Sara – Reaching for the stars while remaining firmly anchored

With the start of the second half of the program just around the corner, our participants begin again to share their profiles and offer a glimpse into why they joined IMD and what they’re getting out of the program. Here Sara shares a bit about herself and her learnings so far…

Today is a windy day on Hyères Peninsula (South East of France). I came here to enjoy a week kitersufing and take a real break from one of the most intense and exciting years of my life.

The Mediterranean oak and pine forests, the relaxing sound of waves, the singing cicadas and the orange blossom give me the illusion of being in my two countries at the same time. I couldn’t find a better place to recharge my batteries after the first half of IMD.

Sara_In Hyères Peninsula (2) (002)

My name is Sara, I am French and Moroccan, I am an aerospace engineer by training, and a sports lover.

I grew up in Meknès, close to the Middle Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

Sara_Close to my parents' little farm in the Middle Atlas Spring 2017 (002)

I had the chance to grow up in a family of explorers who put me on a pair of skis at 5, and encouraged me to travel around the world and try exciting activities like paragliding quite early.

As I grew up, I focused on tennis, which I played at national level. Tennis is a great sport that teaches you how to combine resilience and self-discipline with strategic thinking to harvest your potential, manage your energy levels and optimize your progress at every scale (a point, a set, a match, a competition, a season…).

My open mind and passion for exploration also shaped my education: I wanted to know all about mathematics, physics and flight mechanics. After receiving my degree in aerospace engineering in France, I joined Airbus where I explored various functions and roles that involved both technical and leadership responsibilities. My greatest challenge was to deal with the inertia and resistance to change of a Blue Chip company and maintain my drive to move traditional lines and accelerate innovation.

As I grew in the company, I realized that I was not a typical engineer. I wanted to become familiar with everything that drives a business, be it technical, political, financial, personal…I felt I was missing a part of the puzzle that would enable me to fully explore my potential and become a better self and a better leader. This brought me to IMD.

IMD is a perfect combination for me. In addition to being a well-rounded curriculum that covers business fundamentals as well as recent trends in digitalization and social responsibility, IMD offers a unique leadership stream and a safe environment where we can try, test, fail and improve in an accelerated manner. As for the people, I am delighted by the faculty and class diversity, my classmates’ benevolence and their level of intellectual and human stimulation. As many alumni say, I believe that the great friendships I am making here will last forever.

Most importantly, I feel much more grounded than I was before entering IMD. The leadership sessions, the group dynamics, the feedback and, in general, the intensity of the program teach me how to better connect to my inner self while remaining open to the outside world.

A pragmatic dreamer, driven by ideals of progress, respect and wellbeing, I am building on my intuition, my cartesian character and my courage to make things happen.

I believe that my experience at IMD is providing me with the toolkit I need to keep building my way towards making a meaningful impact in society that resonates with who I am and where I come from.

Sara

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