Discovering Careers in Creativity and Innovation During the INSEAD MBA

Julia Linthicum

I joined the INSEAD MBA to expand my knowledge of and opportunities within a variety of business sectors. Coming from advertising, I knew a lot about marketing, had heard of finance, accounting, and strategic consulting, but did not know many other sectors.

Additionally, being a more creative and qualitative person, I knew that I did not want a career based in spreadsheets and hard numbers. So, I entered INSEAD with an open mind, determined to understand other areas of business.

After the P1 and P2 core classes, I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of electives during P3-P5.

I felt like I could flex my creative muscles and take classes that challenged more than my quantitative or strategic skills. I was also surprised by how these classes opened my mind to new areas of business that I had never heard of.
For example, during P3 I took an elective called “Creative Thinking”. This elective focuses on teaching how to think more creatively and innovatively, through experiential learning, and implement those practices into organisations. During the elective, our instructor Manuel Sosa opened my eyes to the world of strategic design consulting.

Before this elective, I assumed all consulting was strategic or management consulting (such as the work at MBB). Professor Sosa changed all my assumptions during one class. He showed me that the world of consulting is vast and can be extremely creative and fun, building store designs and designing experiences and products.

After learning about these consultancies and the projects they work on, I turned to LinkedIn where I found a network of INSEAD alumni who work in this sector. They were all eager to share their experiences and to help me understand the industry, what jobs are available, and how to recruit into their company. They also let me know that an MBA is an incredibly valuable asset in this industry, even though it’s a more creative industry.
Speaking with my classmates, I know my experience above is not unique. Several of my classmates had their view of business expanded and challenged throughout their MBA. Additionally, through speakers on campus, I’ve seen how valuable an MBA degree will be no matter the industry I go into.

For example, INSEAD MBAs have gone on to work in the public sector, start their own business, work in real estate, or even run The Lego Group.

The MBA degree provided me with a strong set of foundational business skills that I look forward to using in a creative career.

Additionally, the vast and tight MBA network will help me learn about and network my way into a wide variety of companies throughout all stages of my career. I came to INSEAD to expand my knowledge of business. Thanks to INSEAD, I’m graduating with a completely different view of business, and am excited to follow the non-traditional post-MBA path that several alumni have walked before me.

INSEAD MBA Julia Linthicum
Winning the Marshmallow challenge in Creative Thinking