I was told quite a few times by IMD and other MBA alumni to savor every moment of my year here at IMD because it’s going to be the best year of my life and it will be over before I know it. Now that we’re at the one month mark, I can’t quite decide if the first month flew by in a blink of an eye or if it feels like I’ve been here for a lot longer than that. In many ways, our time here seems to have gone by in a flash especially when you sit down and think of how much we’ve done. The sheer amount of material we have covered in Accounting, Entrepreneurship, Finance, Marketing, Leadership, Economics, and Operations classes is quite staggering and as I write this I still can’t believe we’ve gone through it all. Not to mention the extracurricular activities we’ve done including leadership experiential days in the French mountains, meeting with our assigned startup companies, executive coaches, and psychoanalysts. Needless to say, the pace here is not a leisurely one and every hour counts so prioritizing and budgeting your time is of the essence.
At the same time, it feels like we’ve been here for much longer than just a month. I think this is because of the personal element and how deep the bonds between the different classmates have become. As you walk up and down the halls of IMD and see the MBA students socializing, joking around, and helping each other on assignments you get the sense that we are a big family that has known each other for a very long time. This isn’t a huge surprise given the small 90-person class size and how much time we spend with each other. But it is still wonderful to see that we can connect so deeply even though we come from 44 different countries and pretty much every industry out there.
We were recently told that you will learn as much or more from your classmates than from your actual professors at IMD. There is no doubt our faculty is world class and I have been nothing but impressed by their teaching but our classmates with their average of 7 years of experience in different industries all over the world are deep wells of knowledge and experience that I have already started to tap into. We are capitalizing on this by creating industry clusters that range from Finance and Consulting to Pharma and NGOs so that those interested in those industries can meet with experts from the program and engage with alumni and others at target companies.
As I reflect back and look forward to the rest of the year, there isn’t much to complain about except that the program is very much frontloaded for the first 4-6 months. The high workload can make getting away for a quick weekend somewhere nearby or even enjoying Lausanne and getting to know your classmates outside of the IMD bubble a little difficult. That being said, it’s nothing crazy and it does teach you the art of balancing priorities and budgeting your time extremely well. After all, it makes sense for a 1-year MBA to be that much more intense than a 2-year program.
Til next time!