Meet IMD’s Distinguished MBA Alumni

Kenichiro Kubo’s fondest memory of business school remains spending time with his cohort. But in customary business fashion, their weekly social events prompted some good ole direct competition.

Someone from Kubo’s 2015 cohort asked two local bars to pitch a “special package” for IMD Business School students, with the winning bar to earn the coveted distinction of being the group’s regular watering hole. The creative drive behind his classmate’s rather crafty idea was eye-opening for Kubo and inspired the notion, he says, that “anything could be negotiable.” He vows to this day that the IMD MBA fits those who are eager for three things. For those ready to experience change, receive important feedback, and to explore their true selves. After all, he notes: “As I learned at IMD, leadership begins with self-understanding.”

Kubo, now director of executive projects at ReCor Medical, points to a time when his degree came in handy. It was four years post-graduation when he became a general manager for the first time, overseeing multiple countries remotely during the pandemic. He recalls difficulties in having to let go some team members and communicate temporary furloughs with others, while at once trying to maintain their company morale to achieve business targets. And despite pandemic setbacks, most goals were met and most team members retained. He cites his ability to navigate the situation to a strong foundation of business practices developed at the Swiss B-school.

Based in Lausanne, Switzerland on Lake Geneva, it is hailed as the one-year leadership program that’s fast-paced, intense and quite rigorous. Each year, IMD targets a class size of about 100-120 students, each that don plenty of impressive credentials and diverse expertise and talents. (See “IMD Business School’s MBA Meet the Class of 2022.”)


The impressive characterization certainly rings true when surveying an assembly of IMD Business School’s Distinguished Alumni. Today, they work in cities across the world, hold top corporate positions, and could be comparable to say, a Marvel cast for today’s business leaders. Pasha Pourfallah, IMD MBA Class of 2014, who now leads at Amazon Web Services as its Head of Enterprise for Austria and Switzerland, remembers the school for its rigor.

Tracy Liang, Class of 2008

And rigor indeed, another alum recalls somehow managing 4.5 hours of sleep each night during the first three months of the program. But nonetheless, what came of sleep deprivation was long-term fulfillment, says 2008 IMD grad Tracy Liang. She remembers learning many, many cases alongside her study groups. (“I can’t even remember how many!”)

Based out of Brussels, Belgium, Liang serves as the Global Director for the German package delivery and supply chain management company, the Deutsche Post DHL Group. She commends IMD for its intensity that provided impeccable exposure to international business.

Her 2008 class alone consisted of 40+ nationalities that brought 7-10 years of experience from vast industries pursuing diverse business practices. Immediately after graduating, Liang landed a senior product development role for areas located in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

“This was a milestone in my career – as a Chinese person coping with a new market and teams from completely different cultures. However, the IMD experience had prepared me well in terms of personal and interpersonal development,” Liang says.


Class of 2020 grad Daniel Skirton chose IMD initially for its small class size. His hypothesis that a slimmer class builds a stronger connection among both the staff and the student body turned out to be true. Skirton, who once spent 50 days sleeping next to a live torpedo, named his greatest accomplishment as completing the transition from military life to civilian life.

Daniel Skirton, Class of 2020

As profiled in a P&Q’s 2020 Meet the Class, Skirton served as officer in the UK’s Royal Navy and led the engineering department during a construction of a nuclear submarine all well before he arrived on campus. But as someone as accomplished as himself, success didn’t come so easy.

“In many ways, being in the military prepares you well for change, leadership and adversity, but it does so in a way that needs to be modified to really work outside of the military environment,” says Skirton.

Perhaps, his communication could be a little bit, let’s say, forward. He admits it wasn’t “collegiate enough” to be effective but did seek help from various school resources. It was through working with his IMD leadership coach that enabled Skirton to identify shortcomings and act on them. During time spent with his classmates, he received helpful feedback and says he genuinely felt himself grow that year. Now leading the Public Sector Defense & Security Knowledge Team at the Boston Consulting Group, Skirton says he is keen to spend more time in advisory roles sharing knowledge raked in over his 15-year career. But for him, the career ladder isn’t reaching an end anytime soon, and future aspirations may compel him to play a part in the global energy transition.


Kunal Chandra served as the leader of the Energy Club during his year-long study. He sees his greatest achievement at school as leveraging industry connections to bring several guest lecturers and host quality events for his Class of 2016 cohort to learn more about the field.

“Through the club we were also successful in securing short internships for a record number of students in large Energy companies,” Chandra says.

Kunal Chandra, Class of 2016

His post-grad goals included transitioning to an executive career within the energy industry. He steadily progressed from managing business units and divisions to becoming the Group Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer at the Dax 30 Company, RWE AG, one of the world’s largest renewable energy companies headquartered in Germany. But he commends the program not for what his title looks on paper, but rather developing him from an “individual achiever” into that of a leader. He provides examples similarly echoed by other alums. With IMD’s small class size, focus on leadership, finance and strategy, he’s convinced the school prepared him for future exec roles.

IMD faculty is praised by another alum, Mohammad Andita Rafi, who was convinced by professors to accept a job as a consultant even before graduating in 2022. Prior to getting his MBA, Rafi spent eight years working for a multinational technology company, his last role being a sales lead based in Indonesia. He initially planned to return to the industry after completing his degree, but after several campus recruiting events he found management consulting all too interesting. Conversations with IMD professors who have experience in consulting further strengthened this pathway. And after joining a firm, Rafi says the career transition proved to be the right choice.

“IMD MBA program taught me to look at a business from a comprehensive and a zoom-out perspective. Instead of zooming in on a single business discipline, the IMD curriculum taught students to see the correlation and interrelationship between multiple business disciplines, which helps me to come up with an implementable solution for my clients in consulting,” says Rafi, who consults for Roland Berger in Southeast Asia.

Though quality time with classmates’ rules Kubo’s fondest memories (especially with a little bit competition), he does speak highly of his time joining another local group, the exercise community:

“I still fondly recall the stunning sunsets while swimming in the lake during the summer in beautiful Lausanne,” he says.

Meet Eight IMD Alumni, Their Roles & Current Companies

IMD Alum Grad Year Company Current Role
Daniel Skirton  2020 Boston Consulting Group Team Leader of Public Sector Defense & Security Knowledge
Julia Neubauer  2012 a-connect Co-owner & Co-Managing Director
Kenichiro Kubo  2015 ReCor Medical Director, Executive Projects
Kunal Chandra  2016 RWE Chief Strategy and Sustainability Officer
Mohammad Andita Rafi  2022 Roland Berger Consultant
Pasha Pourfallah  2014 Amazon Web Services Head of Enterprise
Stephanie Hurry  2020 Crypto Finance Head of Institutional Sales
Tracy Liang  2008 Deutsche Post DHL Group Global Customer Director

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