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IMD Essay Topic Analysis


IMD, or the International Institute for Management Development, was formed in 1990 after the evolution and mergers of Geneva’s CEI (Centre d’Etudes Industrielles) and Lausanne’s IMEDE (Institut pour l’Etude des Méthodes). It is located on the Swiss shores of Lake Geneva, but in 2015, the school also expanded into Southeast Asia when it opened its Executive Learning Center in Singapore.

The school offers an MBA degree program for younger professionals, with a minimum of three years work experience. More experienced professionals may prefer the EMBA program, which is designed for candidates with company support and at least 10 years of business experience.

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IMD’s 15 faculty members and dean balance teaching, research, and collaboration with international firms to keep current with the latest business trends. Professors are selected annually for programs according to their own schedules, meaning that those educators listed on the IMD MBA website may not teach each program every year. However, through ongoing project support and an open-door policy, MBA candidates are able to keep in contact with them throughout the year.


The IMD full-time MBA is a one-year program broken into three sections, as well as a pre-program. The latter runs from October to December and includes assessments and an immersion course. Business fundamentals are taught during the first section from January to June, covering business functions and environments, entrepreneurship, and the potential future. Subsequently, from July to September, candidates study company engagement projects, join discovery expeditions, and build experience with international consulting projects (ICPs). The third and final section offers more ICPs, personal interest coursework, and electives.

MBA candidates are tasked with analyzing industries, marketing, and building business plans, as well as organization audits and new venture financing proposals. Throughout the year, the assignments include group projects, integrative exercises, and individual exams. Meanwhile, the school’s corporate projects ensure direct client contact to understand current business issues, and provide opportunities to network.

Students have a choice of eight concentrations, including such options as Finance, Sustainability and more. Electives are selected according to individualized interests, with courses designed for specific skill and knowledge development that fit each student’s immediate career targets. Through IMD’s personal and leadership building, MBA candidates will undergo peer reviews, classroom and off-campus interactions; explore psychoanalytical coaching; and have time for individual reflection. These elements help shed light on issues such as group performance, navigating organizational scenarios, and how an individual’s own moral compass impacts decisions.

Other MBA Degree Options

In addition to the one-year full-time MBA, IMD offers an Executive MBA over 15 months, or over a longer period of time depending on the student’s work commitments. No matter the course timeline, students will only be away from his/her office for nine weeks total. For the EMBA program, core business themes run across the entire program, including company assignments, leadership stream, discovery expeditions, and crisis management practice.


  • Organization and Change Management
  • Finance
  • Leadership and Organizational Behavior
  • Leadership, Talent Management and Corporate Learning
  • Sustainability
  • Medical Industry
  • Negotiation
  • Service Marketing and Management

Degree Offerings

Full-Time MBA

Executive MBA

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Clubs, Conferences and Competitions

With its spectacular view of the Swiss mountains, Lausanne is both scenic, and home to rich cultural and sports activities. IMD’s extra-curricular opportunities span a variety of interests—professional, social, and educational. The MBA school year starts with the traditional January polar bear jump into Lake Geneva. From there, student clusters can explore niche topics, and a social committee coordinates class outings like ski trips and summer barbecues. Group sporting events see students and spectators joining the annual MBA Regatta, weekly soccer matches, and the Lausanne marathon.

On campus, students can hear distinguished guest speakers’ latest insights and case studies, as well as personal challenges they faced and strategically addressed. During the year, there are specific course-related projects to pursue, including startup projects that invite MBA candidates to help a new high-tech venture develop its business model or move to its next stage. Similarly, students can join company engagement projects at partner companies for up to five weeks during the summer, offering potential employers the opportunity to review candidates’ fit with their firms. For international consulting projects, students complete a strategy assessment and form recommendations for corporate clients and NGOs.

Moreover, several large-scale events bring together IMD students, top-ranking executives and speakers, faculty, and other global business leaders. For example, the “Navigating the Future” conference brings together 100 executives from various industries for a two-day, on-campus conference that may cover human challenges, business model transformations, and mass-production challenges and new ideas. Orchestrating Winning Performance (OWD) is IMD’s five-day flagship program that’s comprised of at least 20 plenary sessions and topical streams that invite MBA candidates to explore business issues and present findings to a wider audience. Additionally, Discovery Expeditions invite students to take a 10-day trip to such destinations as Dubai, Singapore, China, Japan, Mexico, and the United States, where they can visit companies, join research projects, and engage in discussions on a range of topics.

With only a one-year program, the IMD alumni network grows stronger annually with new members who interact online every day, whether for networking, global collaborations, peer learning, or forums on business topics like entrepreneurship, leadership, healthcare, digital evolution, and more. Alumni clubs also host guest speakers and panel discussions across Switzerland and around the world.

Campus Spaces

Just blocks from Lake Geneva, IMD’s scenic campus is situated in one of the most picturesque urban areas in Europe. This region of Switzerland has swiftly become one of the world’s top science and technology hubs, and is home to blue-chip companies that interact on a global scale. The city and school offer unique access to executive networking and leadership building opportunities.

The campus includes six main buildings in Lausanne’s Ouchy district, including the landmark historic building La Résidence that serves as IMD’s reception hall and the president’s office. Since 2002, IMD has inaugurated the sleek Executive Learning Center building, the research-oriented Nestlé Building, and the Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Center, the main conference hall with a 350-seat auditorium. There is no housing available on campus, but the IMD team is available to assist with lodging for the school year.

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Career Services

In recent years, the school has placed specific emphasis on its Career Stream process. In working with recruiters, the dedicated career services team builds close, long-term relationships by understanding each company’s unique culture. For MBA students, the IMD team starts with career audit methodology that helps clarify an individual’s professional profile and transferable skills for switching to another industry, job function, or location. The Career Stream involves personal coaching, refining each student’s development goals, and shaping career plans and strategies. These career services include collaborations with IMD-affiliated internal and external career counselors; practice interviewing and negotiation; job search seminars; panels with global human-resources executives; MBA mentoring partnerships; career fairs; and year-round, off-campus networking events. IMD’s MBA program is regularly ranked among the world’s best, in part due to successful recruiting by companies who appreciate the school’s rigor with candidates, and relevance in the current global business climate.

Career Statistics

Technology/media were the most popular industries for the Class of 2017, as 23% entered the fields.  Manufacturing and consulting were close behind, each claiming 22% of the graduates.  These fields were followed by healthcare/pharma at 15%.   Seven percent pursued financial services and another 7% joined the consumer goods/retail industry.

Seventy-seven percent of IMD students took job opportunities in Europe, by far the most popular destination.  Asia was a distant second, taking in 19% of the Class of 2017.   The remaining 4% split across the Americas and MENA.

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Class Profile

IMD maintains a small class size of 90 students annually, and the Class of 2018 abides by this.  Women comprise 29% of the class, and 43 different nationalities are represented. The Class of 2018 arrived on campus with an average of seven years of work experience and 31 years of age.  On average, participants speak three different languages, and 83% of the group have lived or worked for 6 months or more outside of their home country.

In regards to educational background, engineering was the most popular undergraduate major, as nearly 40% had pursued it.  Twenty-one percent earned their undergraduate degrees in business and commerce, and another 19% had studied finance and economics.  Twelve percent had pursued social sciences and another 8% have a background in natural sciences.  The final 1% came from an IT and computer science background.  The median GMAT score for the Class of 2018 was 680.

Application Procedures

IMD gives its applicants the choice of applying in one of five admissions rounds that fall on the first day of February, April, June, August, and September. The school’s application requirements include completing the online application form and submitting three confidential letters of recommendation, a bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution, uploaded transcripts, and a digital photo, along with a $203 (CHF 200) application fee. Applicants must also report their GRE or GMAT scores; but the school notes that there is no minimum requirement—a high score does not guarantee admission, and a lower score does not necessarily eliminate an applicant. After the initial application, qualified candidates are invited for an on-campus assessment day, during which IMD will evaluate each candidate’s English-language abilities (TOEFL scores are not needed). (Note: Phone interviews are not an option.) In its applicants, IMS seeks individuals with leadership potential, international perspective, strong interpersonal skills, steady career growth, intellectual curiosity, and strong values and integrity.

IMD has designed a special pre-application form called “Assess Your Chances” to assess potential candidates’ general fit with its program, which requires a new myIMD account login.

Application Checklist

  • Online Application Form
  • Minimum Three Years Work Experience
  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent from an accredited institution
  • Official GRE or GMAT
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Uploaded transcripts
  • A digital photo
  • A strong command of written and spoken English
  • At least one language in addition to English
  • $203 (CHF 200) Application Fee

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The cost of tuition for the 2018 academic year is $61,570 (CHF 60,000). IMD estimates total cost of $124,165 for students full-time, one-year MBA, which includes housing costs of $19,240 (CHF 18,750) and $17,700 (CHF 17,250) in living expenses. Applicants who do not meet the objectives of IMD’s pre-program self-assessment in accounting and finance are required to complete the school’s three-day immersion program at the start of January, at a cost of $770 (CHF 750). IMD structures its tuition and fees to include program and project-related expenses for the MBA year. Estimated costs cover books; teaching materials; professional coaching and a partner advisor; weekday lunches at IMD; accommodation and travel expenses for IMD-organized projects; costs for executive-program, OWP participation, and off-campus team-building.

IMD grants scholarships or loans to about half of its MBA students, and the maximum financial aid amount awarded per student is $66,700 (CHF 65,000). Approximately $513,080 (CHF 500,000) is available each year in scholarships, and $1,334,020 (CHF 1,300,000) for loans. The school strongly advises all candidates to seek external financial-aid support.

Estimated Cost of Attendance

  • Tuition: $61,570 (CHF 60,000)
  • Fees: $25,655 (CHF 25,000)
  • Estimated Room and Board: $36,940/year (CHF 36,000)
  • Total $124,165

 Get all of this info to read on the go! Download the IMD School School Snapshot PDF.

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Class Size90
Mean GMAT680
Mean GPAn/a
% Female29%

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Mailing Address
Ch. de Bellerive 23
P.O. Box 915
CH-1001 Lausanne, Switzerland

Phone: 41-0-21-618-0111
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @IMD_Bschool

MBA LiveWire for IMD

Application results in real time, submitted by site visitors.
April 26, 2019 6:04am
Waitlisted via email.
GMAT: 720. Italy.
June 17, 2018 4:17pm
Rejected via email.
GPA: 4.0. GMAT: 680. Germany.
February 22, 2018 2:42am
Interview Invite via phone.
GMAT: 680.
February 21, 2018 11:56am
Interview Invite via phone.
GPA: 3.75. GMAT: 710. Mexico.
September 28, 2017 4:01pm
Applied via n/a.
GPA: 4. GMAT: 680. India.

DecisionWire for IMD

Enrolled: IMD
Admitted: IMD
GMAT: 750 GPA: 3.5
Post-MBA Career: Consulting
Enrolled: IMD
Admitted: HEC Paris, IMD, INSEAD
GMAT: 720 GPA: 3.4
Post-MBA Career: Marketing
Enrolled: IMD
Admitted: IMD
GMAT: 750
Post-MBA Career: Consulting

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