Meet the MBA Class of 2020: Agathe Keim, IMD Business School

Agathe Keim

IMD Business School

“Dedicated, engaged, and curious, I want to make a positive impact on the world.”

Hometown: Nantes, France

Fun Fact About Yourself: Despite being afraid of heights, I really love skydiving.

Undergraduate School and Major: MEng, Ecole Centrale de Lyon, France and MA Business Psychology, Université Lyon II, France

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Boston Consulting Group, Consultant

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? Throughout the confinement and the zoom classes, I think creativity has been the best quality of our batch. Finding new ways to stay connected, to make the most out of being together, even if each at home

Aside from classmates, what part of the school’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? What led me to IMD was the leadership program. I wanted to have time to take a step back to think about my career, better understand myself, and what drives me, and it has held to its reputation. The mix between individual reflection and group feedback has been a truly transformative experience.

IMD has a reputation for being intense, with heavy reading and assignments. Did the school live up to its reputation? What did you do to get through the workload? The school lived up to its reputation. Coming from consulting, I was not expecting to find the rhythm as challenging as it was. IMD is very good at making the playground look very realistic! After a couple of weeks, you start finding a balance and being able to prioritize, as well as being more organized with your working group which helps a lot.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: As a consultant, I had the privilege to work for and with senior leaders across industries and functions and help them solve some of their pressing challenges. It was a great feeling to see how, as a diverse team, we were finding innovative solutions and building the tools to help make ideas a reality. In addition, building relationships and trust with the clients always was very rewarding and enabled me to learn so much in a short period of time.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: During the first part of the program, a big milestone was the presentation of the work we did as a group for a start-up. As we presented the results of our work for their launch to the start-up founders and newly-recruited brand manager, it became very obvious that what we had worked on for the past few months was exactly what they needed and would help them get to the market quicker. It was also a big chance for me to discover the world of entrepreneurship, which I hadn’t had a chance to come close to, and the continuous flexibility was very inspiring.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Very much in line with my choice of IMD, I was looking for an opportunity to take a step back and reflect on what I wanted to do next. After a couple of years in management consulting, it was the perfect timing to think about what I had learned and where I could see myself in the future.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I did not apply to any other program, for me, IMD made sense from a program, a batch, and a geography perspective so I did not look any further.

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into IMD? This is not an easy question; you never completely believe it until you receive the confirmation call. For me, the most important was to stay honest to myself, take the application as a first reflection step and share what I thought I could bring to the class and what I was coming to learn about others and myself.

What is the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started at IMD? Since I don’t want to repeat any of frequently-heard learnings about the COVID-19 confinement period, something I learned about myself is the importance to care about yourself. You will only be able to perform at your best if you allow yourself to take some time off, ask for help if needed, and tune down the internal critical eye that might sometimes push you too much.


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