IMD MBA - Biggest Misconception, Unique Incoming class & Teaching methodology

IMD DeanWe interviewed Seán Meehan – the Dean of the MBA program at IMD Business School. In the first part of the interview, we find out the biggest misconception about the full-time MBA program, the teaching methodology, chances for younger applicants, and the unique class profile.

What is the biggest misconception about IMD Full-time MBA program?

Some people believe our program is not diverse. The IMD MBA is the most diverse program in the world! With one section of 90 students of which 26 are female, our participants ranging in age from 25 to 38 represent 43 nationalities and come from every industry imaginable. We see a growing interest in technology and healthcare as well as from female applicants.

What is the teaching methodology adopted at IMD?

IMD is a business school not a university.

Our faculty are constantly consulting, researching and working with executives on current issues and challenges being faced by companies today. They therefore bring into the auditorium a wealth of knowledge acquired in today’s business world.

All of our teachings are interactive. Even during lectures, we expect our participants to share from their own pool of first-hand experiences across industries, functions, and geographies.

Similarly, case studies as realistic as possible, including the participation of the protagonists. The biggest focus is on experiential learning with on and off-campus exercises, constant feedback and project work where participants deal with real situations and real companies, and get direct feedback or see immediate results.

What is the age group of a typical Full-time MBA class? Can younger professionals (25-28) apply for the 1-year MBA program?

The majority of the class typically fall between 28-32, but what we are really looking for is the leadership potential we can see in candidates. Some get this early on in their career and join us at 25, and some take a bit longer to get a break in their careers and might be slightly older.

For the latest class, 31% has been a founder or a co-founder. That is an incredibly unique profile for an incoming MBA class. How do Entrepreneurial candidates find value from the IMD Full-time MBA program?

IMD has a reputation for being a transformational leadership program, which can benefit people from all backgrounds and in turn helps us attract the kind of diversity that we are looking for.

Some entrepreneurs are looking to grow their ventures; some want to change direction, some want to experience a more corporate environment. The primary ambition is the desire to make a bigger impact by having a wider understanding and experience of business and leadership.

What percentage of the candidates are career switchers?

In 2017, 97% changed either the geography, function or industry.

The majority of our candidates decide to do an MBA at a time in their career when they are ready to make a change and use the degree as a kind of catalyst to help them achieve their next goals.

Based on the background and age of the latest class, I assume the candidates are eagerly looking to improve their leadership and problem-solving skills. How does IMD take care of the requirement?

We have a mission for developing leaders who desire to make an impact in our world and believe that leaders today need to have a global mindset, be entrepreneurially oriented and be digitally competent. 

Given all the uncertainty in the world, we develop people who can cope with ambiguity and play an important role in the shaping of our society.

Aside from the basic MBA toolkit, our leadership stream runs throughout the year combining experiential exercises, one-on-one coaching (each participant has three different coaches following them for the entire year, each coach focusing on a different development agenda), peer learning, and classroom activities.


IMD MBA Class Profile

About Dean IMD MBA

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