PRESENTATION OF THE I.M.S
The IMS is a program which was created in 2001 by ICD and is accessible to all students from other schools of the group.
IMS is a program offered during the 3rd or 4th year. It lasts 5 months across 2 continents (Asia and North America), 3 countries (China, Vietnam and Canada) and 6 stopover towns (Beijing, Shanghai, Chengdu, Hanoï, Honk Kong and Montreal).
The IMS starts every year at the end of January/beginning of February and ends in June.
This program is not only a study semester abroad. It represents, by its unusual content, a first intruduction to the international professional world and allows every student to reveal himself/herself (professionally as well as personally). It is a challenging semester as it is very demanding, but also full of encounters and allows cultural openness.
An important word to the animation team of this program : to confuse The aim is to get students go out of their comfort zone and to confront them with realities that will be theirs later in business (professionalism, ambition, high standards, team spirit and interpersonal skills, diligence, openness, etc…).
Today, the programe has a strong network of alumnis on whom it relies to enhance its content and develop its own network.
In addition, the IMS managing team includes former IMS participants every year, which not only ensures continuity in the values carried by the program, but also a consistant evolution through years.
IMS' PEDAGOGICAL CONTENT
The IMS is extremly rich in terms of content. It offers a complete set of human and professional skills that can be expected from a future business school graduate. However, there are few individual achievements. A group dynamic is essential to succeed in projects which will be detailed below.
As previously mentioned, the IMS is not about school. It is a program that takes students out of their French habits and comfort zone. It is a golden opportunity to take your mind off the books and go see things for real, learn more about the inhabitants lifestyle, their customs, their consumption habits, the economic situation of the country, the importance of appearance, colour code, packaging… and even about buildings architecture !
The pedagogical aim of this seminar is to wake or boost an entrepreneurial and/or commercial awareness, but also to definitely transform students from obervant learners to proactive and curious professionals.
One of the projects particularly stresses on such a state of mind: the comparative study/export mission. Students split into groups of 2 or 3 people and must provide a comparative study of a field of area or a current challenge they choose (sport studies, luxury, customer experience, management, automotive, etc…) through all of our destinations.
Another possibility is to perform an export mission on behalf of a company which will give them very specific targets and will pay them for it. This work is the common thread of the IMS. Each group must submit a file as a study report, that is a result of its observations, research AND direct contact with local people (surveys and professional interviews).
In addition, students follow a rythm alternating between lectures and professional visits. Some destinations are exceptions to this rule, for example in Beijing and Hong Kong, as the program exclusively consists of lectures and professional or cultural visits.
Lectures are also focused on an operational dimension. You can find management, culture, economic, law or marketing classes, which are focused on business creation and multicultural team management for example. Geopolitics lectures allow students to assimilate the major challenges of the visited countries, its strenghts and difficulties as well as its prospects for evolution. In short, everything an international sales person needs to know before starting his/her career in the best possible conditions.
The lectures organized during the IMS are mostly given by professionals who are familiar with the program or by former students now settled in China, Hong Kong or Canada. They are examples of international success who inspire students and encourage them to ask many relevant questions. This is an important resource that glads students and brings its singularity to the IMS.
Finally, there are some company visits at regular range, in several fields of activity: mass distribution (Carrefour, Big C, Ito Yokado), government infrastructures (National Assembly Hanoï), large national companies (ex: Coca Cola, Huawei, Cascades) or even co-working facilities (in Montreal in particular).
Beyond the educational dimension, the IMS is a human experience. From our experience, there is always a pre-‘ and post-‘ IMS for each student. One of the words that often remains in participants’ mind is revealing. Revealing talents, revealing vocation and passions, revealing personality, professional ambitions, etc…
Students also express themselves on creative, sports and humanitarian projects.
1. Creative projects:
- Choir: Each year, the IMS organises a choir in Vietnam. This federating activity has now lasted for more than 40 years in our schools and teaches individual as much as collective rigour. Students prepare their show on their side. This is a real management and planning work they are not used too.
- Video creation and photo contest: In Canada, students are invided to express their artistic sensitivity by producting a short film, as well as organizing a themed photo contest. These two exercices have been happening during IMS for 20 years and have always been great successes.
2. Humanitarian events and sports meetings:
Interculturality in IMS involves sports events in each of the IMS’ destinations. The students share these moments with other students from university campus where we stay.
In addition, the IMS is in partnership every year with a humanitarian association: Village de l’amité. This association helps and welcomes Vietnam war veterans as well as children victim of terrible and noticeable effects of Agent Orange used on the country at that time by the United States. The students prepare this meeting by raising funds which will be redistributed to Village de l’amitié and by spending special and moving moments with its recipients.
3. Historical and cultural openness (visits and tours):
Each country carries an History which is necessary to be integrated to understand its culture. This is particularly the case in China and Vietnam, and this is taken into account when planning the agendas. This is what makes it difficult to find a balance between academic life and group life for 5 months.
Trips are organized with the whole groupe on certain weekends (traditional Vietnamese village of Mai Chau and weekend at Halong Bay in particular).
The IMS allies professional experience, cultural immersion, international network, openness to Others and reveals performances. The IMS has shaped may students, some are now even business men/woman who reach high ranks of the Chinese market in Shanghai, Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
The IMS wishes to transform students into real entrepreneurial actors who master the challenges of tomorrow, such as data control, artificial intelligence, “deep-learning”… but also the new ways of working (co-working, digital nomadism, etc.) – in which Canada majorly invests.
For almost 20 years, the IMS has had a permanent aim of renewal (lectures, conferences, professional visits, partnerships) in order to offer a richer content every year.