With graduation just a couple of days away, MBA student, Chao (Amy) Fang gives an overview of her year at IMD, highlighting key moments in the program as well as the emotional journey she has taken.

As the ancient Chinese proverb declares, “No feast in the world can last forever.” This sentiment resonates profoundly with me as I find myself on the brink of bidding farewell to the IMD MBA program. It seems like just yesterday when our journey commenced at the Foyer of the Bellerive 32 MBA building on 12 January 2023, and now the time has come to reflect on the remarkable experiences that have defined my past 12 months.

On my MBA adventure, 12 keywords capture the essence of each passing month:

January – excited

The excitement was shared as 87 of us from diverse corners of the globe converged in Switzerland. Uncertain of what lay ahead, friendships began to unfold from the very first encounter at Geneva airport, where I shared enriching conversations with Manjit on our journey to Lausanne.

Mountain trip: Me and Olga Kopiika

February – confused

The commencement of courses presented the first challenge for me. Navigating subjects like accounting, finance, entrepreneurship, and leadership, especially as a non-expert in finance and accounting, brought about a sense of confusion. Embracing the diversity, I grappled with the realization that excellence in every domain was a journey, not an immediate achievement.

March – stressed

This month ushered in a flurry of academic exams, team assignments, and the intensity of the start-up project – a period of relentless “deliverables.” Balancing time in the academic trenches while adapting to a diverse environment became a formidable task of mine.

Startup team: William Reindof-Partey, Usman Khan, me, Mads Kofoed, Nandini Chandra, Rohan Bhatia

April – wondering

The Easter break provided a precious pause to explore Switzerland, fostering deep reflections on my personal identity and values with the assistance of PDE and leadership coaches. The transformative experience of Professor George Kohlrieser’s High-Performance Leadership cracked open the ‘stone’ within.

May – connected

The journey to Paris for the MBAT in early May marked a turning point. The cheers of “IMD, IMD…” echoed through HEC Paris as 87 individuals gathered into a unified team. Bringing home 12 medals reinforced our sense of pride and connection. (I am so happy to have been one of the medalists).

MBAT in Paris: Suvit Porwal, Ashish Srivastava, Luis Ornelas, me, Siya Xabanisa, Viraj Hingwala, Bingjie Lyu 

June – open-minded

Embarking on the first discovery expedition to Silicon Valley or Singapore at the end of the first half of the year was eye-opening. It reminded me to approach the world with open-minded curiosity.

July – relaxed

Post the digital lab and career boot camp, a sense of relaxation pervaded. Many in the group chose to fly home or travel around Europe. For me, it was a luxurious summertime of self-care in Lausanne and a week-long vacation in London, dissipating any lingering doubts or struggles.

Lunch with classmates

August – exploring

Returning from my summer holiday, I delved into extensive conversations with alumni and friends about career development and crafted a comprehensive career plan.

September – focused

After a one-week discovery trip to Dubai, I returned to campus with an unwavering focus on company on-campus presentations and recruitment. This period allowed me to stay abreast of industry trends and test the waters with my career plan.

Class trip to UN: Shun Omori, Akmal Adrianza, Bingjie Lyu, Junqi (Danny) Tan, Yiran Liu, me, Hanh Nguyen, Seiji Nirasawa, Venice Lau, Liudmila Kortikova, Viraj Hingwala

October – burnout

Working full-time on the ICP, the intensity peaked as most of us traveled to client sites globally. The challenge lay in striking a delicate balance between job searching and managing the ICP project.

November – emotional

As October drew to a close, the reality of bidding farewell to each other set in, accompanied by the emotional rollercoaster of job interviews. The mixed feelings took center stage.

Module one team: Divya Khattar Soin, Elvin Chua, me, Guilherme d’Orey, Jeremy Rose, Konstantinos Moustidis 

December – the end and the start

As December unfolds, echoing the Chinese proverb, we recognize that no feast can last forever. The coming graduation ceremony signifies the conclusion of my MBA journey and the inception of a new chapter in my life.

This is a snapshot of my transformative journey at IMD. As anticipated in my first blog, I enjoyed every moment of this profound experience. I’d like to thank everyone – professors, faculties, the MBA 2023 cohort, IMD alumni, and those I reached out to – for your invaluable contributions to my learning journey. The real impact of the MBA program continues to grow within me.

Stay tuned for the next chapter!

Chao (Amy) Fang

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