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Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018!

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Joined: 11 Jan 2017
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Location: Australia
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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 01:47
neharika_p wrote:
spa84 wrote:
neharika_p wrote:
Got an invite for the assessment day last night! Would love to get in touch with other invitees.

Congratulations! When are you going?


Thanks :) :)

The date is set for 21st March. If you happen to know other candidates, please introduce me to them.

Hi got the call today for 21st march but am thinking between 21st and 6th may in singapore at the moment.

Sent from my SM-N910G using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 01:54
[/quote]
Hi got the call today for 21st march but am thinking between 21st and 6th may in singapore at the moment.

Sent from my SM-N910G using GMAT Club Forum mobile app[/quote]

Congrats! :) I wasn't told about the option for Singapore. Anyways, I will still prefer 21st. Let me know if you plan for 21st - will be great to connect and I will be happy to help with my experience if you decide Singapore.

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 01:57
Hey thanks and congrats to you too. Actually am a reapplicant and was interviewed last year. It was amazing experiencing assessment day last year in lausanne.

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 02:39
wellwell wrote:
Hey thanks and congrats to you too. Actually am a reapplicant and was interviewed last year. It was amazing experiencing assessment day last year in lausanne.


Thanks :) We have formed a whatsapp group of candidates invited on 21st to get to know each other. Let me know if you are interested in joining.

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 03:38
neharika_p wrote:
wellwell wrote:
Hey thanks and congrats to you too. Actually am a reapplicant and was interviewed last year. It was amazing experiencing assessment day last year in lausanne.


Thanks :) We have formed a whatsapp group of candidates invited on 21st to get to know each other. Let me know if you are interested in joining.

Sure

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 03:43
wellwell wrote:
neharika_p wrote:
wellwell wrote:
Hey thanks and congrats to you too. Actually am a reapplicant and was interviewed last year. It was amazing experiencing assessment day last year in lausanne.


Thanks :) We have formed a whatsapp group of candidates invited on 21st to get to know each other. Let me know if you are interested in joining.

Sure

Sent from my SM-N910G using GMAT Club Forum mobile app


Can you provide the number at which you are available on Whatsapp?


Sent from my iPhone using GMAT Club Forum mobile app

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Location: Australia
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WE: Consulting (Consulting)
Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 22 Feb 2017, 04:04
Just sent you privately in a message

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2017, 15:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Reflections after first month
It has been a little over one month for all of us here in IMD. It certainly feels longer than that to be honest. As Mo mentioned in his earlier post, classes have begun for few major courses – Finance, Operations & supply chain, Economics, Industry analysis, Accounting, Leadership, Entrepreneurship and finally Marketing. For someone like me with a very silo-ed work experience, learning all these concepts has been eye-opening. It is a cliché, but I only wish i had more than 24 hours in a day!

As far as projects, our industry analysis project and startup projects have also begun. You may have read a series of posts on this blog from classmates on their respective startup projects. All in, we have some exhilarating startups this year. I am working for an innovative FinTech startup based in Zürich. We visited their office in Zurich and learned about their company few weeks ago. We are now working non-stop on delivering actionable value to the startup. Given my experience in financial services industry, the exposure to the booming FinTech space is all I wanted in the early stage of the MBA.

We are also working on the other big project of the season – industry analysis. My team got “Automation” as the industry. Such a vast topic! watch this space for more updates on our industry analysis and predictions for the future:)

I think the readers of the blog would like to know that we have also begun working on career exercises. We had “100 jobs exercise” facilitated by an IMD alumni. We found the exercise to be a great starting point if you are exploring what your next move should be. I wont say anymore and spoil the fun for the next year students. The takeaway is, IMD has gotten us working on our career as early as February!

Last week in particular was all about soft skills development. We had Mr.Porot spending a day with us sharing tips and tricks on everything from cover letter to CVs to salary negotiation. For the uninitiated, Mr.Porot is one of Europe’s best career consultants. We also had sessions on handling difficult meetings and presentation skills. We had a rather interesting session on story-boarding. All in, it has been an action packed month!

Signing off,

Sath

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 28 Feb 2017, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The Bee Team
Today’s guest entry is written by Manu Gupta, who is part of the BeeHelpful startup team. Other members of his team are: Sophie Auchapt, Mads Ring Damgaard, Giovanni Gazzale, Xiaomei Gu and Schuyler Weiss.

Imagine a common breakfast – an English muffin with jam, fruits on the side, almonds as a snack, and a coffee to get a quick jolt for the day. Now imagine that not only could you not have this breakfast, but also, that it no longer existed. The production of these food items, and many others, all rely on the hardworking, but threatened, population of bees. For thousands of years bees have played a critical role in the world’s ecosystem, pollinating the world’s crops and flowers. These efforts have provided a base for the world’s species to have a sustainable food source and for the ecosystem to remain in balance. Albert Einstein put it simply, “If the Bee Disappeared Off the Face of the Earth, Man Would Only Have Four Years Left To Live.”

You may be asking yourself, why is this blog post about bees and not about IMD MBA? Shouldn’t this blog cover topics like finance, industrial analysis, accounting, marketing, entrepreneurship, operations, and/or leadership? Yes, and No.

As part of IMD’s entrepreneurship stream we are split up into groups of six and paired with a real life startup here in Switzerland. Our group was lucky enough to be paired with “BeeHelpful”, a startup that is developing a hive designed to save the declining bee population. Some may question how the skills we are learning at IMD may apply to a startup like ours. How does a discounted cash flow analysis, break even analysis, or segment analysis factor in to making beehives and savings bees? The answer – a lot. BeeHelpful faces many problems common among startups and the tools and learnings provided by IMD have be instrumental in addressing each problem in a structured way. The combination of the IMD learnings and the BeeHelpful employees’ engineering capabilities have laid the groundwork for a strong product introduction.

Over the past ten years the BeeHelpful co-founders have researched, developed, and refined their flagship product. The result – an innovative beehive that drastically decreases the mortality rate of bees. And though the bee crisis has been treated as a niche concern, increasing food prices and supply concerns are starting to take shape. Our work on this project will help BeeHelpful effectively position itself in the market so that mankind can pre-empt these shocks.

We call ourselves “The BeEffective Team” and we are helping a socially conscious startup transform itself into a sustainable, revolutionary business. Although there is an awareness of the problem, little is being done about it. We are doing something about it and we believe our work has the ability to change the world. We want to thank IMD for making this opportunity possible and the BeeHelpful team for dedicating themselves to such an important cause.

Until soon,

The Bee Team

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 07 Mar 2017, 16:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Shadows, apologies and learnings
“Go meet your shadow” is what the former biologist turned Jungian psychoanalyst tells me on the way out.

I reply with a short “Again, thank you for your time. Au revoir Margareta.” before shaking the lady’s hand and exiting the Mærsk Mc-Kinney Møller Center on IMD’s campus.

Every IMD MBA student can – for a good part of the program – benefit from a personal coach and analyst to gain insights into what it is that makes him or her tick. This offering is part of the Personal Development Elective and plays a central role in the leadership stream.

I like the idea of the shadow – an image of everything a subject refuses to acknowledge about him- or herself, containing self-denied qualities and impulses – and the belief that the less it is embodied in an individual’s conscious life, the blacker and denser it is.

However, the very process of opening to an analyst and going through the layers of my inner workings is something that I am still not very fond of. Maybe that does say something about me, or maybe it simply says something about the culture and environment I grew up in and was shaped by. Either way, I am willing to take that red pill and go down the rabbit hole for a little longer (the cinematic reference in that sentence will most likely have been spotted by millennial readers).

Those introspective journeys remain a rarity though. The amount of time that went into reading, writing, analysing, preparing and presenting during the entire month of February and the fact that we will continue to be swamped with work all the way to Easter makes any attempt at procrastination futile. Time for self-reflection is a luxury these days, which I think is a pity. As a matter of fact, this post is actually overdue and the only reason I have opted to carve out some time for it now is because I have decided to choose this battle instead of the other ones revolving around Finance, the start-up project and their likes. I won’t even mention the countless books I brought with me from Zurich and was looking forward to delving into, but will most likely not even look at over the coming weeks. The false feeling of having entered a “rat-race” can sometimes resurge and although I believe that it is often much easier to lie about the state of one’s heart than we imagine, I find it relatively easy to dispel those feelings.

It is true that due to their previous studies and professional experiences, some of us are familiar with certain contents of the program. In fact, that is one of the benefits of studying here since a lot of knowledge can be gained through those participants. But so far, what I found out for myself is that I probably wouldn’t have been able to understand certain things without coming here and that this knowledge alone will hopefully serve me well beyond the program.

I have realised that growing up between two cultures and having worked in various places around the globe is not a vaccine against cultural blunders and I have apologised twice during the past two weeks for causing pain to people I consider myself very fortunate to study with.

I have come to understand how important it is to let go of wanting to control it all, since there is only so much one can accomplish over an entire day packed with personal and team deliverables. I must concede: the German in me finds this one very hard to implement.

I believe I have grown slightly better at putting more distance between myself and all the stuff that’s flying around us during the program, somehow insulating myself a bit better than I was able to during the previous years.

Despite the shortage of time, I have found ways and means to maintain regular contact with parents, siblings and close friends; something I wasn’t able to accomplish that well while working.

And although all this feels pretty new to me, I am also aware that some of the previous MBA batches most likely went through similar experiences. If that is indeed the case, I will hereby put the blame on my relative youth and finish by quoting one of my favourite authors:

“Young people get the foolish idea that what is new for them must be new for everybody else too. No matter how unconventional they get, they’re just repeating what others before them have done.” – Yukio Mishima, Runaway Horses

Lucien

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New post 13 Mar 2017, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: A trip back to the IMD cocoon
Today’s guest entry welcomes back our Brazilian 2006 class blogger, Rafael Altivini.

When I boarded the train to Lausanne on March 3rd, I made sure I got a left side window seat, facing opposite the train’s riding direction. That’s how you get the most spectacular views of Lake Geneva, the vineyards and the alps as the train comes out of the last tunnel just before reaching Lausanne main station. This has been part of my sort of ritual over the last ten years every time I get a chance to go back to IMD. The ritual continues like this: right after leaving the station I walk down “avenue William Fraise”, make a quick stop (with a sigh) at number 6, find the window of our apartment on the third floor, try to visualize the inside of our flat, and then carry on walking down the hill, following the same streets on which I used to bike to IMD every morning in 2006. Finally, I reach “chemin de Bellerive”, walk by “Gymnase Auguste-Piccard” and enter the IMD MBA building through the Foyer, passing by the coffee machines and feeling again “the smell of the place”…

I think of IMD as a transition space connecting two distinct chapters of my life – and I believe this is how many other people actually resemble it. Many executives lie (mostly unconsciously) when they say they go to business school to “increase their business knowledge”, “gain more tools for their management toolbox” or “round-up their engineering background”. The truth is that people gravitate to business schools and MBA programs because they want to gain space to reflect, to explore (themselves), and to transition into something new, different, and hopefully better. In that sense, I believe business schools are like a sort of cocoon where a type of transformation takes place. Cocoons are safe holding spaces, full of nutrients to allow the metamorphosis to happen. As I walked into the MBA building on March 3rd, I felt again this sense of security, serenity and the presence of knowledge – elements that enabled my transition back in 2006.

Exploring transitions (more specifically career transitions) was the theme of the event I joined on March 3rd at IMD. I came to Lausanne that day as a member of an HR panel discussion with the 2017 MBA class. We’ve talked at length about finding a job, finding purpose, getting real. We’ve talked about how to get out of the cocoon in good style, with some nice wings and a paycheck if possible. But the discussion highlights (at least in my view) were the moments where we talked about learning from one’s own failures, when we explored a few “not-so-successful” stories and what one has learned out of them. It was perhaps the protected IMD cocoon that allowed us to go there, to touch some taboos in a mature and constructive manner. It made me think of the power of vulnerability (you’ve got to see that famous Brené Brown video if you haven’t yet seen it) and how it shapes our career decisions over the years.

As I left the IMD cocoon that evening and took the metro back to the train station, I reflected that my ritual coming back to IMD that morning had perhaps been a sort of re-entry process back to the transitional space, a step-by-step reconstruction of my state of mind ten years ago, and that my day at IMD actually turned out to be a small lapse-video version of what has happened since then.

As my train departed from Lausanne main station that evening, I had this grin in my face. So much energy in a few hours, so many memories reawaken. Brace yourselves, class of 2017, for your transformation has actually just begun.

Rafael

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New post 13 Mar 2017, 09:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Two Down..
Exactly two months ago we started this amazing journey into the MBA program and yet it feels like we have been here much longer. From learning to critically analyze a term sheet in the entrepreneurship class to preparing free cash flows in the finance class, we have learnt a lot. But more importantly, we have had a chance to put our learning into practice through the integrative exercise. Having heard all kinds of rumors about the rigor and the sleep deprivation we would be subjected to, I was not sure how it would all work out. And yet all of us survived!

As I reflect back on the 48 hours that I went by, I realize that the exercise is a mirage or a rabbit hole in some way. By the virtue of the fact that there is no right or wrong solution to the problem, the job lies in coming up with a solution that could potentially work and every route that you take has its own challenges. Thus I believe that the point of the exercise lies not in solving the problem, but building consensus as a team and working in ways to harmonize each member’s strength. And in the process we learn to filter and analyze lot of data, make realistic assumptions under uncertainty and solve problems on the way.

What has amazed me the most in these last days is how time crisis actually brought about the best in us as a team. And despite the stress, we managed to laugh a lot and sleep for a bit too! No excel and power points were lost and we managed to make it on time to present. We had huge gaps in the presentation to start with and the board’s feedback made us think critically, address the gaps in our analysis and question some of our assumptions. It can never be perfect, but all in all it ended well. If I were to sum up my leanings from this exercise, it would be the following:

Big picture to small: Brainstorming and putting every idea on the board as a team always helps brings all those problems to the fore which we never thought off individually. Needless to say this goes a long way in coming up with a better hypothesis.

Agility: Half way through solving the problem, one could realize that half the assumptions made were wrong and we need to be flexible enough to accept the same and adapt fast.

Presentation: Last but not the least is all that has been hypothesized and thought about has to reflect in the power point for the jury to see.

While most of this sounds like common sense, we can lose perspective under time constraints and stress and this exercise is a stark reminder of the same. All said and done, this experience unlike a few others is very unique to IMD. Some of us love it a lot and others not so much, yet it bonds us to other IMDers in a very special way. We can shout, fight or cry in the moment but in posterity we all smile Image

 

Team Hydromea after 36 hours ! From left to right :Mo Allam, Kemeng Jiao,Will Chiou, Thibault Acolas, Xi Zhang

 

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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

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 0

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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2017, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Two Down..
Exactly two months ago we started this amazing journey into the MBA program and yet it feels like we have been here much longer. From learning to critically analyze a term sheet in the entrepreneurship class to preparing free cash flows in the finance class, we have learnt a lot. But more importantly, we have had a chance to put our learning into practice through the integrative exercise. Having heard all kinds of rumors about the rigor and the sleep deprivation we would be subjected to, I was not sure how it would all work out. And yet all of us survived!

As I reflect back on the 48 hours that went by, I realize that the exercise is a mirage or a rabbit hole in some way. By the virtue of the fact that there is no right or wrong solution to the problem, the job lies in coming up with a solution that could potentially work and every route that you take has its own challenges. Thus I believe that the point of the exercise lies not in solving the problem, but building consensus as a team and working in ways to harmonize each member’s strength. And in the process we learn to filter and analyze lot of data, make realistic assumptions under uncertainty and solve problems on the way.

What has amazed me the most in these last days is how time crisis actually brought about the best in us as a team. And despite the stress, we managed to laugh a lot and sleep for a bit too! No excel and power points were lost and we managed to make it on time to present. We had huge gaps in the presentation to start with and the board’s feedback made us think critically, address the gaps in our analysis and question some of our assumptions. It can never be perfect, but all in all it ended well. If I were to sum up my leanings from this exercise, it would be the following:

Big picture to small: Brainstorming and putting every idea on the board as a team always helps bring all those problems to the fore which we never thought of individually. Needless to say this goes a long way in coming up with a better hypothesis.

Agility: Half way through solving the problem, one could realize that half the assumptions made were wrong and we need to be flexible enough to accept the same and adapt fast.

Presentation: Last but not the least is all that has been hypothesized and thought about has to reflect in the power point for the jury to see.

While most of this sounds like common sense, we can lose perspective under time constraints and stress and this exercise is a stark reminder of the same. All said and done, this experience unlike a few others is very unique to IMD. Some of us love it a lot and others not so much, yet it bonds us to other IMDers in a very special way. We can shout, fight or cry in the moment but in posterity we all smile Image

 

Team Hydromea after 36 hours ! From left to right :Mo Allam, Kemeng Jiao,Will Chiou, Thibault Acolas, Xi Zhang

 

Image

Image
Image
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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Re: Calling all IMD applicants: (Jan 2018 Entry) class of Dec 2018! [#permalink]

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New post 16 Mar 2017, 07:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: An IMD MBA alumnus, an MBA partner, and a father walk into a bar…
Today’s guest entry is written by our Australian/French alumnus from 2013, Marc Chauvet, recently back in Switzerland…

Have you heard the story of the IMD MBA alumnus, the MBA participant’s husband, and the father who walk into a bar? No? Unfortunately, I am not good at telling jokes, so allow me to skip to the punchline: all three turn out to be the same guy, me.Image

I recently set my suitcases back in Lausanne after an unbelievable three years in Seoul, and was asked to share my thoughts on the program as an alumni (class of 2013), as the husband of a participant of the current class, and as the father of a 2-year-old daughter. So let me cover each of these three very different perspectives in turn.

As an alumnus, I have to start by saying it’s great to be back in Lausanne. My year at IMD may have been an intense one, but it fostered great friendships, and being back in Europe offers me an opportunity to reconnect with many of my Europe-based classmates. With hindsight, I have come to realize that the small class size helped me understand and adapt to my Korean workplace: even shy introverts such as myself could not hide in a class of 90 people. IMD forced me to mindfully carve my own space within the community and understand its dynamics, which proved crucial during my three years in Korea. The best proof of the positive benefits of IMD’s MBA? My wife decided to apply a few years after I finished the program.

As a partner, my key message for future partners is: you will not be alone. Given the higher average age of IMD’s MBA participants [31], quite a few of them have significant others, who organize themselves during the year to support one another, share tips, and organize activities. IMD also provides a dedicated member of its staff to address our questions and facilitate our soft-landing in Switzerland. Allow me to dispel a common misconception: most partners have started a career of their own, in a variety of industries. For some, this year in Switzerland is a sabbatical year to learn French and discover Europe, while for others, it’s a leap to seize new opportunities. I recently discovered that a few years ago several partners founded a start-up during the year. Other partners choose to stay in their jobs, come to Lausanne occasionally, and stay connected with the class via the partner network. One way or another, you can count on other partners and IMD to support you over the year.

Here’s a bonus message for applicants: many options are available for significant others while you are at IMD. It’s really just a matter of involving them in the thinking process and in the decision making. A cornerstone of your year at IMD will be about leadership, and having these conversations with your partner is the first learning opportunity.

As for the parent’s perspective? Well, let’s not beat around the bush: the intensity of program is such that participants will see their children less than they want, and the other parent needs to be ready to be solely responsible for the children for the year. Once this is settled, Lausanne is a great place for raising children. It is a safe cosmopolitan city, its environment is preserved, and there are many playgrounds for kids. Given its slow pace and its gorgeous scenery, Lausanne feels like a city-sized village, in which you can let your child run around. Case in point: cars will stop at pedestrian crossings to let you cross a street. There are quite a few childcare options, though be aware that most of them are at market price (i.e. don’t expect them to be cheap).

To summarize it all, (alumnus view) IMD helped me be successful in my post-MBA role in Korea, (partner view) MBA partners are well cared for, and (father view) Lausanne is a great city to raise children.

And what about the joke I started in the introduction? Well it’s an IMD MBA alumnus, an MBA partner and a father walk into a bar. BAM! The guy wakes up 2 hours later with a concussion…

Still don’t get it? Well, I did warn you I’m not good with jokes!

Feel free to reach out to me (marc.chauvet@mba2013.imd.ch) if you have any questions about any of these dimensions of the IMD MBA experience… or if you can teach me joke-telling Image

Marc

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New post 20 Mar 2017, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Photo Blog – Nespresso Visit
On Friday 17th, the class split into several groups to enjoy a guided tour of the Nespresso factory in Orbes. Here’s one of the morning groups all kitted up in the obligatory tour accessories.

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and some more photos:

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New post 21 Mar 2017, 12:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Nearing the end of Chapter 1..
Sitting in my group down in the “dungeons” and looking around, I see 5 pairs of squinting eyes staring intently at laptop screens with eyebrows furrowed in concentration as we work on 3 projects/assignments concurrently. Up on the board in our group room, we have 6 looming project deadlines scribbled in big red font all of which seem to be within a few days of each other and the last of which reads “EXAMS!!!”. Between preparing for the final startup pitch, leadership essays, and group macroeconomics project, it’s hard to believe that the pace has continued to pick up even beyond what we thought was a crescendo with the integrative exercises. Even more incredible, is how our group dynamics have been forged by the fires of stress and pressure to make us orders of magnitudes more efficient than we were when we set out. If you would have asked me last month how much excess work capacity we have left, I would have answered “hardly any”. But somehow, we have evolved how we work to the point that we can do a full analysis of a case and prepare slides and a 15-minute presentation in an impossibly short amount of time.

I’ve worked on teams and in groups for most of my career but I don’t think I truly understood how powerful a group with seemingly nothing in common can become over the course of a couple of months. When you’re subjected to an impossibly large amount of work you learn how to optimally leverage each group member’s strengths to deliver as quickly as possible and become greater than the sum of your parts. I initially thought that 3 months was a long time to be in one group of 6 people but I now know that there are certain learnings that you don’t realize until you’ve felt the grind for some time. And so, as our time together as a group comes to an end in a couple of weeks, I do feel sad and know that I will miss working with my 5 compatriots very much. But I also think that what I’ve learned working with the group over the past few months will make me that much better in the next group.

On a more fun note, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the class trip to Chamonix and the Nespresso factory visit last week. As a way to blow off some steam from the pressure cooker, we all went up to Chamonix in France for a morning of snow-shoeing and a fantastic fondue lunch. Leaving the IMD bubble was definitely a welcome escape and some of us chose to stay an extra night in Chamonix for a beautiful sunny day of skiing the next day. This combined with a class trip to the Nespresso factory (see pictures in the previous post) last week to see the coffee pod making process allowed us to mentally disconnect for a couple of half-days and spend some time with our classmates doing something most of us have never done before.

Another few twists to break from the routine of classes every day come in the form of guest speakers that add a real-world element to the theories we’re learning. These guest speakers are often the subject of the cases we’re assigned to read before class and we’re often surprised to find them in class adding some colour with their experiences. We then often break out in groups and provide recommendations to them to help them solve real issues. These guest speakers range from senior executives at large multinational companies to entrepreneurs at smaller businesses. In all cases, I’ve been very impressed with this aspect of the program.

Now I have to sign off and chip away at those big red deadlines on our board!

Til next time!

Cheers,

Mo

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New post 23 Mar 2017, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Snow-shoeing in Chamonix
Here are a few photos from the day in Chamonix mentioned by Mo in his last blog.

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New post 23 Mar 2017, 04:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The ups and downs of entrepreneurship
Today’s guest entry is a follow up from Thibault on his startup experience with Hydromea (see his post from January)

Have you ever wondered what it was like to have your own business? I’m not talking about the glossy life as CEO of a listed company. I’m talking about the venture, the ad-venture, the part just after you have come up with a brilliant idea, the sort of idea that you think no one has thought of and everyone is trying to steal from you. This part is usually an emotional roller-coast for entrepreneurs, in which they go through the exhilaration of seeing unlimited opportunities in countless markets and at the same time wonder how come they still don’t generate stable cash flows although they have a PhD and a patent!

I was excited in February when I stepped in the “Hydromea-wagon”, ready to ride this startup to wherever we might go. Hydromea, remember? The underwater drone that delivers cutting-edge water quality measurements while operating in SWARM fleets. So how could we use our newly acquired knowledge to impact Hydromea? Net Present Value, Forecasted Income Statements, Capital Budgeting, Marketing 4Ps, 5Cs, Business Plan … and Market Segmentation. Where should we start? Where would you start? There were so many opportunities for Hydromea: for the military, oil & gas, environmental surveys, hydrography research institutes…

Know your customers is part of Marketing 101. Be customer-centric. We started by reaching out to contacts in the various segments : email, phone calls, conference calls, lunches, online-surveys,…You name it. We called our team strategy the “diamond shape approach” which involves first learning as much as possible about the AUV market, what the unmet needs and unrecognized needs were and gauge interest and fit for Hydromea and then synthesizing our findings to bring some focused deliverables to help the founders progress.

While contacting different potential customers, we realized that our IMD classmates, with such diverse backgrounds, would be very helpful starting points. Some had worked in environmental monitoring in the dredging industry, others had experience in the nuclear industry, which relies on high quality water treatments. As we assessed the attractiveness of each segment, we slowly arrived at a focused approach, using a data-driven process-of-elimination. For example, I knew from my experience in the Navy, that the Hydromea, with no sonar capabilities, would not appeal to the military.

This said, focusing on core segments also helped us discover other opportunities embedded in Hydromea. That’s when we explored OEM part such as the drone’s thruster had great potential : it could be used as a high-tech pump devise in the food industry. This is the venture-ride : from a underwater drone to a food pump!

Our journey with Hydromea has now entered the re-centering phase of the “diamond approach”: synthesizing our findings, building financial spreadsheets and preparing to pitch Hydromea to a select jury of VCs and professional investors in April!

I’d like to end this post with a thought about our IMD Startup team. The six of us have been working together for two months now, with Leadership Labs, Industry Analysis, Integrative Exercise and more! These quality (and quantity) hours spent together have brought us closer. Because IMD isn’t about the grades (let’s say that’s a given), it’s about building friendships now, acquiring good networks and a solid 1-year memory.

Last Saturday’s class trip to Chamonix, enjoying a heavy fondue together, was all about of this:)

Thibault

 

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New post 24 Mar 2017, 02:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Danish Design Awards Potential Finalist
Today’s guest entry is written by Patricia Nyberg, who is working with the startup moveART along with her team (from the left in the above photo): Carel Hoffman (South African),  Patricia Nyberg, (Finnish), Viktor Bisovetskyi (Ukrainian),  Louis Lozouet (Brazilian/French), Zehra Ali (American), and Baiyu Li (Chinese).



It’s Sunday morning. The alarm goes off. The sun is still not up and I wonder why I have to wake up so early. But once I remember that we’re going to Zürich to support our startup moveART at the Giardina garden expo, I immediately jump out of bed!

As has been explained in some previous blog posts, the MBA class was divided into 15 groups at the beginning of the programme and each group was assigned a start-up to work with until April as part of the entrepreneurship stream. Our group had the pleasure to be connected with moveART, a start-up that creates functional and sustainable sculptures for playgrounds and public spaces (moveonart.ch). The creator, entrepreneur and heart of the start-up is Norbert Roztocki, originally from Poland, currently living in Basel, Switzerland with his wife and two children.

The idea came about when his son was playing on a sculpture that he had made and he realized how excited and creative his son was, climbing on the sculpture that seemed to have no clear purpose. The products of moveART all stem from the same shape – the DNA structure. They offer a sustainable and ecological way to enliven, integrate, inspire and create a harmony between human beings and their surroundings by combining the key principles of art, functionality and safety. The key component of the sculptures is the wood they are made of. Accoya, as the wood is called, is the result of decades of research and development that has brought together a long-established, extensively proven wood modification technique and leading-edge patented technology – acetylation to create high-performance wood, ideal for outdoor use and challenging applications.

Since its foundation in 2015, moveART has won third place in the Swiss upstart challenge and fifth place in the Swiss innovation challenge. During our collaboration, we helped moveART apply for the Danish Design Awards and to our joy it got shortlisted as a potential finalist. We’re therefore eagerly awaiting the final results on the 24th of March.

Getting back to the exhibition in Zürich, Giardina is one of Europe’s leading indoor garden events. Each year, at the start of spring, the leading suppliers in the sector present new products, creative solutions and upcoming trends in garden design on an area of some 30,000 square meters. The objective with our visit was to conduct a customer survey and support moveART in promoting its products. This was a perfect opportunity for us to see how customers react to the products and understand their thoughts better. What made the journey even more exciting was the fact that moveART had won the Silver Giardina Award the previous day. The award is given to exhibitors that stand out and convince onlookers through the quality of their workmanship and the overall impression they make. This was good news for our customer survey as it further increased the number of visitors passing the stand.

The results of the survey confirmed our assumption that moveART products are indeed very fascinating for consumers and from what we could observe – kids really love them too! The challenge that remains is to channel this information to industry professionals like landscape architects and distributors who essentially suggest which products should be used in building public spaces and playgrounds. This is where our focus has been during the past two months and we look forward to present our findings and thoughts to the start-up in April!

moveART founder Norbert Roztocki, in the middle:

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New post 27 Mar 2017, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Beach inspiration
An applicant for the 2018 class is feeling inspired during their post-interview beach vacation! Let’s wish them luck!

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Suzy

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