As the IMD MBA cohort approaches the two-month mark, Carlotta Schwarz describes the whirlwind of experiences, challenges, and growth opportunities the program has presented so far.

Almost two months in! The journey so far feels like a whirlwind of experiences, challenges, and growth opportunities. Every moment has been a steppingstone towards a better version of myself, both personally and professionally. I knew these first months were going to be intense, but what I didn’t expect was how inspirational they would be.

Although tasks are piling up, we are not drowning – we are flourishing and learning. Yes, it’s hard, but it’s also interesting. Every day I get to learn something new about my classmates, their country, or about business or finance, or I hear about a new venture and the amazing achievements someone has made. This not only challenges me but opens up my mind to the world and energizes me. Our Dean, Omar Toulan, said, “You will never have more time; you will learn how to do more things.” I would like to add that, “You will also enjoy the process of learning.”

One aspect of this program that continues to resonate with me is its focus on self-reflection. The Leadership Lab we had last week comes to mind. Three immersive days of experimentation and communication with team members took us through different exercises and much introspection, enabling trust to be built between us. With trust comes the possibility to challenge one another and rely on each other for constructive feedback, so we have also learned how to work better together and appreciate what each of us can bring to the group.

Aside from team activities, IMD also offers the possibility to work on your leadership skills through dedicated sessions. With coach Dave Bolton I have had the opportunity to develop tools to recognize and manage my anxiety – tools I have already put into practice and will keep with me as I move forward in my career. A second input for self-discovery will come next week when we will be starting our journey with a dedicated analyst, where I know new insights are sure to come.

Amid exams, projects, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge, feeling overwhelmed is to be expected. To my classmates, I say, “We’ve got this!” and to any prospect reading, a warning: this is a tough course, but an amazing journey.


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