2 Rejections, 3 Admissions With Scholarships, 1 Dream School

Kathleen Joy Rivera

At INSEAD dreams do come true as we remain relentless in the pursuit of what sets our hearts on fire.

After eight years in FMCG, entrepreneurship and coaching, I’m excited and grateful to share that two weeks ago, I’ve started my MBA at INSEAD, Europe Campus - one of the top programmes in the world.

Kicking off the year as one of only three Filipinos, I’m so excited to learn with 60 different nationalities and make real connections with 484 amazing humans.

I am proud to say that I come from a lineage of farmers. Farmers are perceived as “poorest of the poor” in the Philippines, and this has played a crucial role in who I am today. I am fortunate to have had my mom and grandma as role models because in an environment where women are expected to marry, have kids, and tend to household chores, they went beyond the norm.

They worked while studying to provide their siblings and children the opportunity to go to school. These roots fueled me to strive for more in life. Hence, I left home at age 16, earned academic scholarships, and as the eldest of three siblings, I supported myself and my family as a branding and marketing professional at Nestle, Mondelez, and Century Pacific.

As my siblings graduated from university, it created more headspace for me to explore what purpose looks like — I traveled, ran marathons, hiked mountains, did pro-bono consulting, got serious with dealing with my trauma and insecurities and doing the inner work, hired my own personal coaches, and finally in 2019, I started my own coaching business specifically on clarity, confidence, and high performance. I also did brand strategy for starting entrepreneurs as customer needs evolved.

I started to have a clearer sense of my IKIGAI at this life stage (and also finally exploring my long-time desire to work and live in the EU).

I’m so excited to experience and evolve myself, my vision, and my mission to create a deeper impact, and ultimately serve our purpose better.

Post-MBA, my goal is find a marketing and people manager role in Europe that will leverage my marketing, coaching, and entrepreneurial experiences to enable people to lead more authentic lives (through purposeful campaigns and people development).

I’m wide open to conversations around this.

Cheers to investing in and loving ourselves deeply, committing to our evolution, and exceeding what we think is impossible. 

INSEAD, let’s go!

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To view the original LinkedIn post, visit here.