Today is the first of the 2020 MBA Class blog posts – start following their journey now as they prepare for their January arrival on campus!

The beginning of the journey of why I wanted to do an MBA and why I chose IMD.

As we come into the last few weeks of 2019 and I start to look back on my last 30 years, I see what has brought me to the place I now am and will guide me through the next year and the decades to come. The foundations of this is family, friends, experiences and my next year as an IMD MBA candidate.

This is me, as African as they come, getting ready for the rugby world cup final

My name is Anthony Wilson and I will be part of the IMD MightyNinety for 2020. Although very few of us have actually met, we have started to form a cohesive group – communicating mainly through whatsapp and starting to share our excitement, interests and fears. Our group have formed under the banner of the hashtag MightNinety; so Millennial I know ;-D

I was born in South Africa and you will struggle to find a more passionate person about my beautiful country. It has allowed me to grow into the person I am today and to have the honor to represent my country as an IMD scholarship winner for African and Middle Eastern Diversity. It has been a bit of a running joke in my family and friendship group that I am the diversity student for Africa as I am a white male. However it does show us that sometimes we get stuck in our little bubble: South Africa is becoming ever more polarised along lines of race, but if you look at it all on a more global scale it is what you can add to a group that makes it more diverse and not simply the colour of your skin. I am as African as they come and am determined to give the world the best of what we are and teach the world to avoid making the mistakes that we are still learning from to this day.

Let’s get back to the topic at hand. Where to start? At the very beginning seems prudent:

Why an MBA:

I studied Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Cape Town, but very quickly realised that I wanted to develop and grow businesses instead of simply products or concepts. I wanted to lead people and share my passion with the world. I also wanted to de-risk my career by developing a multi-faceted educational scope and an MBA was the next crucial step. I have worked as an engineer throughout Africa for a global company installing robotic systems on oil rigs. I have also worked for international management consultants assisting major telecoms companies, and even ran a startup in the beverage space for a private equity. All these experiences have created my career, and life, story. This story will help me educate those around me and be a foundation to learn from others’ experiences. That, I believe, is what an MBA is all about, learning from one another’s stories and strengthening your own.

Why IMD:

Even though the decision to choose IMD in the beginning was based on what I had read, actions show greater than words. IMD blew me away during their assessment day, the tour around campus and general communication with each employee guiding me along the way.

  1. How long can I afford to be away?
    2 years is simply too long for me at 31 with a new fiancé and the opportunity costs and funding implications that come with a 2 year MBA = Scratch out U.S. schools
  2. What do I want to achieve once I am done with my MBA?
    I want to use my business acumen and engineering mind to develop tangible outcomes in the world = Focus on the MBA schools that are not just banker and consultant producing machines…
  3. Which school can provide me with the personal touch that I enjoy?
    IMD, IMD, IMD! The day I met Antonio (one of the IMD recruiters) on a skype call, then through the assesment day and on campus, I could see this was a school that focuses on the personal touch. The guidance of a school who limits their intake to 90 to preserve that touch instead of going after massive profits is exceptional. That ~45% of their participants receive additional funding in Scholarships was a huge draw card as someone who was funding this endeavor myself.
  4. Which MBA is consistently rated among institutions (Bloomberg, FT, Forbes) as a standout top in the world?

With all of the above taken into account IMD was the one and only choice.

Next week we will focus on others’ experiences of making the decision to become an IMD 2020 candidate.

Kind Regards,

Anthony Wilson

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