IMBA Summer Semester in China:
A Look Back 

Steven Eliaerts IMBA’12

Why do an internship when you can go to China for three months?! It’s not like you have to work or anything, right? Ahem. But the work is part of the challenge! Waking up at 5 in the morning to read one more challenging case: living on the Knife’s Edge! However, you are advised to start on time so as not to enter a Death Spiral. But rest assured, over the months you will increasingly become Kaizen, which is the whole idea of the IMBA program.

Discussing and living closely with outstanding (and funny!) professors will help set you on the Path of the Heart. Of course, there will be obstacles. We all arrived with good intentions and open minds. None of us will ever forget those first nights in Sensations in Beijing! That doesn’t last the whole three months though. Everybody has had conflicts within this extremely diverse group. 27 students, 16 nationalities! Frustrations! That’s good. That’s what we came for and (cliché) it has made us stronger. At the end of the program, you know each other so well that it’s a connection for life.

Of course, there are other perks too! How about visiting the Venice of China, having a drink with your team members and program director on the Bund or going out to Bar Rouge under the lights of the Shanghai skyline? Or maybe you prefer to learn golf with Prof. Yan? Not to mention that you will gain a nuanced view of China and its culture, economy and people. The whole program is grateful to our Chinese team members for how they have helped us contextualize our experiences.

Nevertheless, at some point, you will be exhausted (don’t worry, everybody has sneaked in a nap ;)! Company visits, cases to prepare, reading, writing, industry research, interviews, more reading, more writing, studying… it seems to never end. But the professional support and your team members will pull you through your most difficult hours and you will discover that you can do more than you thought.

You will have deserved that MBA and that’s how you will achieve a Protean Career instead of remaining a Cormorant. Good luck!

If you want to know what these technical terms mean, contact one of the current IMBA students… or better yet… Apply!





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