Dragging my luggage across the small street of Lausanne back from our worldwide discovery trip, I sensed the familiarity — the path I’ve crossed hundreds of times when commuting between apartment and school during the past six months.

It reminds me of my uneasiness during the initial days, amongst the complex mix of expectation, anxiety and resolution.

I’m Suyun, coming from China, engineer by training, introvert, sensitive, and Virgo.

Then here you may go with a typical archetype:
A self-disciplined one needs the compulsory order of making and sticking to plans, tends to learn and comprehend by breaking things down to progress and mechanism; relatively weak at open discussion, argument or articulation, but with born intellectual curiosity and good savvy about numbers and logic.

It resembles part of me, the old me.

I came to IMD to receive this one-year MBA program training, with the hope to hone skills, to forge characters, to undergo challenges and transmissions and to fully exploit my potential.

I’ve talked to many alumni. They all seem to hold IMD dear to their hearts – ‘Best experience in life’, ‘life-changing year’ – that’s the words they’re likely to use most.
It’s the place where you get surrounded by bunch of wise, extraordinary, yet humble people to learn from; it’s the enabler where you can gain access to precious platforms, resources and networks.


Photo: Me with some alumni in Singapore

On top of that, it’s a manifestation as well:
It’s the group of people who have the courage to make the choice to halt their career lives for a year, and make investments into self-improvement, in exchange for the chance to shoot for the stars, to dream something big, or to make adjustment or remedy for their previous experiences.

It’s always intense and tough:
I got frustrated when I couldn’t follow a professor in class;
I felt guilt and remorse when teamwork didn’t work;
I had to recite ‘fake it till make it’ so many times to get the courage to stand on stage to deliver a key presentation.

But eventually, you’ll get stronger after surviving it all:
You’ll become comfortable with being uncomfortable;
You’ll understand yourself better, in terms of strength, weakness, purpose and passion;
You’ll feel like you know the big picture when framing knowledges and skills all together;
And mentally and psychologically, you’ll be future-ready, as a real business leader.

Each time I get close to Léman, I feel emotional.

It has been more than one year since my assessment day. I still vividly remember my first sight of the breath-taking beauty of the lake, and the voice which consistently resonated within me, telling me what a privilege it would be to jog around it the following year.

Like many other things in life, career may not always turn out to be as planned. That being said, it shouldn’t prevent us from choosing the future we truly want to live.

Seize the day and walk your own path;
Aim long, stay open-minded and work hard;
Make as many mistakes as you can during this year, and try to learn the maximum out of them;
Last but not least, my favorite quote from Richard Hahlo, ‘to show up, light up’.


(Featured image: Lac Léman)

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