MBAs work hard on their final assignment this year – the International Consulting Project (ICP)

The campus has never felt as empty as it has in the past three weeks, with most of us traveling for our ICPs (International Consulting Projects). As we approach the end of the year, these projects are the perfect opportunity to apply our MBA learnings while creating value as consultants for international companies.

This week, we went to Germany and met our ICP client, a multinational healthcare company, for the first time with a mandate to redefine their business model. Exciting, right?! At least for those of us who are into healthcare strategy.

Our week in Germany couldn’t have gone better. The client received us extremely well, and everyone was passionate and engaged, encouraging us to think creatively. As a result, we returned to Switzerland feeling proud of a job well done after the success of our first presentation.

It’s not easy to balance consulting work with job applications, interview prep, networking events, etc. Amidst the uncertainty of not knowing where we will end up in a couple of months, it’s a big help to have our ICP running smoothly. When your time comes, here are a few tips to make sure you get off to a great start:

Sandra Guerra MBA student 2023 car
Germany, here we come! Sandra Guerra, Luis Ornelas, Sanchita Tibrewala, Marie-Amélie Glerón, and Shun Omori.

Build the foundations for high-performing teamwork. Every team you are part of is different, and the ICP is no exception. Make time to get to know your team and discuss how you’ll work together. This is the perfect opportunity to apply all the leadership tools you’ve learned this year. Make sure you follow the team contract you’ve committed to, that you support and challenge each other, that you actively receive and deliver feedback to help each other grow, that you deal with conflicts when they arise, etc. By this time, after such an intense year focused on leadership development, you can trust you’ll know what to do.

Set it up before you start. When you only have seven weeks to deliver a project, every day counts. A few weeks before the project starts, have a meeting with the client to gather more details on the scope, set up client interview dates, agree on presentation dates, and, if possible, start analyzing any info they sent you. This way, when the project starts, you are ready to create value from day one.

Understand the client’s expectations. In a world where the only constant is change, don’t assume that the scope agreed upon months ago will remain stagnant. Make sure you meet all stakeholders responsible for the project and ask them about the outcomes they expect from you – their answers might surprise you.

Keep your faculty director up to date. A professor will be assigned to your group to guide you through the project. We have learned a lot from our professor Arnaud Chevallier, especially by applying his framework to complex problem-solving. Don’t forget to keep your advisor up to date on your progress and ask them for advice as you go.

Have fun delivering great work. The best ideas come when you’re having fun, so don’t forget to do just that. Remember that this is an opportunity to learn and work with your classmates for the last time – enjoy it! From ideation sessions to innovation hackathons and team-building lunches, the possibilities are endless.

Sandra Guerra mba student 2023 group photo
Going out for dinner as a team after a long day of work. Sandra Guerra, Luis Ornelas, Sanchita Tibrewala, Marie-Amélie Glerón, and Shun Omori.

As this is my final post, I want to end it by wishing the 2024 MBAs a wonderful and transformational year at IMD. I hope you enjoy yours as much as I enjoyed mine.

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