ICP’s or international consulting projects, that over the years have become a hallmark of IMD’s MBA program, kicked off on the 26th of September.
ICP’s are real consulting projects where we, MBA students, in teams of 5 or 6 are expected to develop solutions to real world strategic, operational or organisational challenges facing our clients. The rolodex of IMD clients is envied by even some top consulting firms. The list this year includes a large telecommunication firm, a leading automaker, top pharma companies, and many more. Many of my classmates are already flying to places far off and nearby to meet clients or visit their markets. Copenhagen, Zambia, London, Madrid – evey place is on the map.
Two weeks into the project and it is clear to me that ICP’s are one of the best ways to round-off the MBA program. ICP is an opportunity to put all the different skills learnt during the MBA in practice. These are not some simulated projects but real life projects with real clients, real issues and real feedback. Delivering on these projects successfully will definitely boost our confidence as we re-enter the business world and tackle some of the challenges that top MBA’s are expected to deal with.
The team and leadership skills learnt throughout the year are also being tested in this environment. While clearly we all are getting better at these skills, these projects provide another opportunity to hone these skills further.
Time management is another skill that is being tested extensively.
How to divide and delegate work? How to set client’s expectations and deliver against those? What about missing data? What about complicated stakeholder management? These and many more such questions make ICP’s an exciting journey and hopefully all of us will take this experience in our stride and delight our clients. Because at IMD “satisfying” is not enough – we must “delight” our clients.
Watch this space for more personal experiences from my classmates as they continue on their roller coaster ICP rides.