Above and Beyond

Stephanie Power

It had already been a couple of years that I was thinking about pursuing another degree before I applied to INSEAD. I was actually hesitating between a pursuing a Doctor of Business Administration with a Finance concentration, or a Master in Finance. I was looking for something that would be engaging, respectfully demanding and with an application-based learning style, especially since I had already completed a few financial designations and an MBA. I also wanted to go to a place that was innovative with its material.

One of my neighbours introduced me to the school; before then, I had actually never heard of it! I live approximately an hour away from Toronto, and European schools are not well known here. How INSEAD was explained to me regarding its curriculum style and the administration around the modules, sounded very accommodating.

Though I received offers from other schools nationally, I chose INSEAD for the international perspective and for its incredible reputation. The design of the programme and the material truly resounded with me.

It took about a year and a half between when I found out about the programme and when I applied. I distinctly recall chatting with Mai Chu from the EMFin recruitment team, who was always very patient and informative, going above and beyond providing me with alumni contacts to find out more about the programme.

Every single one of those contacts answered my emails and gave me over an hour over the phone from all over the world, explaining their journey from a student’s perspective .

Those conversations solidified my confidence in my choice in applying to the school.

When I received the news that I was accepted, I was actually pretty surprised! INSEAD is an incredible school and having the privilege of attending is a life-changing opportunity. I first shared the news with my family and they were ecstatic! And of course my neighbour – who was thrilled.

Preparing for the module during the COVID-19 pandemic made me feel a little worried as the shipping for my books was delayed – mailing in Canada had been slow and I wanted to make sure I had enough time to study. Thankfully I did receive all but one book and I did have plenty of time to prepare.

The news of having to take classes via zoom didn’t worry me at all.

I moved up to the family cottage for a couple of weeks, and there were no problems at all with regards to hearing the professors, or classmates. We also started a Whatsapp group to chat among classmates.  

Connie Ng in programme management was always available, providing support to anyone who needed it via zoom. I had no problems with the exams.

To be honest: I ate ice cream and was in my sweatpants during some of the lectures, it was great!

I found all of the presentations very informative, demanding and engaging – just what I had hoped for.

I am very thankful of the time that Mai gave me during my application process. I am thankful to the support that was available to me during class. I am thankful for the professionalism of the professors and classmates that I worked with. It is wonderful that all of the lectures are available to re-watch as they were recorded. I am also thankful that I have a few months in between the next module to really reflect on what was talked about and of course prepare for the next round.

The only worrying thing moving forward is this: when I am allowed into Singapore – will I be allowed to bring ice cream into class?