Exams approaching

We are now officially done with our startup project. We presented to VCs yesterday. We also presented our work to our startup today and handed over all our work. It has been a fantastic learning experience for us thinking from the perspective of a real startup! loanboox is such a fast growing startup today in Switzerland. Hopefully all 6 of us will cross paths with the startup in the future.

We went to a nice restaurant by the beautiful lake for a quick celebratory lunch after our VC presentations. Here is all 6 of us posing at the shores of lake geneva.


Now that the presentations are over, we are about to finally start preparations for our first term exams starting next week.

The official bloggers are going to be rather quiet for the next two weeks (exams + easter). We will see you soon just after our exams.


Reflections after first month

It has been a little over one month for all of us here in IMD. It certainly feels longer than that to be honest. As Mo mentioned in his earlier post, classes have begun for few major courses – Finance, Operations & supply chain, Economics, Industry analysis, Accounting, Leadership, Entrepreneurship and finally Marketing. For someone like me with a very silo-ed work experience, learning all these concepts has been eye-opening. It is a cliché, but I only wish i had more than 24 hours in a day!

As far as projects, our industry analysis project and startup projects have also begun. You may have read a series of posts on this blog from classmates on their respective startup projects. All in, we have some exhilarating startups this year. I am working for an innovative FinTech startup based in Zürich. We visited their office in Zurich and learned about their company few weeks ago. We are now working non-stop on delivering actionable value to the startup. Given my experience in financial services industry, the exposure to the booming FinTech space is all I wanted in the early stage of the MBA.

We are also working on the other big project of the season – industry analysis. My team got “Automation” as the industry. Such a vast topic! watch this space for more updates on our industry analysis and predictions for the future:)

I think the readers of the blog would like to know that we have also begun working on career exercises. We had “100 jobs exercise” facilitated by an IMD alumni. We found the exercise to be a great starting point if you are exploring what your next move should be. I wont say anymore and spoil the fun for the next year students. The takeaway is, IMD has gotten us working on our career as early as February!

Last week in particular was all about soft skills development. We had Mr.Porot spending a day with us sharing tips and tricks on everything from cover letter to CVs to salary negotiation. For the uninitiated, Mr.Porot is one of Europe’s best career consultants. We also had sessions on handling difficult meetings and presentation skills. We had a rather interesting session on story-boarding. All in, it has been an action packed month!

Signing off,


Hello, world!

I am very happy to be one of the four official IMD bloggers for year 2017.

Little bit about myself – Name is Sathappan Sathappan (unfortunately, that is not a typo). I graduated from NUS, Singapore with an Electrical Engineering degree. Since then, I have been working in Financial services space for over 7.5 years.

It has been roughly 10 days since I reached Lausanne. We had our opening/orientation day for the MBA program last Thursday (12th Jan). It has been an interesting journey so far to say the least.

As far as prep work to get here, IMD was very helpful. Lausanne as a city is notorious for its vacancy rate for apartment rentals – 0.24%. IMD have an exclusive agreement with a relocation consultant who made our life so much easier with respect to apartment rentals.

I must admit, there has been few signs for what is to come this year – both in good and bad ways. I have already seen great collaboration among fellow students. Residents of Switzerland helped foreigners like me settle in quickly by sharing ample information on the whatsapp group chat. Students who reached Lausanne first volunteered to greet other students in the train station and helped the new comers move suitcases, boxes etc. There has been so many shared Ikea trips that I even lost count.

The following story is epic – when a fellow student got stuck with a stick-shift car that she couldn’t drive in a bizarre turn of events, two other IMD students volunteered to go fetch her and the car – picture below. (on a side note – the backdrop of Lausanne and the lake in this picture is beautiful isnt it?) Continue reading “Hello, world!”