Today’s guest entry welcomes back Russian IMD MBA Alumna, Natalia Filchakova, one of our 2013 blog writers.

Time machine on, minus one, minus two, minus three years… stop, arrived. Here we are, in Lausanne, at IMD. It is the final month of my MBA and the graduation is looming in exactly one month. I still feel how November 2013 was special in the way it embodied a month of integrating, filling the gaps, and putting parts of the puzzle together. In the IMD-miraculous way, this sort of happened “by itself”, while I was attending electives, travelling to Hong Kong with a group exploration co-minded classmates, and enjoying a final round of lunches at the IMD restaurant… It was also the time when I started to realize that IMD co-shaped me in a way I didn’t expect or imagine, but I have been feeling grateful for ever since!

Fast forward three years, I live in Geneva area and work at one of the multinationals located here. So far it has been an exciting professional and personal journey. I am in my third role since I joined the company in March 2014. Interestingly enough, all this time the company has been on an ongoing transformational journey itself. Not that I connect the two phenomena… but still, this illustrates that one mantra I learned at IMD, “the only constant in life is change”, holds very true.

Time for a key question. What role does IMD play in my post-MBA life? Well, still a big one. Actually, there is a rare week I don’t feel IMD “presence” in my field. I would not call the school an anchor because it neither drags me down, nor keeps me at the same place. Rather, IMD is a sort of magnetic pole that helps me calibrate where I am and navigate to where I want to be. It also attracts me “back to the base” for an occasional connect and recharge. I don’t think it is a proximity thing, as it would be in my case. It is just that…once you are IMD, you always are. From wherever and whenever you might travel back in your time-machine, if you are a IMD MBA, you would probably say: “That was a pretty life-changing year!”

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