Something felt different during that morning’s rush to campus. The surroundings hadn’t changed: the familiar friendly smiles and “good mornings” from colleagues, faculty, and staff, the usual queue for that last-minute coffee before class starts, and, as always, Viraj being one of the sweetest people in our cohort, had already placed my nameplate next to his on our habitual seats.
I have lost count of how many times I’ve walked that same path to school. However, while the cobblestones are unchanged, I am different each time I step over them. Every day brings new learnings and leadership lessons. Every lecture, assignment, group interaction, and informal chat shapes us into the leaders we are becoming – leaders of self, leaders of teams, and soon enough, leaders of organizations.
Yet, that morning brought a new feeling to my year at IMD – the feeling of imminent nostalgia. As we approach the last few months of the program, the initial set of “firsts” is giving way to a set of “lasts”, and that morning was the last time we all sat together in the main MBA auditorium, Lorange, for two full three-hour lectures.
The whole year I have been looking ahead, but that morning made me look back and appreciate what a wonderful transformative journey the MBA has been. I’ve developed a 360-degree view of business and learned valuable lessons as a leader that I will carry forward throughout my career, deepened my self-awareness, and gotten to know extraordinary people in the process.
The next few months will be filled with excitement as I embark on my last discovery expedition to learn how companies in Argentina manage volatility and uncertainty, with the kickstart of the International Consulting Projects (ICPs) where our team will work together with a multinational in revising their corporate strategy, and finally as electives wrap up the year.
Time will fly by, as it always does at IMD. However, since that morning, I’ve been cherishing every moment and smiling when I think about how happy I am to have had the privilege of embarking on this journey.