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IMD Business School – IMD MBA Program – Class Profile | Employment Reports | Notable Alumni

A 6 min read

Formed in 1990 through the mergers of two prominent management education centers, namely IMI and IMEDE, the International Institute for Management and Development (IMD) is an independent business school – not affiliated to any university – with an industrial heritage that is atypical for most business schools. IMD focuses solely on executive education; it has no academic departments, just one integrated multidisciplinary faculty. IMD’s differentiator is its strong focus on personal development, leadership and general management instead of functional expertise, and as a result, the majority (70%) of graduates get positions in the industrial sector rather than the financial or technology sector.

IMD Business School - IMD MBA Program - Class Profile, Employment Reports and Notable Alumni

If IMD is one of your target business schools, this article will help you research its class profile and employment reports and more.

Here is a brief outline of the article:

Trivia about IMD Business School

  • IMD boasts of a 1:2 professor to student ratio – the lowest for the top MBA programs. The constant, personal engagement with the faculty means that the professors are personally invested in the development of the students.
  • IMD employs a unique application process where successful applicants are invited to either its Switzerland or the Singapore campus for the post-written-application phase of their application – The Assessment Day – when personal interviews, a brief presentation by applicants, case solving sessions and MBA class observations are held.
  • Each year, IMD hosts events that have over 9,000 senior executive participants that the MBA class can connect and network with.
  • IMD is based in Lausanne, Switzerland, a European hub for corporations with over 350 MNCs.
  • Bloomberg Business Week ranked IMD Business School #1 in Europe
  • The IMD MBA is the only non-US program ranked in the Global Top-10

General Information about IMD Business School

Dean: Sean Meehan

Admissions Office:

Phone:  +41 21 618 0111

Social Media:

FacebookLinkedInTwitterYouTube: Instagram

IMD MBA Program – Class Profile, Cost of Attendance, Median Salary

The IMD MBA is an intense one year MBA program that immerses its participants in business fundamentals and leadership development, flawlessly transitioning from theory to experiential learning. Participants are encouraged to take several trips to expand their knowledge and build their network: one discovery expedition (one week in a developed country and one week in a developing country), a Europe trip and a trip to reflect on a dilemma. Finally, each participant participates in the International Consulting Project where he or she will be a part of a team and work as a consultant on a real-world project designed by some of the largest corporations in Europe.

Engaged and Responsive Alumni Network

While the school boasts of an alumni network of over 100,000 alumni worldwide, the small class size and the youth of the program means that there are fewer than 5000 MBAs in the network. While this is substantially smaller than that of similar top-ranked MBA programs, it is widely agreed that the quality of engagement and the responsiveness of this tightly knit community makes up for its size.

Small and Diverse Class Size

Having one of the smallest classes among the Top MBA programs, IMD carefully selects the best group of 90 applicants who they hope will display a high degree of collaboration and networking and will form life long bonds with one another. The class comprises of candidates older than those in the typical MBA program, with 30% of this class between 28 and 32 years old, and, on average, having 7 years of work experience. IMD also boasts of the most diverse class among the top MBA programs, with 99% of its participants being international citizens and representing 43 countries.

Sr. No. IMD Business School Stats
1 Median GMAT 680
2 Class Size 90
3 Work Experience (Average) 7
4 Tuition Cost (per year) $ 60,297.0
5 Average Age 31
6 Age Range (80%) 28 – 32
7 Mean Base Salary $ 113,025
8 Mean Bonus $ 23,588
9 % of women in the class 28%
10 % of international citizens 99%
11 Nationalities Represented 43

Pre-MBA Industries of IMD’s Class of 2018

IMD fashions itself as a general management school with a mission to educate the leaders of tomorrow and shows a preference for applicants with strong leadership experience from industries requiring the development of rich interpersonal skills. 51% of the incoming class participants have managed teams of more than 10 people and 39% have had a start-up experience. Therefore, rather unconventionally, Manufacturing and Service Industries account for nearly two-thirds of the class profile whereas quantitatively driven industries such as Technology and Finance contribute only marginally. A detailed breakdown of the composition is shown below:

IMD Business School - IMD MBA Program - Incoming Class Pre-MBA Industries

Industry Pre-MBA work experience
Manufacturing 42%
Public Sector and Non-Profit 6%
Telecom and High Tech 7%
Consulting 10%
Financial Services 13%
Service Industry 22%

IMD MBA Program: Application Deadlines

IMD follows an unconventional admissions schedule to go with its unconventional program schedule. A typical IMD MBA term starts in January and continues through December. For this reason, the admissions team accepts admissions from February through October every year. Admission decisions are communicated within two weeks of Assessment Day. Details are displayed below.

Round Application Deadline Interview Decision Sent Final Decision Release 
Round 1 1 February 2019 15 February 2019 29 February 2019
Round 2 1 May 2019 15 May 2019 26 May 2019
Round 3 1 August 2019 15 August 2019 26 August 2019
Round 4 1 October 2019 11 October 2019 31 October 2019

IMD Business School: IMD MBA Program Employment and Salaries

IMD’s singular focus on educating global leaders rather than specialized workers lends diversity to the post-MBA employment opportunities for its graduates. 80% of the IMD class changed job function, 73% changed their industry and 71% changed their country of residence.

Employment by Industry

Most IMD graduates pursued Functional (marketing/sales/operations/product development) or Corporate (Business development) management opportunities in industrial and service companies – usually not part of the talent pipeline for an MBA program. IMD’s career services enabled the graduates to make headway into unconventional careers, with one-on-one training, coaching, and mentorship over 6 months guiding graduates through the treacherous job search process. A breakdown of employment by industry is shown below:

IMD Business School - IMD MBA Program - Employment by Industry

Industry Percent Share
Technology/Media 23%
Manufacturing 22%
Healthcare 15%
Consumer Products 5%
Chemicals and Energy 2%
Hospitality 2%
Retail 2%
Consulting 22%
Financial Services 7%

Employment by Region

IMD’s stellar reputation and inroads in the EU job market means most graduates find employment opportunities in and around Switzerland. While the lack of internships is a worrying prospect for most, the complete immersion in a multi-ethnic environment and real-world projects, such as the International Consulting Project, ensure that IMD’s predominantly international class has no problem finding employment in Switzerland.  A breakdown for employment by region is displayed below:

IMD Business School - IMD MBA Program - Employment by Region

Region % share
Africa and the Middle East 2%
Asia 19%
Americas 2%
Europe 77%

Major Employers hiring IMD MBA Graduates

IMD graduates received employment offers from over 100 companies last year – with many receiving several offers at the same time. The largest employers of IMD MBAs were:

  • Amazon
  • Borealis
  • Danaher
  • Google
  • Hilti
  • McKinsey & Company
  • Schindler Group

IMD Business School – Notable Alumni

IMD Business School - IMD MBA Program - Notable Alumni

IMD’s smaller alumni network boasts of international dignitaries and CEOs of several multinational companies. Some of these include:

  • Svein Aaser, former CEO of DnB NOR
  • Matti Alahuhta, former CEO of Kone Corporation
  • Paul Bulcke, former CEO, Nestle
  • Jon Fredrik Baksaas, former president and CEO, Telenor
  • Bjarni Armannsson, former CEO Glitnir Bank
  • Harsh Goenka, Chairman of RPG Enterprises
  • Philipp Humm, former CEO of T-Mobile USA
  • Oswald Grubel, former CEO of UBS
  • Tarang Jain, an Indian billionaire and CEO of Varroc
  • Soren Skou, former Group CEO of A.P. Moller – Maersk
  • Mark Rutte, Prime Minister of Netherlands
  • Susanne Klatten, board member of BMW
  • Michael Patsalos-Fox, chairman of McKinsey & Co, Americas
  • Thomas Schmidheiny, chairman of Holcim
  • Ian Charles Stewart, founder of Wired Media
  • Prince Pieter-Christiaan of Orange-Nassau, van Vollenhoven
  • Mark Opzoomer, CEO of Rambler Media

Other programs you may consider

Other top global schools that are a close match to the IMD MBA with regards to competitiveness of selection process, rankings, employability of graduates and brand image are:

Stretch Schools: INSEAD, IESE Business School (University of Navarra), Said Business School (University of Oxford), Cambridge Judge Business School (University of Cambridge)

Match Schools: HEC Paris, ESADE Business School, Nanyang Business School (NTU Singapore)

Safety Schools: Warwick Business School, Imperial College of Business, Durham University Business School


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