Looking back over the year

Today’s guest entry is written by Ukrainian Irina Tkachenko, one of our MBA Partners.

“Challenges” was probably the word I heard the most often during the year. New network, new language, new order-oriented Swiss mentality, pause in career… These changes can be quite frustrating, but they can also be turned into an exciting adventure. And, in my opinion, it always depends on us whether to treat these challenges as obstacles or as opportunities. Continue reading “Looking back over the year”

RSM MBA private equity competition winners

Today’s guest entry is written by British participant, Sophie Spillard, who competed in the RSM MBA Private Equity competition with teammates Joseph Dunfee, Igor Popkov, Roraj Pradhanaga & Ulrich Van de Woestyne.

Our team, named The Cosmonauts (because we aim for the sky) returned to Lausanne today after a memorable weekend representing IMD at the annual RSM Private Equity competition in Amsterdam. The cherry on top … we won the competition. Continue reading “RSM MBA private equity competition winners”

CEO’s, Leadership and ICP’s

After jet-setting around Europe for 7 weeks I have finally gotten time to talk about it. So our ICP with a telecom giant took me and my team from Hungary to Ireland and everywhere in between. ICP’s are a key part of the MBA program and now that it is over, I can see why it is such a brilliant idea to wrap-up our MBA with a real project for a real client solving real problems.

I am delighted to share that our client was very happy with our work and clearly could see the value-add we brought to the company. All the leadership, finance, accounting, problem-solving and critical thinking lessons learnt throughout the year came in handy to solve the issues at hand.

Immediately, after the ICP’s we headed back to IMD and were greeted with a fantastic gathering of CEO’s of some of the top companies. IMD hosts CEO Rountable for top leaders from across different industries once a year. And this was a great opportunity for us to meet some of these top leaders and learn from them.

I had the chance to hear from Boris Collardi, CEO of Julius Baer. He is clearly an extraordinary executive who climbed up the Banking ladder pretty swiftly and so had some great first hand experiences to share from his journey. His presentation laid out the challenges facing the Wealth Management sector and also his plans to steady Julius Baer to face those challenges well and become a stronger Bank. I must say it is quite extraordinary to hear directly from these people right at the top. Their clarity of vision, simple few point plans and tremendous faith in their abilities and those of their people is quite inspiring to see. It also makes this very real, so much so that we can for the first time begin to believe that some of us can be in those positions and can be fully capable of making similar decisions.

Boris left us with three great lessons for our own careers and I will share those with all of you.

  1. “You guys are too young to do a job you don’t like”
  2. “You guys are too young to not take really big risks”
  3. “Do not over-plan. It is good to have some ideas about your future but do not try to forecast everything. At the same time develop a knack for spotting opportunities as they come”.


I am going to reflect on these lessons for sure and I hope you will too.


All the best


Can global business and livelihood improvement for farmers come together?

Today’s guest entry is written by Japanese participant, Maki Suzuki,who is completing her ICP project with teammates: Dustin, Parfait, Carina and Sriram, with Faculty support from IMD Professor of Economics and MBA Program Director, Ralf Boscheck

Average age: 57 years old, average monthly income: 40 USD. This is a typical Filipino farmer. If you were asked by a leading global crop science company to propose a business plan to improve their livelihood, what would you do? Continue reading “Can global business and livelihood improvement for farmers come together?”