Meet the MBA Class of 2023: Jasper Schakel, IMD Business School

Jasper Schakel

IMD Business School

“Adventurous engineer who loves to discover and explore.”

Hometown: Schoonhoven, Netherlands

Fun Fact About Yourself: Let’s just say that I won’t be camping soon again between the hyenas… terrible for your night rest!

Undergraduate School and Major: Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Master of Environmental Engineering (previously known as Sanitation Engineering, Technical University of Delft

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Project Manager for Energy, Water and Environment, Witteveen+Bos Consulting Engineers

What has been the best part of being in a small class with this group of classmates, known for their talent and versatility? I got a broader and more international perspective. You are together with 38+ different nationalities and a really wide variety of backgrounds and you get the chance to interact with all of them. It broadens your perspective. We all come with different experiences and have different understandings about how to achieve a goal, so you learn to adapt and change your ways in order to be successful together.

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? After working mostly solo in Ghana, I found it important to receive a personal touch in my education. The leadership program and the small class size help with that. I wanted to strengthen my soft skills and IMD is the perfect place because of the environment and the leadership development stream.

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? It is all manageable so long you pay attention during class and start each assignment on time. It’s also important to leave enough buffer time before deadlines – you don’t want to find yourself finishing the task just before the deadline.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It was setting up the African Water Corridor program in Ghana and building the first pilot electro-coagulation water treatment plant in northern Ghana. The first one was a technology development program of the technical university of Delft that I helped to set up together with local stakeholders and other commercial parties like my employer. The second one is a development part of this program that can help to solve supply chain issues in Ghana and make drinking water more obtainable for isolated communities.

Describe your biggest accomplishment at IMD so far: Going to the finals of the IMD Venture Award. Winning this award would help my co-founder and I acquire CHF 100,000 starting capital for our soon to be start-up as well as valuable mentorship.

Where is your favorite hang-out in Lausanne? Why do you (and your classmates) gravitate there? The Lacustre bar and restaurant, which is located on a beautiful spot next to the lake of Geneva with a spectacular view of the Swiss Alps. It has a nice atmosphere where everyone is welcome and you have a chance to interact with the locals.

What do you hope to do after graduation? Start my own company to create a sustainable impact on our water industry on a global scale. We will start in Europe, but hope to expand globally.

What has been your best memory at IMD thus far?  The discovery trip to Singapore. It was a great opportunity to see career opportunities outside of Europe and to get to learn more about my fellow students. It was also inspiring to hear the stories of various alumni in Singapore, which gave us a view of additional possible career trajectories.

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