Conquering The Chaos: Last Leg of the IMD MBA Discovery Expedition

 

Landed middle of the night in Bangalore, we didn‘t witness much of the renowned Indian chaos. It was still there, though. We could feel it first-hand during the past three days, while discovering what I would call the first layer of the Indian economy. Continue reading “Conquering The Chaos: Last Leg of the IMD MBA Discovery Expedition”

Silicon Valley – day 3

Day 3: Stanford, Cisco and VC demo

 A critical piece of the silicon valley puzzle is Stanford University, and an important part of the Stanford magic is Sillicon Valley. It was therefore fitting that we started our 3rd and final day in the valley at Stanford, with a talk from Adjacent Professor Mike Lyons about the origin of the ecosystem there and how Stanford plays an important part in supporting entrepreneurs. Continue reading “Silicon Valley – day 3”

Silicon Valley – days one & two

The valley has produced some of the world’s largest and most successful tech companies of our generation, and our mission in this first episode of our discovery trip was to understand what was so unique about the place that made it so successful. What separates this place from the other tech hubs of the world? Were there just some really smart people there? Was there a lot of money indiscriminately being poured into startups? Do people there have a unique desire to succeed? Or was it just California dreaming? Continue reading “Silicon Valley – days one & two”

Kicking off- Around the world in 14 days!!

So, we are in San Fransisco as part of our whirlwind Discovery Expedition around the world. And we’ve been bombarded with all the superlatives about Silicon Valley. For the first two days in the Valley, I personally could not associate these superlatives to what I saw. It wasn’t so obvious when we visited big campuses, looked at big sales figures or gawked at the various philosophies for success of these tech giants. The real spirit of the valley came alive when a small group of us visited a nondescript startup operating in the  hardware memory industry. The CEO , a man possibly in his fifties, dressed in a dull striped shirt and plain black trousers, explained the 10 principles of his company. At the very bottom of the list he had etched his own motivating principle in the hope that it resonated with the employees of the startup and it read “I want to win”. You couldn’t tell by the way he behaved with his staff often giving them credit and really being their supporter throughout the presentation. But there he was, turning around his company and making it the top startup in the hardware memory industry. Observing this behaviour, I felt an extreme commonality with the caring and daring principles taught at IMD.

The last week saw us dressed up, running around, completing tasks, listening to companies and meeting alumni before embracing the madness of the discovery expedition. We had insightful presentations from the top firms in consulting and industry. I was wowed by the gravitas  and responsibilities of some roles and the promise of rapid learning from some other. We saw both the traditional companies with defined space for MBAs and the high growth companies with more fluid opportunities. I look forward to interacting with these companies on a more personal level after these impressive presentations.

The Alumni of the school also left an indelible impression on me last week. The All MBA Alumni event on the 15th had all the ingredients of a giant family reunion. Familiar faces were there acknowledging the established connections. But more impressive were the unfamiliar faces. Everywhere I turned and introduced myself, I was greeted with a smile and an offer of help or a connection to my area of interest.

Waking up the next day and facing some other alumni, this time as part of simulated interviews was a completely different experience altogether. The test of my preparedness was persistent and as a result, my learning was exponential. It was an immensely fulfilling experience that thoroughly tested my preparedness. This was extremely helpful given the fact that some alumni had to sacrifice time at the ongoing alumni event and faced problems with transportation and scheduling in order to attend these interviews.

We are well on our way to finish the San Fransisco leg of the trip and fly to Singapore tomorrow. The trip has been amazing in several ways but I can’t help but think about the incredible experience that we had with the various alumni on campus. They’ve been caring enough to introduce us to broad network of opportunities but have also dared us to be prepared to meet those opportunities when they show up. It’s this tribe spirit that keeps IMD alive.

Off to bed to get ready for tomorrow’s madness.

Parth

Featured image, the jump group picture with Golden Gate Bridge in the background.