As a first step, I want to congratulate all of you on your decisions to pursue an MBA. It is a life changing experience and, with the right program, you can set yourself on a path to success. The question is: what is the right program and why?
As I did in the past, I'm sure many of you are pouring over various programs' employment data, rankings, commentary, class profiles, etc. There are many great programs out there and each has its own key success factors. I was fortunate to have been accepted to several schools. I analyzed the selling points of each program and eventually selected the one that was the best fit for me. After much thought and careful analysis, I chose IMD's MBA program in Lausanne, Switzerland and it has been one of the best choices of my life. I'd like to share with you some of the reasons behind my decision:
1. Tangible Quality - Every small detail of the program is well thought out. While this is not something that appears in the rankings or employment data, I cannot stress enough the importance of the inherent quality of the program. For those fortunate to attend IMD’s assessment day or those who visit campus, this will be overly clear. During my assessment day, they gave us a welcome packet which included pads, nameplates, and pens. While most programs would give a cheap pen that either writes poorly or breaks in a month or two, IMD gives a high quality pen – a pen that I still use to this day. While this may seem small, this attention to detail speaks to an ethos that exists in every aspect of the program. In aggregate, it fundamentally changes the understanding of quality. Granted I viewed only a relatively small number of MBA schools, I was unable to find this ethos in any other program.
2. Unparalleled Diversity - In my class we have roughly 45 different nationalities across 90 students. There are few other places in the world where someone can study for a year with such accomplished people from all over the world. I have learned something about the world every day I’ve been at IMD and I have come to have a far greater appreciation for diversity now that I've studied at IMD.
3. Excellent Career Placement – This was probably my most important criteria. I wanted a school that did not limit my opportunities and was embraced by employers. While IMD is strong in certain areas, its alumni have gone on to be representatives in almost every industry. In addition, the IMD MBA has a long and impressive list of alumni who have driven change in the world. The prestige and pedigree of the MBA program is world class and our latest employment report speaks to the incredible companies that come to campus and recruit IMD students.
4. Few Students, Many highfliers – There are 90 extremely accomplished students at IMD. I wanted to study with the best and the brightest while developing strong personal relationships with my classmates. With a class of 90 I have been able to hear each of my co-students’ stories. I am continuously amazed at the accomplishments of my classmates and I know that our class will achieve great things in the future. In addition, I have made 89 friendships that I know will last for the rest of my life.
5. World class teachers and class structure - The classes are taught by world class professors. In my time at IMD so far, I have learned so much and am looking forward to my further development. The professors have structured the classes to optimize learning while embracing team work. Classes are 8 hours per day, which may seem like a lot, but the days typically go by in a flash. There is a lot of work but the work has a clear purpose and learning objective.
6. Campus and Location - I'm not sure much needs to be said here. IMD has one of the best campuses in the world. We have views of the alps from our study rooms and the lake is a stones throw away. Switzerland is a beautiful country with an extremely high standard of living. The experience of living in Europe has been incredible.
While I understand that each individual will have his/her important criteria for selecting an MBA program, I hope this post is able to provide some insight into the IMD world. Many of you will have a lot of great options to choose from and I hope you consider IMD when narrowing your list. In the beginning of my process, I had prioritized Harvard. I was invited to interview, waitlisted, and then subsequently rejected. While initially disappointed, I have since found the perfect program for me. I am proud to be an IMD MBA and I would not change this program for any other.
About professors, classes and curriculum
The professors are truly exceptional. The classes are taught with a variety of different techniques which blend well to provide a wholistic lesson. Each class is thought through to optimize the learning
About job placement process
At IMD the general feeling is that you can go to work anywhere. All the companies that I am looking to join are coming to campus and the IMD MBA brand name has been extremely helpful in my networking
Overall BSchool experience
Strengths of the program:
Student body, diversity
Career opportunities provided by school
Culture & Student Support
Best fit at this program:
Can be improved:
Was this review helpful to you? 6 out of 7 people found the following review helpful
My wife and I attended the IMD on campus open day on the 3rd of April 2018, arriving a day early to explore the city of Lausanne where the campus is based. The day was very well organised, starting with a tour of the campus, presentation and Q&A of the programme followed by lunch with a few of the MBA students and finishing with the opportunity to sit in a strategy class.
Everyone was extremely helpful and the highlight for me was the chance to observe Professor Knut’s class; it was actually very interesting sitting in on that particular lecture having watched an earlier TED presentation of his on the same subject. It was a very dynamic class and encouraging to see how everyone collectively works together to nurture such a collaborative working environment.
I was also impressed by the diverse backgrounds of the participants and the industries in which they represent which lead to an informative discussion in class and the opportunity to learn from a different perspective.
I would highly recommend bringing your partner to the open day, the MBA programme is a life changing experience for both and the support offered by IMD to the families is very reassuring.
A special thanks to Suzanne for organising an extremely informative day. We both remain feeling very excited about the possibilities and extremely impressed by the school, faculty and students.