No words can capture the cocktail of feelings I've experienced. Excitement for what's next, sorrow at saying goodbye

The IMD MBA class of 2023 signs off with some advice as the incoming class begins their journey.

In the past days since graduation, no words can capture the cocktail of feelings I’ve experienced. Excitement for what’s next, sorrow at saying goodbye, gratitude for a transformative experience, nostalgia for the moments we spent together, and a sense of accomplishment and joy for making it through.

A year ago, I would never have imagined my life could change so much. I remember how excited I was as I packed my bags, finished pre-assignments, and prepared to move to Switzerland. Not knowing what to expect, I found comfort in Ayesha Fariz‘s words of advice as she signed off for the MBA class of 2022 and I decided to carry on the legacy by giving some advice to the class of 2024.

Trust the process. You’ll hear this statement again and again throughout the year. When times get hard, you may find yourself questioning it. Instead, embrace it and give it your very best. If you remain positive and curious, determined to make the most out of this year, the results may surprise you.

Connect with your peers. You can always go back and re-read that book chapter, but the unique moments you share with your classmates are fleeting. Take the time to bond with the amazing people sharing this journey with you and you will make friends for life.

Be kind to yourself and others. It is an intense year and it’s easy to deprioritize your well-being. Take care of yourself, know your limits, and – if you’re a perfectionist like me – the sooner you accept you’ll have to lower the bar, the better. Also, remember to check in on your classmates; we all have our invisible battles, and lending an ear can go a long way.

As my colleague Siya Xabanisa brilliantly put in his graduation speech (news story here), it takes a village to raise a child. IMD is our village, one that you’re now a part of and will hopefully keep nurturing as we did. On behalf of the cohort, I want to extend a big warm welcome to you all! I hope you enjoy this extraordinary and transformative year as much as I did.

Sandra Guerra

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