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.