While the Digital Lab was a new event for our MBAs, recruiting and ICPs remain key highlights at this time of the year. Mathieu Pointeau (MBA blogger 2008) shared his reflections from 10 years ago:

19th September 2008

100 stories

This is my 100th diary entry. 100 stories. 100 experiences. 100 opportunities to share with you what is going on inside the IMD MBA bubble.

Times have changed again. We have left the International Consulting Projects behind for a couple of weeks in order to focus on the search of our ideal job. Ideal job… Interesting concept. There are probably 90 versions of it in the Class. Once you have managed to define it, assuming you have got enough self-awareness to do so, I guess you just have to go and fetch it. You enquire, you write, you call, you apply, you interview…

This is usually when it starts to hurt. The rejection. The famous Ding. The one that wipes out for a few hours of genuinely wild disbelief, the pride, the enthusiasm and the self-confidence so patiently gathered during the initial approach from and to the targeted company. The on-campus presentation, the covering letter, the interview prepared to the best of your ability… and the Ding. Or even worse, the vicious feeling that you have not performed as well as you know you should have or that you have naively said things that you should have probably kept to yourself for fear of amalgamation or misinterpretation.

In some much needed occasions, there is a feeling of connectivity. Some complicity which increases your feel good capital. You are at ease, everything is going well. And you leave happy. Happy with the outcome and happy with yourself. But the uncertainty soon takes over with rumours that it went even better for some of your peers. They experienced more complicity or even better, were implicitly told that they would go through to the second round of interviewing. This is when it happens again: whatever your initial positive feeling might have been, you start doubting again. And you meet throughout the campus, 90 high achievers impeccably dressed with startlingly high levels of insecurity and low levels of self-confidence. A bunch of human beings slowly going back to the humbling real world.

As one of my most admired friends wrote to me a couple of nights ago as I was myself feeling the first whispering winds of anxiety:-

“My #1 learning this year is that, when things seem to go against you, don’t react, don’t get down.  Because, almost always, in the short term things are much better than they seem [a cliché, but true], and in the long term your fundamental talent will see you through.

 Basically, I’ve learned to have faith in myself, whatever the situation.  You should do the same.”

We, you should all do the same. 100 stories. 100 reasons to believe in yourself. And write the following back to any rejecting ex-potential employer:-

Dear Employer,

 I regret to inform you that I am unable to accept your rejection letter for the job as <job title>.

I have reviewed your letter of rejection and noted the basis on which you have come to your decision. I congratulate you on the thoroughness of your evaluation. I expect to receive no less than seven letters of rejection this year. Most of these letters are from companies with a successful track record of rejecting candidates, however, with seven letters applying to reject me, I have only the capacity to accept six.

With virtually every company offering significant rejection experience and submitting persuasive letters of rejection, my task in selecting acceptable rejection letters has been extremely difficult. As a result, I cannot accept your excellent rejection letter based on the competitive context of the pool of rejection letters. The fact that I have not offered to accept your rejection should not be taken as a reflection of your potential to reject future candidates, the thoroughness of your evaluation process, or your potential for maintaining low employment ratios.

I am sorry that this letter does not carry better news. I wish you success in your rejection of future candidates, and, regrettably, will be showing up for work at your company’s premises in the beginning of 2009.


A Candidate

Time to wish you a good evening, I guess.

We are all off partying tonight. A Champagne Party expertly organised by Zina Sanyoura [Lebanese] and Enrique Hernandez-Pons [Mexican]. All these mobile phones that have been shortly ringing in the Auditorium… Time to celebrate them!

Carpe Diem – Seize the moment,



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