Impressions from a Thai perspective

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dream” is a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt. I have lived my life with determination, trying to do things I have never done before.

Going back to 2017, I came to Switzerland for the assessment and immediately knew that this was the place where I wanted to do my MBA. “Why an MBA?” is the question that everybody asked, including the admission office. Personally, I thought that this would be a period where I could give time to myself, a moment to rethink whether the path I’ve walked my entire 28 years is correct and a moment to have a proper holiday – an opportunity I will probably no longer have until retirement.

Now, here I stand at IMD, one of the most prestigious b-schools in the world. I may have thought incorrectly about the holiday because IMD has been keeping us students very busy! Maybe that’s because it’s a one-year program, which is good as it’s not too time-consuming and is wallet-friendly.

IMD is known for its leadership-stream. I used to wonder how leadership would actually be taught and what made it stand out from the crowd. After the first module was done, I became enlightened. I should have realized long before though as IMD makes sure that students get the best out of their tuition. The environment makes sure that everyone can take the lead and knows how to work with people from different cultures, but more importantly, everyone is a secure base for you. I don’t know where and when I will find a risk-free environment again like one I have found at IMD.

Apart from academics, outside of school life has been fantastic. Opposite IMD is Lac Leman, aka Lake Geneva. On weekends in summer, people from everywhere come to walk around the lake. Why? Because it’s very beautiful. The banner photo should speak for itself. I also explore the area by bike. The scenery is impressive and it’s very safe.  Drivers are always aware of cyclists as Swiss people cycle routinely.  I don’t know where else it will be so safe to cycle, definitely not in my home country, Thailand.

Since Switzerland is located in the centre of Europe, it’s convenient to go other countries. Evian, France is only 20 minutes away by boat. One of the memorable things that I and my classmates have done is go to see the 2018 Italian Grand Prix in Monza. It was my first time to see the F1 race, and it’s definitely worth going. As I was walking to the track, I heard the race cars screaming loudly. On the stand, Ferrari crowds cheered Sebestian Vettel and Kimi Raikonen, hoping they would win. Too bad for them, Lewis Hamilton won the race, so Mercedes fanboys became happy. Lastly, a car enthusiastic like me can’t be happier as Nordschleife is only one hour away. People from everywhere in the world are eager to drive here at least once in their life. I was absolutely thrilled by the experience, especially by the steering wheel making turns. The Raggazon exhaust screamed as I accelerated and the tires screeched as I turned.

Korbchai

Coucou!

Our lovely Oriane Perryman-Holt, from France, offers today’s post, with some interesting stats! 

We talk about #IMDimpact so let’s measure it through “Ori’s KPIs”:

Oriane_Picture1

9600 “Coucou” to great classmates with energy and enthusiasm
482 Hours debating in our team “dungeons” learning from each, other sustained by …
…578 Coffees “at Mireille” to get out of the bubble
33560 Hello & Goodbye kisses as per Swiss use of 3 each time
384 Handwritten notes on my iPad plus some drawings
91 Cases and add one third for consulting interview prep’, sure it will pay off!
123 Movenpick® ice-cream scoops this summer to fuel the 7500 meters swam in preparation for the relay triathlon, not forgetting the two 10K races
27 Different CVs reshuffling my 7-years’ experience in corporate finance and internal audit, managing international projects in 3 industries
288 Bananas as breakfast
8 Networking events to connect with the alumni – across the years, we all share the same core experience – and find a way to my dream job
2 Crypto-kitties to apply the finance class on blockchain
218 Hours consulting for a start-up and now for a Pharma company, bringing new excitement and insights
88 Classmates amazing, challenging and motivating me every day
1 Motorbike licence
0 Job yet ; enjoying the journey and curious to discover the destination

I knew this year was due to be a stretch, but I would not have anticipated all of the above.

Oriane

Bisous,

Oriane
LinkedIn

Veronika lives life on the edge

“I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can’t see from the center.” (Kurt Vonnegut)

Typecasting millennials as fidgety adventure-seekers has become burrowed into our collective consciousness to such an extent that we barely pause to think about it anymore. But we should, to leave space for personal journeys, cultural influencers, family histories that make the generational generalities so individually unique still.

I am Veronika, the 32-year-old daughter of an artist mother and an engineer father, who themselves grew up in a different world, the Hungary of the Eastern Bloc – a country nicknamed ‘the happiest barrack’ where nonetheless travel was curtailed, and pursuing a life abroad was a thing of dreams (or a thing of carefully executed all-or-nothing, one-shot criminal offences).

I, on the other hand, grew up in a Hungary where the Berlin Wall was but a memory, sweets from the West were available even in my tiny local village corner store (so much so that ‘Fanta cheesecake’ become a well-loved family recipe), and the sorcery of Schengen not only entitled me to ­leave the country, but allowed me to study and work in London, build a career in Belgium, and start exploring the world in a way my parents never could.

Veronika_1T2B2944

With the desire to explore, comes a hunger to understand, to dissect, to synthesize and to story-tell. These are strokes that followed me through my studies in Science & Technology, my work as Policy Officer of a space science research infrastructure, managerial functions held in Sales, IT and Business Processes at an Industrial Manufacturing company, and eventually my MBA at IMD.

Throughout my career, I’d seen a lot of what a company does on a day-to-day basis across all functional areas; I wanted to learn more about why a company does what it does, filling in the missing strategic pieces of the puzzle.

Halfway into the course I can already say I definitely found what I was looking for. I have been introduced to new perspectives, practices, and possibilities. I have travelled around the world on a Discovery Expedition, and have had the world brought to me daily by amazingly international classmates. Through lectures, team projects, and learnings from my IMD family, every day I feel more and more equipped to keep pushing boundaries – to keep as close to the edge as I can.

Veronika

Linkedin

Who were we, what have we become?

The second half of the program starts today, and Shubham shares some of his insights and expectations.

 A lot of my classmates have looked back on our journey of the last 6 months and described what being at IMD has been like. What I find amazing, is that while the individual nitty-gritty of our journeys might have been different, all of us have been through the same roller coaster of emotions, failures, awe-inspiring moments, heartaches and joys. Continue reading “Who were we, what have we become?”

Sara – Reaching for the stars while remaining firmly anchored

With the start of the second half of the program just around the corner, our participants begin again to share their profiles and offer a glimpse into why they joined IMD and what they’re getting out of the program. Here Sara shares a bit about herself and her learnings so far…

Today is a windy day on Hyères Peninsula (South East of France). I came here to enjoy a week kitersufing and take a real break from one of the most intense and exciting years of my life. Continue reading “Sara – Reaching for the stars while remaining firmly anchored”