighted by the unique sense of humor showcased everywhere in the territory of the brand.

Of course, our ICP team has been just as playful as the client. During these seven weeks, we grew to learn about each other and more importantly, to learn how to perform and at the same time have fun as a team. We worked hard together, and we played hard together as well. We acknowledged every progress, and we celebrated every small success; we made fun of ourselves, and we laughed with each other. Sometimes there were heated discussions, but we were able to resolve them and became a better team. Just like playing with the products of our client, we built our team through exploring all the possible combinations of five different pieces, and we came up with one that may not be perfect, but is definitely fun and unique.

Image
Junyi, Maki, Jesuad, Yizhe and Pedro

Seven weeks is not a lot of time, but we harvested great learning and joy. It was the perfect ending project for a year that has been full of exploration and adventures.

By Junyi
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Five Beautiful Minds and an ICP  [#permalink]

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New post 22 Nov 2019, 06:35
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Five Beautiful Minds and an ICP
If you look from a distance, we could not be more different. A marathoner from London, a young father from Zurich, a former auditor from Hong Kong, a football fiend from Japan with many years spent in sub-Saharan Africa, and, well, me.

Somehow, after our final client presentation for the International Consulting Project (ICP), seven weeks after we buckled down to achieve challenging targets in a nebulous space, I felt as though I was saying goodbye to dear friends who shared my life values.

“Remember, teamwork begins by building trust. And the only way to do that is to overcome our need for invulnerability.”

–Patrick Lencioni
I suppose it began in our first meeting as a group. We set ground rules, and beyond the usual promises of timed meetings and work/life balance (though honestly the older I get the more the lines are blurred; work is life, life is work), we committed to supporting each other in the most testing of processes, the job search. I felt comfortable in the knowledge that we would have each others’ backs while juggling project tasks with impromptu interviews. Preparing for interviews is stressful enough. Within the first week, we generated trust with schedule transparency on a shared calendar. When one of us was not around, the rest would seamlessly work through other tasks and catch our colleagues up when they returned. We gradually opened up to each other, shared our concerns and aspirations, and soon enough, we felt vested in everyone’s success.

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Whizzing through a Retail Safari in Shenzhen, China
And then there was the project itself. We were tasked to create social media strategic recommendations for a medical aesthetics portfolio. While understanding the needs of the client in the initial days on-site in the UK, we were quickly given a second project because we as sharp, analytical MBA students should be able to churn through what felt like a data tsunami and generate meaningful insights for the firm. Bringing in a diverse group such as ours proved to be incredibly valuable to the client. It can bring a unique blend of optimism, can-do attitude, and external perspectives that are rarely possible for internal employees to provide, no matter how smart they are, simply because they have been at the company for many years.

We’ve had our tough moments. Not against each other, but with each other. I’ve heard of high-performing teams debating ideas and pushing each other to move beyond the obvious to the truly valuable insights. I’ve seen glimpses of this in previous teams, but more often than not, the balance of “care” and “dare” goes off quickly and risks descending into personal attacks. For the most part, our team kept discussions and disagreements centered around the benefit of the project and the client’s goals. Oftentimes we helped each other after finishing our own tasks. It wasn’t about getting individual credit. It was about making the team shine. And shine we did. Our client sponsor, a senior executive, commended our unity as a team in the final presentation. Each team member got time to showcase their work, how it fits into the overall solution and we supported each other through the Q&A session. “No one was pulling the attention towards him/herself. There was a flow within your team that is rare to see.” High praise, and so true, we just wanted to pull attention to the recommendations we had garnered over two months of painstaking research and analyses.

I thank my team for sharing their brilliance and rigor to make this project a success. It was a high point in my IMD MBA and will stay a fond memory, as we begin our dash to the finish line. I am always going to remember singing karaoke with you in a mall in Shenzhen, and our bowling night in London where Daniel was reigning champion.

Thank Yous

Professor Goutam Challagalla, for nudging us along the right digital marketing path, for aligning and reassuring us when things got disorienting. You’ve been an amazing mentor and coach. Angelina, for being stoic and persistent and always smiling despite taking on the daunting role of treasurer. Daniel, for your attention to detail, your kind nature and your willingness and flexibility in adding value to all parts of the project. Maisie, for always being calm under pressure, embracing evolving workstreams, and for bringing your UK expertise to the project. Satoshi, for steadfastly getting through to the core of any matter, for your sincerity to your work, your honesty, and openness.

It has been an honor, and I am so excited to see the amazing things we will accomplish in the years ahead. And for our fondue night next week Image

Yours in nostalgia,

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 IMD Restaurant: Food for the Soul  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Nov 2019, 07:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The IMD Restaurant: Food for the Soul
As temperatures dip, I find myself curled up with a bowl of hot soup at lunchtime at the IMD Restaurant. Some days ago we enjoyed an aromatic tagine and slices of thick walnut baklava on Morocco Day. And who can forget those glorious summer days of unlimited, and I mean, unlimited, Movenpick ice cream?! And as we hurtle towards graduation, it would be a mistake to not profile and thank the incredible novae team who keep us nourished and quite frankly, alive, during what may well be one of the most challenging years of our careers.

Anyone who has considered IMD, or made it to Assessment Day, or has given a lecture to students here, has heard of and likely dined at the IMD Restaurant. And then told friends and family of its multi culinary lore. It is literally that epic. I have personally overheard at an alumni reunion, a former IMD MBA in line for lunch saying, “Oh gosh, I’ve missed this so much!”

Nestled between the MBA buildings, the Executive Learning Center, Bignami, and a lush green park sits the Restaurant, appropriately at the heart of IMD social life. It is a large space with ground and first floors and an outdoor patio that opens up in the warmer months. Through the glass windows, you can see groups of people breaking bread, engrossed in conversation. On a given day when I walk across the hall, I can hear chatter on new business articles, potential projects, an upcoming lecture series, new parents aspiring for a good night’s sleep and my peers discussing Lacustre shenanigans from last evening.

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All smiles at lunchtime!
What we rarely see, or think about, is the effort behind the production house that feeds hundreds of people on a daily basis, including 90 MBAs with appetites as vast as their professional ambitions. I could imagine an accounting line item just for us, “MBA variable costs = 1.5*Regular diner variable costs” #mbahumor

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A tireless team
The novae team begins their day at 6AM. They spend the morning chopping, sauteing, and preparing all the dishes in the interconnected kitchens behind and above the dining areas. Olivier, who generously took all these fantastic pictures, and I took a sneak peek to prepare for this post and were amazed at this labyrinth of cooking stations where the team works in planned unison, churning out copious amounts of greek salad, daal, sweet potato fries, cannelloni, and grilled fish, so streamlined and efficient. No surprise then that when the cream puffs are almost over, we see a tray of freshly prepared plump cream-filled pastry goodness appear within minutes.

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Serving up delicacies with a greeting and a smile
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Stressed spelled backward is desserts, and the novae team has spoilt us for choice. International sweets aren’t uncommon. Seen below are the aforementioned cream puffs, and “basbousa”, an Egyptian sweet cake. For those healthy living days, there is a supply of fruit and yogurt Image

Image

Lunch is typically followed by an expresso at the Bignami cafe we know as Mireille’s. How she remembers our orders I will never know. It is an experience that makes IMD special to us and can brighten up even the dullest day.

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Summer days, drifting away Image

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Celebrating the lovely Mireille
I wish you all the opportunity to dine at the IMD Restaurant. It provides so much more than a meal. It is where you find some kindness and camaraderie, where we eat at the same table, regardless of our differences. In fact, between trying dishes from Tunisia and Sri Lanka, we’ve expanded our palates and even given vegetarian burgers a shot (for the record, they were pretty good)! The Restaurant also has made us think about not wasting food, where our food comes from, and you can sometimes see locally sourced labels at the lunch buffet. In a world that is becoming alarmingly polarized, food remains a common denominator of humanity, and in our tiny Alpine corner of the universe, this industrious establishment has all of us covered, and how.

On behalf of the Class of 2019, thank you, dear novae team: Frédéric, Arnaud, Nicolas, Jérome, Aloïs, Philippe, Malick, Cedric, Arno, Luis, Kumarasamy, Sébastien, José, Jean-Jacques, Carlos, Emanuel, Gatien, Guillaume, Mireille, Jorge, Antonio, Zahra, Maëwen

Image

Bon appétit!

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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This is Satoshi, MBA candidate from Japan  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Nov 2019, 09:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: This is Satoshi, MBA candidate from Japan
Our journey at IMD is almost at an end. Time really flies. I would like to use this opportunity to reflect on my experiences prior to, during, and after my MBA.

My interest in the “international world” first came about in Geneva.  I spent 4 years there in my youth where I became interested in working for United Nations Humanitarian agencies in the developing world.

After university I went to Cameroon to work for the local Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. I spent two years living in the rural village, working on income generating activities for local farmers. Then, I had a chance to work for an NGO in South Sudan, where ethnic conflict was severe. I was running around, delivering emergency food supplies to internally displaced people and constructed health care facilities across the region.

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Working with rural farmers in Cameroon

However, when the battles between the ethnic groups in 2013 destroyed what we had constructed and we had to evacuate, leaving local people and our staff behind, I questioned myself. What could I do when international organizations can not intervene in ethnic conflicts? How could I provide effective support to this developing world?

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Bringing emergency supplies to conflict front line in South Sudan

I decided to move into the private sector which created value by bringing employment to the local African people. I joined a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and was dispatched to Kenya, from where I travelled to over 10 countries in Africa, creating employment by expanding business. But here, I questioned myself again. Was I good enough to be a general manager who could create more positive impact in the continent?

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With my local staff in Kenya

This is why I came to IMD – to grow as a business leader who can help an emerging market. IMD’s focus on leadership, its intense one-year program and strong exposure to Industry made it my number one choice.

Learning at IMD has been impressive, mainly because of the different aspects covered within the year. Not only were the core classes mostly exceptional but also the Innovation lab, Digital analtyics lab, Startup projects, Discovery expedition, ICP and business & society course (during which we visited the United Nations and the World Economic Forum), were all insightful. From guest speakers who were high executives from both private and public sectors, I learned about their serious commitments on sustainability, inclusion and diversity. It made me think a lot on how leaders should also be focusing on aspects outside of financial statements.

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Inspirational day at World Economic Forum with my classmates

The IMD Leadership stream gave me a good chance to reflect on myself. Regular interaction with a psychoanalyst and leadership coaches, plus numerous feedback sessions with my classmates, clearly deepened my self awareness.  Eventually, my passion and career goal became clearer and more sharpened: I want to create a sustainable, growing business in the emerging market and bring positive impact to the world.

Finally, I need to mention my classmates. These guys are great. Humble hardworking, friendly and helpful. I couldn’t have gone through this tough year without them.

With these great future alumni of 2019, I wish to create positive impact in the real world.

Thank you!
Satoshi
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My journey through Africa to IMD  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Nov 2019, 01:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: My journey through Africa to IMD
This is Satoshi, MBA candidate from Japan.

Our journey at IMD is almost at an end. Time really flies. I would like to use this opportunity to reflect on my experiences prior to, during, and after my MBA.

My interest in the “international world” first came about in Geneva.  I spent 4 years there in my youth where I became interested in working for United Nations Humanitarian agencies in the developing world.

After university I went to Cameroon to work for the local Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. I spent two years living in the rural village, working on income generating activities for local farmers. Then, I had a chance to work for an NGO in South Sudan, where ethnic conflict was severe. I was running around, delivering emergency food supplies to internally displaced people and constructed health care facilities across the region.

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Working with rural farmers in Cameroon

However, when the battles between the ethnic groups in 2013 destroyed what we had constructed and we had to evacuate, leaving local people and our staff behind, I questioned myself. What could I do when international organizations can not intervene in ethnic conflicts? How could I provide effective support to this developing world?

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Bringing emergency supplies to conflict front line in South Sudan

I decided to move into the private sector which created value by bringing employment to the local African people. I joined a Japanese pharmaceutical company, and was dispatched to Kenya, from where I travelled to over 10 countries in Africa, creating employment by expanding business. But here, I questioned myself again. Was I good enough to be a general manager who could create more positive impact in the continent?

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With my local staff in Kenya

This is why I came to IMD – to grow as a business leader who can help an emerging market. IMD’s focus on leadership, its intense one-year program and strong exposure to Industry made it my number one choice.

Learning at IMD has been impressive, mainly because of the different aspects covered within the year. Not only were the core classes mostly exceptional but also the Innovation lab, Digital analtyics lab, Startup projects, Discovery expedition, ICP and business & society course (during which we visited the United Nations and the World Economic Forum), were all insightful. From guest speakers who were high executives from both private and public sectors, I learned about their serious commitments on sustainability, inclusion and diversity. It made me think a lot on how leaders should also be focusing on aspects outside of financial statements.

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Inspirational day at World Economic Forum with my classmates

The IMD Leadership stream gave me a good chance to reflect on myself. Regular interaction with a psychoanalyst and leadership coaches, plus numerous feedback sessions with my classmates, clearly deepened my self awareness.  Eventually, my passion and career goal became clearer and more sharpened: I want to create a sustainable, growing business in the emerging market and bring positive impact to the world.

Finally, I need to mention my classmates. These guys are great. Humble hardworking, friendly and helpful. I couldn’t have gone through this tough year without them.

With these great future alumni of 2019, I wish to create positive impact in the real world.

Thank you!
Satoshi
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It’s wrap-up time…  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Dec 2019, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: It’s wrap-up time…
I can vividly recall the beginning of the IMD journey for both of us. It was a luck of the draw, in all senses of the phrase, that determined the IMD journey for us over our comfortable life back home.

Now over a year past that decision, we still can’t believe the roller coaster ride we have been through. From being fearful of moving out of our home country, to both of us moving to two different continents and following our hearts. While my partner spent most of his time at IMD (and as I heard, asking a lot questions in class Image
), I moved to Canada to explore my career option internationally. It was an amazing adventure which words could never do justice to.

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It wasn’t our first long distance period, so at least we were prepared for that part. We managed to meet and plan vacations during the year. But what actually changed for us were the topics of conversation during our calls that mostly revolved around giving each other tips on networking and interviewing. I feel I got some good IMD learnings along the way too!

And now it’s time to celebrate our successes. Our separate journeys will merge into our next destination. I can’t wait to plan 2020 and to celebrate graduation week with the beautiful people we have met through IMD.

Sheena (MBA partner, 2019)
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Final countdown to graduation  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Dec 2019, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Final countdown to graduation
Yesterday, the MBAs had their last class together.

A moment of mixed emotions, as the elation at having completed the year combines with the wrench of realising that each classmate is about to embark on a new adventure, in all corners of the globe, and the close bonds formed over the past 11 months are about to be stretched to new limits.

But this is a time to celebrate. To acknowledge different achievements and contributions. So the day ended with champagne, with awards and recognitions, and with the MBA yearbook distribution.

Here’s a video of the celebration

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    Fondation Vaudois Award
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    Welshe Women Award
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    Thank you gifts
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    Sports Achievement
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    Hepper Award
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Tomorrow is graduation day.

Congratulations to all of you, and looking forward to further celebrating with you.

Suzy
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Congratulations, MBA class of 2019  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Dec 2019, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Congratulations, MBA class of 2019
The MBA graduation ceremony on Friday was heartwarming.

It is an honour each year to take part in the celebrations of 90 great people, people we have accompanied on their journey, starting from before their arrival on campus :

  • the investigation phase – “Is this the right program for me?”, “Do I have the right profile?”
  • the application phase – the written application, the GMAT, the TOEFL
  • the assessment day – individual assessments, group assessments, “Is this where I want to spend a year of my life?”, “Can IMD help me to achieve my dreams?”
  • the phone call – one of our favourite moments – “Hi XX, this is IMD … and we’re calling to make you an offer to join the next MBA class!”
  • preparation, preparation, preparation
  • the program start – a new dream coming true, a year full of possibilities ahead, new doors waiting to be opened and explored

It’s an intense program, so much to fit into one year. There are highs, there are lows. Bonds are formed, challenges overcome.

But all 90 made it. All 90 graduated. All 90 are ready for the next phase.

Watch some of the highlights from the 2019 MBA Graduation Ceremony

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Congratulations once again to all of the graduates from the 2019 class – and keep in touch!

Suzy
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The IMD MBA Blog 2019  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Dec 2019, 01:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The IMD MBA Blog 2019
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the blog this year – our writers for sharing their experiences with us, and our readers for following their story.

The campus is now quiet, the dungeons/study rooms are empty, and our MBA graduates are travelling to reunite with family and friends; to enjoy some well-earned relaxation time; or to settle into a new country before starting the next chapter of their career.

But a new buzz is stiring, as participants of the 2020 class enter the final preparation stage for their own IMD MBA journey.

I hope our 2019 graduates will keep in touch and let us know how they are getting on, and I look forward to learning more about our 2020 class, who will start sharing their journey next week.

To Surbhi, Helena, and Lukasz, to all of our guest writers and to the whole class of 2019 – it’s been a pleasure working with you.

To all of our readers – thank you for your support, for sharing, liking and commenting on posts – I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s MBA blog and will continue to follow us next year.

And to our incoming class – enjoy the next few weeks and end of year celebrations. I look forward to seeing you on campus in January and to reading about the 2020 MBA program through your eyes.

Suzy
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And so it begins, the next chapter of my career and life  [#permalink]

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New post 20 Dec 2019, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: And so it begins, the next chapter of my career and life
Today is the first of the 2020 MBA Class blog posts – start following their journey now as they prepare for their January arrival on campus!

The beginning of the journey of why I wanted to do an MBA and why I chose IMD.

As we come into the last few weeks of 2019 and I start to look back on my last 30 years, I see what has brought me to the place I now am and will guide me through the next year and the decades to come. The foundations of this is family, friends, experiences and my next year as an IMD MBA candidate.

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This is me, as African as they come, getting ready for the rugby world cup final

My name is Anthony Wilson and I will be part of the IMD MightyNinety for 2020. Although very few of us have actually met, we have started to form a cohesive group – communicating mainly through whatsapp and starting to share our excitement, interests and fears. Our group have formed under the banner of the hashtag MightNinety; so Millennial I know ;-D

I was born in South Africa and you will struggle to find a more passionate person about my beautiful country. It has allowed me to grow into the person I am today and to have the honor to represent my country as an IMD scholarship winner for African and Middle Eastern Diversity. It has been a bit of a running joke in my family and friendship group that I am the diversity student for Africa as I am a white male. However it does show us that sometimes we get stuck in our little bubble: South Africa is becoming ever more polarised along lines of race, but if you look at it all on a more global scale it is what you can add to a group that makes it more diverse and not simply the colour of your skin. I am as African as they come and am determined to give the world the best of what we are and teach the world to avoid making the mistakes that we are still learning from to this day.

Let’s get back to the topic at hand. Where to start? At the very beginning seems prudent:

Why an MBA:

I studied Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Cape Town, but very quickly realised that I wanted to develop and grow businesses instead of simply products or concepts. I wanted to lead people and share my passion with the world. I also wanted to de-risk my career by developing a multi-faceted educational scope and an MBA was the next crucial step. I have worked as an engineer throughout Africa for a global company installing robotic systems on oil rigs. I have also worked for international management consultants assisting major telecoms companies, and even ran a startup in the beverage space for a private equity. All these experiences have created my career, and life, story. This story will help me educate those around me and be a foundation to learn from others’ experiences. That, I believe, is what an MBA is all about, learning from one another’s stories and strengthening your own.

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Getting my hands dirty as the GM of a cold-pressed juice startup [/*][*]Image
Working as a management consultant[/*][*]Image
One of many trips to a drillship in Africa[/*][*]Image

Working on a robotic system as an engineer [/*][/list]

Why IMD:

Even though the decision to choose IMD in the beginning was based on what I had read, actions show greater than words. IMD blew me away during their assessment day, the tour around campus and general communication with each employee guiding me along the way.

  • How long can I afford to be away?
    2 years is simply too long for me at 31 with a new fiancé and the opportunity costs and funding implications that come with a 2 year MBA = Scratch out U.S. schools
  • What do I want to achieve once I am done with my MBA?
    I want to use my business acumen and engineering mind to develop tangible outcomes in the world = Focus on the MBA schools that are not just banker and consultant producing machines…
  • Which school can provide me with the personal touch that I enjoy?
    IMD, IMD, IMD! The day I met Antonio (one of the IMD recruiters) on a skype call, then through the assesment day and on campus, I could see this was a school that focuses on the personal touch. The guidance of a school who limits their intake to 90 to preserve that touch instead of going after massive profits is exceptional. That ~45% of their participants receive additional funding in Scholarships was a huge draw card as someone who was funding this endeavor myself.
  • Which MBA is consistently rated among institutions (Bloomberg, FT, Forbes) as a standout top in the world?
    IMD!

With all of the above taken into account IMD was the one and only choice.

Next week we will focus on others’ experiences of making the decision to become an IMD 2020 candidate.

Kind Regards,

Anthony Wilson
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Other perspectives on the IMD MBA  [#permalink]

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New post 27 Dec 2019, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Other perspectives on the IMD MBA
Anthony: I reached out to my fellow classmates for their experiences of getting in touch with their inner MBA, the choices they made and their feelings toward it.

The MBA is all about collaboration. At IMD, I have heard that 40% of our mark is based on the ability to take other people’s opinions and feedback.

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Fellow classmates attending the admissions day at IMD

Stefano Agosta, a future classmate, gave me the following analysis:

“I decided to pursue an MBA last year. Italian engineer, 7 years’ experience with an international organisation in Geneva, I felt like switching to a managerial position in the Swiss industry.

First things first, I started preparing for the GMAT. Once sentence correction and percentiles had become just a (bad) memory, I focused on the school choice. Scanning rankings and reading blogs, aiming at a top-tier school with a 1-year program starting in January, I selected four schools and applied to two.

Because of its strong network in Switzerland – where I’d like to settle in the long term, the limited class size of 90, the 1:2 faculty-to-MBA ratio, and the well-known leadership stream, my first choice was obviously IMD.

The second was another extraordinary b-school. I had a chance to meet and talk to many alumni of both schools, and although they all were brilliant, I felt a stronger affinity with the IMD crowd, because they sounded enthusiastic yet reasonable. Another reason for choosing IMD was the care with which the school selects applicants in person, to understand their personality and best tailor the class. After all, they don’t claim to be a boutique business school for nothing.

However, surprisingly, when time came to pick a school, I chose the other one. Seduced by its fame and biased by the opinion of popular rankings, I felt less sure of my own analysis and dreamed of being part of the fancy experience they advertise well.

I e-mailed IMD to decline their offer and soon after I got a call from my admission officer. She didn’t try to talk me out of it, but was rather interested in understanding my choice. It was a pleasant chat; I could feel her warmth through the phone, along with the care that the school invests in each student when addressing their specific needs and preferences with all available means. It sounded like they were looking for people, not numbers. I just smiled, hung up the phone and accepted the IMD offer. The program start is four weeks away and I couldn’t be more excited to begin!”

Another of my future classmates sent me the following exerpt which I really appreciated:

“When I was evaluating different business schools, I chose IMD because I knew they cared. Everyone from the dean to an intern knew my name and my story. They demonstrated, even before I accepted the offer, that the team and peer group would help me transform. The rest, making my dreams a reality, will follow. I am excited to begin the journey.”

The above two experiences from my fellow IMD candidates in many ways matches my experiences and shows the turmoil of emotions that run around one’s head when making a decision such as this. All I would like to reiterate and add is the amazing attention to detail IMD showed with each and everyone of us! They treated us like candidates and part of their flock even before we had accepted offers or made it onto their hallowed acceptance lists.

Thank you IMD for making even the acceptance and admissions process invigorating and special.

Anthony Wilson
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Preparations begin for IMD  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Jan 2020, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Preparations begin for IMD
Uplifting your life and changing from your daily routine to something as daunting as an MBA takes a lot of organisation, relationship building and general trust in the fact that you have taken the right steps and can trust that you will use your past to figure out what is to come.

With the admissions and acceptance out the way, months of preparations were ahead of me to ensure that I was ready for a fast paced year. I had to start prioritising things in my life to ensure that everything was ready for my departure:

Prepare family and friends for my departure

An MBA is a huge undertaking and just as it is stressful on the person doing it, this extends to the families and friends around you. Coming together with one another as much as possible and being open to questions and concerns is extremely important. I was lucky in that my fiancé, family and friends have offered nothing but encouragement and support. Gather those around you be open and upfront and go through the varying emotions together. My parents have been a huge support, financially they have always gone above and beyond and I don’t think you will meet a prouder set of parents who are egging me on in every way!

Show the people in your life, your rocks and foundations, what they really mean to you

I have an incredible woman that stands behind me through everything I have had to go through. The MBA will put a huge strain on our relationship. My girlfriend and now, proud to say, my fiancé, unfortunately will be unable to join me for the year as she is a doctor and specialising in South Africa. We will live our lives apart but always together as we grow separately for our intertwined future.  We are both strong and know it will be hard, especially when stress sets in on both of us – but there isn’t a single thought in either of our minds that this is insurmountable.

I was given permission and advice to make this blog personal, so here is a picture of us on our engagement day 1 month and a few days before I am set to start at IMD on the 9th of January Image

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We have had incredibly good times with family and friends due to this life changing event which has brought us all closer. We have shared our dreams and fears for the year and have both agreed that 110% open communication will get us through this year! A parting note on this point. Alicia and I travelled to IMD for one night during the year to try and get some perspective on why I was doing it in Switzerland. I had obviously been focusing on this for 12 months, reading the articles, doing the analysis and conducting the recommended soul searching. Alicia, was incredibly supportive but also needed to understand. The tour and welcome we received at IMD was world class. It showed her the pure class and absolute attention to detail, we were blown away by the campus and staff, it cemented in her mind, as well as mine, that there was no other place for me next year.

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[/*][/list]Alicia and I cruising round the lake and traveling to IMD

Lastly, admin, admin and more administration

I took the personal decision to give my company 6 months notice from when I got into IMD. I felt being open about my dreams and next steps was the best thing. It worked and I had an incredibly productive 6 months with everyone understanding and open about my impending departure. The second major task was actually figuring out how to live in a new country such as Switzerland – This fear was easily wiped away with the IMD’s team of outstanding support staff. Everything from housing to insurance to where to buy a cellphone contract was given to us. Live check-ins were held whenever needed on any topic. All I can say is thank you IMD for putting the “fun” in administration.

The next steps left for me are to enjoy my last few days of African sun, have a joyful Christmas with friends and family and lastly to fly over to Europe where the journey really begins.

Merry Christmas all, and a happy New Year – See you early Jan for a running commentary of the real life IMD MBA!

Anthony Wilson
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Happy New Year  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jan 2020, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Happy New Year
Welcome to 2020! A new year, with new beginnings and another chance to make dreams come true.

This week, IMD will welcome our next group of MBA participants. Most of them have already begun to settle into their new appartments, and over the next few days will be setting up bank accounts and insurance, getting to know each other and the IMD community, and generally preparing for the year ahead.

Watch the Introduction Weeks video from last year, to get a feel for what’s in store for them:



We wish our participants, and all our readers, the very best for the year ahead and look forward to sharing the MBA 2020 journey with you.

Suzanne
MBA Recruitment and Admissions
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The day has arrived, the class is complete  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2020, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The day has arrived, the class is complete
Arriving in Lausanne, the first days, admin bonding and getting ready…

British writer Alan Watts once said,

“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance!”

Bienvenue a Lausanne!

In true South African style, my fiance and I decided that it was not enough merely to move to Switzerland – we needed to make a holiday out of it as well. After spending a magical four days in Amsterdam, it was finally time to board the train for my ultimate destination and home for the next year to come – Lausanne. We arrived at Lausanne Gare on Monday, 6th January 2020, one of the later arrivals of the Mighty Ninety group. With the generous assistance of my new roommate, Dennis, we made our way through the pristine streets of Lausanne, my life packed into two enormous and heavy suitcases. As I pushed open the door to our new top-floor apartment, I breathed a sigh of relief (not least of all because I was finally rid of the 40 kg of luggage I had been hauling intercontinentally) – the time was finally here!

First things first – recycling. I am ashamed to say that in South Africa we fall entirely short in this regard. Although some people do recycle, it is far from being a national priority. The intricate Swiss system of strict separation and prompt disposal has truly impressed me. Since my arrival there have been a few occassions when I have stood haplessly in the middle of a room, trying to decide how to correctly dispose of my purple coloured semi-plastic sweet wrapper with its paper thin inner layer.

Another eye-opener was my trip to the grocery store. I guess it will be a high-vegetarian, low-carnivore diet for the next year, I thought as I glanced furtively at the unaffordable loin chops in the centre of the display cabinet. A visit to La Poste was next as I posted an urgent package to Zurich. Imagine my surprise when I was told that it would arrive early the following day (a feat unimaginable by South African post office standards).  All-in-all, a good first day in Switzerland.

With a mixture of excitement and trepidation I stepped onto campus on the morning of 7th January for our first day of orientation. What would it be like? Would I rise up to the challenges ahead of me? How would I remember everyone’s names? The day passed amidst a flurry of housing and insurance presentations, posing for professional photographs (tilt this way, smile, no teeth please, look serious, no not so much, move your face … no not like that). The university was abuzz with excited chatter – which “snowpants” to purchase for the weekend’s getaway, which cellphone company to choose, where the nearest Decathlon was situated …

A few hours later, as the sun streamed through the glass windows during our lunchbreak in the picturesque IMD canteen I marvelled at the sheer talent and expertise around me. How privileged am I to be sitting here, in this beautiful environment, surrounded by the most diverse group of professionals imaginable, all enjoying a delicious lunch with our loved ones by our side and ready to embark on the journey of our lives. I can’t wait! The bonding and fun has started and the WORK is about to start!

Can I just say another shoutout to the IMD team! The classroom is ready for us and here we go!

Image

Anthony
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Where a mouse click can take you  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2020, 01:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Where a mouse click can take you
The start of the MBA program, from headhunting to headhunted.

The gospel famously proclaimed that “in the beginning was the Word”. In the very similar fashion, my MBA journey began with a click. Eight months ago, I clicked the “Submit” button. Today, I shook hands with some of the most impressive individuals I have ever met, as we were warmly welcomed to the IMD MBA program, Class of 2020. What started as an aspiration, became a reality. It is remarkable how easy it is to start moving towards your dream. Sometimes, you merely need to click the button…

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[/*][/list]

My dream was to change the course and pace of my career. I was working in executive search, helping organizations identify and attract senior executive leadership. Right executive leadership is one of the most important (if not THE most important) assets any company can have. This lasted a few years, until one day I thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool if I were the one to receive a call? I, too, want to be called out of the blue and be presented with a “great career opportunity”! Instead of headhunting, I wanted to be headhunted. And the way to propel my career forward was to go to business school. The question was which one.

I have read about and interacted with enough senior executives to understand that technical and functional skills are not enough to be a great leader today. Attributes that distinguish great leaders are curiosity, agility, and team leadership. It was clear to me that I needed a business school that will not only teach me how to become a Case-cracker through the symphony of balance sheet music and Framework Orchestra. I needed a place where I will be challenged to reveal and develop my personal leadership qualities. Thus, IMD was a natural choice. The school was founded by executives to produce the next generation of leaders and has kept this ethos through the decades.

Eight months ago, I clicked “Submit” and asked IMD to help me get closer to my dream. Today, Dean Sean Meehan, the faculty, the staff, and 88 fellow MBA candidates replied in unison: “Welcome! You are now closer to your dream. Now let’s make it a reality”.

Yaroslav Ivanov
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Where a mouse click can take you   [#permalink] 10 Jan 2020, 01:00

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