The question that was stuck in my mind while deciding to do an MBA was, “Will it really be an international experience where I will be exposed to different cultures, ways of thinking, and people?”.
After 9 months from the start of the program, I am sitting on a plane that is taking me back to Geneva from Dhaka in Bangladesh, after three intense weeks of fieldwork for my ICP, with a team of diverse people, both in terms of nationality and work experience, and the answer to my initial question is definitely “YES”.
Already before this last experience, the program’s international exposure was significant: a class of 90 people of 39 nationalities, a diverse faculty, and a 15-day trip to visit the world’s best hubs of innovation in three continents. But the ICP experience has been the icing on the cake. In 20 days, we have completed field visits with different teams from both local and multinational companies thanks to IMD’s strong network. We clearly saw how diverse and creative a local business can be; we talked in our own words (via a translator) to local people to learn about their lives and habits. All these learnings will be crucial not only for our final deliverables to our Client, but also for our future international careers – in particular, business development in high-growth, developing markets.
What I found inspiring during our trip and the multi-cultural experiences so far, is the fact that your curiosity and ability to ask the right questions set the learning boundaries. In Bangladesh, for instance, I saw how some multinational companies wisely created a competitive advantage through the pioneering application of technology. And how significant this competitive edge can be, even if today the pace of change has increased dramatically. Equally, I was amazed to see the commitment of local companies to increase the size of their business, while at the same time improving the quality of life for their nation and compatriots.
The ICP is definitely a unique opportunity to put into practice what we have learnt over the whole year.
I want to thank all my colleagues: Priscila, Yang, Stepan, and Georgii for these incredible three weeks and for the insights for this post, as well as Professor Dominique Turpin.
I only have one comment for the next part of the project, “AD MAIORA.”
Matteo and the ICP team