IMD MBAs immersed in innovation

Professor Cyril Bouquet leads the MBA class through an intense week for the Debiopharm-Inartis Challenge.

Over the course of last week, the MBAs gathered information, created new ideas, protoyped, pitched and much more. They spent time in Renens at the innovation incubator UniverCité and visited a number of healthcare sites in Vaud and Geneva as part of their challenge to improve the lives of patients.

The great projects they conceptualized will be entered into a real call for innovative projects: the Debiopharm-Inartis challenge whose winners will be chosen later in May and for which prizes include up to CHF 50,000 in cash and more in kind. Let’s wish the teams luck!

A big thanks to our friends at Debiopharm, the Inartis foundation, and our associates, business model specialists Alexander Osterwalder and Greg Bernarda, as well as Greg Serikoff and the rest of the Codesign-it! team in Paris, Christian Saclier, Head of Industrial Design at Nestlé, and many others who helped make the week a great success.

To find out more about what went on:

IMD News Story: IMD MBAs immersed in innovation

Video: Introducing the Debiopharm-Inartis challenge at IMD
Video: Day 1
Video: Day 2
Video: IMD’s MBAs Prototyping Ideas in the Makerspace

Media coverage: Tout un Monde from Swiss Radio RTS on IMD improving innovation with Design Thinking (in French)

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”

It just gets better and better!

Life at IMD after the exams just gets better and better!

The knowledge and tools we’ve acquired in the first three months have started to sink in and become part of our “arsenal” to tackle new challenges. Our confidence and ability to perform have climbed and we can now take on bigger challenges with much lower stress levels. And the new classes are amazing!

 I am trying my best not to spoil any surprises for the newcomers here… but let’s say that the last days have been filled with excitement and super interesting topics such as: crisis management, media training, hands-on innovation and leadership frameworks on getting people on board. Unquestionably useful knowledge that will certainly differentiate us – especially in the long run.

The career services team has been super active bringing valuable sessions to help us on career management, interviewing techniques and case interview preparation.

We are also having more and more guest speakers to inspire us with their trajectories and share invaluable lessons. Just this week we’ll have three different executives spending time exclusively with us.

To top it off, last weekend most of our class took our first trip together! Our classmate Dustin Kahler took the brave role to organize rooms, transportation, ski gear exchange, dinner and activities for over 60 people to come to Verbier! It was a great way to have fun together and create some more memories of our Swiss adventures!

I feel like we are living the IMD dream… and I am doing my best to enjoy the present as time is moving fast and tends to move even faster after the June exams.

 Have a great week and stay tuned!

Silvia

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

Discovery trip – Mexico and California (Vivek Tiwari)

Hello Everyone. This is your guest blogger Vivek who will take you through the discovery trip to Mexico and California that I and my thirty amazing friends went to.

Discovery Trips are essential part of the curriculum at IMD and extensive preparations go on from early on in the year. These range from selection of places, companies to visit, alumni network to contact etc. Thankfully, our super-efficient MBA office takes care of all the administrative stuff and we students focus on the academic work and company presentations for our visit.

The theme this year was that we would visit one developing and one developed country. Mexico and California was an easy choice for me since I was interested in technology sector, start up clustered around Silicon Valley, plus I had never been to US before and the idea of visiting it with a large group friends really excited me.

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Our first stop was Monterrey in Mexico. Monterrey is the third largest metropolitan area in Mexico and an industrial hub having couple of large corporations headquartered there. We visited a Walmart distribution center and understood the complexity of running such large scale operations. It was fascinating to see how a fruit grown half the way across the globe reaches the shelves of our local supermarket. After Walmart, the next company visit made us all go in memory lane and we became kids again. The reason: Lego factory visit. At IMD, we have studied turnaround of Lego in mid 2000s in a couple of case studies, and it was a fascinating account of putting strategy, operations and marketing into practice and putting the company back on the growth track. Looking at the highly automated factory and advance robotics in action was a different experience and made me appreciate Lego even more. Plus, each of us received a Lego set as a gift at the end of the visit. That reminds me I have to build my set soon.

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Besides these two events, we visited CPA, Cemex, BCG and Alfa group where we got to interact with senior business executives from these companies. Before flying out of Mexico, there was an Alumni networking event in which group of students made a presentation on the economic situation of Mexico. Our MBA director Ralf Boscheck also facilitated a session with participants giving an overview from an ecnomics standpoint.

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San Francisco was our next stop. If Monterrey was all about manufacturing and industrial goods, San Francisco was the polar opposite with its venture capitalists and start-ups. Our schedule here was jam packed with visits from Salesforce, Twitter and Google. Visiting google headquarter in mountain-view was the highlight of the trip. Fun fact 1: Do you know that you can have free lunches at Google?

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SF chamber of commerce held a session on the innovation economy and economic development of San Francisco followed by a session from VCs explaining us about the entrepreneurial culture in the valley. Fun fact 2: If you are 20 years old and studying at Stanford University and you haven’t started your company, you are in a very tiny minority.

And before we knew it, the discovery trip had come to an end. However, we got two full days to recover from our intense sessions and explore San Francisco. Our group had great fun with activities such as taking a biking tour of golden gate bridge to eating in china town to partying in San Francisco. Special thanks to my American colleagues and friends Courtney Galligan and Tom Cohen who organized the trips and made sure that each of us had great time. Cheers.

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