We are entering the final stages of our MBA and it is time to face the market. Like every year, but this time remotely and virtually, companies come to IMD to introduce themselves and meet the class. Some have built a long-term relationship with IMD and have been recruiting MBAs for many years, knowing in detail the set of skills that IMD recruits to compose the class and how participants are trained throughout an extremely intense journey.
This is an exceptionally interesting year to understand the business plans and strategies of companies and to compare their ability to adapt to sudden changes of scenery. Many of us started the MBA with some dream companies in mind, but the challenges that this year has imposed on them, added to our own learning, has made us change our perspectives (as Warren Buffet said, “only when the tide goes out do you discover who has been swimming naked”). Although the COVID Pandemic has affected industries very differently, even benefiting some by creating a context conducive to business growth, there is a general freeze in the recruitment of new employees that expand headcount. In these circumstances, those firms that do not take their eyes off their long-term focus stand out, as they take advantage of the chance to differentiate themselves from their competitors and maintain their plan to recruit talent.
Also, for us, the participants, everything is a matter of strategies. We decided to do our MBA for various and personal reasons: some were looking for a change of industry, of region, or a hierarchical promotion; some were aiming for something less specific but deeper, such as expanding the arc of knowledge and understanding what really drives us. The variety of stimuli, challenges, and opportunities for reflection that the MBA has put in front of us has allowed us to shape an attractive toolkit to understand our priorities and motivations. Working smartly with it, everyone is capable of defining their short- and medium-term goals.
Now we can face the labor market, not only recognizing what we have to offer, but also the trade-offs that we are willing to make to be consistent with our personal goals, to stay on a path of significant steps, and of purpose.