MBA students in class learning real leadership skills through real experiential learning. - IMD Business School MBA students in class learning real leadership skills through real experiential learning. - IMD Business School MBA students in class learning real leadership skills through real experiential learning. - IMD Business School
MBA program content

Developing real leadership skills through real learning.

MBA program content

Developing real leadership skills through real learning.

Achieve your goals and amplify your impact

Becoming a real leader requires mastering a robust set of skills and knowing when and how to apply them effectively. Our newly designed curriculum bridges the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical application, in a dynamic learning environment that blends functional knowledge and transversal skills development.

You will participate in real learning: a blend of cutting-edge academic content with hands-on experiences, equipping you with the knowledge and tools to tackle today’s business challenges head-on.

Mastering key and in-demand skills are what will set you apart as an IMD MBA graduate and greatly increase your future impact. Expand your career prospects, increase your earning potential, and broaden your perspectives.

Leadership skills

Develop the comprehensive skills to lead effectively: learn to make informed decisions, balance diverse needs, and inspire organizational change.

Functional skills

Gain a robust understanding of the core areas of business, from finance and marketing to operations and strategy, ensuring you’re equipped to lead and grow any business.

Transversal skills

Hone in-demand critical thinking and communication skills that span all areas of business. Like your functional business skills, your transversal skills will be tracked and tested throughout your MBA.

Impact potential

As an IMD MBA graduate, you will be poised to make strategic, impactful decisions that can transform organizations and influence industries globally.

Your year at a glance

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What you will learn

You’re stepping into a program that’s all about setting you up for real leadership roles. That calls for a hands-on, practical approach that blends theory with real-world application. You’ll develop a robust and in-demand toolkit of leadership, functional and transversal skills, enabling you to lead with confidence across any industry. Here’s what you’ll cover:

Leadership skills

Equip yourself with the tools to lead authentically and effectively in today’s dynamic world. Our approach to real leadership focuses on practical skills and real-world applications, ensuring that you’re ready to inspire and guide teams toward success.

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Intrapersonal skills

Understand who you are as a leader; through self-analysis and one-on-one sessions with professional coaches, you’ll deepen your self-awareness and refine your personal leadership style.

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Interpersonal skills

Learn to work better with others and lead with empathy; positively influence group dynamics, manage conflict, and enhance your ability to create and lead in an inclusive environment.

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Teamwork skills

Achieve more together; learn the essentials of forming and leading high-performing teams in a cross-cultural, collaborative environment.

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Effective expression

Communicate clearly and motivate others; develop your ability to express ideas clearly and motivate those around you to achieve common goals.

Functional skills

To lead effectively, you need a solid understanding of the core business subjects. The IMD MBA curriculum ensures that you gain a holistic understanding of these essential topics and their interrelation.

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Woven throughout the program, master the essential knowledge and skills to make complex and ethical decisions that will bring sustainability to your organization and career.

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Learn to create effective strategies that align company goals and actions with changing market conditions and volatile business landscapes.

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Deepen your knowledge of micro- and macroeconomics, including supply and demand, market structures, and monetary policy. Learn how economic principles influence business decisions and strategies.

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Explore inventory management and forecasting techniques to optimize business operations. Understand how efficient operations contribute to overall business success.

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Build a strong foundation in statistical analysis to support data-driven decision-making. Understand how to interpret and leverage data to inform business strategies.

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Develop your entrepreneurial mindset and understand how to face the unique challenges in a start-up or entrepreneurial environment.

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Finance & Accounting

Develop the ability to interpret financial statements, master financial modeling, valuation, and forecasting. Understand essential financial concepts such as CAPM, options, and blockchain to make informed financial decisions.

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Learn how to perform market analysis, breakeven analysis, and contribution margin. Develop strategies to effectively position products and services in the marketplace.

Transversal skills

Critical thinking and communication skills are just as important to your success as business knowledge. By developing these abilities, you’ll be ready to tackle challenges and seize opportunities across a variety of industries and roles with confidence.

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Strategic thinking

Enhance your ability to think strategically. Learn to ask good questions, storyboard compelling narratives, and present with confidence.

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Visioning and scenario planning

Engage in visioning exercises and scenario planning to anticipate future trends and challenges.

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Decision making

Cultivate the ability to make informed decisions using divergent and convergent thinking, pattern recognition, and quantifying strategies.

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Structured problem solving

Approach problems systematically to find effective solutions. Utilize tools and techniques to break down complex issues and address them efficiently.

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Systems thinking

Understand complex systems and how different components interact. Use this holistic approach to address business challenges and opportunities.

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Build up your ability to communicate effectively. Learn to present your ideas confidently and persuasively to influence stakeholders and drive action.

How you learn

How you learn is just as important as what you learn. Real learning ensures that your knowledge and skills don’t remain theoretical: you will apply what you learn in real time and will be supported as you go.

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Experiential learning

Over 40% of your learning occurs in a hands-on, experiential format. Apply your learned skills through international consulting projects, real-world business challenges and optional internships.

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Expert faculty

Your faculty spend significant time teaching executives from the world’s top companies, gaining insights into current market trends and real-world challenges that they bring directly into your classroom.

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Individualized attention

Thanks to our small class sizes and faulty-to-student ratio, you’ll get the personalized attention you need to thrive. Each student’s journey is unique, and we make sure your learning experience is tailored to your personal and professional goals.

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Coaching and mentoring

Every leader needs a coach. You’ll have access to experienced mentors and coaches who are invested in your success. They’ll provide you with the insights and encouragement needed to refine your leadership style and achieve your career aspirations.

IMD's AI+ interactive personalized learning tool - IMD Business School

Meet your new study buddy, IMD AI+. Always on and ready to help, this AI tool brings personalized learning to your fingertips. Whether you need a deep dive into a complex concept or quick help before a presentation, IMD AI+ is there to enhance your understanding and readiness.

Real-world business immersion

At IMD you won’t just sit back and learn the theory—you’ll be out there, putting it into practice with internships, consulting projects, and our Future Lab in Singapore. Below you get an overview of these experiences and how they’re designed to sharpen your skills and prepare you for leadership in the real world.

  • Future Lab Singapore
  • Startup Projects
  • International Consulting Projects (ICPs)
  • Internships
  • For a full month during your IMD MBA, you’ll be part of our Future Lab in Singapore—a unique blend of classroom learning and direct industry interaction. This residency module is a deep dive into how cutting-edge technology shapes global business practices and drives innovation.

    • Explore technological frontiers: Discover the pivotal role of technologies like AI and machine learning in business through engaging lectures and dynamic workshops. Our expert faculty will guide you through the complexities of digital transformation and show you how to leverage data analytics for strategic decision-making.
    • Connect with global business leaders: Step outside the classroom to visit companies like Google, PayPal, and JLL. Experience firsthand how these leaders integrate advanced technologies to transform their industries and stay ahead of the curve.
    • Understand government-business synergy: Explore the unique partnership between the Singaporean government and the private sector. Learn how this collaboration fosters a thriving environment for technological advancement and creates robust business ecosystems.

    This is your chance to live and learn in one of the world’s most vibrant tech hubs; gaining insights and experiences that will shape your understanding of what it means to lead in a technology-driven world.

    IMD MBAs embark on a residency to Singapore, previously known as a Discovery Expedition, to explore the tech hub, deepen their understanding of global business and gain invaluable leadership insights.

    Nurture your entrepreneurial mindset by working in the dynamic world of early-stage, high-tech startup ventures from January to April. You will gain hands-on experience helping a local startup company, collaborating in teams and deepening your understanding of the challenges and opportunities in this environment.

    With strong ties to EPFL, our projects span diverse sectors, addressing issues like redesigning financial models, go-to-market strategies or sustainability impact. 

    In the 2022 Swiss Top 100 report, twenty-eight of the top 100 Swiss startups were IMD Startup Competition winners, with 18 having worked with EMBAs and 10 with MBAs.   

    Work in teams with your classmates over seven weeks for multinational companies and nonprofits. You’ll tackle current issues these organizations face, develop strategies and offer actionable solutions. During this time, there are no classes, allowing you to focus entirely on delivering impactful results to your clients.

    This hands-on experience allows you to apply your newly acquired skills in a real-world setting, supported by your professors. You’ll go through a structured process—from analyzing the context and company strategy to designing implementation plans for your recommendations.

    Since its inception in 1980, IMD’s ICP has led over 700 projects for 400 different companies globally, making it a pioneering part of our MBA program.

    From July- August we offer you an optional summer internship, designed as a practical bridge to the professional world. This initiative allows you to directly apply your academic skills in real-world business settings and demonstrate your capabilities in a practical context. By engaging directly with the industry, you will have the chance to network with seasoned professionals and industry leaders. 

    Tailored for ambitious students, the internship program will enhance your resume and gives you another platform to connect with potential employers. 


    Choose between four and five electives that align with your interests and career objectives. These targeted courses let you dive deep into areas like sustainable finance, accounting, leadership, data and AI, marketing, and luxury brands. What we offer changes each year based on the latest trends and research, and are voted on by you. Electives also include options from our GNAM network, broadening your global perspective.

    Below you can see a selection of some of the electives we had in the past year.

  • Leadership
  • Sustainability
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Innovation
  • Operations
  • Finance
  • Strategy
  • How to speak money
    José Parra Moyano

    This is a unique, interactive, and fun elective that aims to help you gain a deeper understanding of the essence of money. You will walk away from the course knowing how to speak about money in a variety of different contexts, and thus, being able to excel in your next negotiation, job interview, cocktail, party, or even during informal chit-chat at the tennis club.

    Movers, shakers, preachers & pragmatists
    Ralf Boscheck

    Review, identify or confirm your own moral compass by discussing a range of dilemmas that will help you to recognize and build confidence in your own moral intuition.

    ESG: The hard and soft skills to become a sustainability champion
    Florian Hoos

    This elective offers a unique combination of ESG hard and soft skills. While you can learn many hard skills to improve a firm’s ESG dimensions, most corporations struggle with the soft skills needed to successfully transform themselves into ESG champions. To this end, this course helps you to internalize concrete soft skills related to the human factor of the ESG transformation that accompany best practice organizational tools and frameworks.

    Marketing for a sustainable future
    Frédéric Dalsace

    Examine ways to transform marketing into a positive force of change for the future by reviewing current practices and systematically investigating possible avenues to develop new, or “alter”, marketing practices. This is all the more important as formidable environmental and societal challenges lie ahead of us at the level of the planet.

    Starting your dream business
    Julia Binder

    Explore new venture creation in an experiential way and talk to entrepreneurs about best practices in the early stages of starting a business. Challenge your creativity, push your entrepreneurial thinking, and get equipped with the tools and methods to turn your ideas into reality.

    Late-stage entrepreneurship elective: buyout, expansion and turnaround opportunities
    Benoît Leleux

    The elective is designed to help you get a better understanding of the various issues relevant to the engineering of a buyout or turnaround, looking at business/financing plans, valuation techniques, alternative business models, possible sources of equity and loan financing, trade sales, deal structures, incentive management, etc

    Leading innovation and mastering change management to elevate your career
    Louise Muhdi

    In a highly interactive elective, you will focus on how to build a true culture of innovation, overcome resistance to change, and drive positive results through people. Additionally, you will work on a new real-world case study focusing on a leading company in the renewable energy industry.

    Fundamentals of luxury brand management
    Stéphane J.G. Girod

    How can you pursue a career in a luxury brand? This elective will equip you with the pillars of luxury management so that you understand what competing in the luxury space means and how the success factors of luxury brand desirability will keep changing.

    Digital resilience
    Öykü Isik

    Cybersecurity is not a new discipline and we now have access to great and affordable technology, and huge amounts of data to help us understand the problem space better. Explore the role of business leaders in building digitally resilient organizations and gain the critical tools needed to help navigate the uncertainty associated with digital risk landscape.

    Intro to alliances and system collaborations
    Knut Haanaes

    No company can shape the future alone, even the most powerful corporations must work with supply chain partners, the public sector, and international organizations on climate. These ventures require new leadership skills and an understanding of non-market players. In this elective, we will dive into three such players; the World Economic Forum, WWF International, and the World Business Council for sustainable development.

    Mastering the art of impact investing: Balancing risk, return and impact
    Vanina Farber

    In this hands-on elective, you will acquire a practical, in-depth understanding of how to align investment strategies with intentional impact objectives. Through a series of real-world case studies, you will conduct due diligence for a venture philanthropist, evaluate gender lens investment criteria for a finance-first impact investor, explore the intricacies of designing a humanitarian bond to attract private capital for humanitarian needs, and assess the potential of blended finance facilities to drive the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) at scale.

    Options, futures, and other derivatives
    Salvatore Cantale

    Explore a selected number of advanced topics in derivative markets from analyzing the options strategies available to investors to the challenging task of pricing options, linear contracts (forwards and futures) and credit risk measurement and management.

    Competitive strategy for the digital world
    Mohan Subramaniam

    This elective will introduce you to the future of competitive strategy, now taking shape. It will expose you to new business models that enable legacy firms to harness the newfound power of data and digital ecosystems from their prevailing infrastructures. It will also show how to envision and shape a firm’s digital transformation journey.

    The strategic role of creativity in times of transformation
    Heather Cairns-Lee

    Unleash your creative potential through a dynamic blend of structured, clear, and inspiring, yet novel short lectures, class conversations, and creative experiences on a journey of discovery. You’ll learn to grasp and leverage the power of creativity as a key strategic tool for your career and future organization.

    Global Network for Advanced Management (GNAM)

    Connect with top business schools around the world through a network that enriches your MBA with broader perspectives and direct exposure to global business practices.

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    • Global electives: Tailor your learning by choosing electives from GNAM partner schools that match your career interests and focus on specific regional business dynamics.


    • GNAM week: Engage in intensive modules focused on local business challenges at member schools, offering you practical experience and deeper understanding of international markets.


    • Expanded professional network: Build connections with peers, faculty, and industry leaders across the globe. These contacts can become invaluable as you navigate your career in international business.


    • Practical insights: Apply what you learn during GNAM weeks and electives directly to your MBA projects and future professional scenarios.
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    Take the next step towards a transformative career.

    Download our brochure to discover how IMD’s one-year MBA can elevate your leadership skills and global network.

    Take the next step towards a transformative career.

    Download our brochure to discover how IMD’s one-year MBA can elevate your leadership skills and global network.