EMFin's Module 1 From Another Perspective

Hugo Valdivia

INSEAD’s Executive Master in Finance first module for the Class of February 2022 finished on the last Saturday in September. Looking at how the previous two weeks before exams went, I cannot but only reinforce the idea that I made the right decision when decided to apply for the programme.

As an expat in The Netherlands, I was already familiar with business education because of my MBA studies in the land of windmills and tulips; nevertheless, since those days in 2011 when I was looking for schools to pursue my Master studies, INSEAD had always been on my radar.

Fast forward to the second half 2019, when I made the decision to embark on a new educational journey to strengthen my professional finance profile, INSEAD and its EMFin became my first option.

After doing some research on its website and checking out its brochure, I had a couple of conversations with representatives from the Marketing and Admissions Office on both the Singapore and France Campuses. Their support and guidance through the whole process were instrumental to streamline the coming steps, making sure that all went smoothly, quickly, and in an efficient manner.

Later in December 2019, I received what I would call a nice Christmas gift: the letter of acceptance from the EMFin Admissions Committee. Now it was time to arrange all paperwork and wait for the time I had to fly to Singapore.

Little did I know in that moment that the first module would take on another shape. The COVID-19 crisis broke out in the first quarter in 2020 and from then onwards we all had to adapt. The EMFin’s fate was no different. I still remember when Connie Ng, EMFin Programme Manager, mentioned the possibility to delay my admission by one year and join in 2021.

I believe that crisis are also opportunities, and that made me decide to go ahead with my plans.

Therefore, between September 14th and 25th I joined lectures via Zoom following Singapore’s time zone, meaning Accounting and Finance sessions started at 2:30am my local time. Challenging but rewarding at the end. I will never forget finishing the two final exams on the 26th between 3am and 11am. The sense of satisfaction and achievement afterwards was nothing I had experienced before. Module 1: check!

A separate note on the Faculty. As mentioned earlier, due to the current crisis we all had to adapt to the new ‘normal’; however, I found surprising and fascinating how comfortable, used to, and seasoned our faculty seemed to be with students joining remotely and participating via digital means.

Hats off to our professors indeed.

Their experience and approach along with the quality of my classmates contributed to achieve Module 1 objectives and created a good environment despite the circumstances.

I am now back to work but cannot wait to start Module 2 in January 2021.