10 things I wish I had known at graduation from the IMD MBA program

Katrin Siebenbürger Hacki was one of the 18 alumni to give up their precious Saturday for the first of our two traditional on-campus Simulated Interview days. MBAs had a chance to practice their sector specific interviewing skills and get feedback from alumni who have successfully been through the process for either Industry, Consulting or Finance.

Simulated I Collage

At the end of the day, thinking back on her MBA experience at IMD in 2002, Katrin came up with these words of advice to the current class as the job search phase begins to intensify:

  1. There is no such thing as an ideal job – great job titles might come with not-so-great bosses and dull-sounding jobs might offer a unique opportunity to learn and develop a specific skill – stick with a job long enough to make an informed decision, but not longer
  2. Chase your talent, the word “passion” is overrated
  3. Play to your strengths, don’t waste time improving your weaknesses (but don’t let them get crippling) – You have to work on things you like in order to be good at them
  4. Understand where you get your energy from – ask yourself what you would do if there were no work or career considerations; people who get energy from what they do invariably end up more happy and successful
  5. Experience and practice is probably >90% of success; talent, IQ and knowledge is the rest, nice to have but not as important as the media makes it out to be
  6. Having a good mentor and asking the right people for help is the most underrated factor for success
  7. Everybody lies on their Facebook profile, especially when it comes to career success – have your own definition of success, because otherwise the world is quite eager to give you a different set of criteria
  8. Just because everyone looks the same in today’s society it doesn’t mean that everyone is the same and has the same chances of success – being at the right time with the right skills and the right profile matters a lot and chances are infinitely small; enjoy the process of your search for success without succumbing to the pressure of the result
  9. The leadership stuff you learn during the MBA is important – but in different ways than you might think; leadership principles are important for your relationships, which is mostly what matters in business as well as in your private life
  10. Everybody is an entrepreneur – there are no jobs for life in the “disrupted” word; whatever you do, look at it as if you owned the business

The friends with whom you sit on graduation day will probably be your friends for life, the people you turn to in difficult times. You will be bound by your shared experience of a time that will probably never come again. This experience transpires across the alumni community, and giving back your time and advice to this community is one of the most valuable ways to maintain and form friendships.

At graduation, I wish I had heard and understood the quote by Seneca: “As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters.” I wish all MBA graduates a very good life.

Katrin
linkedin.com/in/katrinsiebenbuerger

Katrin Siebenbürger Hacki
DIRECTOR
Phare7 Management Solutions

 

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