A Bittersweet Summer

Jacqueline Liao

“To the end of classes…!” we all spoke at once, as we raised our glasses last week after the final exam. As we drank, we all looked at each other in silent contemplation – would that be the last time we would share drinks and laughs?

As a December class, we enjoy a well-deserved summer break after six months of an intense MBA program.

Most of the people decide to do an internship – it is time to test a new sector, discover a new geography, or strengthen some skills, all in preparation for the decisive recruiting season that awaits us.

There are also some people who choose to pursue their personal projects. With July and August off from work and studies, it is time to kick off that entrepreneurial idea that had always kept us at night thinking how it could work out. With the INSEAD Venture Competition (IVC) coming up in a few months, it is a good time to fine tune the pitch.

Other people decide just to chill by travelling around the world, or going home. Once the travel bug bites you at INSEAD, you fall victim of a need to discover the world, and the summer is one of those few moments in life in which you can travel without carrying the heavy weight of e-mails to be answered, and projects to be followed up. Living abroad at the MBA also makes us realise what the word “home” means, which just makes us go back to the people who are part of this definition.

As we shared our summer plans, we all had wistful tones in our voices.

60% of the MBA was over. With many people changing campus in the next periods, we will only meet again some of them at the graduation ceremony. Paris, Amsterdam, Jakarta, Singapore, London, Hong Kong, Toronto, Berlin, Dubai… After six months all together, we will be spread all around the globe – a prequel of what will happen when we all receive our degrees in December.

There was excitement over the next challenges and nostalgia over the shared memories. Although we will not see the whole crew for a while, it is comforting to know everyone is going after what matters most to them, be it on a professional or personal level. It will certainly be an amazing summer for all of us.