Connecting With Classmates in Person and Virtually

Stephanie Power

Starting my journey at INSEAD came with the typical uncertainties; expectations of workload, marking schemes and competitive environments, to name a few. Knowing that I would not be able to study with my classmates in person was an added ambiguity. 

What I have learnt during my time over the past eight months of the programme, is that collaborating on group projects binds people together quickly.

This is true especially in a time-restricted demanding environment that defies the parameters of space and time zones. It gives way for those who are eager to build and maintain a support system. Particularly when you have no one else to rely on, except those who are experiencing the same journey as you.   

I want to add, that it is not just on a superficial level either. The degree of intensity and deadlines in the courses creates an immediate space that demands transparency in character, work ethic and personality. Therefore, trust and solidarity in communal work are established.

Communication in reference to any misunderstandings are immediately expressed as a means of survival.

Although the virus has created many changes in how we go about things, the reality is that it has also brought us closer together. Everyone in the programme is in the same boat. The virus has affected us unanimously in a common bond that breaks down hesitations and allows students to express their personal circumstance sincerely, regardless of country or employment position.  

In comparing my past academic experiences to my time at INSEAD thus far, I would say that faster and more authentic connections have been created with those in the programme at INSEAD, as students are looking to have more honest interactions and creative conversations in sharing how they are surviving their new lifestyle as ‘we’re all in this together’.