Meet The MBA Class Of 2021: Simone Grancini, IMD Business School

Simone Grancini

IMD Business School

“Experienced in global product management and marketing. I enjoy travelling with my family and writing music!”

Hometown: Pavia, Italy

Fun Fact About Yourself: I play 6 musical instruments and love composing my own music.

Undergraduate School and Major: MSc Management Engineering – Politecnico di Milano; BSc Management Engineering

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Senior Global Product Manager, Vorwerk International & Co KmG, Switzerland

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? With a small class it is easier to get to know each other better. Even with COVID restrictions, it has been possible to meet with all the other candidates. This gave us the possibility to know more, not only about each other’s professional background, but also about the personal side and this has helped us to connect on a deeper level. With a limited number, it is also easier for our coaches and faculties to follow each one of us. It is easy to have 1:1 sessions with our coaches, professors and the career development team, who are always helping us to improve and addressing our questions.

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? What convinced me to join IMD is the network, the prestige of the school and (more importantly) the high focus on increasing your self-awareness. I will leave IMD knowing myself much better! The school is helping me to understand what drives and motivates me and therefore to make the right choices regarding my future career and life.

What has been favorite tradition or event at IMD? The Leadership Lab has been my favorite event at IMD. It is a week where each team is assigned several tasks and is assisted to a professional coach, who provides guidance and feedback to both the team and Individual members. It was a wonderful learning experience to understand the driving forces behind a high performing team and to identify each person’s strengths and weaknesses and how to best support the team in the quest of its task.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: After three years of working experience, I was promoted to the position of Global Product Manager in a CHF 5 billion multinational company where my biggest accomplishment was the launch of the next generation of flagship products that led to double digit increase of sales of the portfolio. It was my task to collect inputs from many departments and across the hierarchy to design the most successful product requirements. It takes analytical skills and resilience to elaborate these data points, extract the valuable information, and finally craft a product strategy. I was also in charge of ensuring that the team was heading in the right direction.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: At the end of the first module, we had the “integrative exercise”. It is a concluding exercise that summarizes in one business case all the teachings of the module’s classes. We recommended the best entry option for a company that wants to launch a new product in a new market. It was a very demanding exercise with the team working until late at night to complete the final presentation to a jury of professors. It was very rewarding to see our hard work recognized as one of the best in the class. We were able to work efficiently, apply the class’ teachings while sharing each other’s knowledge.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Although my career was proceeding at a good pace, I felt the need to pause so that I could really think and ask myself whether I was satisfied with the path ahead of me. The IMD MBA is a great place to reflect on yourself and understand what really motivates you and where your inner compass is leading you. However, having a clear goal in mind is only the beginning of the journey. The program has a great impact on helping you to access a network of companies and professionals that are eager to attract talents with whom you can start the next phase of your professional life.

What has been your best memory at IMD thus far? If I have to pick only one it would be the MBA Tournament (MBAT): a sports tournament amongst the MBA students across various disciplines. It was a lot of fun to meet with everyone outside of the traditional study and project settings, getting to know each other better and exploring new sports. I personally learned how to play cricket from my new Indian friends and a sport called “ultimate frisbee”. Beyond this very day, I feel very lucky that the school was able to maintain in presence classes despite this very difficult time thanks to the anti-COVID measures that were put in place. The MBA experience is a lot about networking with other students and school members. Ensuring face-to-face classes has certainly been of great value to my experience.


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