Meet the MBA Class of 2020: Didier Gautier-Nzakimuena, IMD Business School

Didier Gautier-Nzakimuena

IMD Business School

“Outgoing Canadian with a relentless desire to better myself through constant exploration.”

Hometown: Montreal, Canada

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a big amateur of everything related to developments in astronomy

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Sherbrooke, BSc Finance

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Business Development Manager, Carlsberg

What quality best describes your MBA classmates and why? I would describe my class as humble. This is a quality I observed early in the program when interacting with my classmates. It is instantly apparent how approachable and helpful everyone is.

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 attracted me the most to IMD was the attention in developing the individual to becoming a leader through a well-organized and proven curriculum. I was at a point in my career where I wanted to challenge myself and my leadership abilities.

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? Yes, the first few months of the program definitely live up to the expectations. The workload catches you off guard and you quickly need to get into your own rhythm and keep track of things ahead. Working with my classmates and leveraging each other’s strengths has been greatly beneficial to performing during the hardest time of the program. You not only share knowledge on specific topics but also on best practices when it comes to approaching studies.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The biggest accomplishment in my career was to successfully pursue a professional life in Europe by joining a hedge fund in Stockholm after moving to Sweden. This was a defining moment in my career and made me realize that I could achieve the highest level, no matter the location.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: The role of class-representative was not something I envisioned before joining IMD, however, I was honored to take the responsibility when I was elected at the beginning of the year.

Managing this year’s events, together with my fellow class-representative, Mina Loots, has been a challenge like no other. It gave us valuable learnings and stands out as my biggest accomplishment this year.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I was at a point where I was reaching managerial positions and was looking for an education that would bring my career to the next level. Pursuing an MBA had always been part of my plan when I moved to Europe.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I also applied to IESE and INSEAD.

What did you do during the application process that enabled you to get accepted into IMD? During the rigorous assessment day, I decided to be myself and rely on all the preparation I had done for this day. It enabled me to stay calm, have a clear mind and perform better. The stringent process will eventually reveal your true character.

What is the biggest epiphany you’ve gained about yourself or the world since you started at IMD? The biggest epiphany is the realization of how the world sees my actions and how they affect others. This will eventually translate to better interactions and practices when I take on leading roles in my career.