IMD MBA Qiuting Zhong puts her best foot forward by exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of Switzerland – and celebrates a personal best in the Lausanne 10km

As I look back on my journey through the first two modules of the IMD MBA, I find myself evolving far beyond my expectations not only academically, but also personally. The rigorous and intense study schedule has taught me the art of saying no, enabling me to manage my time and energy more effectively. This newfound balance has allowed me to resume running, an activity I deeply enjoy. I even found a running buddy right here in Lausanne – a city known for its Olympic heritage – who matches my pace. 

A scenic running path in Lausanne with my running buddy

Over the weekend, I participated in the 20km de Lausanne event. Despite the rain and crowds, I managed to achieve my personal best in Sunday’s 10km with minimal pre-race training. This experience underscored a vital lesson I have learned at IMD: surrounding yourself with exceptional people pushes you to accelerate your development journey. This is exactly how I feel about my IMD MBA experience – constantly being pushed to excel by the ambitious and intelligent peers around me. 

Students braving the rain at the Lausanne 20km event

Exploring Switzerland over the weekend offers a mosaic of experiences. For instance, the Cully Jazz Festival, combined with an IMD alumni event in a quaint wine town, provided an excellent opportunity to blend leisure with networking with fellow EMBAs in the most enjoyable of ways. 

Cully Jazz Festival

Beyond the IMD campus, I have also immersed myself in the rich cultural tapestry of Europe. I love the art community we have formed in our cohort that shares a passion for art galleries and aesthetic beauty. Enhancing my appreciation of Western art has been another form of learning, enriching my understanding of beauty and aesthetic knowledge. 

Inside Musée Jenisch Vevey

At the Morges Tulip Festival, I almost lost myself in a sea of color, and the pottery and ceramics bazaar provided a unique chance to delve into local craftsmanship. Comparing ceramic works from regions such as Jingdezhen in China and Meissen in Germany has deepened my appreciation for global artistic traditions and the unique interpretations each culture brings to the table. 

La Fête de la Tulipe 2024

On a trip to the Geneva Watches and Wonders exhibition, I had the chance to catch up with former colleagues who were also visiting the event. Our discussions, enriched by reflections on my leadership growth and key takeaways from my MBA studies, were pivotal in deepening my understanding of leadership. 

Reuniting with former colleagues in Geneva

On the weekend marking the end of Module 2, I visited the Camille Bloch chocolate factory with an Indonesian classmate and her family, who were visiting. During the tour, I was amazed at how much I could relate what I learned about strategy, finance, marketing, and supply chain management to the operations of the chocolate business. The knowledge gained in the classroom is seamlessly integrating into my practical understanding. 

Visit to the Camille Bloch chocolate factory

This journey at IMD is more than just an education – it’s a life-changing adventure where every day offers a new opportunity to grow, connect, and explore.  

Academic learning, managerial skills to move from a functional manager to a general manager, and cross-cultural friendships form the core of my IMD MBA studies, and the learning I have gained outside the IMD campus has been equally transformative. As I navigate through this program, I am gathering invaluable insights and friendships that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I’m eager to find out where Module 3 will take me! 

Anne Quiting

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