My INSEAD Summer School Experience

Daniel Esmail

Three words I would use to describe myself are: Daniel, Portuguese, and the last one is not a word so much as it is a statement. I am a graduate of the 2023 INSEAD Summer School. 

Before INSEAD, I had just completed my A-Levels. A fun fact about myself is that before that, I was a professional video game player, something that not many people I know even existed.

Nonetheless, I arrived at the realisation that attending the INSEAD Summer School was a logical next step before joining Regent's University London for my Business and Management Undergraduate course. The application process was quite intuitive - an online process containing a video interview. The admissions team was very present and helpful during the whole process.

From the moment I stepped onto the picturesque Fontainebleau INSEAD campus, I was greeted with an air of enthusiasm. A beautiful campus with refreshing scenes of the Fontainebleau Forest.

The INSEAD Summer School curriculum was truly a revelation. It challenged my existing notions and pushed me to think beyond conventional boundaries. 

The faculty members presented a wealth of knowledge and real-world experience. Their passion for teaching was evident in the way they encouraged us to question, experiment, and explore new frontiers of thought. 

The modules were designed to foster creativity and critical thinking, prompting us to approach problems from different angles and devise innovative solutions, from lectures on the essential nature of data analysis from Professor Miguel Lobo to a workshop on entrepreneurship with Professor Melanie Milovac

A hallmark of the course is the "First Hundred Days" exercise. We joined groups of five to six students in a simulation where we managed a company for the first hundred days. Skills like teamwork, leadership, critical thinking, and time management were key development areas of this activity.

The entrepreneurial aspect of the programme was equally enlightening. 

We were given the opportunity to work on real-world business cases, allowing us to apply the theoretical knowledge we acquired. This hands-on experience was invaluable, teaching us how to adapt, pivot, and lead in the ever-changing landscape of entrepreneurship. This was compounded by our visit to the world-renowned start-up incubator, Station F in Paris. We got the unique opportunity to have key speakers speak to us and give us insights into their entrepreneurial journeys.

A diverse cohort of students leads to a dynamic and enriching programme. Collaboration was second nature for everyone. Through discussions and case study analysis, we developed our analytical skills as well as our communication. 

A melting pot of ideas and cultures, relationships forged during the course continue and are a source of inspiration for a future with more collaboration.

I have no words to describe how much I would recommend the INSEAD Summer School experience to any student, undergraduate or postgraduate, of any age or nationality. You will meet incredibly diverse, smart, and focused individuals. 

I would like to thank everyone at INSEAD for taking my colleagues and me on board and granting us this experience.