Meet The MBA Class Of 2021: Carla Venter, IMD Business School

Carla Venter

IMD Business School

“Adventure-loving foodie; wine enthusiast; part-time travel planner; undercover cat-lady; midnight chess player.”

Hometown: Bloemfontein, South Africa

Fun Fact About Yourself: I appeared in a reality TV dating show in South Africa.

Undergraduate School and Major: B.Accounting (Hons), University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Geneva Management Group, Finance Manager, United Kingdom

IMD classes have been dubbed the “Mighty 90” for their talent and versatility. What has been the best part of being in a small class with this group of classmates? A small class has allowed me to connect with all my classmates very early on in the program and it also means that we get to benefit from a lot of individual attention from professors.

Aside from classmates, what part of IMD’s MBA programming led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Four things made IMD stand out:

* I was very impressed with IMD every time, from my initial interactions with IMD, both during the entire application process, to speaking with alumni.

* It had a more experienced cohort compared to other business schools.

* IMD has truly world class professors and guest speakers.

* The school has a focus on developing female talent.

What has been favorite tradition or event at IMD? It would be the class’ Thirsty Thursday events and barbeques next to the lake. We may be located in one of the best locations in the world, nestled between mountains and the lake, which means it’s perfect in summer and winter.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Joining a newly set-up UK branch for my previous employer, I was tasked with setting up all finance functions while leading a remote team of six. My process implementations led to massive cash flow and revenue improvements. I was given a lot of responsibility early on and am proud of the culture I created within my team.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: My personal development in the program is by far my biggest accomplishment. I’ve come to realize knowledge and intellectual capabilities will only get me so far in my career; the most important factor is creating the most optimal team environment to ensure each team member’s potential is maximized. I will definitely walk away from the MBA looking differently at team dynamics and the importance of feedback, self-reflection, and self-awareness. Most importantly, I realized there is always room for self-improvement.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I started my career as a Chartered Accountant and my time working in the Big 4 exposed me to various roles within businesses. In my recent role as Finance Manager, I had exposure to the front office and came to realize that I enjoy working with numbers. However, I wanted more front office exposure, working with clients and/or investors and with more room for creativity. I also wanted to move into a more strategic role where I can really have an impact on the bottom line. This led me to pursue an MBA, so that I can build on my finance experience and better equip myself for such a career move.

What has been your best memory at IMD thus far? It was a ski trip with classmates to Zermatt during winter. It is possibly the most beautiful place in the world, and we had mulled wine and cheese fondue – in true Swiss




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