“Real World, Real Learning.” Looking back at the past 10 months of intensive studies at IMD, we have always been working on different projects and trying to apply what we learnt inside the classroom and from books into practice. The class of 2012 is lucky to have two ICPs (International Consulting Project) and now we are in the middle of the second ICP.
Our ICP client, a world leading packaging company, has asked us to study, analyze and come up with recommendations for its global pricing strategy. We are a team of five MBAs coming from very diverse backgrounds: Tobias, a Canadian-German with sales and marketing background in FMCG; Artem, an Ukrainian with internal control and audit experience; Salvador, an Argentinian marketing expert; Yuval, an Israeli from the on-line gaming industry, and myself, a Chinese with corporate finance experience in FMCG. Most of us have chosen this project as a top priority for the ICP project bidding and we are highly motivated to do a good job. However, we are also all job searching which creates some conflicts. On one hand, we have to devote large amounts of time to desk research, spend hours on over 30 phone interviews with the client’s offices around the world, group discussions, analysis, etc.; on the other hand, everyone has different job search plans and interview schedules. How to manage the pressure, time and teamwork became a challenge for us.
As a team, we had a very important discussion in the beginning of the project where we agreed on a kind of team culture: “committed, supportive and enjoy”. It is the last project of our MBA studies, so we don’t want to miss out on one last chance of reflecting and applying what we have learnt in the past 10 months, and more importantly learning from working with each other. We made all of our discussions more efficient and we split tasks in a more flexible way, but once it is decided, everyone is fully committed to the deadline and the deliverables. Of course, we understand that job search is important for everyone and as part of the outputs of our initial team discussions, we decided to support each other and understand everyone’s needs and schedules. Trust is shared among the team: we let the team know of any conflicts and ask for help if needed. If someone cannot participate in a group discussion or client meeting, we make records and update him or her to ensure we are all on the same page and that we all understand the next steps of the project. Last but not least, we enjoy everything! We visited the packaging world at client headquarters and realized that Vodka can be packaged in a paper based material. We worked in the dungeons till the late night hours with drinks and our common favorite milk chocolate peanut butter cups that we brought from the US, Canada, and China. We know times flies, and in 42 days, we will separate, be in different places around the world, and for sure we will miss the MBA days so much…
By Lotus Yang
for ICP Team 16 (Tobias Donath, Artem Goryslavets, Yuval Idan, Salvador Stoppani and Lotus Yang)