The IMD MBA program is well known for its intensive studies. However, besides finance, accounting and many other subjects, I acquired implicit leadership learnings that were not mentioned in any MBA ad prospectus. Through the year I could significantly improve my communication, prioritization and leadership skills.
First, given that English is not my native language, the program helped me to enhance my communication skills. I learnt how to effectively convey ideas in both written and verbal forms, whether it an essay, presentation or other medium. Interviews were integral parts of my consulting and startup projects. The dramatic resources elective, in-class presentations and Toastmasters club helped me to gain more confidence in public speaking. Furthermore, working in small teams, you learn how to effectively organize communication with your peers of different cultures and backgrounds.
Secondly, the intensity of the program spurs you to prioritize goals and tasks. You practice juggling studies and family, social and sports activities, traveling and sleep. I remember a weekend when, after ten-hours of leadership-essay writing, I had my longest finance test to do, and it was already 2 am in the morning. As I wanted to accomplish more, maintaining a disciplined approach and rigorous prioritization played a crucial role for me.
Finally, the extra practical leadership lessons that our class got due to the pandemic. Our class was divided during the lockdown, and people found themselves in different physical and psychological settings. It changed the class dynamic. However, it also gave extra space for empathy, support and humility. I believe that our class has been able to convert these negative circumstances into advantages: to be even closer and support each other not only to the end of this year, but through the the rest of our lives.
Banner image: standing with some of my classmates, prior to COVID social distancing