I’m in the smokiest bar in Abu Dhabi. I’m about to headline the local standup comedy show. The MC has a few jokes up his sleeve. He always does. This filling act gives me some time to think and gather my emotions. But my fight or flight instincts kick in. My hands are sweaty, the head feels dizzy and I can feel the whole room collapsing. Suddenly, I hear the MC shout out my name. The sounds of hoots and claps fill the room. A surge of adrenalin fills my face. I suddenly remember my first act. I walk in. The mike is mine. Instinct honed through days of practice takes over and I deliver my act for the next 15 minutes.
Guest entry by MBA 2018 candidate, Parth Reddy
Headlining a local comedy show in Abu Dhabi
This is a typical sequence of feelings that I experience before performing on any comedy show. Oddly, I went through the same set of feelings on getting accepted to IMD. After the initial rush of acceptance, I was faced with the stark reality of making a very difficult choice between the comfort of familiarity and the excitement of the unknown. Should I venture out of a cushy job in one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world? Should I let go of a fantastic circle of friends, colleagues and peers? The fear of losing everything that I had accomplished was real and palpable. On the other hand, I was really excited about setting myself on a path of achieving something incredible and stretching myself beyond my professional and personal limitations. How then does one rationally decide between the familiar and the unfamiliar?
But then I realized that this doesn’t have to be such a difficult choice. With the right framework and tools, stepping out into an uncertain environment can be pretty rewarding and fulfilling. The MBA program at IMD promises to inculcate such a framework to navigate professional and personal dilemmas. I’m excited to experience the core components of the program such as the leadership module and startup and ICP projects. These have been designed to make the participants self-aware, mature and ready to excel in various team settings. An intense year of preparation and introspection will allow me to choose the right career and the valuable personal networks and associations that I will develop at IMD will help in a fulfilling career and bright future ahead.
The pre-MBA meetups with the class of 2018 and alumni
The first step in this process is to muster up the courage to walk through the door and standup to the fear of the unknown.
Top featured image: Captured during a morning run before the assessment day in Lausanne