Annual Report 2021



IMD’s full-time MBA program, ranked as the top course in Europe (Bloomberg Businessweek), develops leaders who transform organizations and contribute to society. The program offers its participants, across 11 months, the opportunity to develop the fundamentals of responsible business leadership: technical competence, self-awareness, and sound judgment.

Throughout the year, MBA participants develop the tools, skills, and self-awareness necessary to become the top business leaders of today and tomorrow. They acquire knowledge and insights about the world, about business and about themselves. Through this real learning, they graduate ready to make an impact and equipped to play a role in shaping society.

In 2021, MBAs tapped into exclusive leadership insights from top executives, including Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan and the Adecco Group’s Alain Dehaze, as well as a graduation keynote from Arne Alexander Wilhelmsen, Chairman of investment firm AWILHELMSEN (MBA 1994).


“Learn to care, learn to dare is the first lesson I learned from IMD. Throughout the year, IMD has transformed me to become more resilient, more empathetic, and more courageous. Leaving IMD, I acquired leadership skills, built a comprehensive network, and more importantly, met lifelong friends.”
Yiwen Chen, Experienced Consultant – Digital transformation, Siemens Advanta Consulting

Innovating for in-person learning

Innovating for in-person learning

Recognizing the importance of providing an in-person experience for its intense and close-knit MBA, while also ensuring a COVID-secure environment, IMD delivered the MBA program via face-to-face classes by splitting the cohort into two auditoriums.

In these new conditions, faculty innovated with the structure of content to enhance learning impact. All professors maintained responsibility for the learning of both groups over the normal four-hour block. This allowed for group work and assignments to be incorporated within class planning, while enabling each smaller group to have equal face time with professors. The net effect was deeper individual learning and more focus on each participant.

MBAs celebrate their graduation.
MBAs celebrate their graduation.

Labs for future skills

Professor of Innovation and Strategy Mark Greeven redesigned the week-long Innovation Lab, which challenges MBAs to help transform one of 20 companies by focusing on an innovation idea that supports one of the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals.

The class also took a one-week crash course in digital analytics and coding, led by Professor of AI, Analytics and Marketing Amit Joshi, to build key skills required for the future.

International Consulting Projects

The International Consulting Projects (ICPs), part of the MBA for more than 40 years, provide participants with an opportunity to put their newly-acquired skills and knowledge into practice through real world business challenges. Over seven weeks, 19 MBA teams helped to resolve an issue faced by a multinational company by working closely with management executives. 12 projects out of 19 related to the theme of sustainability.

Hear first-hand from MBA participants about their ICP experiences, from exploring healthcare opportunities in North Africa and a carbon-free future for energy to supporting the agricultural sector in the Sudan.

Adrien Reymondet

“IMD has given me a holistic vision on business, but the reach of these learnings would not have had the impact they had without the leadership stream. The self-awareness it brought me helped me identify my blind spots and shape how I want to lead moving forward. I walk away from IMD with an MBA degree but, most importantly, with the memory of a life-changing year and the passion to create a difference.”
Adrien Reymondet, Global Product Manager, HILTI

Learning Highlights


Europe’s #1 MBA program
Bloomberg Businessweek

#1 MBA program for international students
Financial Times

#1 MBA program for international faculty
Financial Times

1 %
female participants
1 +
career presentations

Discovery Expedition: Soul searching and cutting-edge innovation

The 2021 cohort experienced a deep dive into Berlin’s start-up ecosystem and pushed boundaries in the Swiss Alps in a two-part Discovery Expedition aimed at broadening horizons, exploring innovation and encouraging personal reflection.

Discovery Expedition


Boosted by the generous support of IMD’s alumni community and partners such as CO-RO, Hilti, Woods Staton, and Nestlé, IMD awarded more than one million Swiss francs in scholarships to the 2021 cohort. More than half of the year’s class benefitted from the institute’s funding support schemes, with more than half of scholarships going to female participants. Recipients included MBAs from diverse nations across the world, including Malaysia, Haiti, Kazakhstan, India, Mexico, South Africa, Nigeria, Lebanon, Egypt, Peru, Brazil, Japan, Spain and the United States.

A new support award - the Young Leaders Scholarship - was established in 2021 as part of the IMD MBA “Create Our Future” challenge, an open competition which assesses young professionals on their response to a specific challenge.

CHF 1 million
scholarships for 51% of class
54% of scholarships to women

The Class of 2021
Emerging stronger from the storm: IMD celebrates 2021 MBA class

Supporting the transition to work

Participants in IMD’s top-ranked MBA program continue to attract strong interest from some of the world’s leading employers. Throughout the year, the MBA Career Development team curated virtual and in-person interactions to help MBAs prepare for an uncertain and highly competitive job market, while encouraging participants to embrace long-term career goals. The team hosted more than 40 company presentations and question and answer sessions, including engagements with industry leaders such as Amazon, LEGO, Samsung, Siemens, Credit Suisse, Facebook, Microsoft, ABInBev and McKinsey & Company.