My First Day in Fonty

I had moved from Paris to Fontainebleau mid-July, yet it took me two whole weeks before my first real day as a Fonty resident. First of all because the moving was quite hectic, as I did five trips between my old flat and my new one in just four days and with multiple means of transportation: own car, insurance provided car - as my car broke down, rented car - as the insurance car was only provided for two days, and best of all public transportation. Consequently in this agitation I didn’t think much about what it meant to leave "Les Champs Elysées" for "rue de la Paroisse". And without even unpacking I flew to Sicily for some well deserved sun, and unforeseen 40°.

After getting back and unpacking for what seemed like an eternity, my first day as a resident finally started and here’s how it went: first “grasse mat” aka sleeping till ten (I was told to recharge my batteries fully before P1/P2), then coffee (as we don’t need to change everything at once), followed by a 6km run (as some things need to change after all). I would like to insist on this third activity and this is not to brag, but just five minutes in and Fonty was already getting the best of me (I must admit that I had bought new running shoes in May and had never worn them before…). More then that I got to jog in the gardens of the Fontainebleau Castle, which I have discovered are open to the public for free. To be honest now I am a little worried that I won’t find excuses so easily in the future not to go for a run, whereas in Paris it was so easy (the park is too far away and over-crowded, the air is polluted anyways etc.)

And now we get to the best part: I received a message on WhatsApp from another '18J, having just arrived in Fonty. I could have sent that message myself, but I meant to catch up with all the CDC and PDLP pre-work for INSEAD, and not get distracted. Since procrastination is king, I agreed to meet him and his friend visiting from NY. We had a nice chat, he used to work as a consultant and gave me precious insights, as I am considering becoming one myself. But somewhere in the middle of the conversation I had an AHA moment, and said to myself: this is why I chose INSEAD!

And the reason is quite simple: after having worked for six years in France in a 100% french environment (I am Romanian), I longed for a place where I wouldn’t be the “different” one anymore. In Spanish MBAs, over 70% of the students are Spanish, in the US over 50% are American, whereas in INSEAD French students make up for only 8%. And this is why I joined INSEAD, so that as a Romanian living in France I could have a meaningful conversation with an Indian, brought up in Dubai, and living in the US, and most of all so that we can be “different” together.