MBA Program: IMD Business School
Current Location: Lausanne, Vaud
Current Company and Title: Hach, Global Product Manager
Why did you choose to earn your MBA at this business school? I chose IMD because I had been exposed to great programs with them before. This included, for example, the High-Performance Leadership program, with world-class professors and professionals who impressed me. Their combination of excellence in hard skills like finance and marketing, as well as their focus on developing leaders in a profound personal level, was what drove me to have them as my top choice.
Pretend you are an ambassador giving a tour at your business school. Name one place you would show a candidate and why was it so important to you? I would show them the famous “Dungeons”. These are the MBA study rooms on the level below ground. It’s probably the oldest part of the building and where we spent most of our time outside the classroom. Looking back at my MBA year, I realized that one of the most important parts of what made the experience so valuable were the group projects we had to work on where we were exposed to different cultures, backgrounds, and professional experiences. The dungeons are not beautiful – it’s not a touristic view – but it is a very special place.
What was your favorite class and what lesson do you use from it in your role? Unexpectedly, my favorite class was Finance with Professor Arturo Bris. His dedication and sense of humor made the subject very interesting. During his classes, we learned about the stock market and its volatility, the value of companies, and the importance of growth in today’s scene. In my current job, since I’m responsible for strategic projects related to innovation, I use those lessons to create products that will add value to our customers and that will pave the way for future growth of the company. As Hach is part of the Danaher group, those lessons also help me understand the strategy of the group and what makes it so successful.
What was your best memory during your MBA program? It is difficult to pick only one, but the one that encompasses a lot of them was being awarded with the Welshe Women prize. It is a prize given to the best all-round female of the class, awarded by the MBA faculty and my classmates. It meant a lot to me.
What is one thing about the MBA program that you wish you had known when you applied? That the program was much more about your personal growth than a set of classes and projects. When I heard that there was a focus on leadership in the program, I thought it was closer to what you find in trainings in a corporate environment. It surprised me how much deeper it is than that. At the beginning of the program, I was not able to talk about my son’s first year of life that was taken by a rare disease that ended with a transplant without bringing myself to tears. At the end, I could not only talk about it, but I learned to see the toughest moments of my life as sources of strength and compassion that undoubtedly make me a better person and a better professional.
What has been your biggest professional achievement? My biggest professional achievement was probably when I was in Supply Chain in Procter & Gamble. We had reached an unprecedented 98% customer satisfaction rate for the biggest category in the country while at the same time delivering millions in savings in remnant materials. This result was very special to me given that I did it during my first year in the role, a very steep learning curve.
What advice would you give to a prospective student to help them earn a spot in your business school? Do your research. Understand the type of candidate the school is looking for and what it has to offer. If you find that IMD is the one for you, bring your best. Be honest during the process; the admissions committee does not play tricks on candidates and they expect the same from you. Be collaborative during the group sessions, it is not about who outshines the other during the assessment day, but who brings the best out of people and understands teamwork. You will need a lot of that during the year anyway.
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