A Happy Day

Mai Chu

One of the most rewarding moments in my role as recruiter for INSEAD's Executive Master in Finance (EMFin) is to meet participants who are selected for the new cohort for the first time at our Programme Opening Ceremony. Usually this is organised on a Sunday afternoon, right before the first 2-week study period of Module 1 kicks off.

At this Opening Ceremony, I am finally able to put faces to the names and congratulate candidates from all across the world with whom I have worked with over a period of a year (or even longer for some).

Last month, we welcomed our latest EMFin cohort to campus. We call them the EMFin21F. There I was at the Opening Ceremony in Amphi 106 with my colleague Connie, waiting for our first EMFin participants to arrive. I greeted and shook hands with Paul from Dubai, Altesh from Johannesburg, Günter from Switzerland, Lily from Canada, Valerie from Singapore, Jay from Australia, Rizka from Indonesia and Steven from the US, among others.

Soon enough the classroom's vibe changed from quietness and hesitation to excitement and chattiness. 

I watched my candidates-now-students’ faces light up when they met fellow participants from their native countries. It was a happy day.

I spent my first week briefly catching up with the newly admitted class members during their morning and afternoon coffee breaks, in between my calls with prospective candidates. I now know a little bit more about them, where they come from and how they were doing with their first module in Singapore.

Some were talking about how professors Peter Joos, Pierre Hillion and Massimo Massa’s classes were engaging, interactive and full of practical learning. Some shared their worries about how the exams in two weeks from today would be. Some asked who would be keen to go to F1 race and concerts together.

For their second week of study, I was on the road doing marketing events and meeting candidates in Hong Kong, Seoul and Tokyo and unable to see the EMFin21F class before they left. I missed their closing dinner at the Red House Seafood restaurant in Clark Quay.

Now that I am back from travels, I got back in touch with some of the class members to see how their Module 1 experience was. Steven from the USA sent me this note:

“Going into the programme after quite a long period since my last classroom studies, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect. That being said, I was really impressed with the quality of instructors. Anyone making Accounting engaging for eight hours per day, three to four days, deserves a medal. I found the lectures for all three courses interesting because there was a lot of discussions between my peers in class and the instructors. The makeup of the class is very diverse as well, which was a big contributor to insightful dialogue. 

I like the mix of theory and then application of the conceptual learning in discussions and case study analysis. I feel the application is the most important aspect and have been able to actually apply some of this to my day-to-day, e.g effectively structuring arguments and support for a certain analysis. Revisiting some of the finance theory I haven’t used in a while renewed my interest in these areas. I’m seeing this reflected in dealings with my team at work.”

It’s another happy day.