The last days of 2020. The IMD MBA dream is about to start. There is luggage to pack, a flight to catch and people to meet. Time to get ready for a new adventure.

Wow – the MBA class of 2020 has graduated! Working from home, I miss the end-of-year atmosphere of upcoming festivities combined with the celebrations of both a graduating class and a new class – each embarking on a new journey.

This year, I am saying my goodbyes by email. The MBA class of 2020 did us proud and everyone at IMD wishes them all the very best as they spread back across the globe to take on new challenges and careers.

We are also getting to know the new class virtually and look forward to welcoming them in January. Over the next few weeks, the blog will share some of their stories as they prepare for the MBA 2021 program. I hope you enjoy them.

MBA Recruitment and Admissions

As of today, less than 30 days remain until the program kicks off. Right this moment I am sitting surrounded with a pile of clothes waiting to be packed. Memories of this year are coming up, reality sinks and my mind is full of mixed emotions; excitement for new beginnings, anxiety from the unknown, a pinch of sadness to leave and curiosity for new experiences.

It is a déjà vu moment. I was packing for the UK last year around these times. In no way I could guess what would this year bring. A pandemic crashing my startup plans, living with two luggages the entire year as a nomad, changing homes every four months, being all alone in a foreign country away from family or friends, and making new friends in the most unexpected times. Among all this craziness I decided to bring my MBA plans forward and dedicated myself to study GMAT while I was locked down. A solid target kept me going. IMD.

Studying GMAT was hard after all the years away from high school. I had to learn math from scratch, in English. Writing my application word by word, thinking of all my past experiences, who I was, what I wanted to do or become were hard and took longer than I expected.

I remember each conversation I had with other candidates before the assessment day. I felt very lucky to meet these bright inspiring people. We had the same dream, yet we had completely different personalities coming from different backgrounds and culture. The possibility of going through a Swiss year at IMD brought us closer in no time. Our day was a life changer.

Following ‘The Day’, waiting part was a torture. I prepared myself for the worst yet prayed every day, every moment. And there was the phone call: ‘We decided to offer you a seat.’ The moment I felt my life changed forever. I got overly excited, dropped my phone, couldn’t even keep my business cool. I remember telling Jennifer how happy I was. It was a moment in my life that I felt so proud.

After several days of celebration, phone calls with family and friends, dinners and cheers, I stepped back to real life. There was a lot to plan and prepare. I was certainly not ready to change countries again.

Luckily, this time, I was not alone at all. I had 99 other candidates supporting each other in a telegram group, having regular zoom calls, doing activities to get to know each other. We had quizzes, polls, games, shared stories, insights and advice. I believe we already became a big family which I hope to last a lifetime. I look forward to meeting each one of them in person.

All I need to do now is to wait until my still not booked flight and keep my mind distracted from the building up anxiety by focusing on the pre-program assignments.

I’m counting the days to arrive in Switzerland where everyone mentions it as it is heaven. One of the alumni I talked had told me that the program changed everything. I imagine a transformative year. I expect to gain great amount of knowledge. More than that I expect to evolve to a better version of myself. I hope to gain many lifelong friends. And at the end I wish to make myself proud again.

Canay Kara

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