Pre-application review

Today’s guest entry was written by Sathappan Sathappan who will be joining the program in 2017 and sharing his journey as one of the official bloggers.

When I started GMAT preparation, I had shortlisted a few reputable business schools based on my research. IMD instantly featured in the shortlist because my immediate manager was an IMD alumni and he had great things to say about the school. Continue reading “Pre-application review”

Le Meilleur est à venir

Today’s guest entry was written by Priyanka Chandran who will be joining the 2017 program and sharing her journey with us as an official MBA blogger.

I am far from superstitious, but the fact that my assessment day was on Friday the 13th made me fairly anxious. On a cold and a very rainy morning, I met my co-applicants (Yes! Teamwork is an integral part of assessment day too) to reach the campus on time for the big day! A warm welcome by Antonio and loads of coffee helped ease my nerves for the impromptu case discussion, role-play and the big interview. As I lunched with a current participant, I am not sure what amazed me more- learning more about the program, the plethora of vegetarian eating options for lunch or the kids running around campus. I felt at ease! An intense case discussion in the second half was followed by Prof Boscheck’s explanation to the morning case. We all realized how far we were from the solution and this was my “aha moment”. I knew I was not willing to bid adieu to Lausanne yet!

If someone ever told you that they saw an Indian girl dancing with joy at Schloss Laufen station, now you will know why. It seemed like a long wait from preparing my application to getting the results but it all seemed worth it after the acceptance.

As I write this piece today, I can’t help but reflect about my experiences on the assessment day. I had participated in discussions ranging from cost pricing policies of an industrial conglomerate to situations faced by an agrochemical giant to future of self-driving cars all on the same day. I was even fortunate to attend Prof Braga’s class and debate with current students. While I missed the big party in the evening, I knew all these unique experiences could only be a part of IMD!

While I gear up for a year full of excitement and adventure, I can really feel that “Le meilleur est à venir” (The best is yet to come!!!)


The Assessment Day & Lausanne

Today’s guest entry was written by Mohammed Allam who will be joining the program in 2017 and continuing to share his journey with us as one of the official bloggers.

As some people are aware, IMD has a very unique interview process that consists of a full assessment day on its beautiful lakeside campus in Lausanne, Switzerland. This assessment day is far more involved and intensive than that conducted by any other MBA program that I’m aware of. Like many others, I found this more than somewhat intimidating, but I totally understood IMD’s need to fully vet all candidates given the exclusive and intimate nature of its 90-strong program. The fact that the program involves so much in the way of group activities and hands-on learning makes it all the more important that all participants have solid teamwork skills and can interact well in a group dynamic. I definitely felt apprehensive about the whole 8-9 hour process before getting to Lausanne but I quickly learned that it was as much about assessing the applicants as it was about having the candidates learn more about this elite school, its MBA program as well as the unique advantages it has to offer.

 Upon getting to Lausanne, I was immediately struck by the idyllic beauty and richness of this underrated city. I had lived in Geneva and Zurich for a few years growing up but coming back to Switzerland for the first time as an adult made me realize that many of its qualities are best appreciated when you’re working or studying in this beautiful country. Many schools are located in either very rural towns to accommodate their sprawling campuses or in an urban metropolis where the line between where the school ends and the city starts is blurred. Lausanne on the other hand seemed to be just the perfect size where you can find plenty of interesting things to do but don’t risk being overwhelmed when you just need to relax and get some schoolwork out of the way. Even more pleasing was the fact that IMD’s campus was literally a stone’s throw from beautiful Lake Geneva back dropped by the gleaming peaks of the Swiss Alps. I went into the assessment day knowing that if I got in, there’s no way I would turn this down.



Good vibrations in Lausanne

Today’s guest entry was written by Alessio Orlando, who will be joining the program in 2017.

During the application, I felt the need to better understand if what I wanted to realize was worthy. I wanted to see the place where I could spend most of my time for an entire year and see if it was right for me.

Once I arrived at the IMD campus, I did a questionnaire about my background followed by a very open and honest talk with a representative of the MBA Recruitment Office.

During the visit, we stopped at the MBA classroom. It’s a smaller room than other Business Schools. Once inside, looking at the 90 seats, I tried to feel the vibrations. IMD strongly underlines its “90 exceptional people” policy and once you are there you understand why. A very intimate room, I guess name tags are useful for the first couple of days then everybody is brother and sister with everybody.

At the end of the visit, I decided to go on the lakefront to think about the day. Looking at Lausanne and IMD from there, I decided to do my best in pushing the application forward.

IMD Assessment day: to be or not to be…

Now, here I am, in the train to Lausanne, just a few hours away from the big opportunity. During the past weeks, I read all possible information, legends and rumors about the Assessment Day at IMD and now I am frenetically reviewing all my notes.

I arrive at the hotel. It’s a beautiful, late summer evening in Lausanne. I am just in time for dinner with some of the other participants. Of course, we break the ice exchanging advice about tomorrow.

Finally, the morning is here. Ten minutes’ walk to IMD, few words are spoken, we are all trying to concentrate. A couple of meters away from the entrance, what I consider now the best advice to face IMD Assessment Day comes to me out of the blue: be yourself.

During 8 hours of different activities, it is impossible and counterproductive to pretend to be someone else. Do not be your Assessment Day avatar, just be yourself.

Considering the outcome, I would say it works well…


Goodbye and hello

At the end of this week the MBA Office will close for the end of year break. Our class of 2016 has already flown the nest and participants from 2017 are getting ready for their adventure with us next year.

I would particularly like to thank our faithful blog writers of this year: Kunal, Aysylu, Silvia and Fouad for sharing their stories, challenges, moments of inspiration and successes with us throughout the year. I hope you have enjoyed sharing their journey as much as I have.

I would also like to thank all of our guest writers who have added their perspectives and experiences, as well as our Japanese bloggers Takumi, Jin, Maki and Takashi who have been keeping our Japanese blog alive.

Over the next few weeks, there will be a couple of guest entries from some of our 2017 participants about their admissions experiences, and then our new blog team will begin to introduce themselves: Priyanka Chandran from India, Lucien Chiron from France, Mohammed Allam from Egypt and Sathappan Sathappan from Singapore. Please join me in welcoming them to the blog and wishing them a great year at IMD.

To all of our readers, I would like to wish you a very happy holiday season and look forward to another MBA year starting January 12th, 2017.


Till soon…

dsc_2012A strange feeling of realizing, that something so powerful in my life as my MBA experience at IMD, is over: no more schooling regimen, no rush, no hubbub, no class psychology, no free fruits any more. I’ve grown up by a second chance and lost another important feeling of presence. Who am I and how am I going to be in the future? Wait a moment, I guess I’ve learned something this year!

While thinking of myself and of my today’s sorrow I asked: why do I feel this way? Obviously, in the midst of relocation, cartons and missing stuff, I am still saying goodbye and not only to my MBA, but also to the whole perception of myself prior to today. Because I will never be the same after this year. And I also let myself grief, as I’ve learned to be sensitive to my inner world and respect it. After all, there is nothing bad in feeling low after having been left on such a height, and, all of a sudden, realize that since now I am on my own to find new way, to implement what I’ve learned, to own and respect myself and people around.

Listening to my daughter’s grumbling on her school life and on my reluctance to support her view, but rather instead telling her to cope with the reality, I am thinking of the secure-based leadership, that I am supposed to give her – a solid and reliable ground to let her accomplish her endeavours.

I don’t know yet what kind of leader I will be professionally, but promise to keep in mind this year’s learnings!

Last weekend, while scanning my school notes, I was realizing how much have I learnt and… forgot. Thanks God, I have my notes and materials to review from time to time. I also have my books, and amongst them our yearbook, so thoroughly and diligently prepared by some of my special classmates. I have many pictures of my school friends, partners, professors and IMD colleagues, while looking on those my heart feels warmth, sense of belonging and love. Oh, I also have an aquarelle card, beautifully pained by our partners, to remind me of what I’ve been through and that “The sky is the limit”, so artistically presented by IMD MBAs 2016 Luca Gianaschi and Antoine Fierens at their remarkable graduation speech. And I am IMD MBA alumna now, a part of this unique, strong and supportive community.

What a wonderful timing, to finish the program and prepare for a new path, at the Christmas Eve and with the last days of the year! As if it is Her Majesty Time that offers us to stop, reflect, say thank you or murmur goodbye, and prepare to scream hallo… So many people I met, and they made me who I am now – I am so grateful to you all! Thank you for helping me change and leaving me relentlessly restless. I can’t choose – I am IMD now…

There will be new candidates filling in Lorange auditorium just in a couple of weeks and my place there will be taken by someone else. Please, value what you have, a newcomer, a forty fifth generation of IMD MBAs! And if you need support, let us know – you are a part of a family now – an incredible honour and a great responsibility.

Happy holidays and till soon (and I never say goodbye here)!


Final word: Gratitude

As I fly over the Atlantic I try to find the words to write my last blog entry – difficult task!

This blog has always been very special to me because it’s where it all started. I fell in love with the IMD program here. I must have read every single entry for the last 7 or 8 years at least twice. I tried to understand the IMD world… it was so unique and almost hidden. A hidden gem.

I feel so grateful for having been given a chance to be part of this. I am now a proud IMD MBA Graduate for life.

When the program started I had no idea I’d be one of those that change Industry, Geography and Function. Continue reading “Final word: Gratitude”