Name: Sílvia Simões
2014 - INSEAD, France - Management Acceleration Programme
2008 - IETEC, Brazil - Management and Information Technology PG Degree
2002-2006 - FUMEC, Brazil - Social Communications and Marketing BA Degree
Work Before MBA: +8 years in a fast paced one company career at TOTVS (Software Industry leader in Latin America and Brazil and the 6th largest ERP Software company worldwide). Last position: Market Strategy and e-Commerce Executive Manager
Work After MBA / Post MBA Goals: Still deciding =)
Why did you pick IMD? IMD is one of a kind. It is not for everyone, the average age is higher and the group is more senior, there is only one class each year and of just 90 students. That together with the extensive focus on self and leadership development was exactly what I was looking for!
Best part of program? The leadership stream, definitely! Many intense experiences and opportunities to learn about ourselves, group dynamics and leadership. We also have a coach and an included (yet optional if you don't feel like it) analyst to help us navigate the internal changes throughout the year.
Favorite class/professor/learning experience - why? I still have a long way to go, but so far my favorite class/professor is finance with Nuno Fernandes. I didn't expect such high level of finance education in a school that's focused on General Management, but it is really top-notch. Definitely the hardest class and by far the most strict professor but the learning is at par and very applicable in the real life on day 1.
What were you most surprised to learn about IMD after starting the program? How close we are of the administration and how connected is the alumni network. We have alumni stopping by the school all the time from all over the world and they're always willing to participate in our classes and interact.
Room for improvement? I think they are still trying to find a way to balance something that works and have worked very well for the past many years with introducing completely new approaches and teaching methods. Would be nice to see some out-of-the-box classes.
Is it difficult for foreigner students to find jobs in Switzerland? Switzerland is a very international country that is well prepared and open to receive foreigners. However, because of that competition is fierce and the bar is high. Great talents will not have an issue!
In your opinion, IMD provides the most opportunities for MBAs entering which industries/functions/geographies? Definitely manufacturing, technology, healthcare. Corporate jobs in general are IMD's strengths. They have placed many students in Consulting as well and numbers are increasing. Functions of strategy, business development and planning are amongst the most common I've seen, but the range is very broad.
Geography-wise, western Europe is definitely the leader but it really depends on your own plans. There are IMD students everywhere in the globe.
What should more applicants know about IMD? It is a tough program and not for everyone. You have to be ready to be fully dedicated to the school (that means also weekends, nights...) Most people that come here have no time to lose, and the cost of opportunity is very high when you are already higher up in the hierarchy, so they actually do a 2-year MBA in one year.
I'd be happy to answer questions about...? Absolutely anything