The INSEAD MBA Class of July 2022 started in September 2022 – on campus in France and Singapore. 501 students from 59 countries of residence and 63 nationalities embarked together on a 10-month journey to redefine their career trajectory and leadership. With such ambitious goals, it is no wonder that many alumni say INSEAD was one of the best years of their life.
We caught up with a group of students to find out what motivated them to pursue an MBA, why they decided on INSEAD and what their plans are for the future.
"INSEAD becomes what you want to make of it, there’s so many opportunities."
Role prior to INSEAD: Senior Sales Development Manager
After graduating from the University of Toronto with a Bachelor in Management, Julia spent a few years in consumer research, as well as data analytics and sales roles in Canada. "I decided to enroll at INSEAD because I want to change careers, change geographies and experience living in Asia", she says.
Among many other activities, Julia also participated in the INSEAD Venture Competition and is now looking forward to bring her start-up idea to life in the Startup Bootcamp.
"The classroom experience has been incredible so far", Julia shares. "It’s amazing to be surrounded by so many bright people and to be learning from their own experiences."
"I knew I needed to develop my acumen, learn how to derive insights and communicate a compelling story."
Role prior to joining INSEAD: Strategy Consultant at Accenture, Riyadh office
Equipped with a Bachelor in Computer Science from the University of Washington, Hadi embarked on his career in the oil and energy sector with an initial focus on IT strategy before moving into strategy consulting.
"The more I progressed in my professional life, the more I noticed the widening gap between how I perceived business problems and how business leaders did", says Hadi.
"In the earlier part of my career, I worked on technical problems that often had one, definitive answer. I knew I needed to develop my acumen, learn how to derive insights and communicate a compelling story. The toolkit that comes with an MBA precisely addresses that gap."
Hadi selected INSEAD as he was looking for a programme with rigorous academia but also a strong network and global reach. "The INSEAD MBA was a great fit because of its one-year programme taught by exceptional faculty, alumni associations and sense of belonging across the world", he shares.
"The diversity of the cohort ensures a variety of opinions."
Role prior to INSEAD: Finance Manager in a Manufacturing MNC
Jie is a finance professional who holds a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration and Management from East China Normal University and a Master's in Economics and Finance from the Universty of Bristol.
She joined INSEAD to explore more opportunities and step out of her comfort zone. "The interaction within the class among classmates is my favourite part", says Jie. "It is a riskless environment for me to explore different styles of leadership and interaction with people."
"Most professors provide real-life implications on the key concepts taught, so it is not just about knowledge, but more about application and personal reflections."
"It’s an amazing experience learning from a very diverse group of extremely smart young people with the same drive to make a difference.."
Role prior to INSEAD: Cofounder and VP data and strategic partnerships at KudiGo
Kwame holds a Bachelor's and Master's degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Witwatersrand. He started his career in the public and private consulting industry and also spent some time in the start-up scene in Western and Southern Africa.
"At INSEAD, I want to expand my network to use within the start-up space in Africa", he shares.
"Additionally, I want to learn more about finance to enable me to navigate the business world as an engineer. I think I could add great value within the ecosystem, especially to founders/teams who lack this skill", says Kwame who is keen to go back to Africa after his MBA.
"I am hoping to leverage off the INSEAD brand, however, not under any illusion that this is a trivial affair. Chatting with graduating students or alumni as well as my career coach and the CDC have been extremely eye-opening about the rigour this involves and so the plan was to start the job search process very early on."