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”

Invaluable lessons from Paul Bulcke, Nestlé’s CEO

As Kunal beautifully described in his latest post, life after the exams has been inspiring in many levels!

I find myself in a state where I don’t want time to go by so fast…every day brings new possibilities, ideas and opportunities to use the learnings we had on the first part of the program. The city of Lausanne feels like home now and the IMD family is closer and closer.

All 90 of us are here as a result of so many different stories! We of course want different things out of each subject and have different interests and priorities… That is why when I look around and see all 90 of us completely hypnotized by a speaker, it means we’re living a special moment.

That’s what happened last Thursday with the special visit of Nestlé’s CEO, Paul Bulcke!

It was a night to remember. He was super accessible and down to earth,  and truly created an atmosphere of closeness with our class.

There were so many pearls of wisdom.

To me the most insightful ones were:

Don’t imagine your career as the final destination. Make the decisions today on what you know today. Things are always changing.

  • Never work for your boss. Work for your team.
  • If you have no interests outside your job, you are in trouble.
  • What needs to be done, only gets done by doing.
  • Practice dettached involvement. (Be present and part of the situation but be also able to look at it from a distance)
  • The world is a place full of intelligent people but lacks wisdom.
  • When you have all the answers, that’s management. When you don’t have all the answers, that’s leadership.

And the ultimate lesson to me was given by example. He was asked some difficult questions in delicate subjects such as GMOs and water resources, and the way he openly yet firmly responded them was utmost inspiring.

Another unforgettable moment in the incredibly unique experience that is the IMD journey.

Love,

Sílvia

Motivation, Inspiration and some advise – Just another day at IMD

Entrepreneurship stream formally came to a close today but not without leaving us with some valuable learnings. Over the past many weeks we had the privilege to vicariously live and experience the lives of many entrepreneurs through the case studies. While “Eat me” introduced us to the trials and tribulations of Serena as she successfully persevered to realise her dream of starting a concept restaurant in Lausanne, Govworks.com narrated a tragedy of Shakespearean proportion as we witnessed Kaleil Isaza’s metoric rise to fame and eventual fall from grace.
From Tumi’s take over by Samsonite, to Venkatesh’s LBO of a division of his employer everything was on the menu.
We had the privilege to meet many of these entrepreneurs in flesh and blood as they recounted their journeys to us and patiently answered flurry of our hurried questions.
This morning Professor Benoit orchestrated perhaps the most appropriate conclusion to this stream by sharing with us the remarkable story of WIPHOLD (http://www.wiphold.com/), an example of how Private Equity can be a force for good and not just a source of profits. These stories motivated us to dig deep into our own passions and unearth those great ideas that we have been holding back perhaps a tad bit too long.
After such a motivational start to our day, in the afternoon, we got a chance to talk to a panel of senior HR managers from several companies. In those 4 hours we received some valuable career advice. Engaging with these people helped us to see the world from their perspective. It helped us to understand how best to position ourselves so as to maximize our chances of landing our dream jobs.
The best however was left for the last. We were paid a visit by a friendly neighbour. One of Nestle’s best employees took time out of his busy schedule to come and speak to us. He was none other than Paul Bulcke, the CEO, himself.
There cannot be anything more inspiring for business students, like us, than to be able to meet and learn from the stalwarts of the industry. Paul has spent 8 years at the helm of one of the World’s largest corporations and tonight we had the opportunity to ask him all about the remarkable journey that he has been through. No wonder we were falling over each other in order to ask our questions. Paul took all questions – easy ones, difficult ones, personal ones and professional ones. He answered them with utmost conviction and authenticity.
Much of his advice around careers was simple but profound. He urged us to find happiness in our work and not to see it simply as a means of getting to some future position. Perhaps the most important piece of advise from my point of view was that we should not look to work for our boss rather we should work for our peers and subordinates.
Such advice is often not found in business books or literature but can only be garnered through talking to someone like Paul who has seen it all, made it to the top and has kept the perspective on what is important.
How do you summarize such a rich day at school?
All I can say is this: More motivation, more advise and more inspiration – just another day at IMD.
Kunal

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

Finally Spring is here

Since we celebrated the arrival of Spring in the Eastern-European traditional manner last Friday, the weather has been wonderful here in Lausanne. It was helpful to get us through the past week, and through this coming one hopefully, the last  before the exams prep.

On the first day of spring according to Swiss standards, I though I would share my picture from this nice celebration.

Spring celebration.jpg

Fouad