Every year at IMD, 90 promising young business leaders come together in the MBA class, are taken to their limits and come out ready to take on the world. The MBAs also make friends for life during their intense year-long journey.

The class of 1976 is no exception and has decided to pay tribute to their friendship, life-changing experience at IMD, and to future leaders. A group of members of the class of ’76, who has stayed in close touch over the years, has come together to create the IMD MBA Class of 1976 Merit Scholarship. This scholarship goes to a promising candidate selected to join the class of 2019 and will contribute CHF 50,000 towards tuition.

The scholarship is merit-based and is awarded to a member of the incoming class. IMD is now pleased to announce the first class of ’76 scholarship holder: Mischa Riedo. Mischa is Co-Founder of QuercusApp, a start-up based in German-speaking Switzerland striving to reinvent performance reviews at organizations.

IMD interviewed Micscha to mark the occasion:

IMD: Why did you choose to pursue an MBA at IMD?

Mischa Riedo: I was deeply impressed with IMD during my campus visit earlier this year. First of all, the campus was gorgeous and first impressions obviously matter. Secondly, it conveyed a genuine family spirit from the staff and faculty to the students. The small class of 90 sharp people was fully engaged in class and it made for a truly inspiring atmosphere. Last but not least, IMD has a clear and distinct value proposition with its leadership stream that I was attracted to from the very start. Having tried to build a company for the past three years, I know about the hardships and challenges that assembling and leading a team involves. Growing in that area is a primary objective of mine.

IMD: How do you think it will impact your career and life paths?

Mischa Riedo: By yourself, you can often only have somewhat limited impact. The ability to effectively lead people is therefore very essential to almost any role. Fortunately, in discussions with alumni of the MBA program, nearly all of them have told me that they frequently draw on lessons from the leadership stream to this day, not only as professionals but also in their personal life. I hope that I will have a similarly powerful experience that will help me navigate through future challenges as a leader and in life.

IMD: What do you think will be the key learnings and highlights of this experience?

Mischa Riedo: My personal highlight is undoubtedly IMD's unique leadership stream. However, if I had to pick one more highlight, it would be the international consulting project. The opportunity to solve a real business problem of a client, analyze the business deeply, work closely together with a diverse set of smart colleagues, and then make concrete recommendations is an absolutely unique and fun learning experience. Moreover, I've heard from several alumni who are now working for renowned consulting companies that the project is as close as you can get to a real consulting experience. I think that's a fantastic experience where we'll able to apply all of the lessons we've been taught during the year.

IMD: What will you bring to the class of 2019?

Mischa Riedo: In addition to my excitement and curiosity, I hope that my experiences as an employee in large financial institutions and as an entrepreneur in a small startup will allow me to provide interesting perspectives and insights to the class. Especially my time as a founder has been very humbling and rich in lessons that I believe could be valuable to my classmates as well.

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