Don’t apologize – Women and Leadership (Staphanie Lin)

The IMD Women’s Alumni Club organized a special workshop for women leaders. All female alumni were invited as well the femal students in class 2015. The main purpose was to address some issues and challenges women faced at work. Topics included leadership, diversity, gender bias and discrimination. Conincidentally the timing was perfectly fitting to the period when we had on-campus recruiting and were undergoing different job interviews and discussions.

First we had two faculty members: Martha and Denise presenting the current situation women had, including lack of presentation at the board level, miniroty in senior management, unequal wages, etc. The theme of the workshop “Don’t Apologize” reflected the fact that women tended to have apologetic attitudes toward the others. Secondly we had different World cafe sessions to talk about specific topics. It was very interesting to hear different points of view from alumni of different years and industries. I learned a lot from reflecting on the topic as well as the discussion. It was especially an exciting event to talk to people and hear amazing stories from not only the point of views as women leaders, but also mothers and wives.


Participants from class 2015: (from left to right) Jasmine, Vas, Silvia, and Sophie

Event Brochure


Lively discussion among the alumni

Time to get a job! (Nicholas Toubkin)

We’re now fully over our jetlag from the discovery trips, and it’s back to a hectic schedule at IMD!

This weekend, we had another of the mythical IMD leadership experiential sessions – which pushed us hard to hone our leadership skills even further.  As usual, I can’t reveal the details to avoid spoiling the experience for next year – but let’s say that it was tough but really insightful!  The final leadership session is in November, and I can’t wait to find out how this session wraps up the year. Continue reading “Time to get a job! (Nicholas Toubkin)”

Discovery Trip – China & Japan (Nicholas Toubkin)

Stephanie, Nick A and I are back from our fantastic trip to China and Japan.  It was incredible to learn more about these fantastic, vibrant, unforgettable countries.

The trips were mainly work-oriented, but this didn’t dampen the fun for a second, as it was genuinely fascinating to learn more about the business environments in these two countries, and to connect with our fantastic alumni.  Before the trip, I questioned the academic value of such an expedition; now, I don’t doubt it for a second.

The alumni network was inspiring – from one of Asia’s foremost Private Equity individuals, to a go-getting and passionate entrepreneur, it was so refreshing to see what our alumni had done with the skills they learnt at IMD.  I was particularly inspired by the ‘can-do’ approach of our alumni in China, who are taking every opportunity possible to harness the exceptional growth in the country.  In Japan, the alumni team were equally interesting – but given the Japanese culture, very modest about their fantastic achievements!

This Saturday, we spent a full day in Tokyo doing a joint workshop with some senior executives from Japan’s largest corporates.  This was combined with some keynote speeches from a prominent Japanese economist, two partners from McKinsey, and a Taiwanese executive sharing her experiences as a foreign CEO of a listed Japanese conglomerate.  The speeches were inspiring and thought provoking, but the interaction with the executives was really fascinating – and a fantastic opportunity to dig a little into the mindset of Japanese workers.  What I found (as a generalisation) was an unyielding passion for precision and excellence.  It really was so interesting to find that many Japanese workers really do take accuracy as such a high priority, and reflecting how this might affect the flexibility of the economy.

Despite the strong focus on work and business discovery on the trip, there was nevertheless some time for sightseeing, which we grabbed to the greatest of our abilities.  It was amazing to explore Shanghai –  such a vibrant city, with a Gucci store seemingly on every corner.  The energy in Tokyo was palpable, whilst Kyoto brought a sense of calm and spiritual balance to our trip.

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some of the best bits of the trip – so I’l write an update soon.  Stephanie will be giving her impressions, and Nick A will be providing photos in due course.  And for those of you interested to know about our counterparts’ experience in Singapore & Dubai and Mexico & California, I’ve been promised some guest contributions soon.

Until next time,