This time last year, I was finishing my pre-readings and making preparations to leave for Switzerland, and I remember looking to the previous class for guidance. Among the advice were words of wisdom from the Centum Fortes class, compiled in this post by IMD MBA ’21 Christian Erana.
I recapitulate it here, and continue the legacy by offering some from the 2022 class.
Advice from the 2021 class
- Spend as much time with your family and friends before you come here as you can. That extra hour of sleep you can catch on the plane here, but that coffee/dinner with a friend might not happen until you’re back – if you go back!
- Get excited. Develop that growth mindset now and come with an open mind to give it your all.
- For those of you who enjoy food, eat your favorite dish until you’re sick of it. The food is delicious in Switzerland, but it doesn’t taste like home!
These three things definitely put me in the best state of resilience and helped me to prepare myself for the intense year ahead.
Advice from the 2022 class
- Don’t stick to only one definition of what your MBA experience should be like – as mentioned in last year’s advice, go into the year being open to new experiences, and potentially discovering new parts of yourself.
- Think long term, sustainable impact – it’s easy to think that one year will pass very quickly, but what happens during the year will have an impact on a time frame beyond that. On a community level, your feedback, event attendance, and responses are important drivers of how future MBA programs are run. On a personal level, acknowledge that it may take patience and time to get the results you want out of your MBA.
- Recognize when being too hard on yourself might be unhelpful, especially in the first three months. Overcome impostor syndrome by remembering that everyone is here to grow and learn, and by having empathy for yourself as well as others.
On behalf of the cohort, I wish the class of 2023 a transformative year ahead, and I hope this post offers some guidance as we enter into a more reflective state and think about our own impact as we go out into the world. I’m inspired by a quote from ancient Greece: “What we leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.”