6 Not-So-Random Things About INSEAD

Hey everyone! I am Anson and I am part of the July 2017 graduating class at INSEAD starting at the Singapore campus. It is October and that means I am half way through P1 and one-tenth through the programme (yes, I am very good at math). With that, I want to share six things that I have observed during my time at INSEAD so far:

  1. The class is diverse – yes, I know that you already know INSEAD is one of the most diverse MBA programmes in the world. The subtle part of this diversity is that everyone comes to the campus with a diverse mindset and background. What do I mean by this? For example, that means your German classmate is not so stereotypically German – he has probably lived and worked in four different countries and speaks three different languages. He is even eager to learn about your background and your upbringing. It’s quite mind-blowing how open-minded everyone is.
  1. Classes are actually fun – remember back in the good ol’ ungrad days that one class where time slows and the seconds turn into minutes and minutes turn into hours? I have yet to sit in a class that makes me want go to my phone and onto Facebook. From counting M&Ms, guesstimating challenges with a bottle of champagne as reward – professors at INSEAD make a big effort in keeping you engaged in class. Who knew that you can actually be engrossed in *gasp* accounting?
  1. You learn as much in class and outside of class – with a school as diverse as INSEAD, chances are whatever you want to do in the future, someone sitting beside you has already done it and can tell you multiple ways to get there. Through conversations with your classmates about their careers, you also get a sense of what life would be post-MBA. Although, having said that, I have yet to meet someone with a professional pizza-eating background…
  1. Collaborative, not competitive – everyone at INSEAD is intelligent, hard-working and ambitious, but what sets my experience at INSEAD apart so far is that we are collaborative and we genuinely want to see each other succeed. Less than a week into the programme, a student-driven case interview prep group was organised in which students with prior consulting experience are paired up with students from non-consulting backgrounds to help with case interview preparation. Additionally, more often than not, you hear your team mates from your study group say “What are you doing? What can I do to help? Do you want me to help you with ____?”. This collaborative energy is an almost palpable part of INSEAD, and makes you question why you don’t feel this kind of energy more often in organisations.
  1. INSEAD really takes care of you, and your partner – INSEAD wants you to succeed. In order for you to be successful, you and your family need to be happy at INSEAD, and the school wants you and your family to be happy. Partners go on guided tours around the city, have meal gatherings and go on trips together, attend mindfulness meditation sessions, and have the most of the same access as students to the resources in and around campus. Partners might actually have a better time at INSEAD than students themselves.
  1. FOMO is real – yes, FOMO (the fear of missing out) is absolutely real and it hits you the moment you get admitted into the programme. From pre-MBA meetups, weekend trips, networking sessions, myriad of dinners planned around the week, to even water cooler conversations around campus, you never know whether a person that you are going to meet, or a conversation that you are going to have is going to have a defining impact on the rest of your life. It is absolutely and totally human nature to have FOMO. I would go as far as to say that having FOMO is an integral part of the INSEAD experience.

Speaking of FOMO and having too many things on my plate, I am going to sign off now, do three days’ worth of pre-reads and then pack for Bangkok for the weekend.