Fighting inequality and adapting to digitalization: a spotlight on the ambitions of two MBA scholarship holders - IMD Business School
News Stories · Leadership

Fighting inequality and adapting to digitalization: a spotlight on the ambitions of two MBA scholarship holders

IMD caught up with two participants from this year’s MBA cohort – the Class of 1976 Scholarship recipient Liu Haichen and Lausanne Club Merit Scholarship holder Shweta Mukesh – to discuss social impact and working to make the world a better place.
February 2020

For a rapidly growing number of today’s up-and-coming business leaders, helping others and ‘doing well by doing good’ are an essential part of their outlook.

This much is certainly true for Liu Haichen and Shweta Mukesh, recipients of two scholarships created by alumni groups to create social impact and help IMD lead the way in attracting outstanding talent to its programs.

We spoke to both altruistic MBA candidates to find out more about their background and their ambitions.

Digital leader

Chinese national Liu Haichen was Head of Operations at Beike Finance’s Housing Finance Unit before coming to Lausanne to complete her MBA.

Awarded the Class of 1976 Scholarship, Liu’s ambitions go beyond merely making it big in the business world.

“I believe my value for society is determined by how many people I help in the long term. Leading without hierarchy and being a secure base for others are essential skills that am working on developing even further,” said Liu.

Liu’s background – as well as her goals for the future – are both rooted in digital transformation.

“I believe that technology can bring benefits to the human race. It is also a double-edged sword. The more influence a company has accumulated on the society, the more the company should make good use of technology and generate more positive changes for the society, such as beefing-up efficiency in production or digitizing civil services. ‘Doing well by doing good’ is my guiding principle and the value that I want to bring to organizations throughout my future career,” she said.

Social entrepreneurship

Before enrolling in the MBA program, Shweta Mukesh, who hails from the United States, was the Vice President of International Business and Solutions at an HR technology platform and founder of a for-purpose organization called KidsWhoKode, which helps children develop a robust understanding of computers and coding.

For Shweta, the recipient of the Lausanne Club Merit Scholarship, tackling the global inequality problem is what drives her forward.

“I believe that ability is evenly distributed. Opportunity is not. I want to use my career and the different roles I play, in either the corporate or the non-profit world, as a platform to create a more equitable society.”

Through her organization, KidsWhoKode, Shweta has taken huge strides towards her goal of improving the state of the world. Her initiative has provided computer literacy and coding lessons to over 35,000 students. “We have increased our student’s exposure to technology and have created pathways for them to realize their dreams and unique talents,” she said.

IMD will help her to grow even further, for four reasons, she said.

“First, IMD is focused on developing leaders. Leadership coaches, analysts, and small, yet, diverse classes will help me become more self- aware and strengthen my soft skills. Second, IMD’s focus on global, digital, and entrepreneurship is directly related to my career aspirations. Third, IMD’s lineage and rigorous curriculum enables system thinking.

“I believe that business requires an individual to see linkages across disciplines. The combination of the above will prepare me to take KidsWhoKode forward and build a hybrid for-profit and non-profit model.”

In IMD’s MBA class of 2020, 63% of  female participants were awarded a scholarship. Find out more about scholarships here.