Forbes Ranking

We are currently going through the painful job search process that is fraught with anxiety. All of us had put our life on hold for one year and chose one of the most intense MBA programs out there. And boy, has it been intense! The challenge in this program is not just the course material. This program systematically makes you question everything you know. In that process, you come out with new realizations about yourself and life in general.

Yesterday, Forbes MBA ranking for year 2017 was released. You can see the details here. I am pleased to announce to the readers of the blog that IMD took the crown for the best MBA in International 1-year MBA category. Return on Investment is one of the biggest criteria for Forbes ranking. ROI is a good proxy for career success of our Alumni and the role played by IMD in providing them the requisite tools. According to Forbes survey, 5 year MBA gain is 194700$ with payback in 2.3 years. Those are some pretty impressive numbers. Obviously, my classmates and I are thrilled at the ranking. Below is a quick summary of Forbes results (Thanks to Bruno)

Bruno slide

Cheers to the MBA 2012 class and everyone in IMD MBA program, who made this ranking possible.

Ciao,

Sathappan

 

What got you here will not get you there

It has been over 4 months since we started here at IMD. We are done with first term exams and the results have started to trickle down. Before you know it, next term is on us. Four more weeks and we will have our second term exams. A lot of exciting things to come after the second term exams – Navigating the future conferences, Company engagement projects, International consulting projects and above all the intense phase of career talks. Stay tuned!

There are two oft-repeated slides by almost all professors. One with the iceberg and another with some form of “what got you here will not get you there”. They are kinda interlinked.

iceberg-underwater-wallpaper-wallpaper-1

For me personally, the last four months have been intense and also emotional to some extent. In a matter of few weeks, IMD has this way of breaking you down completely. Within weeks, I started doubting all my hard and soft skills. The leadership experiential simulated a tough environment  and showed me how I react under extreme pressure. The startup project put me in a diverse group of very opinionated people and tested my people skills. All our projects and tight deadlines put me under a lot of pressure in a short span of time. IMD promised a pressure cooker and boy, did it deliver!

I look back at my career so far and I often try to put these 4 months into perspective. Like the other 89 students in my class, I had a decent international experience. I also had modest success in my career. Looking back, I think there were few skills that I had that had helped me in my career. What is amazing is, those skills have not been particularly useful! Now, this is both good and bad. Good because I am adding more skills and difficult experiences to my toolkit. Bad because it makes the journey a lot harder. Why is this the case?

It is almost as if, IMD predicted that students will go through this brooding period this year and added the leadership coach and the Personal development elective in the program. I spend a lot of my time talking to these experienced professionals and psycho-analysts about why I do what I do. I also talk about why others do what they do and how I am knowingly and unknowingly influencing them. To me, these discussions have been pretty eye-opening. I certainly hope I take these learning back to whichever company I end up working for.

This is why I think the iceberg makes an excellent example. Our actions and reactions to things in life usually have the visible component and the invisible component. IMD is constantly showing us we need to be aware of the invisible component. This is why I think what got me here will not get me there. The world is full of challenges ahead. Dealing with ambiguity in life and in career is common place. The companies we all hope to work for after MBA and roles we hope to get will be more challenging than we did before MBA. If anything the pressure will be higher than it is now.

No one can be prepared for every challenge and every opportunity, but it is possible to pick up the fundamentals that can be applied to analyse problems. I believe that is what I am learning here and I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to look at daily occurrences in life in a different way. From conversations with classmates, almost all of them are going through something similar this year.

Career services update:

Our IMD CV version is now officially done. We were told the CV books have been published to the recruiters. Our calendar for June is full of career talks by companies. As early as June we will begin mock interviews and case preparation etc. The next 7 months of the program looks as action-packed as the last 4.

Keep calm and carry on.

Sathappan

 

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.

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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.

Sath

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,

Sath