Sunday, December 18, 2005

A Year at IMD

So that was it - a year of blood & guts ends with an MBA degree and a band of merry friends to wish me on my way into a new world and a new life. From January through November, I was immersed in a world unlike any other along Lac Leman in the "pressure cooker" of business schools, IMD. As the year in diary entries comes to an end, I celebrate its finish with a culminating index of links to all the entries that made up this year and this experience. Just browsing the titles stirs up memories that have already started to nettle into the recesses of my mind, memories that linger there like dew drops on fresh morning grass. In the sweetness of those moments that feel like dawn, I reminisce and think fondly to the days when I was in so much pain before. Somehow, it is much more bearable now - I guess memories wear rose-colored instead of black-colored glasses. And just like that, I am lost in a sea of memories that is a year at IMD...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

A Year at IMD: January

January kicks off the program, with a running start. By the end of the month, one is deep into the IMD method of kicking butt and changing perspectives:

01 Jan - no entry
02 Jan - Coincidence and Final Preparations
03 Jan - The Mysterious Draw of IMD
04 Jan - Aboard the Swiss Rollercoaster
05 Jan - And Away We Go...
06 Jan - "Chinese New Year Will Kill You"
07 Jan - A History of the World on One Blackboard
08 Jan - "What is Leadership Anyway?"
09 Jan - Working for the Weekend
10 Jan - There's More to Life Than Work (just!)
11 Jan - Candid Camera
12 Jan - Human Dynamite
13 Jan - A Breakthrough
14 Jan - The Birth of a Group
15 Jan - Meet Group 6 "Paradox": Truly International
16 Jan - Meet Group 11 & The Plus-Minus Theory
17 Jan - We, the Partners of IMD Solemnly Resolve...
18 Jan - Celebrating the IMD Family in Different Ways
19 Jan - Get Ready, Start-up, Go!
20 Jan - Understanding communication
21 Jan - Otsukaresama-deshita, Kampai!
22 Jan - Club IMD Is Improving Fast for the MBA Olympics
23 Jan - Racing the Avalanche
24 Jan - Back in the Workforce After IMD
25 Jan - Widgets and Women, Under the Microscope
26 Jan - Out of Eight Comes... One Team
27 Jan - Freeze Frame
28 Jan - 43, The Answer to Every Question
29 Jan - Back to the Family
30 Jan - 899 Steps
31 Jan - "Walking Up a Down Escalator"

A Year at IMD: February

February is the epitome of IMD's reputation - long, dreary, tough, and uncompromising. This is the heart of the program, deep in the middle of the transformation process:

01 Feb - Investor Flair and Operator Error
02 Feb - Lucky Partners
03 Feb - The United Nations of IMD
04 Feb - To the End of ICA and Back
05 Feb - My Lips Are Sealed...
06 Feb - From Partners to Partnership
07 Feb - The Longest Day
08 Feb - The Case of All Cases
09 Feb - Xin Nian Quai Le! (a Happy Lunar New Year to You)
10 Feb - 4 out of 5 Belgian Dentists Can't Be Wrong...
11 Feb - Welcome to the Stewart Show
12 Feb - Quiz!
13 Feb - IMD and the Art of Zen
14 Feb - A Day for Love at IMD
15 Feb - Welcome to the IMD Family!
16 Feb - Culture Clash in Countries and Companies
17 Feb - Polish Vodka and Pinot Noir
18 Feb - Under Pressure
19 Feb - Just Say No!
20 Feb - Hurry, Worry, and Curry
21 Feb - Just in Time
22 Feb - The Modern Art of Economics
23 Feb - Three Rounds of Finance and a Pack of Cigarettes
24 Feb - The Outside World
25 Feb - Rattling the SABRE
26 Feb - The Ultimate Business Game
27 Feb - Little Less Conversation, a Little More Action...
28 Feb - Staying Positive

A Year at IMD: March

March is the end of the first long run through the program - first exams and first mini-break from the extreme workloads:

01 Mar - Clarity
02 Mar - The Aviator
03 Mar - Banc de G7 - "So Friendly, It Hurts!"
04 Mar - Relax
05 Mar - Axel, Rahul, and Todd's Milanese Adventure
06 Mar - Waiting to Exhale
07 Mar - The Calm Before the Storm
08 Mar - The Essence of IMD: Coffee Machine
09 Mar - Silent Night
10 Mar - So, How's the Class Doing?
11 Mar - "I Lost My Head on Moller Floor"
12 Mar - "We Have Nine Cases Next Week"
13 Mar - Reflecting on the Integrative Exercise
14 Mar - PDE (Personal development elective) at IMD
15 Mar - The Essence of IMD: MBA Auditorium
16 Mar - Strange Sense of Accomplishment
17 Mar - And the Winner Is...
18 Mar - So Much "Evil" in This World
19 Mar - Every Man (and woman) of the World
20 Mar - A Lesson in Leadership
21 Mar - 'Twas the Night Before Exams...
22 Mar - The Bonus Diary Entry
23 Mar - The Essence of IMD: Study Room
24 Mar - In My Last Bits of Coherence
25 Mar - Release
26 Mar - Waiting for That Special Someone
27 Mar - Back to Work
28 Mar - Easter Egg Hunt
29 Mar - C'est La Vie
30 Mar - The Essence of IMD: Study Group
31 Mar - Meet Group 8: Pangea

A Year at IMD: April

April brings the class back from the first break and set of exams into a new study group, a new module with new coursework - but with the same intensity:

01 Apr - Meet the Groups: The Donkeycrat5
02 Apr - "Dry Your Eyes, Princess"
03 Apr - Afternoon in Paris
04 Apr - All Aboard!
05 Apr - Falling Asleep Over My Computer
06 Apr - The Godfather of Career Services
07 Apr - Pulling Leadership Together
08 Apr - “It’s not the quantity, but the quality...”
09 Apr - My Soul Mate Should Be in Lausanne
10 Apr - Marks!
11 Apr - Welcome Back to Reality!
12 Apr - "You look like crap" (talking about beer)
13 Apr - Checking in on the Start-up
14 Apr - Russia's Mystique
15 Apr - China's Global Role
16 Apr - Simply Switzerland
17 Apr - April Snows Bring... Who Knows?!?
18 Apr - An Ode to the Umbrella
19 Apr - The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men...
20 Apr - The Value of Time
21 Apr - Among Leaders
22 Apr - The Strange Choice of Running
23 Apr - Changing Gears
24 Apr - A Day of Rest
25 Apr - India's Promise
26 Apr - PAIN
27 Apr - Race to the End
28 Apr - Day and Night in Lausanne
29 Apr - The Tale of the Lawyer and the Politician
30 Apr - Queens Night: A Photo Diary

A Year at IMD: May

May is a time for big events and final exams - start-up projects, the design challenge, and our last major tests in the program. It is also a race to the end of the most intense part of the program, when energy levels start reaching their lowest levels:

01 May - Looking Back: The Lausanne 20k
02 May - The Design Challenge
03 May - Finance at the Apollo
04 May - What International Means at IMD
05 May - What International Means at IMD (a Partner's Take)
06 May - Happy Birthday Todd!
07 May - Bonding with Nature - Golfing in Switzerland
08 May - Celebrating Mothers
09 May - "Pedaling Philosophy"
10 May - Enron
11 May - A Brief History of Silicon Valley
12 May - Back in the KKR
13 May - Having a Birthday at IMD
14 May - Tears for Sarajevo
15 May - Using the Lingo
16 May - Lucky
17 May - Episode VII: Dance of the Wookies
18 May - Up Close & Personal: Networking on the Dance Floor
19 May - In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning...
20 May - The Art of the Deal
21 May - Socks for Champagne
22 May - The Bonus Diary Entry #2
23 May - Laundry - The Swiss Way
24 May - Freaky Friday
25 May - Studying Accounting
26 May - Valuing Finance
27 May - Back to Mine
28 May - A Day of Competition
29 May - Waiting for the Bus: Day 2 of the MBA Olympics
30 May - Day 3: Recap from the MBA Olympics
31 May - Writing

A Year at IMD: June

June takes the program to a breathless finish, first with the start-up presentations to the VCs and then with the discovery expedition trip to Bosnia:

01 Jun - Back to Brain Pudding
02 Jun - Presentations and Passats
03 Jun - Party Survival Strategies
04 Jun - Trapped in an Elevator
05 Jun - A Day of Rest
06 Jun - A Whole New Dining Experience
07 Jun - Back to Work
08 Jun - Jack is Back for One Last Time
09 Jun - Here Come the Companies
10 Jun - Career Preparation
11 Jun - Vive Le Paris!
12 Jun - Pushing to the End
13 Jun - Thanks Khadija!
14 Jun - Je Suis Indienne et Vous?
15 Jun - The International Management Challenge
16 Jun - Free at Last... Until August
17 Jun - Shooting from the Hip: Introducing Six Pistols
18 Jun - Enjoy Your Time
19 Jun - Bosnia: 10 Years Later
20 Jun - Bosnia, Day One – Moon Over Sarajevo
21 Jun - Bosnia, Day Two – Mostar and Integration
22 Jun - Bosnia, Day Three - The Leadership Puzzle
23 Jun - Bosnia, Day Four – Getting Back to Business
24 Jun - Reflections from Bosnia – Hodzic Mirsad II
25 Jun - Reflections from Bosnia - A Local Perspective
26 Jun - Reflections from Bosnia - Class Bonding
27 Jun - Off into the Great Unknown...of Slovenia
28 Jun - Free Fallin'
29 Jun - Goodbye Sarajevo
30 Jun - Wrapping Up from Sarajevo

Monday, November 28, 2005

A Year at IMD: July

July is a month of rest - finally, a breather from the stresses of the first part of the year:

01 Jul - no entry yet
02 Jul - Desde Soria con Amor!
03 Jul - What IMD Means to Me: Sacrifice and Strategy
04 Jul - Hola, Bon dia, GrĂ cies
05 Jul - Meet the IMD Class of 2006: Alexey Uzuev
06 Jul - Where Are They Now? Diary Writer Alum Matteo
07 Jul - Meet the IMD Class of 2006: Dr. Ken Schultz
08 Jul - What IMD Means to Me: Confirmation
09 Jul - So Far, So Good!
10 Jul - What IMD Means to Me: Discovery and Learning
11 Jul - Remembering the IMD Army...
12 Jul - Meet the IMD Class of 2006: Stephen Bell
13 Jul - Faculty Take on the IMD Class of 2005: Stewart
14 Jul - Meet the IMD Class of 2006: Jie Yin
15 Jul - Enjoy the Holidays
16 Jul - The Personal Development Elective (PDE)
17 Jul - Love actually...
18 Jul - What IMD Means to Me: A Legacy
19 Jul - Reflections from Bosnia - Srebrenica, 10 years on
20 Jul - Probably the Best Restaurant in the World
21 Jul - Where Are They Now? Diary Writer Alum Gord
22 Jul - California Dreamin'
23 Jul - Celebrating Uncertainty
24 Jul - Looking Forward to the Second Half of the Year
25 Jul - Back to Work
26 Jul - The Agent and the Boss
27 Jul - Happy Birthday Hitomi!
28 Jul - Little to Say Except...
29 Jul - A New Dynamic Emerges
30 Jul - Aussies, G'Day!
31 Jul - What a Difference 30 Days Make

A Year at IMD: August

Coming back from summer holiday, August is the last concerted push in the MBA Auditorium with an integrated module (this year was the stakeholder module) and the kick-off of the International Consulting Projects (ICP):

01 Aug - Happy Swiss Day!
02 Aug - Rogue Trader
03 Aug - Where Are They Now? Diary Writer Alum Ariwoola
04 Aug - The Career Search
05 Aug - What IMD Means to Me: Real Learning
06 Aug - Visiting the Aletsch Glacier
07 Aug - Coming Back to Life
08 Aug - A Simple Philosophical Question
09 Aug - Bad Companies, Good Companies
10 Aug - Choosing IMD
11 Aug - Five Speeches
12 Aug - The Future of the Manager
13 Aug - Who is Bob Smith?
14 Aug - Coming Down the Mountain
15 Aug - INDIA
16 Aug - Remembering the MBA Auditorium
17 Aug - The International Consulting Project (ICP)
18 Aug - The Dynamic Learning Network
19 Aug - Deja Vu
20 Aug - You've Got a Case
21 Aug - London Calling
22 Aug - Happy Birthday Rahul!
23 Aug - Dispatches from London
24 Aug - Back to Work (again)
25 Aug - A Tale of 243 Days
26 Aug - The Career Strategy
27 Aug - So What?
28 Aug - Onward to Brussels
29 Aug - Under Pressure
30 Aug - Missing Lunch
31 Aug - Just Another Day

A Year at IMD: September

When September kicks into high gear, the International Consulting Projects (ICP) and the career search become all-consuming. It is in the heart of these stages of the program that the previous learnings start to cement themselves in tangible ways:

01 Sept - Homecoming
02 Sept - Photographs and Memories
03 Sept - Saturday at the Evian Masters
04 Sept - Partners Until the Very End
05 Sept - Ding!
06 Sept - On the Road Again
07 Sept - Out of Leffe Field
08 Sept - A Deep Breath of Fresh (Brussels) Air
09 Sept - Coming to America
10 Sept - Happy Birthday Denisa!
11 Sept - One Day
12 Sept - The Waiting Game
13 Sept - Juggling
14 Sept - Cycling for Sarajevo
15 Sept - How Time Flies...
16 Sept - A Case Study in Interviewing
17 Sept - Quiet Day
18 Sept - Comparing Business Schools
19 Sept - Bonus Diary Entry #3
20 Sept - Ze French Party of Ze YEAR
21 Sept - Sarajevo Beckons
22 Sept - Blogs Blogs Blogs
23 Sept - A Presidential Farewell
24 Sept - The Waiting Game
25 Sept - What Lurks Beneath
26 Sept - No Better Place to Be
27 Sept - The Latin Party
28 Sept - The Journey of 1300 Kilometers Starts Here...
29 Sept - Journey of a Lifetime
30 Sept - Cycling for Sarajevo: Leadership Across Borders

A Year at IMD: October

October finishes the ICP projects and offers time to further explore career options. The hope is that by the end of October, there are some concrete career options opening up, with all the rest of the major assignments wrapping up before heading down the home stretch of November:

01 Oct - Cycling for Sarajevo: The Traveling Circus
02 Oct - Cycling for Sarajevo: Coming Down the Mountain
03 Oct - Reaching the Finish Line
04 Oct - Another Day in the Dungeon
05 Oct - Logistics and Supply Strategies
06 Oct - Back and Forth of Career Search
07 Oct - Hitting the Trifecta!
08 Oct - With a Little Help From My Friends (in Bergamo)
09 Oct - Happy Birthday Becks!
10 Oct - Light at the End of the Tunnel
11 Oct - Atop Mount Quandt
12 Oct - One Night at the White Horse
13 Oct - Congratulations Barbara!
14 Oct - Outdoor Exercise
15 Oct - Out to Lunch
16 Oct - Welcome to the Luminarium
17 Oct - Happy Birthday Tamer!
18 Oct - Happy Birthday Dan!
19 Oct - Happy Birthday Ravi and Gabriel!
20 Oct - Happy Birthday Harald and Laurent
21 Oct - Tribute to Todd, aka the Snake, aka the President
22 Oct - Beyond the Ultimate Coffee Experience
23 Oct - A Final Push for Recruiting
24 Oct - A Dinner in Paris
25 Oct - Seaside Reunion
26 Oct - Only in New York City
27 Oct - On the Go
28 Oct - With a Little Help from My Friends
29 Oct - It Had To Be You
30 Oct - End of the Road
31 Oct - Halloween, IMD Style

A Year at IMD: November

By the time that we reach the electives and the program is winding down, there is enough time to celebrate the triumphs and reflect on a life beyond the rigors of the toughest MBA program in the world:

01 Nov - Back to School Jitters
02 Nov - On Capitol Hill
03 Nov - London Deja Vu
04 Nov - Text Messages
05 Nov - Final Bonus Diary Entry - What a Guy (Fowkes) Day
06 Nov - Happy Birthday Meera! (better late than never)
07 Nov - New Faces in the MBA Auditorium
08 Nov - The Journey of the Entrepreneur
09 Nov - Just Like Old Times
10 Nov - Brazil and India and China, Oh My!
11 Nov - The Last Case Study
12 Nov - Advice For The First Time at the White Horse
13 Nov - Night is Falling
14 Nov - Witnessing Undeterred Delhi
15 Nov - Fathers and Sons
16 Nov - The Norden ICP Project
17 Nov - ICP Flashback: Storming the Desert
18 Nov - M+M: An IMD Birthday Salute
19 Nov - Germans in the House (Party)
20 Nov - Coming Full Circle
21 Nov - MBA 2010
22 Nov - MBA 2006
23 Nov - Leaving a Legacy
24 Nov - That's All Folks...
25 Nov - Graduation Day
26 Nov - Dancing the Night Away
27 Nov - Missing Sailing
28 Nov - Signing Off

Monday, November 07, 2005


For the past year, I have spent my time as an American amidst nationalities. Presented with a minority situation, something strange happens - the ears open wider and gather more of what is said than typical majority situations. When I think about the world after another year abroad, it seems more international (and less American) than before. What is such a phenomenon?

In the grand scheme of things, there is a subtle rhyme and reason for the things that we feel and the ideas that we think. Experience counts for a lot, as well as introspection and general analytical skills. But after another year abroad, the differences apparent in the world draw out from the similarities - and new ideas form. That is perspective for you.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Gorillas in the Mist

It's always fun to dance with a gorilla. Preferably when you are in London for Guy Fawkes Day. For the record, gorillas and Guy Fawkes Day don't go together - unless you happen to think that conspirators should be considered gorillas. Which I hope not because you would be missing the fun of a breakdancing gorilla at a house party in Clapham (near Battersea Park) after the customary fireworks presentation earlier in the evening.

Luckily for the monarchy, Guy Fawkes and fellow conspirators were caught before they were able to create anarchy within the kingdom with their plot to blow up the Parliament. The fireworks and burning in effigy are the British way to cleanse the impure thoughts of such an act - cathartic on a beautiful night with fireworks synchronized to music south of London Victoria Station. So, in such moments of purity, it is only natural to lurk with gorillas in the mist, who can re-awaken the soul on a cool London night.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Eye Above London

Perhaps it was the jet lag that left me in a state of wonderment. How did I end up 100 meters above London on a crisp fall day at the beginning of November?

Designed by architects David Marks and Julia Barfield, the London Eye was first opened in March 2000 as a vision for London of the 21st century. In that amount of time, it has become an elegant member of the Thames River skyline alongside Waterloo train station and facing the Parliament building.

I should say that I was more impressed than I expected to be, as I round the experience interesting and exhilirating. The Eye moves at an imperceptible speed, making the long arc in about 35 minutes. All the while, you are either rising or falling as the wheel turns, and the ride is smooth. Along the way, you get a birds-eye view of the city and get a chance to better place landmarks and monuments than the visually distorted (yet graphically brilliant) tube map would have you believe.

Eye above London, the jet lag melted away into the sunburst that greeted the zenith of our flight (British Airways sponsors the thing, naturally). I was happy to be in London, and I was happy to enjoy the view.

The London Eye

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Eye Above London, Parliament Building

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Eye Above London, to the East

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

Back in Business

After almost a year with posts, I have returned to assume a new exploration of life and writing from the Journal:OpenRoadworks. There are many things that have happened in the course of the year, a year that has dramatically changed course since the vestiges of a life that traversed the expanse of the United States. Now, I am living in Switzerland amidst the splendor of Lake Geneva, with a view to return to the east coast of the United States at year-end. From there, the journal will continue - with a lot of new perspective and insight that will be explored in sufficient detail.

For now, I rejoice in the resurrection of the journal - there are many ideas to explore. In typical form, let us take the open road and work on it...