In our first week at IMD we had a session with MBA Dean, Sean Meehan, designed to create an ideal learning environment.
It was interesting (and fun) to explore our differences. What is ‘punctuality’ or ‘hard work’ and how do we define it in IMD versus in our home culture?Significantly more telling than our differences however are our commonalities. We came to IMD with a rich and diverse background of work experience. However, what our interactions thus far have shown us is that there are core values that unite us because of this diverse background.
Even before the class, the desire to help others defined the work of many of our candidates. One classmate who particularly inspired me is Ihab Rizk, who worked at Education Above All, to protect millions of children and youth’s right to quality education. Ihab led multiple digitization initiatives but also took time to oversee out-of-school children projects.
Since joining the program, the class has supported each other with no hesitation. Whether it is helping people move in, giving advice, or even helping re-unite people with long lost family members across borders. It is the second week, and I have never seen such a giving community.
Ubuntu – Ohana – One for all, all for one – Family
There are as many words for it as there are participants. What we have found is a deep feeling from the class that we are coming together as a family. The partners and children of the class are even welcomed to campus with the work of the wonderful Marcella Rispo. Many candidates have come from family business environments and are used to incorporating family values into the workplace and their leadership here shines through.
We were all inspired by IMD when we saw the care the alumni showed to each one of us when we discussed the program with them. The IMD MBA community is now beginning to become our family.
To define 2021 without mentioning COVID would be absurd. But what our class has done is show courage in the face of this crisis. We all decided to pursue an MBA in a changing world when more uncertainty than ever before lies in the future. Yet, for our class, crisis is not a limitation but a challenge to be embraced.
All participants have at least one story that is an impressive example of courageousness. For example; Emma Wang, left her auditing career for the world of VC, eventually co-founding an adventure sports start-up, XTRAIL, in China.
This year the class of 2021 has stood up with the rest of the world and said: In 2021 fear will not limit us. In this spirit the class comes together, whether from quarantine or in person and a courageous bunch of individuals become a courageous class of one hundred.
We are the courageous one hundred, to be called in Latin: