Imperial MBA Exchange Program Offers Unique Interview Opportunities

Imperial MBA Exchange

There’s no doubt that top tier MBA programs are about more than just coursework, they’re also about the experience. As part of that, Imperial College Business School At Imperial College London offers its MBA students a chance to participate in the Imperial MBA exchange program. Most recently, Teodor Hlihor (’17 MBA) had the opportunity to study at the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland. During that experience, he was able to interview Stefan Loacker, the previous CEO of Helvetia Insurance.

The experience was part of Hlihor’s MBA program requirements to interview a leader, and it marked a paradigm shift for him. “Stefan’s insights were straightforward and profound: an organization is like a biosystem, and one has to play their role within that entity while making sure the biosystem is healthy and encourages personal growth,” explained Hlihor in a blog post.

Throughout the interview, Hlihor gained quite a bit of advice, but one of the most crucial things he learned from the Imperial MBA Exchange Program was the importance of your colleagues and managers. Stefan told him that it was imperative that they are encouraging and willing to promote you according to your work. Climbing the ladder shouldn’t be about working yourself to death, but about delivering above average work to people who want you to succeed.

“In Stefan’s case, he worked with top management from the beginning, and he found this to be a key factor in accelerating his career,” wrote Hlihor. “Working with organizational leaders made him visible to people with the power to promote him into greater roles. Stefan was surrounded by people who believed in him and thus were happy to give him responsibility at the highest level.”

Another aspect of the interview that stood out to Hlihor was Stefan’s humble leadership style, which was extremely encouraging. It showed that it’s possible to reach the top without being assertive, pushy, or overly competitive. However, that attitude did nothing to detract away from Stefan’s knowledge about business or his interest in people and loyalty.

“People can sense when we seek our ambitions at the expense of others,” wrote Hlihor. “That affects the biosystem. On the other hand, people know when our intentions are good and they contribute to the success of the project or the organization. That promotes the positive development of the biosystem.”

In the end, Stefan said that the biggest key to success is learning to work on a team, how to focus on delivering results, and how to choose the biosystem that you’re a part of. “To achieve one’s full potential, be selective about which biosystem you work in and make sure it is not clogged up in a way that would impact your natural growth,” wrote Hlihor.


About the Author

Kelly Vo    

Kelly Vo is a writer who specializes in covering MBA programs, digital marketing, and personal development.

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