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Final word: Gratitude

As I fly over the Atlantic I try to find the words to write my last blog entry – difficult task!

This blog has always been very special to me because it’s where it all started. I fell in love with the IMD program here. I must have read every single entry for the last 7 or 8 years at least twice. I tried to understand the IMD world… it was so unique and almost hidden. A hidden gem.

I feel so grateful for having been given a chance to be part of this. I am now a proud IMD MBA Graduate for life.

When the program started I had no idea I’d be one of those that change Industry, Geography and Function. Continue reading “Final word: Gratitude”

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Before we go… give it up for THE band!

Last night was our class “informal” celebration after the last day of classes! We had a club just for ourselves and the vibe was incredible.

I remember hearing from my friend Daniel Kodama (Class of 2015) that people had opportunities to make a difference until the last day of the program. That’s exactly what we had the chance to witness last night. Our classmate Felipe Berg initiated a couple of days ago a band with all the musicians in class.

They squeezed time to rehearse over the last days and had their performance last night – IT WAS FANTASTIC! Continue reading “Before we go… give it up for THE band!”

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Finish line ahead

It is Sunday night in our beautiful and cold Lausanne. The last Sunday night as an IMD MBA candidate. Whoa.

It’s funny how time inevitably flies and especially does it when we are living life fully. The second half of the MBA – as repeatedly warned by the alumni – goes by in a blink. We come from the CEPs and almost immediately are off to the Discovery Trips and then job search and then ICPs (coupled with job search for most) and when you realize it…electives have come and (almost) gone.

So far I’ve been mostly impressed by the electives! Continue reading “Finish line ahead”

The end is near… but there are still great things to come!

We are now at a stage of the program where we cannot ignore the imminent end. Deciding on the graduation details, building our yearbook with the Yearbook committee… Yes, the end is near!

One of the things I always liked about this year was to think of the long list of all the good things still to come. This list is now shorter but not less exciting! Our International Consulting Projects are now halfway and we have selected our electives – the very last thing we will do together before graduation 😥

I chose to stay away from variations of  Finance, Accounting, etc and really look for topics that either 1 – I am passionate about or 2 – I have no clue of and would like to have an idea.

In my case I chose:

  Continue reading “The end is near… but there are still great things to come!”

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Singapore: not a melting pot!

Wow, our week in Singapore went by so fast!

Intense program full of company visits and insightful sessions.

Singapore is indeed very unique. For me it felt sometimes as a “business Las Vegas”. A lively city with majestic constructions, light and sound everywhere and constant invitations for consumption. For sure not like our quiet Lausanne 🙂

It was impressive to visit some offices such as Samsung’s and Expedia’s and see their very international and modern installations. Some sessions like the Urban Redevelopment Authority City Gallery showed us a lot about Singapore’s history and challenges. Continue reading “Singapore: not a melting pot!”

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And we’re off to the Discovery Expeditions!

I believe I mentioned before that IMD’s program is front-loaded, especially on the academic side. One of my favourite things about that is that we’re always looking at exciting things ahead. It’s almost like a reward system somehow. You go through the painful finance basics so that you can do exciting M&A simulations. You go through a lot of self assessment and then you start being exposed to senior executives and the IMD Alumni. You finish all exams so that you can devote your time to a company engagement project of your choice. And so on…

On that of looking forward to exciting parts, I don’t think anything can beat the expectations for the Discovery Expeditions! That’s the moment when we get split into 3 groups of 30 and fly to 1 of 3 exciting journeys around the world: Japan/China; Singapore/UAE (Dubai and Abu Dhabi) or Mexico/US (California).

Continue reading “And we’re off to the Discovery Expeditions!”

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On the best part of the MBA so far… and how sometimes you just mess up

Sit tight, this is going to be a long one 🙂

So… as a blogger I have a commitment to keep the readers up to date with what’s going on on the IMD MBA. Weekly if I can. Bi-weekly if I must. Once a month if things are really ugly.

Which makes it almost painful to admit I have not blogged here for almost 3 months.

I could write a long list of perhaps even valid reasons for that – and maybe I would have done that before the IMD experience. But reality is that it doesn’t matter. I failed in this. Some other amazing victories during this time? Yes. But not this one.

Halfway through the MBA and already wishing time went by slower, I can now state that IMD MBA – of course, if you really put yourself into it – will change your life. You won’t know in which way, intensity or angle – but rest assured life won’t be the same after you step your foot in the legendary Lorange Auditorium for the first time.

These past three months were incredible. Also intense. Also hard. Also time consuming. But with a bit of a taste of reward for all the work we’ve put in.

Here are some highlights of the time I was offline:

  • Geneva Class Trip: Professor Carlos Braga was kind enough to invite us to his book launch nowhere less than the main conference room at the WTO (World Trade Organization) Headquarters in Geneva. And since we would be there, he worked his impressive network and took us for a visit to the Red Cross Headquarters hosted by the ICRC president Peter Maurer. The ICRC wrote about our visit here.
  • Speakers: We have had powerful speakers from across industries, markets and functions. Won’t risk listing them all and leaving some behind – the list is long and inspiring. A special mention to Patrick Aebischer, EPFL’s President – and deemed to be the one responsible for EPFL’s remarkable trajectory – hosting us there and sharing his story in a very open and close way.
  • Finance Course: Probably one of the most painful parts of the MBA, Finance classes came to an end in an exciting learning experience that helped us get a sense of how much we’ve learned along the way. I speak for myself: Nuno Fernandes is a miracle maker. I was hopeless – even after a 4-month course in one of Brazil’s most prestigious Finance schools and an executive course in Fontainebleau – and now I finally understand the mechanics (and beauty) of Finance. ❤
  • Alumni reunion and Mock Interviews: For the first time the current MBA class was invited to the all-class MBA Alumni Cocktail. It was a great networking opportunity and our debut into this powerful group of incredibly successful people in all sorts of ways you can interpret success. Building on that, IMD organized for us to have mock interviews with seasoned alumni – which included a full and candid feedback afterwards. Invaluable.
  • Navigating the Future Conference: Ok, I know I’m starting to sound like the positivity freak with all these superlative adjectives… But NtF was just over-the-top AMAZING. We were all so proud of each other. Our classmates delivering killer presentations and an engaged and extremely senior audience. It was rewarding to see how far we’ve come in only 6 months. Please check out some videos here.
  • Movers, Shakers, Preachers, Pragmatists Class Trip: With the sad events happening in Turkey our Istanbul trip had to be adapted and we had a very unique chance to be in one of UNESCO’s world heritage sites for a week. In Santuario di Oropa  we had sessions on character, ethics and ambiguity. Discussing difficult agendas such as preferential treatment, gossip, minority quotas, income inequality, among others. The trip itself called upon ethics and moral judgment of the class and hopefully we all brought back in mind many reflections on top of the beautiful landscape memories.
  • Navigating the Future goes to Europe: In a new project for 2016, Ralf expanded the Navigating the Future conference into some of the most influential cities in Europe.  Before we all split throughout the  world to start our summer company engagement projects, we were split in 3 groups and brought a shorter version of the conference to London, Munich and Zurich simultaneously. Some of the classmates’ blogs on those will be here soon.

As you can see, not a lot going on over here (LOL).

Today I am excitedly one week into my Company Engagement Project and being able to feel the power of the IMD brand every time I present myself to someone new. Impressive. Now it’s up to me and all of us to measure up to and strengthen this unique and powerful brand!

Onto the next challenge… and back here soon.

Warm wishes,

 Sílvia