ISM insight: Life as an ISM student

The ISM Student Blog provides insight into life at ISM. Bloggers are current students and recent alumni who are excited about sharing their diverse learning experiences in ISM’s programs. Explore this blog to learn more about life at ISM, and how the program benefits students in the long run. You may also want to follow ISM on Facebook or join the conversation on Twitter.

Exactly 6 months ago, I arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France, with two suitcases and a curriculum that would guide my life over the next couple of years.

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Technological Transformation

In today’s world where it seems like we learn about a new technological advancement every day, the world of supply chain management is undergoing a profound transformation. As International MBA students exploring the realms of business innovation, it's important to grasp the role of digitization in revolutionizing traditional supply chain practices.

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An Upwards Trajectory

Since its 1947 independence from Britain, India has seen practically nonstop exponential economic growth. Between its rise in the tech world and its initiatives to support sustainability by making collective behavioral changes in its population, the country’s economic trajectory is positioned for even more remarkable growth, as indicated by several recent economic indicators.

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What’s in Store, Twenty-Twenty-Four?

In the ever-evolving landscape of global business, staying aware of emerging trends is crucial for anticipating and navigating the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. As we settle into the year 2024, it is important we pay attention to key themes such as technological advancements, sustainability, and in-demand skills; in that way, we may gain insight into the factors shaping the future of the global marketplace.

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Riding the Wave of a New Adventure

It’s Tuesday, approximately 10:30 AM. The parting of this morning’s hazy clouds reveals a warm sunbeam to those of us floating on our surfboards at La Côte des Basques, a popular beach in southwest France. As someone accustomed to the tropical waters of South Florida, the sharp, icy water of the Basque coast is quite a shock to me, but I know what I had signed up for when I moved here approximately three months ago.

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The Historical Evolution of Business Education

The roots of traditional graduate-level business education can be traced back to the early 1800s in Europe. Originally meant to teach skills in management and other various competencies in business administration, business schools have kept their reputation throughout most of history as being seen as the “golden ticket,” the key source of career advancement.

Of course, nothing has ever prospered without the challenges of a rapidly changing world. The needs and desires of students in 1819 are much different than the ones of professionals in today’s landscape, and with the business world becoming increasingly globalized, business schools have had to learn to adapt to these needs.

Let’s look at some of the ways the world of business schools is changing.

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How often have you started a graduate school course by being asked to describe the current quality of your mind?

This was the question I was asked, along with twelve other students, at the beginning of a three-day leadership retreat hosted by the International School of Management.

About a two-hour drive from Paris, we entered Champignelles in the northern Burgundy (a.k.a. Bourgogne) region of France – a stark contrast from the bustling beauty that is Paris. The bus zipped past 19th-century homes and fields of green and eventually brought us to Campus MaNa.

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2020 was an interesting (for lack of a better word) year. No two years are ever the same, but most of us would certainly agree that the last year of the previous decade has turned our lives upside down on many accounts. Personal lives have been greatly affected with millions of people mourning the passing of loved ones due to the deadly Covid-19. Lockdowns imposed in many countries across the world have tested – and continue to test – our resilience and mental health. Professionally, things have taken a dramatic and, perhaps, permanent turn for most industries.

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I joined ISM’s IMBA program in July 2020, intending to move to Paris in January 2021, start classes in person, and have the robust MBA experience abroad that I’d always imagined. However, COVID-19 had other plans for me as the second wave started in France and classes remained online through winter 2021 and beyond. I was torn and not sure if I should bite the bullet and head over to France anyway, or if I should spend some more time in the United States and wait for the vaccine.

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During this difficult time living through a pandemic on an unprecedented scale, everyone is facing day-to-day issues with handling everyday life, getting tasks done, and preventing procrastination. The motivation that usually comes from the anticipation of certain things like meeting with friends for dinner in a restaurant or weekend trips is impossible in the current situation. Even watching your favorite club's soccer game, a date in a bar, vacation planning, or strolling through shops in the city center, which used to be a festive highlight in weekly planning, are hardly possible. Habits and regular daily routines can often become obstacles in adapting to changes and new things. 

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