IMD MBA has become synonymous with leadership but that is not to say that it is only about leadership. In fact the last couple of weeks were about many other subjects such as finance, operations, marketing and accountancy.
For me operations and marketing were completely new subjects and I thoroughly enjoyed being exposed to new concepts. Since IMD MBA is targeted at people with significant experience ( avg. 7 years) who are looking to move into leadership roles shortly after graduation, the approach to all subjects is very “managerial”. This means that every time we are taught a new concept we are given an opportunity to apply those in a real world situation. This “learning by doing” approach is an effective way to learn.
Another characteristic of the program is that it is highly integrated. The professors are continuously talking to each other and therefore are easily able to make for us the connection between different subjects. In fact we have already been assigned month long projects which serve as the laboratory for applying several concepts picked up in different classes. For instance, the start-up project which began as an entrepreneurial project has very quickly also become a testing ground for “customer focus” concept learnt in the marketing class. So we are constantly flexing our muscles looking for opportunities to apply our new found knowledge.
The program encourages us to go beyond our comfort zones, try things out and fail. As Professor Benoit of entrepreneurship puts it, “failing is not bad as long as you can fail fast and recover”. And so we are not afraid to fail, in fact if anything we look forward to making mistakes because we have come to realise that our successes after the MBA will be built on our failures during it.