3, 2, 1, go!

My name is Martina Skodova and I come from the Czech Republic. I lived or studied in London, Vancouver and Munich and travelled 19 countries (so far). After more than six years of working experience in business development in financial services industry, I come to IMD to reinforce leadership, to explore new roles and industries and to nurture my entrepreneurship. Along with Neharika and Parth, I will be posting insights on the IMD MBA journey in 2018. Continue reading “3, 2, 1, go!”

Signal and Noise

The first week at the program has been hectic.  First we had to get all of the arrival requirements out of the way. And then we had the MBA introductions and welcome lunches, some coursework in the form of business analytics, opening dinner and visits to CERN and EPFL and finally the Chamonix trip. All in 6 days. And true to IMD’s reputation we didn’t get much sleep in these 6 days. We were either fighting it out till the early ams in the dungeons with the analytics assignments or sacrificing sleep to bond with our fellow classmates on the way to Chamonix. I finally had the answer to a burning question- Why so many coffee machines in the campus?

In the middle of the week, we had a frank discussion on the outcomes of the program and what is expected of an individual graduating from the program. In other words, for me to look at how much the program has improved me by December, I will have to measure myself based on certain criteria before and after the program. This took me back to one of the standard practices in my previous job. Our job was to process raw seismic data to a final version that could represent an accurate image of the hydrocarbon reservoir that’s been evaluated. In every step along this process, one of the parameters that measures the improvement in the data is called signal to noise ratio. The idea is pretty simple, if there is a perceivable increase in the ratio then the data quality has improved from step A to B. Signal defined as something correlating throughout the data set and noise as something random in the dataset.

Having had the discussion on the expectation from an individual graduating out of the program and brainstorming it further with my classmates, a few things become quite apparent about which aspects are important in an individual :

1)      Business knowledge and skills

2)      Interpersonal relationship

3)      Inherent integrity

Some of us are absolutely brilliant in all three dimensions and some of us are just starting to realize where we need improvement. But one thing is extremely clear. In all three aspects, identifying and separating signal to noise is the key. Take for example, interpersonal relationships. Having superficial relationships would be noise and having deep meaningful conversations would be the signal in this instance. Proactively strengthening deep meaningful relationships would constitute an improvement and would be great training for a long career in business and working with strong personalities.

I hope each one of us is able to separate and strengthen the signal from noise in their dimensions of improvement by the end of the year. Looking ahead, I’m very excited to start the leadership module and immerse myself in the case studies on strategy and economics. More importantly, I’m eager to improve every lecture, every assignment and every week in this journey.

Featured image from a artistic reinterpretation of the Olympic logo in the Olympic Museum, Lausanne

Parth Reddy

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New Beginnings

I’m Neharika Agarwal, a graduate of BITS Pilani, India, holding an CFA & FRM charter. I have worked with Morgan Stanley Capital International for seven years in the quantitative equity research team and later with Absolutdata in marketing analytics domain. An MBA will help me realise the goal of applying my skillset at a leadership level by filling the gaps in my armour.

As one of the official bloggers, I will share my experiences during the MBA on a regular basis. The following lines summarize my journey so far:

Keeping an open mind is quite a desirable state…
A thought process that all leaders I met, advocate…
Happens to be a key mantra shared by our new MBA dean…
“Let’s see” is what he suggests us to believe…

A similar spirit bit me a couple of years ago…
Driven by neophilia or just a willingness to explore…
Landed in Delhi, moving from finance to analytics…
Learning everyday something new, whether industry or statistics…

I loathed the city at the outset for all it represented…
A new city, a new job & no friends, leaving me a tad disoriented…
Against popular advice, I decided to give the city a chance…
And voila! It embraced me with a warm heart and outstretched arms…

A stroke of luck again provided a life altering opportunity…
Accepted by IMD, I was put in a very distinguished community…
Along with change in ‘dateyear’, New year gave me a fresh start…
A chance to press a reset button & reflect on what has driven me so far…

90 already connected by technology came together from different parts…
Camaraderie in the group defied all laws of time and far…
Trips to Ikea, even buying groceries or forging friendships through the week’s course…
Eliminating all traces of homesickness, anxiety or any other such source…

Despite strains of relocation, elation trumped exhaustion in the last few days…
A peek into the what’s in store reaffirmed that alums had already appraised…
Day one, seeing the whole class together suddenly made it so real…
A glance at my seat in the auditorium almost brought a tear…

A transformative experience they say, IMD changes almost one’s third layer of skin…
Now a chance for me to pursue my passion & discover myself without any din…
11 months: a new journey, a new horizon, a new romance I seek…
I already can’t wait to meet a braver, stronger and a more mature version of me…

 

-Neharika

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Reflections

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.  Continue reading “Reflections”