"We struggled, we stumbled, and now we thrive and have fun, still with lots of work and sleepless nights." MBA student shares her insights.

On this new post, let me share with you how I took a step to overcome one fear I’d had since the beginning of the program: to stand in front of a presentation, or a group assignment, and take the lead.

During the past few weeks, I have chosen to be bold and daring in an environment that isn’t my secure base: it’s highly competitive, I’m a minority in terms of nationality, and using my second language. I shared this concern with my leadership coach Silke Mischke, who helped me by asking one simple question: At the end of your MBA program, would you most regret having performed a “not-too-great presentation”, or not having tried to present, because you were scared it wouldn’t go well? This helped and pushed me to give a trial in the next class session, and frankly I felt great and happy after this, so special thanks to my classmate Ankit Gupta, who  also motivated me to go in front of the class.

Liudmila Kortikova, Ankit and me, at the UN headquarters in Geneva

Moreover, from the High Performance Leadership class we had with Professor George Kohlrieser, I learned from Invictus, the poem by William Ernest Henley, that “I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul”. I now choose not to be a hostage to my fear throughout this transformative journey. From the alumni session with Amanda Tan, IMD MBA 2022 from Bain, I realised that I need to make the most of this trial environment, dare more where I don’t feel strong, and be willing to fail to get better.

From left to right, front row, Liudmila, Chao (Amy) Fang, and me, at the UN in Geneva

Now, let me share with you the amazing experience we went through during the MBA Tournament. This was an insightful experience that helped us to build trust, win trophies, and have fun. I participated in the dance and cricket competitions, coming out with a gold medal in cricket. Finding time to train and prepare for the competition was not always easy, but as a team willing to win and proudly represent our school, we were able to properly organize ourselves to get ready. I felt great after moving from never having played cricket to winning a gold medal. Special thanks to our team captain Harsh Sharma.

The winning MBA and ESADE cricket team at the MBAT in HEC Paris

Finally, as one of the key pillars of IMD’s MBA program is sustainability, one of my major takeaways during the past weeks is that as a next-to-come responsible leader, it is my duty to take a bold step towards sustainability. That way, I can stand out as a game changer to continuously challenge what is, and inspire what could be, and be a leader able to transform tomorrow’s organizations and positively contribute to our society.  

Aishwarya Saxena, Takafumi Shibata, Liudmila, me, and Karan Aggarwal, at the MBAT Gala


4 Like