The first week in Lausanne…

Today is the first official blog from one of our 2017 MBA bloggers, Mohammed Allam!

As I write this, it is the eve of our first official day at IMD. Our exciting orientation day lies ahead filled with introductions to the MBA faculty/staff, school photos, and various presentations to help us set everything up and settle in for the journey ahead. As some of my friends say, things are about to get real!

Understandably, IMD recommends that we arrive in Lausanne a week or so in advance to get settled in and navigate some of the initial bureaucratic hoops of moving to Switzerland (bank accounts, cell phones, insurance, etc.). To be honest, I found this to hardly be a chore as I used it as an opportunity to explore the extremely walkable and picturesque Lausanne, breathing in the crisp Swiss air as I ran my initial errands. Luckily, the wonderful MBA support staff make the transition as smooth as can be, but coming from Toronto, I definitely needed this week just to get over some brutal jetlag if nothing else!

Despite the jetlag, what an exciting week it has been! As our 89 fellow classmates pour into Lausanne from all corners of the world, we’ve had no shortage of group IKEA trips and nights out for dinner and/or drinks at different local restaurants and pubs as we get to know each other and our fascinating backstories. After walking around beautiful Lausanne during the day chipping away at our to-do lists, those of us with any energy left could always find a group of fellow classmates at what we’ve now made our de facto school pub, lighting up our WhatsApp group with pictures and stories for those who couldn’t make it. A couple of nights had about 30 of us dominating the establishment!

I’ve always loved that IMD’s MBA program is a cohort of only 90 students. I got a sense of the special magic this creates from the early days when I joined our active and often laugh-inducing WhatsApp group after being accepted. Over the past week, I’ve already had the pleasure of getting to know a fair chunk our program and as I look forward to meeting the rest of the crew tomorrow I realize that our intimately small size really allows you to know your entire MBA cohort on a deep level and form a tight-knit community that you will never forget. And so, as this transitory week ends, a new 90-chapter book begins and I look forward to reading every single chapter!

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Mo

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