MBA student Veronica Durando reflects on her latest learnings and looks forward to what the next six months will bring after the summer vacation.

Since finishing our last exam in mid-June, I’ve had the privilege of numerous immersive experiences. I’ve had a hard time sleeping, though not for the reasons you’d expect. It’s because, at the end of each day, I’m left with a sense of longing, not wanting it to end, and eagerness for what tomorrow may bring.

Me with classmate, Adrian Knöpfel, during a company visit

During the past few weeks, we have combined cross-course learnings in the integrative exercise before heading off on the Discovery Expedition to Singapore to unravel the pros and cons of government-backed big tech. With a bit more free time, I’ve been able to deepen friendships over long walks and forge new connections over post-class hangouts out by Jetée (a nearby lakeside café). I’ve also seized every opportunity to enjoy the long days in nature – I broke in my new hiking shoes in less than two weeks!

Breaking in my hiking boots with classmates and MBA Dean, Omar Toulan

Despite having a busy schedule and potentially too many cups of coffee, this time is also a natural opportunity for reflection. After all, we’re officially halfway through the program! The last six months have truly been a gift. I’ve made significant progress towards the initial goals I set back in January. For example, developing a more sustainable work/life balance by being much more intentional with my limited free time and through peers who hold me accountable.

Pride month with my classmates

Beyond my initial intentions for IMD, I’m always impressed with how this program equips me to address new areas of growth. Just this week I did a consulting boot camp run by IMD alumni Arjen Iwema. In three short days, he and his team helped me dramatically improve my approach to case-based interviews. I also learned how to elevate all the dimensions of my presence – physical, mindful, and vocal – to lean into my unique strengths and stand out in the upcoming job search. I discovered how my tone and pace of speech can diminish or enhance the impact of my message. I’m going to experiment with singing more often to enhance my vocal range and overall presence.

Career Development summer boot camp

I’m a naturally driven person who sees life as an endless journey of discovery and development. Yet as I reflect on the last six months, I’ve realized what a gamechanger it is to be surrounded and supported by around 100 other individuals who are just as motivated to grow. When you pair this type of environment with the personal insights gained through self-reflection, psychoanalyst sessions, and peer engagements alongside practical skills to apply those insights, you can change in ways you never thought possible. And much faster than you can on your own.

Right now, at the mid-year mark, I feel fatigued yet full. Looking back fondly on an amazing first few months I am eager to see what the next six bring. I’ll kick them off with some travel with friends and family before diving back in during electives in August.


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