Executive MBA assignments lead to new unique biofuels project

When Rae Yuan enrolled in the IMD EMBA program, she was looking to add business skills to her medical and scientific training.She had not anticipated that her perspective on life would be changed as well.

Following medical school in her native China, Rae Yuan moved to the US, where she completed a Ph.D.in Bio pharmacokinetics at the University of California, San Francisco, before taking up a position at US-FDA and later in Basel with the pharmaceutical conglomerate Hoffman-La Roche.

But her academic training had not prepared her for the business world. "I realized that there were many areas outside of my specific technical field that I was not familiar with," she said. Her manager encouraged her to attend business school at IMD.

Rae Yuan said that she used to be the technical person who approached an issue from a strictly technical point of view. The IMD experience changed that by enlarging her horizon.

"The MBA at IMD brought changes not only to my career," she explained, "but also to my perspective on life. It forces you to look at where you are going, but also at who you are."

"The program is not just about acquiring experience," she insisted. "It is also asking you to look inside yourself to identify your own passions." This, in turn, she believes, helps you understand what you want to achieve. "It is also about what you want to leave behind," she added.

The diversity of the participants, who come from different countries, backgrounds, industries and even skill sets, is also a unique feature of the IMD EMBA program, she observed.

After IMD, Rae Yuan went to Shanghai to establish China's first full-fledged Pharma Development Center, where she "put all the IMD learning into practice" and developed a successful organization in remarkable time. Later she became the AP Head of Medical Affairs and New Products at Hoffmann-La Roche. She is now the CEO of a Chinese Pharmaceutical company.

"I don't believe this would have happened without IMD," she reflected.

Looking at the real world through the IMD "eyes of learning", she said, "is a truly worthwhile experience."

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