A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity

Sonia Chebac

As grateful as I was for this once-in-a-lifetime experience in our lives, I was overwhelmed by feelings of self-doubt and thoughts of worry and uncertainty as I was putting my career on hold to join my husband in Singapore for his MBA.

I am now happy to say that I was profoundly wrong to feel this way.

This year in Singapore has been an incredible opportunity for growth, not only for my husband but also for myself. The INSEAD experience has been a catalyst in building friendships with people across the globe, in finding ways to work on my career path and in better learning about myself.

Here are four highlights of what I’ve learned from my time at INSEAD in Singy.


Be curious - Make the most of INSEAD’s resources and opportunities.

INSEAD is first and foremost a community that fosters inclusion and encompasses a large diversity of bright people who are very passionate and eager to learn, develop and make long-lasting connections.

The partners and children enrich the community in many ways, and INSEAD makes sure to provide the best experience to them likewise. Since the beginning of the MBA curriculum, I have not felt as an outsider. On the contrary, I have felt deeply engaged and included.

Throughout the year, the partners integrate via the Partners Community and different student clubs. They contribute, offer their skills, and build strong connections while attending many insightful events. The Career Development Centre (CDC) team also provides career and personal growth workshops to fine-tune your career goals and your personal aspirations.

Being a Singy lifer led me to happily volunteer as Partner Representative for the '20Ds partners community. I was extremely excited to embark on this opportunity to keep the Partners Community vibrant and connected, and by engaging in social, cultural and volunteering activities.

Be adventurous - Explore what Singapore has to offer.

Singapore is one of Southeast Asia’s most modern cities. It is vibrant, multicultural and allows to explore many diverse activities, with excellent infrastructure and teachers. The National University of Singapore is one of the major champions of continuous learning and offers training for professionals in a multidisciplinary variety of courses (short-term and modular).

In this context, I joined the National University of Singapore to drive my professional path and steepen my learning curve in the pharmaceutical regulation sector. This professional programme helped me to develop my knowledge, acquire new skill sets and connect with like-minded people from the industry and health authorities.

Be passionate - Take this time to follow your deepest passion.

Being part of the National University of Singapore also encouraged me to follow my passion for nutrition science. For this, I have undertaken several modular courses in human nutrition and food science. This experience has been enriching and brought me tremendous happiness and a sense of purpose from a long-term perspective.

This time has also allowed me to explore new countries and cultures. I was also happy to start learning a musical instrument.

Be resilient - Learn to navigate your inner self.

Experiencing life in Singy during COVID-19 times has taught many of us how to build resilience and adaptability by addressing various challenges including virtual education, social distancing, work constraints, travel restrictions, etc.

This unique and challenging experience has been a real eye-opener that helped me cherish and give priority to the essential aspects in life such as my family. It has also helped me learn more about myself, my core values, about ways to improve and on how to be of better service to the society at large.