The 2023 MBA cohort celebrate the Year of the Rabbit in style as they ponder global sustainability challenges in the mountains.

It’s been three weeks since I started my MBA journey at IMD. With all the mind-blowing lectures and projects we have had to handle, time has felt like it has sped up and slowed down at the same time. Every day I get to learn more and more about myself, and every day I notice changes. Here are three highlights from the first three weeks:

I had one of the most exciting Chinese New Year dinner parties with my ‘families’ on 20 January. Yiran Liu, Junqi Tan, Bingjie Lyu and I organized the party and invited all MBAs to a Chinese restaurant in Lausanne to celebrate. To our surprise, it turned out to be a ‘reunion’ with over 90 participants (including some MBA partners). Many people pitched in to help: Shun Omori provided his apartment to host as the restaurant was too crowded, while Venice Lau offered to introduce the culture and tradition of Chinese New Year to other MBAs. It was so much fun to have everyone together to enjoy Chinese food, make dumplings, and win Chinese red pockets. By the end of the evening, we were exhausted but happy, and I really appreciated the time spent with everyone outside of the classroom.

Chinese New Year celebration

As the leadership stream kicked in, we were asked to write a personal and professional identity narrative (PPIN). I didn’t expect to find the writing process to be so emotional; I spent almost the entire weekend reflecting and recalling the experiences I have undergone both in my personal and professional life. Other MBAs said they had a similar experience. As Professor Jennifer Jordan, who directs the Leadership Stream, shared with us, the program will not only focus on the tools and strategies that will help us to become leaders, but also on ways to enable us to find out who we truly are. I believe we cannot help organizations achieve their business goals without being a leader of ourselves. I am especially looking forward to the coming leadership stream and the PDE (Personal Development Elective).

Discovering Lausanne with my classmates

As a professional who has worked in different commercial roles to drive sales and profit for corporates, I was impressed by the lecture on sustainability conducted by Peter Bakker, President of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. We also spent two days in the mountains for our mountain expedition where, besides snowshoeing, we also gathered together to discuss how we could turn the corner on climate change by 2030 with Professor Knut Haanaes. It was so inspiring. I couldn’t help but wonder what we can do to tackle the global sustainability challenges facing humankind, while also pursuing business success. I am not able to turn the corner yet, but I can start from now.

Mountain Trip 2023

Every day when I wake up and get ready for the day, I know I will enjoy every minute – no matter how hard or intensive it could be. I wish there could be 48 hours a day for me.

Sustainability discussion in the Swiss Alps

Stay tuned and I will come back with more stories in the coming months!

Chao Fang

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