“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” (Kurt Vonnegut)
Typecasting millennials as fidgety adventure-seekers has become burrowed into our collective consciousness to such an extent that we barely pause to think about it anymore. But we should, to leave space for personal journeys, cultural influencers, family histories that make the generational generalities so individually unique still.
I am Veronika, the 32-year-old daughter of an artist mother and an engineer father, who themselves grew up in a different world, the Hungary of the Eastern Bloc – a country nicknamed ‘the happiest barrack’ where nonetheless travel was curtailed, and pursuing a life abroad was a thing of dreams (or a thing of carefully executed all-or-nothing, one-shot criminal offences).
I, on the other hand, grew up in a Hungary where the Berlin Wall was but a memory, sweets from the West were available even in my tiny local village corner store (so much so that ‘Fanta cheesecake’ become a well-loved family recipe), and the sorcery of Schengen not only entitled me to leave the country, but allowed me to study and work in London, build a career in Belgium, and start exploring the world in a way my parents never could.
With the desire to explore, comes a hunger to understand, to dissect, to synthesize and to story-tell. These are strokes that followed me through my studies in Science & Technology, my work as Policy Officer of a space science research infrastructure, managerial functions held in Sales, IT and Business Processes at an Industrial Manufacturing company, and eventually my MBA at IMD.
Throughout my career, I’d seen a lot of what a company does on a day-to-day basis across all functional areas; I wanted to learn more about why a company does what it does, filling in the missing strategic pieces of the puzzle.
Halfway into the course I can already say I definitely found what I was looking for. I have been introduced to new perspectives, practices, and possibilities. I have travelled around the world on a Discovery Expedition, and have had the world brought to me daily by amazingly international classmates. Through lectures, team projects, and learnings from my IMD family, every day I feel more and more equipped to keep pushing boundaries – to keep as close to the edge as I can.