Meet IMD’s MBA Class Of 2018

Saba Yasini

IMD Business School

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A no nonsense kind of gal with a flair for science and shoes.

Hometown: San Jose, California, USA

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was once asked to appear on a reality TV show. Spent six hours on camera only to find out that my part was taken out completely. Talk about poor return on investment!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of California, Berkeley / Bachelor’s in Molecular and Cell Biology

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

Researcher and Contracts and Budget Specialist at MedImmune

Contracts Negotiator at Intuitive Surgical

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Crossing the Atlantic and moving 9000 km away from home to take on a job assignment in Switzerland.  This move was a life-changing experience for me both personally and professionally. It gave me the opportunity to create a contracts management infrastructure for the leading medical device company in the field of surgical robotics. My job gave me the opportunity to work with 40+ different countries and cultures while taking in the beautiful and picturesque views of the Alps. 

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? I would say don’t let the IMD application process deter you from applying. Tackle each section separately. Work on them on different days and have at least two people who have gone through the process, review it. IMD has an extensive alumni network who are eagerly willing to share their experiences with the application process and lend a helping hand.

I realize sharing essays might be very personal to some people, but you will not get the outside feedback if you don’t. Keep an open mind. I did a Lifeline exercise with one of my reviewers through which I got to address various issues that have impacted my life. The idea is to become familiarized with yourself and bring out the driving factors that set you apart. IMD is looking for well-rounded applicants with a story to tell. Find your inner story that sets you apart. Emphasize your real-life business experiences – not just your successes but also the failures. Most importantly, do your homework. Research IMD and the kind of MBA program they offer. Once you have the information, write them down and woo the admission committee.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I was looking for an MBA program that would furnish me with a diverse international network. As an American who is looking to live and work internationally, having a strong international network is imperative to my success post-graduation. I chose IMD because it offers me a strong and highly sought-after network through handpicking high performing and intelligent candidates from various parts of the world. The MBA class of 2018 consists of participants from 43 different countries with varying backgrounds. In a world where enterprises are pushing to become global, having access to such a strong global network is definitely an asset. Additionally, being part of the IMD family gives you access to a bigger and broader alumni network who represent various industries, geographies and generations, all of which at your fingertips and eagerly available to help.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I think success for me is more of a path than a destination. The path to success after the first year of business school would be coming out of the program as a more self-aware and well-rounded individual.  With strong leadership skills and a solid foundation, I am confident I will be able to apply my learnings in a career that is rewarding and challenging at the same time.

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