Saturday, December 08, 2012
An Inspiring Time at IMD
A Kadir Jasin
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PARDON me for once again sharing with you a personal story. I am sure all of us have stories to tell, but are reluctant or are unable to. But if you have a story to tell, please do.
We are reluctant to tell personal stories for fear that we may be accused of doing the MBAS – masuk bakul angkat sendiri – self-indulging, self-aggrandizement. But if our stories are good and inspiring, we should not be too concerned about what our detractors might say.
As a father, I would like to be proud of my children. More often than not, what they say and do, make me proud, more so because I believe in giving them widest possible berth to think and act.
This year is a good year for me academically. My daughter, Amirah, completed her second year of accounting and finance undergraduate studies in Australia with flying colours (which she said "biasa je" - it's ordinary) and my son, Mohamad Azlan, received his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from IMD in Lausanne, Switzerland on Dec 7. His first degree was BSc in Aerospace Engineering from Iowa State University in the US, which he obtained eight years ago.
But it is not his personal achievement that I want to talk about, but rather the pleasant experience I had in the brief two-day period that I was at the IMD, participating in programmes arranged for parents of the graduating students, despite the freezing winter.
First of all, I was struck by the global nature of the programme and its participants. According to IMD MBA director of marketing, admissions and career services, Claire Lecoq, the 90 international professionals of the IMD MBA Class of 2012 represent 46 nationalities with diverse backgrounds and skills and an average of seven years of work experience.
What impressed me most is the spirit of camaraderie and the sense of oneness among the participants, their eloquence and self-confidence. The camaraderie is so strong and obvious that they treated each others parents as their own no matter whether they come from – Israel, Lebanon, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, China, Russia, Poland, Croatia and more.
I am particularly impressed with the eloquence of Tony Lim, a 32-year old Singaporean, who spoke on behalf of his colleagues at the graduation ceremony and who “humbly” introduced himself as a civil servant.
I told Lim later that I had the honour of interviewing Lee Kuan Yew when he was the Prime Minister and had met a number of other past and present leaders of Singapore, and (jokingly) told him that I proclaimed him the future PM of Singapore.
Whether they are Europeans, Asians, Africans or South Americans, I find these young professionals intelligent and inspiring. Even the 26-year old Manu Jindal of India, the baby of the class, was impressive in his impromptu speech at the pre-graduation dinner.
Then there is Nigerian Edikan Ekpu, who told me that, in her exuberance, took a plunge into Lac Leman (Lake Leman), a stone throw away from IMD campus, last winter, and Nicolai Reimann who loves Malaysia. His father was for six and a half years was the Danish Ambassador to Malaysia.
Then there is the 33-year old Shweta Munshi of Kashmir, India, a mother of one, who is said to be a perfectionist. She said she is setting her sight on the world while Andrew Wee, a Filipino, who was voted the most pleasant and helpful class member, stayed true to his humbleness.
Their stories, either told in the souvenir programme, by their friends and professors or by they themselves, are stories of trials and tribulations, hopes and ambitions, camaraderie and friendship.
I am lucky to be able to enjoy that brief inspiring moment with so many of them and I wish them all the best of luck and huge success.
- A KADIR JASIN
- I was born in 1947 in Kedah. I came from a rice farming family. I have been a journalist since 1969. I am the Editor-in-Chief of magazine publishing company, Berita Publishing Sdn Bhd. I was Group Editor NST Sdn Bhd and Group Editor-in-Chief of NSTP Bhd between 1988 and 2000. I write fortnightly column “Other Thots” in the Malaysian Business magazine, Kunta Kinte Original in Berita Harian and A Kadir Jasin Bercerita in Dewan Masyarakat. Books: Biar Putih Tulang (1998), Other Thots – Opinions & Observations 1992-2001 (2001), The Wings of an Eagle (2003), Mencari Dugalia Huso (2006), Damned That Thots (2006), Blogger (2006), PRU 2008-Rakyat Sahut Cabaran (2008), Komedi & Tragedi-Latest in Contemporary Malaysian Politics (2009) and Membangun Bangsa dengan Pena (2009).