As we creep closer to the finish line of this MBA journey, I have become significantly more reflective. As a cohort, we have been through an incredible set of experiences, from start-up projects, to discovery trips, a perspective-changing leadership stream, and most recently, international consulting projects (ICP). I have seen myself and others around me grow and develop immensely. We have formed solid bonds with our peers and will take friendships and supportive networks with us when we leave.
All of this means that part of me is nostalgic and perhaps a little reluctant to end the journey. As we all depart to different countries, industries, and lives, it will be a shock not to be able to catch up casually over a coffee at the Bignami cafeteria, or bump into people in the corridors of the dungeons (study rooms). On the other hand, part of me (the part that came to IMD with a purpose to improve myself, then throw myself back into my professional and personal life as a better individual) can see the finish line running towards me and is incredibly excited to greet it. Leaving IMD means starting the “what’s next?” of our lives and, even with the uncertainties of job searches, there is also an atmosphere of anticipation. We have learned and grown and now we have the prerogative to step out into the world and structure our own lives once again.
While this feeling may be personal to me, I have heard it resonated in conversations with many of my peers. My advice to my fellow MBAs and to the future cohort is this: in the last months we have here, rather than feeling guilty about the mixed emotions, embrace them. Capitalize on the time we have left and spend time together, keep creating memories you can look back on with joy five, 10, 20 years from now. When you can, support your fellow students emotionally and professionally. Everyone handles change and uncertainty differently and having a smile and a supportive chat can go an extremely long way. But most of all, embrace the idea that the end of this year will bring the exciting beginning of your future , the beginning we all aimed for when we entered IMD.
Finally, I want to use this post to thank the people who have been an extraordinary support system for me this year. Moving to Switzerland by myself was an adventure which could have been horrible if I hadn’t had the amazing luck of making caring, supportive friends who have been there for all the highs and all the lows. I am a better person today because of you. I can’t wait to relive all our moments at IMD alumni reunions in the years to come!