Making Lemonade

Alex Rosário

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

This article isn’t a cliché about how to look for opportunities in times of crisis. Neither is it about the sadness and problems at this critical moment in our history. It is a message of love and caring.

It portrays tiny and simple examples of how you can embrace people around you, even if you just met them a couple of months ago.

I am witnessing moments of genuine human cooperation. Here in France, as in most places around the world, we are being asked to remain socially distant from each other. For the INSEAD community, this can be a huge sacrifice as we came here to engage and experience life from the eyes of one another. But we are not respecting the rules. We changed them. The right request isn’t about social distancing; it should be restated to physical distancing.

What does it mean? We can be closer to the ones we love and care from our living rooms. It is a moment of social closure.

Technology is helping us be a part of living rooms spread around the globe.

We can share a drink with our peers, we can learn about their cultures, we can play games. We can show we care. We can take action to avoid solely complaining about the status quo and find exciting solutions to have a pleasant quarantine experience.

Our (proud) section 08 is doing exactly that.

It started with the #FoodChallenge, where talents were displayed, and cravings captured all of us. We will need some months of group lunches to vote for the winner.

salmon pasta
chocolate cake

Then, we had virtual happy hours. It wasn’t the loud Freddy’s, but it was fun and entertaining. Everybody chose the drinks we wanted to have; some can argue that it was more democratic than Freddy’s. We had the time to feel and show some care, and I am pretty sure it made a huge difference for the ones on board.



With it, the battle for the coolest virtual background started. Some are showing their hobbies and passions, some showing their home city or country, some showing dogs and cats. Some even internalised the concept of social distancing vs. physical distancing as our dear Hendrik hanging around with Abdou’s and his lovely girl selfie.


We are (at least trying to) having a nice time. And learning. A fantastic initiative was put on place by our section 08 friend Michael Dommer, setting the stage for the INSEAD community to share its culture on the Culture Exchange. Every week, peers show why we are the school for the world and brilliantly talk about how diverse and unique we are.


The lemons were everywhere.

Now we are drinking the lemonade.

It is the INSEAD (virtual) experience. Not perfect, but unique.

A great thanks to all my section 08 peers who are trying to make the most out of it! And to our professors who are managing to deliver a good online class experience!