Meet IMD’s MBA Class Of 2019

Adrian Safciuc

IMD Business School

“An engineer at heart, looking to making a difference in the world, driven by the belief that my best work is yet to come.”

Hometown: Constanta, Romania

Fun Fact About Yourself: I have an unusual affinity for hip-hop music and dancing to hip-hop.

Undergraduate School and Major: University College London (UK), Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Project Manager/Senior Engineer – DNVGL

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment to date is reaching the Chartered Engineer status with the UK Engineering Council as the youngest person within my company’s history. As the process involved periods of doubt, lack of support from peers and many unanswered questions prior to my assessment and knowing that other younger engineers within the company would be facing similar issues I developed a clear roadmap for graduate engineers to attain Chartership status with their selected Engineering institution. The initiative gained support from the management team and was eventually formalized as an internal development program, where I was able to guide young engineers through mentoring. What started off as a personal accomplishment, the charter turned out to be a much more enriching experience than I expected.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? When I think of the IMD MBA 2019 cohort, the first thing that comes to mind is positive energy. I believe journalist Po Bronson captured it best with the quote “There is a powerful transformative effect when you surround yourself with like-minded people.”. For me there is a clear sense of an intangible element in the class which I can only describe as “energy” – most likely a combination of excitement, new ideas and the feeling of a safe space to develop. It’s contagious.

Aside from your classmates, 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? The key differentiator was IMD’s focus on industry. Coming from a family where both my parents are engineers (mechanical and nuclear), it was quite clear early on that I would follow the same footsteps – a decision made both by choice and by passion. While researching MBA programs I realized that IMD has strong ties with a lot of the companies I admire in the engineering related industries, with a lot of the MBA graduates returning to the “industry”.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am a keen sailor, having started at the age of seven and having skippered all the way to semi-professional races more recently. When I read the blog entry last year about the MBA regatta in Italy, it was with great excitement and anticipation. Until September time when the regatta takes place, we have beautiful Lake Geneva (Lac Leman) in front of IMD so we will try to get out on the water as much as possible. Side note – the IMD MBA blog is an incredible way to keep up to date with our progress through the year.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? By the time I started the MBA program at IMD, I had already lived in and experienced five different countries – Romania, UK, Malaysia, Singapore and Australia. This helped tremendously with understanding cultures and people and from a professional perspective, it was a great opportunity to see how business is done in different parts of the world. That being said, I felt it was the right time to undertake an MBA in order to structure my thoughts and become well-rounded in terms of knowledge and pursue future challenges with more confidence.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? London Business School, Oxford Said, Cambridge Judge

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I believe there is a difference between how schools market themselves and what they actually offer, so the only real way to understand what they are about is to speak to recent alumni. IMD’s alumni are different from the rest, with a much tighter bond – ultimately the prospect of graduating as 90 friends was more appealing than anything else.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In terms of character definition, I consider growing up in post-communist Romania to have had a significant impact. I was born two years before the Romanian Revolution took place in late 1989, when after 40 years of communism Romania moved to a democratic republic. It was most definitely a positive development for the country as a whole, but it presented a highly fluid political, social and economic landscape and it took more than an entire decade for it to stabilize. Growing up in such an environment brought some tough but lasting lessons in resilience and unconventional creativity.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I generally feel happiest when working at the edge of my comfort zone, so I hope the challenges of the future will still offer the opportunity to bring creativity into the business environment. In five years’ time I see myself in a position that lies at the intersection of solid business practices and innovation/new technologies. Last but not least, I aim for positive social impact as well, in whichever form possible.

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