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IMD Calling all applicants Class of 2015-16

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Director
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One, two, three - JUMP!  [#permalink]

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New post 24 Jan 2015, 07:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: One, two, three - JUMP!
Today marked the occasion of one of IMD's most treasured (but yet little known) traditions - the Polar Bear Jump!

Sure, all institutions have their quirks, but this one really made me feel like my classmates and I should be institutionalized...

The idea was, once our (thankfully rare) Saturday morning class had finished, we all popped downstairs, got changed into our swimmers and marched over to Lake Geneva in the 1 degree weather wearing our flip-flops.  Then proceeded to jump in to the lake.  Peer pressure is an amazing thing - certainly more than half of our classmates participated in this questionable tradition.  From my point of view, I was feeling a little sleepy after class - this definitely woke me up!  And there's nothing to bond you to a fellow classmate than standing in the freezing cold with baffled tourists watching you walking around in virtually nothing.  At least it only started to snow this afternoon!  Big thanks to everyone for the great spirit, and particularly to our support team of candidates and partners who took the sting out of the experience with some mulled wine afterwards.

Photos will be up shortly.

Otherwise, the academic schedule is hotting up (even if the weather definitely isn't), and next week heralds the arrival of the leadership segment of the course.  IMD is ranked number 1 for leadership - it's easy to see why - this course segment is intensive and bespoke.  The details are kept a closely guarded secret, but I'll share a few facts with you during the week.

Until then, I'm having another cup of tea to warm up again!

Nick.
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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Leadership  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Jan 2015, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Leadership
​Leadership is probably one of the most discussed business domains. I believe that there is a reason why there is a "lead" in the word, because it can be quite a heavy topic. It is something all of us feel that we know a little bit about, but are not yet quite able to define. Sometimes we feel that we only need leadership when we manage people or when our bosses boss us around. But is it really so?

The first step of being a leader is self-awareness. Do we really know ourselves? Are we aware of certain behaviors when we are in a group? Are we aware of what's happening in a group at both spoken and unspoken levels? To find it out, we had to carry on a group discussion while being observed by another group. We received feedback afterwards and the role was switched. It was very interesting and amazing to hear the feedback of something I had never thought of from the other group. For example, one of the "problems" of our group was that we all tried to be very nice to each other, and constantly avoided conflicts. As a result, the hidden frustration or negative energy could become one of the group "de-railers (reasons that keep the group apart)." By being aware of this dynamic, we could have the possibility to observe ourselves better in our next group discussion, and then actively learn from each other.

This week we will completely be immersed by the leadership topic, and I am sure more of the above exercises will come up. There will also be a surprise trip on Friday, which I am quite excited about. So tune in for more reports!

Stephanie
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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My comfort zone is a distant memory...  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Jan 2015, 08:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: My comfort zone is a distant memory...
Stephanie's blog on Monday introduced the Leadership stream of the MBA course - IMD is well known and well regarded for its Leadership initiative.  It turns out this is for a good reason.  I went on the Leadership experience earlier than Stephanie, and whilst the exact details of what we did have to remain a closely guarded secret (because it would spoil the surprise for next year!), what I can say is that my comfort zone is in the rear view mirror, and I'm speeding ever further into the unknown...

In a previous blog,  I explained that we had been put into study groups of six, and up until this week, we had been getting along quite nicely, with a feeling of harmony growing amongst the members.  That's in the rear view mirror too.  This week we have been pushed into uncomfortable and challenging physical and mental challenges.  What's the result?  For me, it's totally unexpected.  We've been forced to be uncomfortably honest with one another about our feelings about ourselves and each other, and the result of this is that we have had tears, tough words, and some uncomfortable truths.  Sounds awkward, right?  It was and it's left me feeling bruised and battered, but ultimately, this challenge has led me to feel a bond with my five team members like I've never experienced before, and now we are brushing ourselves off, and looking forward to the future as a closer unit.  The biggest surprise for me has been that the more I've felt emotionally invested in my team members, the easier it is to work with them, and the more effectively we are collaborating.  It's an important lesson that I'll look forward to using on my return to the workplace.

More practically, sleep has been limited this week, but today some friends from London came over for lunch, and it was great to check out an amazing lunch spot near the station in Lausanne - turns out there are hipsters in Switzerland - big surprise!  But of course, they are super-organised hipsters with an expensive menu - they are Swiss after all...

It's the start of the accounting modules tomorrow - I'm looking forward to demystifying the complex language of accounting, and also to the weekend - a lie-in beckons.

Stephanie is off to her leadership challenge tomorrow - she'll be sharing her experiences shortly - my advice to her is to pack some Kleenex - they might come in handy...

Nick.
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 mundane (but important) stuff  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2015, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The mundane (but important) stuff
​As I still need to wait for the "surprise trip" as part of the leadership experientials, I want to write something about the REAL life here in IMD. Before coming to the school, I had so many questions, such as how long is the lunch break, do we have weekends to rest, etc, but I didn't dare to ask anyone. I felt that it would make me sound stupid because I only cared about the mundane things instead of the academic stuff. I secretly hoped that I could read it somewhere on the internet to get a better understaning of what day was like, but couldn't find anything. So I have decided now to reveal the secrets of life in IMD and answer all the questions that have never been answered before.

8:00: We start our courses every day at this time. Yes I know it is early. So you better set your alarm clock correctly and be on time. Those who are late will need to wait outside the lecture hall. As you can see below, all the seats are assigned. It means that if you don't like your neighbours, you need to wait till the new seat order is arranged.

9:30: There are 1-2 breaks in the morning session for "input" and "output" as Ralf calls it.

12:00-13:30: We have 1.5 hour proper lunch time break to enjoy the nice food in the restaurant. It is also a good time to talk to different people in the class and exchange info. Sometimes I used the time to catch up with some readings or assignments if I knew I would be away on the weekend.

13:30: Afternoon class starts. It can get real challenging when you eat too much and start to feel the weight of your eyelids. But don't worry, there will be breaks when you can get some coffee or tea.

17:30: The class is finished. Generally speaking the classes finish quite on time.

Afterwards you can go home and do your work. Sometimes there are group projects to do and deliver, and you need to organize with your group when to meet. This week, for example, we have some evening classes due to the leadership experientials.

Regarding the weekends, there are indeed weekends, but sometimes there are courses on Saturday mornings. You are expected to do some readings or finish up your assignments. However depending on each individual's situation, you can organize the way that works the best for you. I have been home in Basel already once on the weekend, and I anticipated my work before I left Lausanne. In this way I could make sure I dedicated quality time to my family, but the trade-off was that I needed to sacrifice my sleeping hours a few nights before.

I hope you have a good understanding of our day. Let me know if you have any question.

Stephanie



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My seat

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Sometimes I like to arrive half an hour before the class starts to enjoy some quiet time reading.

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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Photos of week 2  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Jan 2015, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Photos of week 2
​A little late, but here are a few highlights of week 2:

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We warmed up with the YMCA

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Learnt that your competitors are always watching you...

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...and that every one and their dog are your consumers

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We were given a little light reading

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Threw ourselves into Lake Geneva...

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...and celebrated when we got out.

You can see more of our Polar Bear jump on YouTube, including a first person perspective of jumping into Lake Geneva (which is a balmy 7°C at this time of year)

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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'Without heart we would be mere machines'  [#permalink]

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New post 01 Feb 2015, 03:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: 'Without heart we would be mere machines'
'Without heart we would be mere machines'.  Sounds like an impressive quotation?  Actually, it's from a car commercial... Regardless, it illustrates the point that I'm thinking about today.  The more that I reflect about this week's leadership stream, the more I have begun to realise the importance of the individual's personal story in leadership.  How can you pretend to lead if you aren't willing to understand your team, and for them to understand you?  And how do you ​balance sharing your thoughts and personality against over-sharing?  There's no right answer, but I've certainly been giving some thoughts to it this week, as have all my peers as we emerge from the maelstrom of the leadership experiential.

Looking to the future, a mountain of work awaits for next week.  And unbelievably, today marks the first application deadline for IMD's 2016 class!  To any prospective students, I'd strongly encourage you to come and visit us at IMD if at all possible, and if not, feel free to contact one of the current students (our mini-profiles will be available online shortly).  We'll happily share our experiences of application with you, and it's incredibly important to try to understand the DNA of any prospective school - I gave up a great opportunity at another school because I felt the IMD culture was most suitable for me - and let's be honest, because I quite liked the idea of living next to Lake Geneva and eating the occasional fondue!

Yesterday marked my first Lausanne sushi experience - it was my best meal in Lausanne yet, and today I'm planning a run along the lake - I'm supposed to be running the Berlin Marathon later in the year - so a lot of training awaits, but at the moment it's snowing, so training might have to be relocated to the IMD gym!

Nick.
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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Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Feb 2015, 15:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate
Last week was an intensive week focused on leadership. The exciting trip to Evian finally arrived, and it was full of sweat and mud. I got up at 4:30 am just to make sure that I got to IMD on time. The bus left at 6:30am heading towards France in darkness. There was a big silence on the bus because most of us needed a nap before the big day started.

When we arrived, it started to snow and got real windy. The leadership coaches introduced us the "rules of the game" and we got all the "equipments" needed. Then we went straight to the battle field. It was not exaggerating, because each group was asked to do several tasks (and some of them were nearly impossible). I thought that we were all very intelligent, civilized, and controlled adults in our group. However, under stress and physical challenge, we started to show the "real" group dynamics when we were pushed to our limits. All of a sudden, our intellect and discipline didn't function anymore, not because we didn't have them. We didn't know yet how to work as a team and leverage our strengths. That's why everyone was trying to do something and nothing got done at the end.

After the full day experience, each group got to discuss what went well and what not. This moment of truth was painful but gave us the chance to grow and create trust among us. I learned especially that I needed to speak up and back up my ideas at crucial moment. By doing so, I will not only help the team to achieve the goal, but also give each other the chance to show her/his talents and strengths. As the poet Marianne Williamson writes, "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure...As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.​" I will keep these inspiring words during my IMD year with me.

Stephanie
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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Photos of week 3  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Photos of week 3
As my blogging colleagues mentioned, last week was spent outdoors in our groups being analysed by our leadership coaches. Here are a few photos of the experience:

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We went to the beach at Evian on the other side of Lake Geneva from Lausanne. Needless to say, there weren't any swimmers at this time of year. Only crazy MBA students...

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...who were wearing some delightful headgear

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Everywhere we went, we were followed by a video camera, to record our every move...

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...and by our coaches, who assessed our every move and our team dynamics.

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We stood around on planks of wood...

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...and held bits of rope.

We did a lot more too, but we wouldn't want to spoil the surprise for MBA students in following years. Our main tip to next year's MBA: bring warm socks!
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 time to work, a time to play  [#permalink]

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New post 05 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: A time to work, a time to play
The academic calendar is cranking into action this week with a vengeance, and most of my peers are struggling to find time for the mandatory readings.  The good news, however, is that we have (of course) managed to find time for one of our first social events, with a drinks party at IMD tomorrow night.  It will be a great opportunity to mix business with pleasure; we have a summary of the week from 6-9 tomorrow, followed by our party.  All work and no play might mean that us MBAs get more sleep - but who needs sleep?

I'm looking forward to the weekend (not just because it might bring the chance for a lie-in!) - I am heavily involved in the Finance cluster within the MBA class, and we are really keen to raise the profile of IMD amongst the Finance community.  Our first step is on Saturday, to explain careers in finance to our classmates who are interested in pursuing a career within the sector upon graduation, and the good news is that amongst us we have experienced investment bankers, corporate financiers, a corporate banker, a private equity professional - and me!  So it will be easy to provide good coverage of the subsectors within Finance, and we are planning high profile speakers to come and share their career stories with us during the course of the spring.  I'm sure the Finance Cluster will be a great success.  Another exciting prospect for the weekend is the chance to meet with potential Personal Development Analysts.  During the course of the year, IMD provides us with 1000 minutes of time with an analyst so that we can discuss our attitude to leadership and how our previous experiences had determined this.  So on the basis that we'll be spending 1000 minutes together, it's great to meet a few people, and have the chance to pick the one that I feel is most suitable.  They have varied and interesting CVs - I can't wait to meet them!

Right - time for a run!

Nick.
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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WRYTA? TIC!  [#permalink]

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New post 06 Feb 2015, 05:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: WRYTA? TIC!
​Acronyms cannot be avoided when you are sitting in an MBA class. They do not only make long names shorter, but also make them sound more important. The words become like a „secret“ language among a group of very special and smart people like us. The others who don’t understand us will naturally look up to us with respect. However, the purpose of a langauge is to communicate, and the purpose of communication is to make people understand things. Therefore I have decided to decode all the secrets behind MBA acronym so that you can impress the others.

KSF (Key Success Factors): The key factors to make your business/industry successful. You see, this is deep stuff.

EBIT (earnings before interest and taxes) : The money a company earns after it reduces the costs before interest and tax deduction.

CF (Cash Flow) : How much cash your company still has at a certain time.

But sometimes the professors can get out of control.

ROW: rest of the world (!!!)

ROD: right organization design (So does it mean BOD=bad organization design?)

LLCC : low labor cost construction (!!!)

As you see, the list can go on.

While it is important to understand the acronyms, it is probably more important to understand the bigger context where they are used. And please do not abuse the using of them !

Stephanie

p.s. In case you don’t know it already: MBA means Master of Business Administration. But of course it can also stand for More Bad Advice, Manager By Accident, etc.

WRYTA? TIC! = What are you talking about? This is crazy!

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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Weekend!  [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Weekend!
Weekends at IMD are always busy - this one has not been an exception.

The most interesting part of this weekend has been to meet potential 'Personal Development Analysts'.  These are people that guide us through the emotional maze that is the MBA programme, in order that we become better leaders.  I'm really excited about this, but also in a dilemma - who to choose!???  We got  presented with 20 CVs, of which we had to pick three to meet - that was difficult enough, but the real challenge is now that I have met three people, and loved them all.  So it's impossible to pick someone that I want to spend 1000 minutes dissecting my thoughts with.   I'll have to sleep on it.

Also this weekend, I, along with my colleagues in the Finance committee, organised a session outlining careers in Finance to our colleagues who hadn't worked in this sector before.  Out of a class group of 90 people, I was impressed and surprised that over 20 of us are considering a career in finance upon graduation, and such was the interest in the sector, that we'll be ramping up the careers angle of the Finance committe in the future.  Watch out Wall St - IMD graduates are coming...!

As ever, this weekend hasn't been all about work - I got my first haircut in Lausanne - which might sound like a boring exercise, but I approached this task with trepidation, as I wasn't sure that 'not too short' would translate well into French...  Thankfully, I escaped looking like a Marine!  On Friday, our fantastic social committee organised drinks at IMD, which carried on to the small hours, and tonight, my study group is having dinner together (we have an Italian foodie in our ranks - truly blessed!!!).

As ever, I'm late for dinner - so, until next time, that's it from Lausanne!

Nick.
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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La vita è bella  [#permalink]

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New post 09 Feb 2015, 11:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: La vita è bella
​It's Monday and we had Nuno (Finance course). I think this combination says a lot already. After a tiring and intensive week last week, I ended up having a slight cold over the weekend. Having barely recovered from my cold, I am back on the battlefield. This morning when I arrived in IMD, I was checking my agenda and saw that we will have again a loooong day course on Saturday. Immediately I was feeling quite down knowing that I won't have much time to relax again over the weekend.

BUT (and it is this BUT that changed everything) my classmate Julia came to me and surprised me with hand-made dumplings and chicken soup. Anyone with some kind of Chinese blood who has lived long enough in Switzerland knows that the gift is worth thousands times more than Swiss chocolate and cheese. I was almost moved to tears. And, I swear that I was not exaggerating, it was the thought of having the hand-made dumplings for dinner that helped me through the 4-hour finance in the afternoon.

Because we didn't have any group appointment tonight, I left the school already at 17:30. When I was walking home, I could still see the light and the remaining of sunset over the lake. I almost didn't know how to describe my happiness. Today is definitely one of the best days of my IMD time!

Stephanie

p.s. Below is the summary of my feelings:

Nuno + case study + sitting on the first row = :-O * annuity

longer days + dumpling dinner = happiness*perpetuity



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Nuno and the exciting Capital Asset Pricing Model

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My apartment view -- I was home and it was still day light!
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My dinner tonight -- thanks a million Julia :)
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 carneval season (Fasnacht) starts now  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: The carneval season (Fasnacht) starts now
​The carneval season starts now all over Switzerland. Every Kanton and city/town has its own tradition and timing when it comes to the carneval parades. Where do you go to have the best carneval experience in Switzerland? I allow myself to answer "Basel" feeling that I am half "Basler." And why am I writing about carneval tonight instead of IMD?

Firstly, I am missing the tradition of preparing for the carneval together with the kids this year. Not only that, I will be also missing going to the carneval in Basel thanks to the classes in IMD. I won't say that I am a big fan and I certainly did not grow up in such tradition. But when you raise your children in Basel, you follow the tradition. It starts with deciding or designing what you want to be. Then you choose (or make) the costume with the kids. All the accessories like hats, bags, or shoes cannot be omitted and needed to be decorated. The carneval starts at 4am on a Monday and it lasts three days. The second day is dedicated to kids parade, and they will always go home with buckets of candies and sweets. And of course you should not forget to bring the confetti. During the three days the city "stands still" and everyone puts their energy to enjoy the carneval. There are literally parties everywhere for 3 nights. Just the pure thought of it brings me a big smile on my face.

Secondly (and honestly), writing only about IMD at this stage will turn off most readers probably. The monotonous life is not necessarily inspiring and exciting. Therefore it is always good to dream about parties and carnevals (and only in dreams are we allowed some fun at the moment)...

Stephanie

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Basel Fasnacht

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The "Morgenstreich" -- start of the carvel on Monday at 4 am!

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Children's parade -- always on Tuesday

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Basel Fasnacht Blaggedde -- buy it and wear it visible on your jacket if you are going to the parade. Otherwise you will get into "troubles."
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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Don't waste a good crisis.  [#permalink]

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New post 12 Feb 2015, 14:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Don't waste a good crisis.
IMD hosted an event this evening to present our professor's viewpoint on the Swiss Franc crisis and to enable local large corporates to share their experiences of navigating such a challenge with their peers.  The content was really insightful, and it was great to see the real intellectual firepower of our faculty deployed in front of an audience constituted of the great and good of Switzerland's multinationals.  It was also great to see that our beloved Finance professor who doesn't pull any punches in front of the MBA class also doesn't pull any punches when speaking to senior executives!

I started to think about the importance of 'place' in business.  It's so easy to think in this globalised world that countries and places are fungible, and that business strategy can be implemented in the same way regardless of the country in which one operates.  However, the Swiss Franc shock really drove home to me the realisation that national identity, economic policy and politics are vitally important contexts which surround commercial activity.  So really, multinationals can't implement policies in the same way regardless of where they position subsidiaries, and it is totally imperative that they flex their activities to take into account local conditions.

What the event really made me realise, though, is that Swiss companies are incredibly competitive - they manage to survive being located in a very expensive country, where wages are high, but nevertheless compete against other companies which have a cost base that is significantly lower.  And they aren't wasting this crisis; Swiss companies are taking the opportunity to take a look at themselves, see what could be done better.  And then they are acting fast on that reflection.  So it seems that there really is nothing better than a good crisis to stimulate innovation.

Good evening from Lausanne,

Nick.
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Get a job!  [#permalink]

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New post 16 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Get a job!
In only the second month of our MBA programme, it was a bit of a shock to the system to have had a lecture on Saturday (yes, another Saturday lecture!) reminding me that:

(a) I would have to get a job at the end of the course - so unfair - if only money grew on trees!

(b) More worryingly, I would have to think about the job hunt sooner than I thought - in fact I would have to start now - a tricky task when our workload is so high.

Career services have been really active in working with the MBA class recently - we had two lengthy sessions last week, and have another session this coming Saturday.  We are getting ready for battle in the job war!  It is mindblowing to think of all the roles that are theoretically available, but also I found it very easy to narrow down my choices - so I'll be continuing to build my network in the next few weeks.  The session on Saturday was a useful reminder that most jobs available are never advertised, and so developing a broad network is key.  The great news is that since a personal network is so helpful, IMD was ranked no 1 as the business school in Europe with the most useful alumni network - I'll be picking up the phone to some alumni shortly...

Otherwise, love was in the air at IMD on Saturday - with a Valentine's day party organized by our social committee - who wouldn't want to spend Valentine's day with their classmates...  That's a question best not answered!

This week we have a couple of high profile speakers on the horizon - I'll update you soon.

Happy Monday from Lausanne,

Nick.
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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Currently trending at IMD...  [#permalink]

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New post 21 Feb 2015, 12:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Currently trending at IMD...
Right now, there are three main trends taking IMD by storm.  They aren't what you'd expect...

1.  This week, our operations professor Ralf Seifert organised for a senior executive from L'Oreal to come and speak to us about his experiences running the supply chain for this legendary multinational.  I had never thought about supply chains before I started at IMD, and if I had, I think 'boring' is a word that would have come to mind!  Actually, though, it is so interesting to find out how major companies navigate cultural, political and geographical obstacles to deliver their product to their customers, and how supply chains differ substantially depending on the products being delivered.  It was fascinating to hear about L'Oreal's experience in developing its supply chain, and further cemented operations as being (surprisingly!) one of my favorite subjects.  However, the talk from L'Oreal didn't just unleash intellectual curiosity on team MBA - but also the L'Oreal makeup genius app.  You might be forgiven for thinking that this app would have been popular amongst my female counterparts.  You'd be wrong.  L'Oreal Makeup Genius is now the go-to app to distract the male MBA candidates from lectures.  Who'd have thought it?  I won't name the biggest fans.  Yet...

2.  Chinese New Year.  In our class, we never pass up the opportunity for a celebration - and after the Valentine's day party last week, my fellow participants from China, Taiwan and Singapore organised a fantastic party for all the class last night at IMD.  After a busy week, it was great to have the opportunity to take life a little less seriously, accompanied by some delicious Chinese food and a dumpling making competition.  Add to this that the IMD restaurant has been producing Chinese delicacies for us this week, and CNY is definitely a hot topic in Lausanne.

3.  Fitness.  As you might expect, when working 14 hour days (minimum) during the week, it can be quite tricky to find time to exercise.  However, as a big believer that fitness is not just about losing weight or gaining muscle, but essential for maintaining sanity too (!), I've been trying to find a way to squeeze in some exercise to the week.  We have a sports and fitness committee that has been making waves in organizing amongst other things, climbing days and a hike through the vineyards.  My little contribution has been a 25 minute workout session for my study group at 6:50 at IMD.  I'm not really a morning person, but in the absence of another spare moment, it seemed the best way to approach this challenge.  So far, loads of fun, and actually I've been finding it easier to concentrate during the day after having had a good workout.  Let's see how long this resolve lasts, but right now, exercise is hot stuff!

Until next time from a snowy Lausanne!

Nick.
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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Finally came the moment of truth..  [#permalink]

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New post 23 Feb 2015, 13:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Finally came the moment of truth..
​Finally our first project ICA was finished. We spent 2 months to learn 8 different industries very well. We were seperated into 15 groups with specific topics. After many long discussions and late-night work, we finally submitted our work last Friday.

Everyone was a bit anxious because we didn't know if we did a good job or not. Ralf, as usual, was very good in setting the bar high. Today was the presentation time when each industry was presented. Ralf made it very clear in the beginning: some presentations were good and some had still lots of space for impro.

Our group was responsible for transportation logsitics and it was not an obvious topic for us. We had different opinions what to focus and made still major changes till the last minute. It was definitely a learning process for me to collaborate with 5 other heads with limited amount of time.

The ICA project is not yet completely at the end. We need to extend the same topic to our Navigating the future project. But for the moment, we take a breath and try to enjoy a small window of fresh air!

Stephanie





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Presentation in process...
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Ralf was carefully writing his notes...
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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Photos of week 5  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Photos of week 5
Continuing with the catch-up of photos, here are the images from week 5:

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Ralfcontinued to stuff our brains with micro-economics...

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...including murderous umbrella cartels, I think.

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Our social committee organised a St Valentine's Day party after our Saturday of lectures, which included delicious burgers...

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...from two of our MBA partners...

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...music by DJ Shane...

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...and a visit from a herd of Cupids
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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Photos of week 6  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2015, 10:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: Photos of week 6
​Final part of the photos catch-up; here are the pictures from week 6:

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Moto six sigma'd a classmate's morning rise-and-shine issues (strong correlation between finance lectures and later waking up)

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Life continued in our groups in the dungeons

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Ralfcontinued to try and squeeze yet more micro-economics into our already overflowing brains (I really don't think there's room for much more in there)...

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...which seemed to include aerial dogfights...

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...and a proliferation of graphs and lines all over

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Classmates argued their courses of actions...

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...as the rest of the class...

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...and Leif, our accounting professor, watched on.
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 to get successful  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2015, 11:00
FROM IMD Admissions Blog: How to get successful
On Monday, our class traveled over to EPFL, Lausanne for a talk by the university's president, Patrick Aebischer, followed by networking and drinks.  EPFL is a university in Lausanne that has enjoyed rapid growth over the last few years, spear-headed by its visionary and charismatic president.  This was a fantastic opportunity - prior to coming to IMD, I had never heard of EPFL, but it is ranked as one of the world's top 20 universities, with a strong pedigree in science and technology innovation. During the course of the lecture, my mind turned to comparing EPFL & IMD.

Similarities:

 - Both schools are ranked globally in the top tier when compared to their peers.

 - Both are located in beautiful Lausanne.

But that's where the similarities end...

Differences:

 - EPFL has focused on growth - aiming to become a university of 10,000 students - IMD remains deliberately boutique in size, with the MBA class strictly capped at 90.

 - EPFL has opted to expand its campus footprint, opening across Switzerland, and aiming to develop an international footprint, whilst IMD has done the opposite - retaining Lausanne as the hub of its operations, aiming that this becomes a meeting place for the world.

 - IMD doesn't have an online education footprint (yet), whilst EPFL is active in offering MOOCs (massive online open courses) - which some believe are the future of education, particularly for those in remote locations.

The lesson for me?  There isn't one formula for success.  Both IMD and EPFL are leaders in their field, and internationally recognised.  The way they have achieved such success is very different.

It was a great start to the week - now we are in the midst of a week filled with marketing lectures - really fascinating, and provoking great debate amongst the participants.

Until next time!

Nick.
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 to get successful   [#permalink] 25 Feb 2015, 11:00

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