Here, there and everywhere…

Sitting in the TGV train from Lausanne to Paris watching the Swiss hills blend into French ones, I am struck by how much I have been on the road these past few months. In this instance, I am about to start the fourth week of my international consulting project for a multinational medical devices company. At the same time the job search is on full tilt, which has had me between Paris, Lausanne, Copenhagen, Dubai, London, and Milan over the past few weeks. By the end of this week, Stockholm will also make its way onto the list. Continue reading “Here, there and everywhere…”

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

 

Recruitment time.. 

As I look out of the huge glass windows from the dungeons, I notice that leaves have started to change colors. The last few days have been cold and rainy. This time marks a transition both in the weather and our time here at IMD. As you might have noticed, there has been a bit of silence from the class bloggers of late. We have all been extremely caught up post the discovery trips. Continue reading “Recruitment time.. “

Breathe !

Run, rabbit, run

Dig that hole, forget the sun,

And when at last the work is done

Don’t sit down, it’s time to dig another one

I have been a huge Pink Floyd fan and some of the lyrics of this song beautifully capture our last few weeks or months at IMD. While there is genuine intent on our part to keep you all updated with our lives here, we have been running around in the last days not only preparing for our exams but also searching for our ceps. This point in time at IMD seems special almost like the pivoting point in a thriller.. the moment when things suddenly change… Pivoting point for us as we will not be together as a bunch of 90 in the Lorange auditorium for many of the next weeks.  NTF preparation and presentation will be followed by our trips to London, Munich and Zurich before we break for summer. Pivoting point also because we switch gears to spend more time planning our careers post IMD. Many of us have been getting queries from the upcoming batch about our apartments which is stark realization of the fact that time is flying. While so many things are similar, many more will change.

Before the exams, we ended the finance stream which was an emotional moment for us as a class. It was an absolute pleasure to learn from Prof Nuno and we can’t thank him enough for making this experience indeed a very memorable one. Another exciting stream was the strategy class by Prof Mishiek. External and internal consistency in strategy, role of game theory in determining competitor moves are some of the many tools that we learnt in these classes and the experience has been extremely rewarding and so much fun. As much as one always hears of the networking component in the MBA program, I strongly believe that the academics and the tools that we learn in classes go a long way in helping us analyze new businesses, industries and make better decisions as managers.

Many such courses present a tangible “value proposition” and it is easy to understand why we need them. Yet there are many other classes which have shaped my opinions and ideas in different ways. It is these courses that have helped me appreciate perspectives diametrically opposite to mine. I have learnt to better understand and respect such ideas even if not accept them.

Talking about breath, the end of exams gave us an opportunity to catch a breath albeit a very short one. This time around, it was a day trip for the class to Morzine.  After spending so much time in L’Orange and Dungeons in the last few months, the boat ride to Thonon felt unreal. I had to pinch myself multiple times to believe it was true! The weather was perfect and this trip was no work and all fun. On that note, I leave you with a picture from the trip that is more than symbolic of our journey in the MBA program.

Till the next time..

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Let’s see what we’re made of!

As the intense first module of the program came to a close with exams and an all too short Easter break, the second module is already making us yearn for more time off. Accounting, Operations, and Entrepreneurship classes have come to an official close as Strategy, Negotiation, Innovation, and International Political Economy have kicked off. In a way, I feel that we’re starting to move past the fundamentals and going towards the more macro-level courses that prepare us for the real world and the new skills we need in today’s job market, which is great.

Highlights from the past month include our Innovation week where we were split up into groups and tasked with designing a prototype to improve patient quality of life using design-thinking principles, which Suzy touched on in a blog post below. Immediately following the Innovation week, we had our IPE (International Political Economy) week during which we had dozens of speakers covering various issues ranging from migration to sustainability.

On top of this, we had a number of very high-profile C-level guest speakers from leading companies such as Novartis, Nestle, Tag Heuer, and IBM. I would definitely say the guest speakers were the highlight of the past month. I felt that it was a testament to IMD’s clout in the business world that such senior corporate leaders were taking the time to speak with us and it is definitely a much-appreciated part of the program.

As job hunting season is starting, we are also starting to go through several Career Services sessions covering topics including salary negotiations and interviews. Many of us are now working hard to secure our Company Engagement Projects (summer internships) and some are even starting to interview for full-time roles after graduation.

All of this has been happening on top of our regular class schedule and all the projects and assignments that come with it. Looking ahead, there’s no sign of it letting up before exams as several 12-14 hour days are coming up this week in the form of more class simulations and integrative exercises. Needless to say, I have definitely been feeling extremely time-poor as I struggle to have a semblance of a social life outside of IMD’s walls and keep up with basic errands without feeling guilty about falling behind on schoolwork. Fitting in the time to write this already delinquent blog post was not easy and trying to find the energy to tackle the job hunt in a systematic way early on is tough. As I look around, I can definitely sense that the overall class energy levels have drained significantly compared to the first couple of months.

That being said, we are all surviving and I am definitely learning a lot about how to manage energy levels with this much going on. At the end of the day, we are all going through the same thing together and the solidarity that comes from the tight knit 90-person class is keeping us all sane. My next post will be after exams so hope to have a bit more of my positive energy and vibes by then!

Til next time!

 

Mo

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