Photo blog – Remembering class time

Our program coordinator Max opened up the week by reminding us that this is one of the last times we will be be sitting in class all together. Time is running and the end of the year is unfortunately (who would have thought I would say that?!) approaching…

Here are some random picture from a time we already miss.

Throw back to class

Fouad

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

Toys for thought, twinkle stars and growing adults

This week was incredibly concentrated and full of impressions. To start with an amusement park: short and tall revolving attractions quickly grew up across the road. Day and night they shine and reproduce fancy songs, disturbing overwhelmed MBA students. Attractions are calling and I hope to reward my inner child, before they move to another Continue reading “Toys for thought, twinkle stars and growing adults”

We survived the exams!

Hello there from a much lighter and warmer atmosphere!

I really can’t believe the first exams are behind us… Yay!
I think everybody was tired and stretched last month. For me, personally, it was really challenging. It was the build up of many sleepless nights and intense reflections on the future. I must admit I was even a bit cranky sometimes…haha… poor classmates 🙂
But back to the exams: I have to share with you what I saw happening here on campus! I was so touched by the super collaborative atmosphere. People studying together everywhere (day and night), sharing insights, tips and shortcuts. A lot of people gave up their study time to help the ones struggling…
I thought it really reflected the IMD spirit. No competition at all, rather a genuine interest in achieving together… amazing!
For me it was a bit scary to tackle Finance and especially Accounting. I couldn’t believe when I finished the exams and actually felt good about them!!!
May I take the time to thank everyone that helped me with materials, encouraging words, and their precious time. I would like to thank especially Neha Kabra, Renato Gonzaga, Lucas Seoane and Gustavo Zanini. I wouldn’t have made it without you! 🙂
Now we look into module 2 with great expectations. The best part about being in a frontloaded program is that the future always seem more fun and interesting. I am super excited about the new classes like Strategy, Innovation and International Management.
Stay tuned!
Wishing you the best from a warmer Lausanne,
Sílvia

The Integrative Exercise: When push comes to shove

I didn’t know they were called “Integrative Exercises”, but I had heard before coming to IMD about the infamous 48-hour-straight assignment that  encompassed much more work than humanly possible, blood, sweat and tears. Or so I thought!

A friend from the 2015 class about a month ago said to me that I would love the integrative exercise. I thought to myself: “Either he is crazy, or he doesn’t know me at all.” Guess what? He was right! I did love it!!!

By saying I loved it, I don’t mean that it was easy, simple or that I’d do it again on my free time 🙂 but it is definitely something I’ll cherish from my IMD memories.

Our group tried to enter the exercise with full power and a clean slate. We had feedback sessions prior to the start and tried to learn about what worked better for us as a group as we advanced through the regular class assignments. We agreed that it would be tough and we would get stressed and committed to help each other cool off if things got ugly.

I won’t say it never got ugly, but considering the situation and lack of sleep (2,5 hours each night, plus a 2hour break mid exercise) I think we did a great job at keeping together as a group.

One of the high points was right after the second night dinner… we felt the energy going low and still had a LOT of work to do. We decided to put a power song to cheer us up and get the energy going. Then one of my group mates had the idea of going around spreading the energy to the other groups and we did a chair tour:

 chairrace.jpeg

Not everybody loved it though hahah but it took us just 10 minutes and when we were back, the group was energized and ready to start another long shift! (I’d definitely recommend it to future classes.)

Nicolas had the cool idea of shooting us the entire time! Here’s a peek at our room – or should I say our home – during the exercise:

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This experience taught me so much! I learned a lot through the board’s feedback and pitfalls that were absolutely real life applicable. Learned about myself and how far I can push my body. Learned how my actions can trigger unintentional consequences in the group, and the other way around. Learned about the incredible power of collaboration and trust.

And my final lesson came later with the grade:

During the exercise I really felt we were doing great work. We were very much committed to it and pushing to get the best out of every part. The first board meeting seemed to have gone well and we worked super hard on the changes for the second board. However, I felt from the board’s final feedback that they had not liked it very much. I had spent 47:30 hours happy and excited and after the final presentation I was super down…

Guess what? I was wrong yet again. We got a very high grade! And I learned I should trust myself and my group yet some more 🙂

Thank you so much, guys. You rock!

group.jpeg
The team: Roraj Pradhananga, Philipp DeAngelis, Vladimir Petrenko, Luca Gianaschi, Nicolas Martinez and me 🙂

Au revoir,

Sílvia Simões