Catherine Kulley, MBA 2008 graduate and blog writer, is today’s guest writer, celebrating a 10 year blog anniversary!

It’s been 10 years since I wrote this and thinking about what’s happened since is tremendous…  the world is a very different place with the best and worst of humanity on display regularly; my family happily grew and sadly shrank; my “home” country changed 3 times and my career took several unexpected twists and turns.  The one common thing, however, is what I learned in my year at IMD.  Be open to change, and if it’s painful, you’re probably going to be better for it…  in fact, if it doesn’t challenge you, why do it…?  Be curious, ask questions, and know you can do surprisingly well on just a few moments of sleep and a lot of coffee.

When I returned to IMD for one of the executive courses recently I had to smile at the current class of MBAs…  I saw my former classmates in them, the ownership of campus they had claimed, and the friendships they had formed that will last far beyond the short time they’re in “the IMD bubble.”  If I could give them all one piece of advice, it would be to enjoy the ride; I’d do it again in an instant.

10th January 2008  –  The first full day

Today was the first day of full classes.  Most of us were “surprised” by the late night last night and pained by the early morning.  It’s only the first day and some are already talking about missing sleep.  Before the first lecture, there was a general sentiment of two things running through the class.  First, “What have I gotten myself into?!” and second “I paid for this abuse!  What was I thinking?”  Needless to say, the auditorium was full of coffee and half-sleeping students.

The lectures today, however, pushed all doubt aside that we made the right choice and immediately revived the group.  The class seemed to feed off of each other’s energy during the lectures.  From Professor Benoit Leleux’s lecture on the Boblebee backpack, which included a fantastic guest lecturer and a very dramatic durability demonstration to Professor Jack D. Wood’s insight on why we would subject those below us to the exact environment we ourselves would hate to be in, the class was always engaged and full of ideas, comments and counterpoints.

The professors keep talking about setting a high bar for us to strive for, but I have to say, they set it pretty high for themselves today too.


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