With just a couple of months left until graduation, MBAs hear from guest speakers, work on job search and prepare for their ICPs.

As October approaches, we start realizing we are heading into the final stages of our program. Today, I’d like to share some insights on these final building blocks.

First, I would like to thank the IMD task force who were preparing the well-known Discovery Expedition. This month’s blog was planned to be filled with pictures and anecdotes from Shenzen, Silicon Valley and Dublin. Unfortunately, the current situation makes it impossible to travel around the world with 90 people. Disappointment? Yes, of course, but we all realize the effort IMD staff have put in to adapt the plans a dozen times and it must be even more painful for them to cancel plan Z at the last minute. I’m genuinely grateful for what the team at IMD has been moving for us, in order to make our program different, but meaningful.

I tend to see the positive side and took advantage to spend the weekend with my partner, discovering the beautiful nature, with friends in nearby Liechtenstein.

As an alternative for the Discovery Expedition, we had extra days for job-search related activities and this week we have a new ‘Perspective week’. Built to give us insights from some of the most experienced professors at IMD and remarkable guest speakers, this is our opportunity to taste some of the lectures that are normally given in open programs and to meet extraordinary people through the IMD network.

As an example, the first day we had a lecture about life in Silicon Valley and how the area has responded to the COVID pandemic. First-hand insights were shared by a professor with over 20years of experience in the region. In some ways we like to compare the entrepreneurial mindset around Lac Leman with the famous Bay Area nearby San Francisco. Furthermore, we had a session about what “purpose driven” can mean and how it creates a frame for consequent decision making. In a final session the concept of governance in big organizations was brought to attention. Seems like a normal class day, but it would not be IMD without an extra guest speaker from 18h to 21h about impact investing.

On the second day, we had again a variety of topics, from the history of India to the inclusion of LGBTs. A moment from one of the class activities:

Besides the “Perspective week”, we are getting prepared for the crown jewel of our MBA program, which is the International Consulting Project (ICP). The project officially starts in October, but before getting unleashed, several preparational tasks had to be completed. We visited our client on site in Switzerland for a brainstorming session on Saturday morning, followed by a typical ‘raclette’ and wine from the Valais. Afterwards we structured our thoughts to frame our problem statement, main issue, solutions and criteria. It started off with great team building, and we hope to have a positive consultancy experience and to make a long-term impact on our client’s business.

As we head into the final straight line, I must admit some ‘fear of abandonment’ is around the corner. How could these months pass by so fast? It feels like January just finished. Fortunately, we are packed with great memories of this amazing year and I’m looking forward to making the best out of our final months with my awesome 89 classmates!

Nick Geldhof

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