The start of the MBA program, from headhunting to headhunted.

The gospel famously proclaimed that “in the beginning was the Word”. In the very similar fashion, my MBA journey began with a click. Eight months ago, I clicked the “Submit” button. Today, I shook hands with some of the most impressive individuals I have ever met, as we were warmly welcomed to the IMD MBA program, Class of 2020. What started as an aspiration, became a reality. It is remarkable how easy it is to start moving towards your dream. Sometimes, you merely need to click the button…

My dream was to change the course and pace of my career. I was working in executive search, helping organizations identify and attract senior executive leadership. Right executive leadership is one of the most important (if not THE most important) assets any company can have. This lasted a few years, until one day I thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool if I were the one to receive a call? I, too, want to be called out of the blue and be presented with a “great career opportunity”! Instead of headhunting, I wanted to be headhunted. And the way to propel my career forward was to go to business school. The question was which one.

I have read about and interacted with enough senior executives to understand that technical and functional skills are not enough to be a great leader today. Attributes that distinguish great leaders are curiosity, agility, and team leadership. It was clear to me that I needed a business school that will not only teach me how to become a Case-cracker through the symphony of balance sheet music and Framework Orchestra. I needed a place where I will be challenged to reveal and develop my personal leadership qualities. Thus, IMD was a natural choice. The school was founded by executives to produce the next generation of leaders and has kept this ethos through the decades.

Eight months ago, I clicked “Submit” and asked IMD to help me get closer to my dream. Today, Dean Sean Meehan, the faculty, the staff, and 88 fellow MBA candidates replied in unison: “Welcome! You are now closer to your dream. Now let’s make it a reality”.

Yaroslav Ivanov

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