The IMD MBA is a dynamic blend of challenges, aspirations, and transformative experiences. Over the year, this adventure unfolds in three phases: academic immersion, practical learning through start-up projects, discovery expeditions, and consulting engagements, culminating in the pivotal career search and recruitment phase.
As the vibrant hues of autumn grace the Swiss landscape and Cirque Knie returns to Lausanne, a shift occurs within the IMD campus. This seasonal transition mirrors the commencement of the MBA job hunt. Excitement, nervousness, and anticipation intertwine as we attend company presentations, submit applications, engage with recruiters, and navigate the interview process. Throughout the year, I have had the privilege of conversing with alumni, classmates, and the Career Development Centre. Here is the wisdom I’ve gathered:
Crafting a vision
One IMD alumnus shared invaluable advice: develop a compelling vision for your future and start early. Your ideal career prospect should be one you genuinely believe in and are ready to commit to daily, even when faced with challenges.
The power of connections
Networking is crucial. The world operates on connections, and in a business school environment, not engaging in networking is a missed opportunity. Concentrate on building the right network by reaching individuals at different levels. If you’re exploring options, connect with those at mid-lower levels; if you have specific goals, seek individuals at mid-to-senior levels. The clearer your objectives, the more traction you’ll gain. IMD’s alumni network is a treasure trove of work experience and life wisdom. These individuals understand your journey and are willing to go the extra mile to assist you. Joining clubs is also an excellent way to expand your network.
In addition to conventional advice – such as using the STAR (Situation, Task, Action and Result) framework and heed the guidance of marketing professors, who stress “selling the benefits rather than the characteristics”. Get your resume reviewed by peers and alumni, particularly those working in your desired function or industry.
Before applying, thoroughly research the company, read its latest reports, understand its culture, and seek unbiased feedback from current and former employees. Create a tailored application and endeavour to turn contacts into referrals. Additionally, seek positions in locations or companies that can facilitate your career progression for at least the next two roles, whether within the same firm or elsewhere.
When gearing up for interviews, aim to be authentic and avoid trying to please the interviewer. Strive to showcase your true self, allowing the interviewer to form a connection with you. Practice interview scenarios with classmates and be consistent, concise, and structured in your responses.
As you embark on this exciting journey, remember to support your classmates, cherish time with your loved ones, and express gratitude to those who have supported you. Ultimately, the journey itself is the ultimate reward. Like a circus performance, life goes on, bringing smiles and creating lasting memories.
Now, I must prepare for my upcoming interviews – the show must go on! I wish everyone the best of luck in their endeavours.
Ankit Gupta (guest writer)