Half way through the electives, Isfandyar Z. Khan – Partner IMD 2017, shares his experience as well as insights into the benefits of opening this part of the program to the partners.
You may think that typical courses in this one year intensive MBA program would only focus on hard skills, taking over the world one excel sheet at a time, however the truth is far from it. This fall, the program provided the opportunity for the partners of MBA students to participate in electives. This opened up a secret chamber by which partners could not only see, but live through, part of the MBA experience.
Given that I myself am a bit weary of the ethical practices of the business world, I decided to take the popular elective on Truth, Lies and Trust taught by Professor Jennifer Jordan, who is a part of the leadership faculty. I wish an elective like this had been offered earlier in the year as finally I could empathize with my wife’s motivation for getting up at 6:30 am, downing a coffee and braving the cold to be on time for morning classes.
The elective was great – one learned, one challenged, one laughed and one pondered. It also gave us some lie detection skills which could have come in handy earlier in the year (were you actually studying or were you at the White Horse bar?!) Yet, more than just the course, I really appreciated IMD opening up the electives to others. For a program which emphasizes personal leadership and prioritizes relationships, it is necessary to acknowledge that there are certain factors that ensure some relations endure and strengthen over time. Post MBA, the graduates will not operate in a bilateral world but one with many nodes, and thus having partners more exposed to classmates will help carry relationships forward.
As the year draws to a close, I do feel we have come together as a family. There is warmth, there is affection and just like any family there will be conflict and a need to nurture relationships. I think taking an elective makes us all know each other better and just for that, I hope IMD keeps up with the tradition.