Doing an MBA is well known to be a year full of surprises. The journey is intense, challenging and set up to shake your head and prompt you to rethink your professional and personal life. When arriving at IMD, my mind was set to expect a year full of surprises and learnings, take the opportunities the program presents and cherish them. In a way, I thought I knew (at least roughly) what was coming, yet the insights come from so many directions and so often that it feels like you live 10 years’ worth of experience in 365 days (and we are still in the 211th).
A colleague of mine said in a session today that,
The 2020 class is forever marked as the Covid batch, and we can be grateful. Because of that we are also the class that have a full week dedicated to a consulting bootcamp.
This phrase resonated so much in me. It got me thinking about what has happened so far and how many things we have lived. We started the year with the overload of Module 1, with numerous deliverables per week while still bonding. We finished Module 1 amidst one of the biggest health crises ever and moved everything to digital – classes, group work, presentations, meetings, company presentations. Dealt with that and returned to our beloved Campus, meeting our friends in an almost second beginning of the program, now with a “new normal”, facemasks and plexiglass.
Immediately started the famous and traditional integrative exercise, cracking a complex case within 24 hours to recommend business strategy based on a multitude of information. Digital week to deliver a price prediction model through AI and data visualization tools, learning coding, statistical analysis, and modelling through python.
And then, the well-deserved break. Whether in Switzerland or nearby countries, Europe is a classroom by itself. We all enjoyed our time-off the best way we could, rebalancing ourselves, regaining our breathes and preparing for the second half of the program – job applications and consulting projects, no pressure.
For some of us, those that opted, the second part started earlier with a consulting bootcamp. We expected a week diving into case practices to hone problem solving skills. What we got … well … way beyond than that! The week was a full holistic training: problem solving frameworks, acting and presence coaching, boxing dynamics. When could I imagine that boxing would present professional insights? You start your interaction by greeting your partner (no opponents in your business situations), then position yourself and prepare to act. Breath, get in, do your routine, and if necessary, take a step back to react to your peer’s moves. It is so simple, yet so easy to forget when in a stressful situation.
After 7 months I am sure: time is relative and can be expanded and the formula should consider an MBA, exponential with the added complexity we had.