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IMD MBA Admissions and Related Blogs!

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The MBA class of 2017 has graduated!  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Dec 2017, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The MBA class of 2017 has graduated!
I think my two favourite days of the MBA program are the first and last – there’s just so much emotion and positive energy floating around that it’s impossible not to be caught up in it.

Last night the MBAs and their families gathered with IMD Faculty and staff at the Olympic Museum in Lausanne for the beginning of the official graduation celebrations. Set in an atmosphere of triumph and of people overcoming the odds at Olympic Games around the world, we were entertained by members of the class as they told stories and shared memories, videos and photos.

Today though, was the culmination of all of this year’s achievements, the graduation. The traditional procession of MBAs into the auditorium lead by Faculty in their gowns; the speeches of inspiration, future promises and advice; the shared jokes; the farewells – but not goodbyes. And of course, the distribution of the diplomas, the moment when each one of our 90 participants become one of our graduates and alumni.

Amongst the audience we also welcomed back alumni from different years, some of whom had come to cheer on their own family members who have followed in their earlier footsteps.

The Guest Speaker, Mr Skou, Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Møller-Mærsk, was also one of our alumni, having graduated from the IMD MBA in 1997. He focused on the importance of purpose and hard work and the need for great leaders in business who can make the world a better place.

Congratulations to all of our graduates – it’s been a privilege for us to work with you. Enjoy the rest of your journey and be sure to stay in touch!

Suzy

 

2017 GRADUATION PROGRAM

Welcome by Professor Ralf Boscheck, Dean of the IMD MBA Program

Address by Søren Skou, Chief Executive Officer of A.P. Møller-Mærsk, Graduation Guest Speaker

Distribution of Degrees

Announcement of Awards

Address by Professor Jean-François Manzoni, President of IMD

Address by Zehra Ali & Daniel Kearney, IMD MBA 2017 Graduates on behalf of the Graduating Class

Concluding Remarks by Professor Ralf Boscheck, Dean of the IMD MBA Program

Followed by Cocktail reception & class picture

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

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New post 10 Dec 2017, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Le meilleur est à venir
I am on the way to Paris and as I look outside the train at the snow clad trees, I feel very conscious of the fact that our journey in this MBA program is over. It is hard to be objective at this time with emotions running high. Emotions of relief associated with the end of an intense program, of joy associated with seeing our families after a long time and grief associated with not being in L’Orange again.

What never seems to amaze me is how our experiences and what we take away from this program can be so different. However as I reflect about the year gone by, I realize that this journey has not only made me stronger but also cognizant of courage I never knew I had. Through this journey and my own peaks and troughs, I learnt not only about leadership, strategy and finance but also about how businesses function in Europe and the power of networking. I learnt about people and about life. So in this post, I want to talk about three things that I cherish the most about the MBA experience.

Friendships: As we get older, we stop making new friends or at least make fewer new friends.  We have a professional circle and a personal one which is mostly friends from college and sometime neighbors. This program gave me a chance to befriend 89 exceptional individuals from all across the world. I always found people willing to lend a patient ear, to share a different perspective and provide bucket loads of encouragement when I was low. I made great friends and thus I believe friendship is the most intangible yet the most precious take away from this year.

Strong Alumni Network: Daniel from our class spoke about sending the elevator down during our graduation speech and I couldn’t agree with him more. I have found both friendships and professional support in our alumni. I have received guidance and good advice, help on preparation for interviews and even gotten access to their professional network. A small batch has its advantages and disadvantages but I have always found a lot of support from alums and  I hope to contribute to this network as much as I can.

Embracing failure: At IMD, we celebrated our failures as we did our successes. We even had a wall dedicated to our recruiting failures to not only share but also remind ourselves that we are in this together. As Confucius said, “Our greatest glory is not in never failing but in rising every time we fail”

When I started writing this post, I was tempted to title it “Au Revoir” and finally decided against doing so. Over the years, I have come to realize that at the most basic level there are only three levers that guide all our actions- Greed, Hope and Fear.  The lever that guided me the most to participate in this program has been hope. When I started the program, I was hopeful about the future and my first blog before joining the program was titled the one above. We have all changed in many ways (for the good of course !) during the course of the program, but I truly believe “Le meilleur est à venir” as our best is yet to come. On that note, I wish all my classmates loads of success in their professional and personal endeavors and the MBA batch of 2018 lots of luck for the year ahead.

Till we meet again..

Priyanka

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

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New post 12 Dec 2017, 09:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Thank you
Throughout this year, the blog has offered us a small glimpse into the journey of 90 MBAs. We have read about their initial expectations and seen how they came together as a group and as teams. There have been stories about individual impressions, struggles and momentous occasions. We have gained insights into their projects and learnings as well as moments of friendship and fun. And there has been so much more.

Sharing is a gift and I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of those who have taken the time to share with us. The IMD MBA is a one-year program with a reputation for its intensity, and yet participants still took the time to reflect on their experiences and compose text and images that offered us a glimpse into their lives.

So, to our bloggers Mo, Priyanka, Lucien and Sathappan as well as all of the guest bloggers from this year’s class, I would like to extend a warm thank you.

Please don’t stop sharing, keep in touch and let us know how the journey continues.

Suzy

 

 

Following the graduation of the class on Friday, the campus itself seems quiet, and yet there is still so much going on. MBAs are packing up and preparing to go their different ways. Every day we get to hear about the exciting plans they have lined up – festivities, travel, family reunions, new jobs

As a team

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

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New post 13 Dec 2017, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: A Tribute to Unsung Heroes
This is an unusual post in that it is not about us as a class or our partners, but about a different group of people that walk along in the shadows with us on this journey. A tribute to the unsung heroes. Guest post from recent MBA graduate Noah Lev.

In our personal pursuits to achieve we often under estimate the contributions of many who, together, are responsible for building the foundation for our development. Taking for granted the very things that perhaps, deserve our gratitude the most. The kind of things that we will only really notice when they are no longer there. As Joni Mitchell said:

‘’You never know what you’ve got till it’s gone’’

However, it is not the ‘things’ that I would like to focus on, but the people that make those things a reality for us MBAs. The comforting faces that we have seen during the length of our MBA, quietly passing us in the halls.

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Hervé, a man of many talents made sure none of us ever got soaked by the rain and always knew where to find a quiet study room.

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Mireille, our on-campus mother, with the unique ability to provide a shoulder to cry on with the perfect cup of coffee. She was a breath of fresh air and brought out the sunshine in us on the darkest days.

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Arnaud, the chef with a heart of gold, from gluten free to vegan keeping us all well fed. He ensured our taste buds never missed home with comfort foods from around the world.

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Corinne, our light house in the fog of research, her help in everything from Bloomberg to IMD’s World Competitiveness Online, and everything in-between, navigating the databases was a cinch with her knowledge.

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Jacques, a friendly smile any time of day, always facing the sun with a quick ‘bonjour’ welcoming us on campus. Ever present and always running to assist when we locked ourselves out.

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Margarida, a cheerful soul with never a complaint, from Holi colors to java spills, helping us keep our home away from home clean as a whistle.

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Pierre-Alain, our pillar of technical patients, no question or challenge was ever to small. Readily available for last minute sprints to help us with webex conferences or projector malfunctions.

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Guillaume, our invisible vitamins supplier, quietly making sure that we were well supplied with a variety of fruits to prevent scurvy. Especially needed during the cold and wet of winter.

 

It was never my goal, with this post, to focus on a single few, but rather an entire team of wonderful people. All the above heroes are part of a team here at IMD that deserved to be recognized for everything they do, day in & out, in the shadows. All working behind the scenes here at IMD. Providing us with a strong foundation to achieve our dreams. We as a class have come a long way since the beginning of this adventure but to think we did it on our own would be foolish. So, without further ado, thank you! From all of us to all of you, for all the times your actions went unnoticed. I speak for all the group when I say: We shall miss you dearly.

A word of advice to the next class: seek these people out, share your journey with them, get to know their stories, for your life shall forever be richer for doing so.

Noah

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

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New post 18 Dec 2017, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The spirit of the IMD MBA
As we prepare to welcome in the next MBA Program Dean, Seán Meehan, here are some final words from Professor Ralf Boscheck, who has been running the ship for the past four years.

IMD’s year is ending and so is my fourth and last term as MBA Program Director. Time to thank you for your support and to sum up what we tried to do.

For the last four years, we aimed to put the program into the centre of the school. The idea was to combine its small size and the benefit of attention with the scale of one of the largest executive development operations in the world. In the process, we broke up silos and dismantled hierarchies. We changed our recruiting procedures, adjusted our marketing efforts and strengthened key elements of the program. We improved some rankings and even managed to change some rating methodologies. We also publicly challenged those appraisals where – even when results improved – we questioned the integrity of the statistics that had been applied. Some praised us for it – others clearly did not. And boy – did they not praise us.

Over the years, the MBA office transformed into a successful and truly collaborative team that generated a range of new and valuable initiatives. At the end, we hope to have made some improvements to what has always been a solid and unique program. For the last four years, our tag line has been – “the skills to know, the confidence to act and the humility to lead.”  Even if these words were to change in the future – I think we would be well advised to recall them as the spirit of what we stand for.

Personally, I am very thankful for the opportunity that the MBA assignment has given me – I learned things about others and myself that I would have not realized otherwise. I learned to trust, gained confidence and a bit of humility.

Let me end with a question that a former colleague of ours, the late Professor Stewart Hamilton, asked me a long time back – and I know I have asked this question to some of you before: “How many years are between 30 & 40?”

The answer is “Less than you think … may be three … So as you pursue your career don’t forget to live!

On that note, all the best to you and your families.

Ralf

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

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New post 19 Dec 2017, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Preparing for a smooth landing
The forthcoming winter is cutting off daylight like slices of bread. We are in the middle of the so called advent time; Christmas is approaching. I am finalising my last days at work, closing activities, saying goodbye to colleagues and clients, organizing farewell meet-ups with friends; in parallel to that studying, handing in the first assignments, and arranging to move before setting on the transformational journey of the upcoming MBA year at IMD. This high pace is nothing new to me, I can say I am quite familiar with it. It has  been characteristic for the past year when I was preparing for the GMAT and application to IMD while having a full-time job.

Guest entry by Martina Skodova, who will be joining the MBA 2018 class

All of my future 89 fellow students of the 2018 class are going through a similar process, closing one chapter of life and getting ready for a new exciting one.

Most of us decided to travel or take free days to make a mental break, reflect and take up energy for the smooth landing into 2018. Ahead of us is quite an intense year, full of real learning, solving contemporary problems of business and society and exploring ourselves to become better leaders. We will be exposed to recent knowledge and findings while we learn how to navigate the future. I am confident I will thrive in such an environment and make the most out of my MBA 2018. Mostly because it will not be only “about me” – I will learn from the 89 extraordinary personalities coming from all around the world, bringing expertise in their industries and international career experience. We are already in contact, exchanging ideas and sharing life moments on social media. I am genuinely looking forward to meeting and working with them. I will do my best to contribute with my knowledge and expertise, fuel the positive energy among us and celebrate the unique composition of diversity the faculty and staff selected in a very competitive process.

With a fleeting glance out of the window, the falling snow flakes remind me of Christmas. Amid the preparations I again feel the happiness that fills me when contemplating next year and realize that I already got a present I was very much wishing for…

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Martina

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

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 05:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: How do I navigate this program?
After making the decision to take the leap towards IMD, I was left with one really haunting question. How do I hack this thing? Or as I put it so very politely to the various alums that I talked to – How do I navigate this program? And by that I mean, how do I turn myself into a super leader with sound business acumen in 11 months while staying on top of my fitness and mental regime and getting a really great job that would top what I just walked out of ? Phew!! The alums, while recounting their own awesome experiences and helping me out in my reasoning, gave me the same answer every time- Figure it out. Lol.

Guest entry from 2018 candidate, Parth Reddy.

It’s not like I haven’t been thrown into all kinds of soups in my career. There was a time in 2009 when I decided to take a gap year and volunteer for an NGO in the Himalayas. It sounds really cool and hip but take away central heating and insert perilous treks as part of the job description and what you get essentially is a very dangerous and uncomfortable job. But I had one hell of a time. How did I navigate it? I decided to challenge myself – physically. By the time I finished my gap year, I had become very adept at trekking up and down steep inclines. I hope this holds well during my time in Switzerland.

And then there’s that year (2013) in where I willingly volunteered for a year in one of the toughest locations in the world. I remember looking up the British Embassy’s site in Tripoli in the hope of finding any tips for incoming workers. It had a polite warning for us which otherwise read as “Are you kidding? Seriously?” But again I survived. Mostly because I challenged myself – mentally. By the time I had finished my year in Libya, I understood basic Arabic, enjoyed solitude, was able to finish tough and chaotic projects and survive on a steady diet of omelets .

So here we are. Its not the civil war of Libya, nor is it the harsh conditions in the Himalayas. It’s scenic Lausanne and one of the best MBA programs in the world. Still. How do I navigate this program? By challenging myself to achieve what’s beyond me.

And also by being a little goofy. In both the above instances I survived on a healthy dose of music. I intend to do so at IMD as well. It doesn’t have to be all somber and serious, maybe if we take the process a little lightly, we might end up getting what we want and have some fun at the same time.

I’d like to open the year with a goofy soundtrack like the one below.



 

Parth Reddy

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The IMD MBA blog will resume in January, 2018.

We wish all of our readers a happy, healthy and successful year to come!

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ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors
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Last 2017 blog  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Dec 2017, 07:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Last 2017 blog
A final guest entry arrived just as I was preparing to leave – so here is the final blog post for 2017 from 2018 MBA candidate Maxim Yavorskiy! Happy reading and see you again in 2018 – Suzy

January is coming, and so isthe moment when our studies begin. The closer it is, the more excited I feel about meeting my classmates. Tomorrow I will leave my home in Hong Kong, where I spent the last two years, and take a trip to Lausanne.

Four months earlier, in August, when I was applying to IMD, my attention was mainly focused on the school and its special features: curriculum, strong focus on leadership, as well as personalised tailored approach. But during the assessment day my interest shifted towards my future classmates. I clearly remember that looking at the applicants who arrived with me, I felt like “wow, I really want to study with these guys”.

It was curious to see how many different and unusual points of view we had on professional and casual situations. The thing is, when you study Masters or start to work, most of your friends and colleagues belong to more or less same industry or even function. In my case, most of my friends are FMCG white-collars. So try to imagine how unusual it was to meet people with backgrounds in data-science, engineering, private-equity, insurance and IB as well as to tackle business cases with them. Moreover, I was very impressed how our team managed to keep a collaborative spirit even when we had different opinions about the business cases and were under tough time pressure.

I expect that IMD will intentionally split our class into work groups containing the least compatible types of students. For example, putting together practical and cold-minded “analysts” with spontaneous and energetic “entertainers”.  Students who have already experienced it say that this approach forges the leadership and team-work skills, especially when the team is under high workload and tough time-pressure. On the other hand, they noted that it takes quite a bit of effort to build a healthy and efficient atmosphere in a team, especially in the very beginning. It will be extremely interesting to see how we are going to transform: how we will learn to disagree and look for compromise, calibrate our sense of humor and style of working in a team.

 I am sure that it is not the last surprising exercise for us. We will definitely learn a lot, even about ourselves, this year and I look forward for this new great experience.

IMD class, I can’t wait to meet all of you!

 

Maksim

 

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

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New post 04 Jan 2018, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: A family choice
Welcome to 2018! With the start of this new year, we begin to welcome this year’s MBA participants as they arrive on campus to collect keys for their new homes, settle their families, meet insurance advisors, set up bank accounts, and generally start preparing for the year ahead! As of Monday, the program will begin, but for now, here is our first guest entry of the year, from MBA 2018 Kshitij Verma:

For someone with a family, making a choice between the best of schools is more than just rankings, jobs and location. Leaving a well-settled, comfortable life to look beyond the apparent horizons is challenging. However it is much more demanding for the partners and young children, as they leave behind the place they’ve always known as home. How does one then make a choice which is as rewarding for the loved ones, as for oneself?

The foremost issue one faces is with the documentation, visa and settling in. For those with kids, enrolment in playschools and knowing who’s the best doctor around is the next question! In the past few months of program preparation, we have found that IMD has not just taken care of such issues in a very structured manner, but has proactively informed us of numerous other things we never thought of. This has made the entire process extremely smooth and effortless. Most of our concerns are addressed even before landing in Switzerland, and there is nothing left to chance. It shows the amount of effort put in by the team at IMD, to ensure personalised solutions for each of us! Knowing that someone is connected to and is with your family is priceless for an MBA who is expected to remain focused throughout the year.

The most important part is to integrate the partners into the schools curriculum, as if it were their own. IMD has done extremely well on this front as well, and it is not a surprise that my wife’s calendar for first few weeks seems to be full! From Yoga classes, to language lessons, to electives of ones choice – there is no end to the partners’ schedule, thanks to IMD’s efforts. The best part is that I never knew about the family’s plans till I started talking about mine – turns out they are busier than us!

IMD appears to be more than just the best general management program in the world. It looks like they have done a great job in helping create a home in a new country, even without meeting us in person yet. Who says Switzerland is going to be cold – we already find it to be a warm, comfortable and welcoming place!

Kshitij

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

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New post 05 Jan 2018, 11:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Setting Goals
I recently listened to Ray Dalio’s Principles and I liked it a lot. Mostly because Ray Dalio’s description of himself in his 20s and 30s is quite similar to many of us. From there to founding and managing Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge funds is quite a feat. And he did that by employing a concrete set of principles and steps to success. I’m hoping to experiment with these principles at the year long and intensive MBA program

I’m Parth Reddy, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. I majored in Geology and got to apply my geology skills at Chirag, an NGO in the Himalayas when I was looking at solving  how to replenish the depleted natural springs in the region. But I got to meet my real interest- algorithms, data and technology at Schlumberger, where I worked for 7 years before the MBA bug got me. After  transitioning to leading projects and developing business at Schlumberger, I really wanted to get a generalist view of how to run a business and excel at the soft side of leadership. Hence the MBA.  And for now, I will be the voice on the blog you will hear most often. You will get a steady update on what’s happening at the MBA program through me.

Ray Dalio describes a 5 step process to getting anything done:

1)      Set Goals

2)      Identify and don’t tolerate problems

3)      Diagnose the problems to root causes

4)      Design a plan for eliminating those problems

5)      Do what is set out in the plan

Not everyone is good at all of the above. Some of us are good at setting goals or identifying and diagnosing problems and some of us are good at getting the plan done. Over the course of the year, I want to figure out my strengths and weaknesses in the 5 step process and then formulate a plan to overcome the weaknesses and capitalize on my strengths.

As the program is about to begin, we can already feel the intensity creeping up on us. My bank relationship manager seemed to know more than me when he wished me luck for a very intensive year ahead. But before everything starts, I’d like to do the first step in Ray Dalio’s process and that is: set some concrete goals for myself. One of them is the consistent reflection and introspection that comes with journaling and writing regular blog posts. After all the GMAT prep, planning, applications and leaving behind the old me, the first day of the MBA starts in a couple of days. Hoping for a year driven by principles and consistency.

Featured above is a picture of my favorite spot in the city by the lake. Hopefully I can do a time-lapse video of this spot for the entire year.

Parth

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

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New post 06 Jan 2018, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Pulling the plug
As the end of 2017 approached, candidates prepared to leave one life to start a new journey with us. Here are the thoughts of Hassan Abdel Fattah, who is joining us this year.

It’s a cold, snowy Thursday night in Canada as a I take my final drive home. I’m coming back from an emotional last day of work where I said goodbye to colleagues who became my friends and family for the past couple of years. I’ve spent the last 2 months at work navigating some final project work, while scheduling calls with mentors and co-workers to share news of my next chapter in life and ask for some advice as I prepare to plunge into the unknown. I’m about to move 7000 km across the Atlantic Ocean for a new adventure, one where I will probably be challenged on a completely different level than what I’m normally comfortable with. I will have to start looking inwards a little more, and challenging my own status quo as I work with 89 intriguing students from around the world who are looking for their own pivot in their own quest for self-betterment. My mind treads carefully, while my heart skips a beat with excitement.

Historically whenever I was ready for a change (aka pivot) in my life, I always looked for the uncomfortable next step. To me, uncomfortable means turning the table upside down, pulling the plug or doing a 180 to change things up and re-energize myself. But I never look to get uncomfortable when I’m down or failing. I look for patterns of sustained success, stable relationships, and overall well-being, and then decide to get uncomfortable. Patterns of stability are my definition of a comfort zone, and when I land in my comfort zone I know it’s time to leave. It’s my way of challenging and calibrating myself.

When I arrived in Lausanne 4 months ago for my assessment day at IMD, I walked through streets where I couldn’t quite speak the local language. I met with other candidates who had experience in fields so far away from my area of expertise. I met with faculty and staff who were assessing me and judging me. I was introduced to an MBA program that is so unique and especially intriguing. I felt so very uncomfortable. And I knew I was home for my next chapter in life.

As I look forward to the year ahead, I am excited to connect with my classmates to collectively discover a lot more about ourselves. We are all taking a leap of faith and getting out of our comfort zone to try and eventually make a lasting impact on society. We have slightly different goals and dreams, but we share a common theme. We are disruptors who are going to make the world a better place.

Hassan

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Dean’s Welcome to the IMD MBA Class of 2018  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Jan 2018, 07:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Dean’s Welcome to the IMD MBA Class of 2018
It was a busy holiday season for the class of IMD MBA 2018. Relocating is not a walk in the park.  I too had a move, but only from one building to the next – all expertly accomplished by our office service team. There was one, self-imposed, glitch though. I had a few days to sort everything out before IMD closed for the holidays. I’d ignored IT’s helpful alerts that my password was about to expire – and foolishly I put it on the ‘long list’, believing I’d get to it eventually. I finished most of my to-do’s just as IMD closed for the holiday break on Friday evening December 22nd. At some point the following day, with the Christmas lights up at home (better late than never), attempts to login to my IMD account (and everything linked to it) failed, the deadline had come and gone at midnight. For me it was to be an unscheduled, but in retrospect a very welcome, break because 2018 is going to be a busy year.

Some months back, I accepted IMD President Jean-François Manzoni’s invitation to direct the MBA program from 2018. It was an unusual opportunity. Unusual because this will be my second time in the role, and an opportunity because we know well the positive impact that the program has on the lives of the participants and those they subsequently work with and inspire. Working closely with me will be Knut Haanaes, a really great strategy professor who, prior to joining IMD, led BCG’s Global Strategy Practice.

This morning the MBA office, who have been hard at work since January 3rd finalising everything for the weeks ahead, welcomed the MBA class of 2018 comprising participants from 41 countries. The class has already begun what I’m sure will be an enriching, transformative and fun year. They’ll make new friends, form lifelong relationships, found businesses and discover new interests. They’ll meet and develop their networks to include many of the 9,000 executives we’ll welcome to IMD campuses in Lausanne and Singapore in 2018, and many of the tens of thousands of alumni we engage with globally.  Ralf Boscheck, during his tenure as Dean, was right when he urged us all to leverage this amazing global network and put the IMD MBA at its centre.

The class of 2018 will have a busy year. We’re all dedicated to their success. Let’s wish them well.

Seán

Seán Meehan, MBA Program Dean

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Welcome to the IMD MBA Class of 2018  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Welcome to the IMD MBA Class of 2018
It was a busy holiday season for the class of IMD MBA 2018. Relocating is not a walk in the park.

Today’s guest entry is by Seán Meehan, Dean IMD MBA.

I too had a move, but only from one building to the next – all expertly accomplished by our office service team. There was one, self-imposed, glitch though. I had a few days to sort everything out before IMD closed for the holidays. I’d ignored IT’s helpful alerts that my password was about to expire – and foolishly I put it on the ‘long list’, believing I’d get to it eventually. I finished most of my to-do’s just as IMD closed for the holiday break on Friday evening December 22nd. At some point the following day, with the Christmas lights up at home (better late than never), attempts to login to my IMD account (and everything linked to it) failed, the deadline had come and gone at midnight. For me it was to be an unscheduled, but in retrospect a very welcome, break because 2018 is going to be a busy year.

Some months back, I accepted IMD President Jean-François Manzoni’s invitation to direct the MBA program from 2018. It was an unusual opportunity. Unusual because this will be my second time in the role, and an opportunity because we know well the positive impact that the program has on the lives of the participants and those they subsequently work with and inspire. Working closely with me will be Knut Haanaes, a really great strategy professor who, prior to joining IMD, led BCG’s Global Strategy Practice.

This morning the MBA office, who have been hard at work since January 3rd finalising everything for the weeks ahead, welcomed the MBA class of 2018 comprising participants from 41 countries. The class has already begun what I’m sure will be an enriching, transformative and fun year. They’ll make new friends, form lifelong relationships, found businesses and discover new interests. They’ll meet and develop their networks to include many of the 9,000 executives we’ll welcome to IMD campuses in Lausanne and Singapore in 2018, and many of the tens of thousands of alumni we engage with globally.  Ralf Boscheck, during his tenure as Dean, was right when he urged us all to leverage this amazing global network and put the IMD MBA at its centre.

The class of 2018 will have a busy year. We’re all dedicated to their success. Let’s wish them well.

Seán

Seán Meehan, MBA Program Dean

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Opening day photo blog  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Jan 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Opening day photo blog
Yesterday was a day of introductions, registration and welcome for the MBA class of 2018.

Registration and Welcome Breakfast

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Introduction from the Program Dean, Seán Meehan, and first ‘buzz groups’

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We hope everyone settles in quickly and has a great start to the program!

Gyopi

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New Beginnings  [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2018, 06:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: New Beginnings
I’m Neharika Agarwal, a graduate of BITS Pilani, India, holding an CFA & FRM charter. I have worked with Morgan Stanley Capital International for seven years in the quantitative equity research team and later with Absolutdata in marketing analytics domain. An MBA will help me realise the goal of applying my skillset at a leadership level by filling the gaps in my armour.

As one of the official bloggers, I will share my experiences during the MBA on a regular basis. The following lines summarize my journey so far:

Keeping an open mind is quite a desirable state…

A thought process that all leaders I met, advocate…

Happens to be a key mantra shared by our new MBA dean…

“Let’s see” is what he suggests us to believe…

A similar spirit bit me a couple of years ago…

Driven by neophilia or just a willingness to explore…

Landed in Delhi, moving from finance to analytics…

Learning everyday something new, whether industry or statistics…

I loathed the city at the outset for all it represented…

A new city, a new job & no friends, leaving me a tad disoriented…

Against popular advice, I decided to give the city a chance…

And voila! It embraced me with a warm heart and outstretched arms…

A stroke of luck again provided a life altering opportunity…

Accepted by IMD, I was put in a very distinguished community…

Along with change in ‘dateyear’, New year gave me a fresh start…

A chance to press a reset button & reflect on what has driven me so far…

90 already connected by technology came together from different parts…

Camaraderie in the group defied all laws of time and far…

Trips to Ikea, even buying groceries or forging friendships through the week’s course…

Eliminating all traces of homesickness, anxiety or any other such source…

Despite strains of relocation, elation trumped exhaustion in the last few days…

A peek into the what’s in store reaffirmed that alums had already appraised…

Day one, seeing the whole class together suddenly made it so real…

A glance at my seat in the auditorium almost brought a tear…

A transformative experience they say, IMD changes almost one’s third layer of skin…

Now a chance for me to pursue my passion & discover myself without any din…

11 months: a new journey, a new horizon, a new romance I seek…

I already can’t wait to meet a braver, stronger and a more mature version of me…

 

-Neharika

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Signal and Noise  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2018, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Signal and Noise
The first week at the program has been hectic.  First we had to get all of the arrival requirements out of the way. And then we had the MBA introductions and welcome lunches, some coursework in the form of business analytics, opening dinner and visits to CERN and EPFL and finally the Chamonix trip. All in 6 days. And true to IMD’s reputation we didn’t get much sleep in these 6 days. We were either fighting it out till the early ams in the dungeons with the analytics assignments or sacrificing sleep to bond with our fellow classmates on the way to Chamonix. I finally had the answer to a burning question- Why so many coffee machines in the campus?

In the middle of the week, we had a frank discussion on the outcomes of the program and what is expected of an individual graduating from the program. In other words, for me to look at how much the program has improved me by December, I will have to measure myself based on certain criteria before and after the program. This took me back to one of the standard practices in my previous job. Our job was to process raw seismic data to a final version that could represent an accurate image of the hydrocarbon reservoir that’s been evaluated. In every step along this process, one of the parameters that measures the improvement in the data is called signal to noise ratio. The idea is pretty simple, if there is a perceivable increase in the ratio then the data quality has improved from step A to B. Signal defined as something correlating throughout the data set and noise as something random in the dataset.

Having had the discussion on the expectation from an individual graduating out of the program and brainstorming it further with my classmates, a few things become quite apparent about which aspects are important in an individual :

1)      Business knowledge and skills

2)      Interpersonal relationship

3)      Inherent integrity

Some of us are absolutely brilliant in all three dimensions and some of us are just starting to realize where we need improvement. But one thing is extremely clear. In all three aspects, identifying and separating signal to noise is the key. Take for example, interpersonal relationships. Having superficial relationships would be noise and having deep meaningful conversations would be the signal in this instance. Proactively strengthening deep meaningful relationships would constitute an improvement and would be great training for a long career in business and working with strong personalities.

I hope each one of us is able to separate and strengthen the signal from noise in their dimensions of improvement by the end of the year. Looking ahead, I’m very excited to start the leadership module and immerse myself in the case studies on strategy and economics. More importantly, I’m eager to improve every lecture, every assignment and every week in this journey.

Featured image from a artistic reinterpretation of the Olympic logo in the Olympic Museum, Lausanne

Parth Reddy

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3, 2, 1, go!  [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2018, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: 3, 2, 1, go!
My name is Martina Skodova and I come from the Czech Republic. I lived or studied in London, Vancouver and Munich and travelled 19 countries (so far). After more than six years of working experience in business development in financial services industry, I come to IMD to reinforce leadership, to explore new roles and industries and to nurture my entrepreneurship. Along with Neharika and Parth, I will be posting insights on the IMD MBA journey in 2018.

So here we are 2018 IMD MBA, in a beautiful Lausanne at Lac Léman. We set off for our journey and have the first week behind us. It was five days full off so much new information and experience, first lows and highs, uplifting moments and enriching discussions that I have a feeling, we have been here already for a month. Here are my first thoughts, one of many in this blog series:

After the jump-start course of business analytics, which reaffirmed the importance of analytical tools to make faster decisions in digital economy, we visited one of the Lausanne’s landmarks, the Olympic museum. Image

While learning about the history of Olympic games, inspecting the 3D models of Olympics stadiums, torches and opening ceremony costumes, it was one of the first of many opportunities to indulge in discussions with my cohorts and learn more about them and their cultures. We are coming from 43 countries and most us lived outside their home country for couple of years (I am going to count the final number, I promise!). Strolling through the museum, I was pondering about the parallel between the IMD MBA and the Olympic Games. We are certainly here not to combat, although we are going to challenge each other in the upcoming business cases, team presentations and tests. Still, we will leverage the strengths of our group, the broad span of skills and industry experience and the diverse personality profiles. The small size of the class caters for it. While working with each other, we will celebrate the Olympic values – Friendship, Respect, Excellence, Determination, Inspiration, Courage and Equality.

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The look at the Vancouver Olympics torch  surfaced memories on cheering for Czech national hockey team in 2010 Olympic matches with Sweden and Finland; and the amazing life-changing 9 months I spent in Canada afterwards. I am certain that 2018 will be a similar milestone experience, hence more intense and mature, considering the advanced phase on our life axis.

Gathering for a dinner in the museum with faculty and staff, we were warmly welcomed by IMD president, Jean-Francois Manzoni, and the Dean IMD MBA, Seán Meehan who shared their daily life experience with transformational leadership and encouraged us to be as open-minded, curious and explorative as possible. I say thank you for the great evening! In today’s late afternoon run, I passed by the Olympic flame. It blazed merrily. Same as the hearts of the 90 cohorts who will gather for their second week on Monday at 8 am in the Lorange auditorium.

 

 

 
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Congratulations to the winners of the Business Analytics assignment!  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2018, 12:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Congratulations to the winners of the Business Analytics assignment!
After a gruelling late evening (early morning!) in week 1 and presentations the next morning, Group 15 (left to right Ignacio, Piyush, Sara, Fanny, Rafael and Mathieu) emerged victorious! And here they are celebrating with a glass of fine bubbly!
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Olympic Museum Visit and Faculty Dinner  [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2018, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Olympic Museum Visit and Faculty Dinner
Kicking off the first social event of the year with a visit to the Olympic Museum followed by a dinner with the faculty members!
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CERN: Beyond physics  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Jan 2018, 06:01
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: CERN: Beyond physics
As the first busy week of the programme drew to its close, we left the IMD campus to learn more about two of our most distinguished neighbours in the Geneva area ecosystem, EPFL and CERN. Despite the accumulated sleep deprivation of some of us, the whole class sat peacefully in two buses on Friday morning 6:30am, heading to explore more about biotechnologies and particle collisions. As my cohort Joyce will write on her experience with EPFL in a separate post, I am going to share my insight on the visit of CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, home of the Large Hadron Collider. Prior to I do so, I have one testimony to make – coming from economics/social science background, I have never been particularly interested in physics, let alone the particle physics. Yet the three and half hours spent at the centre and the on-site tour genuinely raised my curiosity and at the end of the visit, not only me, but the whole group bombarded our guide with various questions about accelerators, colliders and applications of the research.Image

 

The visit started with general introduction to activities of CERN. We learnt about its central mission, which is conducting probing and research on fundamental particles of matter to increase our understanding on origins of universe, and about the major participants of the research. In the second part of the presentation, the broader ambition of CERN was outlined to us. CERN was instituted to bring together and train scientists from all over the world to develop new technologies for accelerators and cater for technology and know-how transfer. For the purpose of the latter, the Ideasquare was established – a test bed for new ideas and concepts that may have a beneficial impact on a society. Given the entrepreneurial mindset of most us and the close link between idea incubators and start-ups, many questions had been raised related to success factors of prototype development, consumer testing and evaluation of business potential.

During the following tours of the facilities, knowledgeable guides explained us the technical part of fragmenting of the particles, various stages of accelerating up to the speed of light and the final colliding. We had the opportunity to see the actual technical equipment of Ion Rings and Synchrocytrons and on showcase models understand the principles of beam direction.

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Another part of the visit led us to the premises of CERN’s data center which, with capacity around 200 Peta Byte, is one of the biggest in the world. Among the exhibits, a disc platter in the size of a tire, captured my attention. Back in 1974, this platter was able to store 10MB of data, an insignificant fragment of what we now carry in our pockets.

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Discussion with my colleague brought me to pondering, why do we invest enormous amounts of money in building of such facilities as CERN and run millions of experiments over and over again; is it curiosity, hunger for research fame, demonstration of science? We came to conclusion that it is our endeavor as humans to learn more about our world, about us. Here at IMD we are also in a testing lab. We came to push ourselves out of the comfort zone, to experiment, to discover unknown about ourselves. All this in an environment of high diversity and various levels of affinity to such experimenting.  The introduction session to leadership yesterday confirmed the importance of such undertakings. If we know and understand ourselves, we can better understand others. And ultimately become better leaders. I am profoundly looking forward to being one of the guinea pigs, getting frank feedback, coaching and psychoanalysis; I am looking forward collide and accelerate, collide and accelerate and again and again. Because these IMD experiments deliver certain result – a life-time enrichment.

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CERN: Beyond physics &nbs [#permalink] 16 Jan 2018, 06:01

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