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…”

CEO’s, Leadership and ICP’s

After jet-setting around Europe for 7 weeks I have finally gotten time to talk about it. So our ICP with a telecom giant took me and my team from Hungary to Ireland and everywhere in between. ICP’s are a key part of the MBA program and now that it is over, I can see why it is such a brilliant idea to wrap-up our MBA with a real project for a real client solving real problems.

I am delighted to share that our client was very happy with our work and clearly could see the value-add we brought to the company. All the leadership, finance, accounting, problem-solving and critical thinking lessons learnt throughout the year came in handy to solve the issues at hand.

Immediately, after the ICP’s we headed back to IMD and were greeted with a fantastic gathering of CEO’s of some of the top companies. IMD hosts CEO Rountable for top leaders from across different industries once a year. And this was a great opportunity for us to meet some of these top leaders and learn from them.

I had the chance to hear from Boris Collardi, CEO of Julius Baer. He is clearly an extraordinary executive who climbed up the Banking ladder pretty swiftly and so had some great first hand experiences to share from his journey. His presentation laid out the challenges facing the Wealth Management sector and also his plans to steady Julius Baer to face those challenges well and become a stronger Bank. I must say it is quite extraordinary to hear directly from these people right at the top. Their clarity of vision, simple few point plans and tremendous faith in their abilities and those of their people is quite inspiring to see. It also makes this very real, so much so that we can for the first time begin to believe that some of us can be in those positions and can be fully capable of making similar decisions.

Boris left us with three great lessons for our own careers and I will share those with all of you.

  1. “You guys are too young to do a job you don’t like”
  2. “You guys are too young to not take really big risks”
  3. “Do not over-plan. It is good to have some ideas about your future but do not try to forecast everything. At the same time develop a knack for spotting opportunities as they come”.


I am going to reflect on these lessons for sure and I hope you will too.


All the best


What a thrill! The ICP finally started!

After having been changed so much by our experiences at IMD and after so much education, cramming and grooming… we are almost there! So lets show the world what we can do!

Following a long tradition dating back to the 1980, one of IMD MBA’ program famous highlight is the ICP or “International Consulting Projects”.

Continue reading “What a thrill! The ICP finally started!”

ICP – Done! (Nicholas Toubkin)

It’s been nearly two weeks since I’ve written a blog, and it’s been an incredibly busy time since, as we’ve been finalising our International Consulting Project.

The ICP was certainly one of my highlights of the MBA experience so far – it was great to deepen my knowledge of the real estate sector, and also to work with such a fantastic time.  It was really wonderful to have the opportunity to travel so much in Europe – last week, we were in Oslo again to make our final presentation to our clients – who really made the experience so special by sharing so much about their business, and being so receptive to our ideas.

Once the ICP was over, it was time to spring back to work – we had a leadership ‘experiential’ on Saturday, which was a chance to give the people that we had worked with most closely during the year some valuable feedback.  A great way to wrap up the IMD leadership stream, and one of the elements of the course that really differentiates the IMD experience from other similar MBA courses.  I also had a final meeting with my leadership coach, who invariably provides fantastic insight into my future plans, and helps define my career goals.

So – this week, it’s a day of presenting our ICP findings to our classmates tomorrow, and then the electives start right after that.  I can’t say I’m looking forward to having a rigid 8am start time again – but I am looking forward to the electives for sure!

Until next time,


International Consulting Project (Nicholas Toubkin)

My team and I had a fantastic trip to Oslo last week – we presented our findings to our clients, who seemed very happy with the work that we had done; they then gave us some other topics to work on for the final stretch of our international consulting project.  We even had time to fit in a quick tour of Oslo before we caught our flight back to Geneva.  The only issue that we’ve had so far on the ICP is that every time we travel, someone’s bag has been lost by the baggage handlers – this time it was me on the way!  Annoying, but thankfully retrieved – I didn’t fancy making a presentation to our clients in jeans!!!!   Since we got back to Lausanne on last Wednesday, it’s been hectic trying to fit in all of the work that we need to do before we go back to Oslo for our final presentation on Monday.

At the same time as finalising the ICP projects, it’s been incredibly busy on the job front too for the class – the offers have been coming in from all the consulting firms amongst others, and it’s fantastic news – we’ve got a number of classmates with multiple offers, and in general the tally seems to be well ahead of last year – a great result!  From my side, I’m off to London shortly for a few really interesting interviews, so fingers crossed…  I didn’t anticipate that getting the ball rolling looking for a job would take so long, but there are many interesting opportunities popping up now – so here’s hoping for a good result!

After the ICP finishes, it’s time for the electives to kick in – and these are so interesting – from Islamic Finance to corporate governance, and everything in between – more updates on that soon!

And winter is really here now – I went running with a classmate last night along the lake, and the way back was a little slow – it was pitch black with no moonlight, so a great challenge not to run into the lake!

Until next time,