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

ICP phase 1 (Stephanie Lin)

Like the other teams, my team has kicked off the ICP project two weeks ago. We are splitting the ICP project into 3 phases: the first is industry analysis, the second is company analysis, and the third is client recommendation.

To complete the industry analysis, we travelled to France and Holland to visit the client’s locations. It was very interesting to understand from the manufacturing value chain and see how the products were produced, until the distribution channel and see how the products were sold and shipped. By visiting the locations, we could consolidate better what we researched with how the real industry player worked. We had some nice discussion with the managers from the locations to understand what their challenges and opportunities were. It was also part of the international experience to see how things are done in another country and culture.

It was a short but fruitful trip. We collected lots of useful info and data to be used in our first phase presentation, which takes place this week. I am looking forward to seeing the first result of the project!

Stephanie

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My team (from left to right): myself, Nacho, Sophie, Alfredo

Discovery trip – Dubai and Singapore (Stephanie Lin)

My classmate Stephanie Escher participated in the group which travelled to Dubai and Singapore, and would like to share her story. The reason why she chose the destination was because she had never been to Dubai nor any other region in the Middle East before. She also targeted company visits in Dubai and Singapore for networking purposes.
 
There were mainly three focus points during the trip. First, the group had meetings with the Economic Development Board of each country (UAE and Singapore). During these meetings, Stephanie could see how the UAE was trying to benchmark with Singapore. Secondly, the group visited various companies. These meetings brought the unique way of doing business in these countries closer to her. Thirdly, cultural events were organized so that IMD students could experience the local customs, like snowboarding down the sand dunes of the Dubai desert.
 
What impressed Stephanie about the UAE was the foresight in developing the economy’s diversification and anticipating future challenges. In Singapore, she was amazed about the changes of the city, coming back after 20 years. She could especially feel the vibe and energy which a typical Asian metropole offers.
 
During the interaction with expats, Stephanie could explore what living abroad in these regions can look like. She felt that Singapore could eventually be a country for her to work and live in. Besides interesting business opportunities, it offers a high quality of life and the population is very diverse. She appreciated that she was travelling with a smaller group of 28 people, where she could continue bonding with the other classmates.
 
For the future MBA students to choose their discovery destination, Stephanie suggested that you first understand what you want to get out of the trip, for example in terms of experiencing a new culture or exploring potential job opportunities. Then the trip will be highly rewarding.
Stephanie (Lin)

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,

Nick.