A Renewed Interest in Finance

Steven Schott

I discovered the INSEAD Executive Master in Finance (EMFin) programme through my employer, Macquarie Bank. I interviewed past alumni at Macquarie and they all spoke very highly of the programme. Through INSEAD, they had gained the knowledge and skills to progress in their careers. I was also attracted by the global reputation of the EMFin. Although I have worked for two global investment banks, I have never worked outside the US, so I was excited for the opportunity to expand my exposure to global markets and the professionals in those markets.

The decision to continue my studies 20 years after completing my undergraduate degree was not one that I took lightly.

I was only researching programmes at elite institutions and after many meetings with administrators, recruiters and past alumni, I made the decision to join the INSEAD EMFin starting in September of 2019.  

The format of the programme was another major consideration, as the six two-week modules on campus (5 in Singapore, 1 in Fontainebleau) would require a commitment both from my employer and my family. I was very fortunate on both fronts, as my management team was very supportive of my interest in the programme, as was my spouse who made a number of sacrifices, balancing work obligations with our young daughter at home. 

Working for a global investment bank, I often have meetings at odd hours to accommodate different time zones and this format works really well for those needing that flexibility, allowing me to meet the changing demands of both work and family. During your time on campus (especially in modules 1 & 2), the pace will be very demanding at times as you need to balance class assignments, case studies and projects with exam preparation. The school also hosts several networking events during this time as well, which is a pleasant escape and gives you the chance to get to know your fellow classmates.

One thing I have been most impressed by is the quality of the professors at INSEAD. 

Having completed four of the six modules so far, I have taken classes with a variety of professors in Finance, Accounting, Statistics, Negotiations, Game Theory, etc. and have been blown away at how engaging and knowledgeable they have all been in their respective areas.  They are also very generous with their time and take an active interest in your education during your time there.

Last, but certainly not least, is the networking aspect of the programme. 

The diversity of the students and staff is a hallmark of INSEAD and provides insight that I could not have gotten in another programme. 

The vast array of backgrounds and experiences add so much to the class discussions and makes for a lot of lively debate. So far through my journey, I have built relationships with many my peers in the EMFin programme, as well as in the GEMBA through the electives module. On top of that, I have met quite a few alumni who are always willing to share their INSEAD experiences and how it has opened doors for them in their careers. 

I am very confident being an INSEAD alumni will continue to present opportunities for growth (both professionally and personally) that did not previously exist. 

I am convinced INSEAD was the best choice for me to continue my education and would highly recommend anyone researching options to reach out to admission staff and recruiters at INSEAD for more information. They could also refer you to alumni with a similar background that could share their experiences. This programme has renewed my interest in finance, as I continue to learn more about both finance and about myself as I progress through the experience. To all those who are reading this piece and considering the programme; I wish you all the best and look forward to meeting some of you in the future!