Here we are, all 98 of us, split between two rooms. Some are still in quarantine at home, but most are present. The IMD business school has done the unimaginable—we are doing an MBA on the campus and in-person, a privilege many schools cannot offer their students these days.
There are, of course, strict measures in place to make it happen. We have to endure COVID-testing, hazard screening with pre-arrival temperature checks, contact tracing, on-campus personnel reduced to the minimum necessary, regularly cleaned and disinfected environments, social distancing, and mandatory wearing of masks. With great privilege comes great responsibility, and the class is certainly there to share it.
All those measures are bothersome at times but are a small price to pay for not being robbed of the apt MBA experience and paying an arm and a leg for a streaming subscription. Those who unfortunately have to stay at home and quarantine miss as little as possible. IMD has done a fantastic job equipping auditoriums with top-notch cameras (three per each) focusing on the speaker and microphones (those square things on the ceiling), both enabling you to hear and see everyone.
Notwithstanding the social distancing, I feel that we are close as a group. The pandemic’s long-lasting effects on interpersonal communication are yet to be observed; however, what I find fascinating is how easy it has been to recognize classmates despite halves of their faces hiding behind masks. We started bonding long before arriving in Lausanne, and it seems like many of these bonds will last a lifetime. The challenges we endure together only make our bonds stronger. This year is going to be an exceptional one in all our lives, IMD included.
The photo with a sneak peek of the auditorium is graciously taken from the IMD blog.