MBA student, Mikel Iriondo from Spain, shares insights into his IMD MBA experience and offers his tips for future applicants.

After graduating with a master’s degree in engineering and management from the Technical University of Munich, I started work in a manufacturing plant for Proctor & Gamble. This was a great first job, but after a few years I felt I was getting boxed into technical roles. I wanted to move into a role where I could impact the business in a different way. So, at 27, I decided to apply for an MBA to broaden my horizons and improve my chances of moving into more strategic positions.

Having lived in Germany for seven years, I was keen to attend a European business school. IMD’s one-year program was a major draw. Another factor in choosing IMD was the leadership stream and the opportunity to become more self-aware about myself as a leader.

A standout moment from the program was the Discovery Expedition to Argentina. We learned a lot about the challenges businesses are facing there as they grapple with volatility and sky-high inflation. It was also a chance to have fun and learn more about my classmates in a different context.

Discovery Expedition – Buenos Aires – company visit

Another highlight has been living and breathing the diversity of the MBA class of 2022. There are 40 different nationalities, and people from non-business backgrounds including a pilot, a doctor, and a fashion designer. This breadth of experience really enriches the discussions we have during group projects and integrative exercises.

Innovation Lab: Where to Impact workshop, with Marc Gruber, at Mass Challenge
Photo: Mark Henley/Panos Pictures

For future candidates, I would advise them to reach out to alumni from their own countries to get a proper sense of what the program is like. For those MBAs coming to Lausanne with a partner, I suggest having an honest and open discussion about the intensity of the program and how much time it is going to take up. I would also encourage partners of MBAs to seek out work or volunteering opportunities. I am fortunate that my girlfriend is Swiss and found a job here within a few months of my application being accepted.

Overall, IMD has not disappointed. The program has given me lots of opportunities to reflect on how and why I react a certain way in some situations. I feel I have been armed with a self-awareness toolkit that will make me better at understanding both how people perceive me and how to read the room when I return to the workplace.

Mikel

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