Meet the MBA Class of 2022: Parco Chan, IMD Business School

Parco Chan

IMD Business School

“Curious scientist in business who is passionate about improving lives of patients.”

Hometown: Toronto, Canada

Fun Fact About Yourself: Each year, I spend a week canoeing and camping across different lakes in Canada. It’s a great time with close friends, detached from technology. Since nature is often unpredictable, we often end up in unexpected adventures. Once we underestimated how much distance we had to hike and tried to bushwhack our own shortcut across an island (to little success)!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Toronto for BSc and MSc in Pharmacology

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Associate Pricing Manager, Eli Lilly & Company

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 of a small class is being able to interact with each person often, allowing for deeper and more meaningful relationships. With sustainability being a crisis that affects most industries and being a key theme of our program, our wide diversity of experience allows for interesting discussions when someone adds their own experiences to the lesson. This diversity is prominent in our cultures too. With 39 different nationalities in our cohort and with most having lived outside of their home country, we often learn about bits and pieces of different cultures, which is truly a rewarding aspect of this global education.

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 chose IMD because of its focus on developing students to become reflective and responsible leaders. This development focus allows for valuable feedback to be shared in a safe environment that may otherwise be difficult in a workplace. Beyond learning the theory, I wanted to apply these learnings in team projects that characterize IMD’s immersive curriculum and build upon my development with peers and coaches. I also found IMD’s outlook on sustainability to be compelling as changes in climate are becoming more pervasive in our everyday lives like this summer’s heatwave in Europe.

IMD is known for academic rigor. What is one strategy you used that would help a future IMD MBA better adapt to the workload early on? Focus on yourself and listen to your needs, because understanding what’s most important to you will help with prioritizing your time and staying engaged. The program is fast-paced, so you need to understand how you use your energy and find your own rhythm. The amount of course material builds up fast and since concepts often build on each other, it is hard to catch up quickly. Thus, it’s important to always ask questions whenever you don’t understand something.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: My biggest accomplishment was building the business case to launch a cancer treatment in Canada. Many patients were waiting for this treatment. With no other treatments available, it was a matter of life or death. At the same time, important details like how to identify patients suited for this treatment and how to price it needed to be determined to ensure that its launch made business sense. This complexity, coupled with my lack of experience in this role, meant this business case quickly became a large endeavour. The end result involved coordinating four different teams of colleagues for their inputs and weeks of late nights to put together a business story to present to our leadership team. It was a fulfilling experience, because I learned a tremendous amount in putting together all angles of a launch like pieces of the puzzle. This treatment is now available to patients in Canada and I’m proud to have been part of its launch efforts.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: Growing as a professional is a primary reason I came to IMD. After learning in my first 2 months that I can be more adaptable in my leadership, I successfully started to be more flexible and play the role the team needs. I particularly saw the positive results of this during Innovation Week in April when we worked with MassChallenge Switzerland to implement their vision. For instance, whenever I recognized there were too many people trying to make decisions in the group, I would listen and suggest rather than direct. At the end of the week, our team produced the winning presentation. I believe my efforts were important in our team’s success as it accelerated our progress without sacrificing comprehensiveness.

Where is your favorite hang-out in Lausanne? Why do you (and your classmates) gravitate there? My favorite hang-out is by Lake Geneva with the Alps overlooking it. The stretch of the lake next to the campus is gorgeous, with many activities to do and long days of sunlight in the summer. If we want to relax with a drink, we can go to Jetee and Lacustre – a couple of lakeside bars. If we want to go to a beach, there is a small one just a short walk away. Most of the class live within a 10-minute walk too, so it’s a prime social hub that we all enjoy. One of my favorite activities is running on a wooden boardwalk along the harbour at sunrise. It’s a great way to see the area and breathtakingly beautiful at the same time.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? As I take on roles of increasing responsibility, I want to develop myself professionally so I can do the best I can in these roles. Investing in an MBA that emphasizes social impact is also particularly important, especially as we start to face complex global challenges like the human impact of climate change and cybersecurity threats. Personally, I decided to do an MBA internationally now, because I want to live in Europe in the next stage of my career and I knew that moving to a new country would be harder later in life.

What has been your best memory at IMD thus far? It was the MBA Olympics in Paris because our class bonded a lot on this trip. MBA Olympics brings together schools from all over Europe to compete in 3-day multisport competition. Despite being the smallest school, we cheered each other on until most of us lost our voices and took home a record of 8 medals. It was an unreal experience. My talented classmates even won the coveted battle of the bands with hits like “Shallow” from A Star is Born.


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