Meet The MBA Class Of 2021: Marly Levene, IMD Business School

Marly Levene

IMD Business School

“Thorough and inquisitive Canadian who loves animals, outdoor activities, travel, and great cheese!”

Hometown: Kitchener, Canada

Fun Fact About Yourself: I started horseback riding when I was 7 years old and then competed for nearly 20 years in showjumping. Also, I’ve never had a cup of coffee in my life!

Undergraduate School and Major: McGill University, Bachelor of Engineering (Civil)

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: TAS, Senior Development Manager, Canada

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? The best part has been getting to interact with each of my classmates. With plenty of groupwork and many different social activities, we have had the opportunity to get to spend time with everyone; this would not be possible in a bigger class. We have also been able to connect more closely with our professors, with more intimate class discussions and opportunities to meet with them over lunch and work with them on various projects.

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? I was most drawn to the small class size, the diverse class profile, and the Leadership Stream. My main objective for my MBA is personal development, so it was important for me to be challenged from a leadership perspective and gain hands-on experience. With immersive and leadership-focused learning, regular coaching, and optional sessions with a psychoanalyst throughout the year, the program offers a truly unique experience. The partner program is also a unique aspect of IMD and offers a valuable experience to the MBA families as well.

What has been favorite tradition or event at IMD? My favorite event so far was International Women’s Day, when three female IMD alumnae spoke to our class, each sharing their very honest and candid personal stories. The discussions were not only inspiring, but also very emotional and thought-provoking. The day made us all more aware of the challenges we face, and it motivated us to contribute to driving change regarding gender equality.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest career accomplishment has been the impact I have had in shaping the culture and environment of each of my teams. I have always valued team culture and have worked hard to cultivate meaningful relationships within each of my roles. My efforts have been acknowledged and appreciated by my peers and leaders, and I am proud to have been able to contribute in this way.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: One of my favorite parts about the IMD MBA program so far has been the opportunity to work with local start-ups during the first module. With our heavy workload, it was difficult to find sufficient time and energy to focus on this project, and we were working on challenging problems in unfamiliar industries. Even though the work seemed insurmountable at times, I am very proud of what our team accomplished; we each brought our unique perspectives, and in the end, our start-up team was very pleased with our final deliverable. I am proud that we were able to provide useful and impactful tools to help this start-up succeed in its future.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? After growing in the real estate development industry for 8 years, I recognized that my biggest impacts were in the cross-functional leadership and big-picture project management aspects of my roles. With this, I wanted to further invest in my general management skills and decided that an MBA would help me to further develop transferability, allowing me to pivot to other industries in the future.

What has been your best memory at IMD thus far? My best memories include several outdoor adventures and exploring Switzerland with new friends from the MBA program. It’s been such a great experience getting to know my classmates and their families, and it’s exciting to go through this transformational year together.


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