A Few Things I Learnt During My Executive MBA at INSEAD

Olivier Grometto

As a great lady once said: “I'm not afraid of storms, for I'm learning how to sail my ship.” After eighteen months of Executive MBA, I learnt indeed!

I can speak fluent Financial Times Frenglish. I know what VC, PE, OCF, ROE, NPV means or how to pretend I do. I know that average is evil! I do not want to be the guy with one foot in the bucket anymore. I understand how statistically fascinating the M&M’s colour mix is. My daily triple shot latte is a sunk cost and my love for YouTube procrastination an opportunity cost.

I know what the bubble is. I know that Bulgarians are the only people in the world shaking their head while saying yes. It may come handy one day. I know what a "high context" environment is. It brought the few French in class closer to their Indian and Japanese friends.

Surprisingly, I learnt a lot about the animal world. Coming from the countryside, I had to come to Singapore to get to know cash cows and dogs. More importantly, I know how powerful penguins can be: dumb and magnificent, resilient and successful.

I know that money is important. Finding it, spending it, earning it, saving it, investing it. I was always gifted at spending it. I look forward to improve myself in the other categories. I know that people are even more important. Their diversity, their knowledge, their support, their own particular spotlight make the journey valuable and meaningful.


Above all, this adventure happened thanks to the great people around me, so thank you to:

  • The brilliant class of GEMBA 15 and TIEMBA 16, a wild, smart, strong-minded group of friends
  • The INSEAD staff and faculty for being so sharp and fun
  • My family, friends and sponsors for their patience and encouragements
  • My colleagues in New York, Dubai, Hong Kong and Singapore for their permanent support along the way

And finally, a huge thank you to Laurent and Martin, the Open D Group founders, for giving me once more the opportunity of a lifetime. I am celebrating my eight years anniversary in the company and I look forward to the next eight!


As I have a weakness for quotes, I will end this post as it started. The always optimistic Woody Allen once said “I'd never join a club that would allow a person like me to become a member.” He should have joined INSEAD. Best school ever!

This article was originally published on LinkedIn. Check this article and follow Olivier on LinkedIn here