Why I Decided to Do an MBA

It is incredible how much has happened this year. As a recent grad and someone who is joining the labour force again, I wanted to share some reflections while answering the most popular question: why did I decide to do an MBA?

Let’s summarise it into three reasons:

  1. Change part of my career path:

As you might have learnt from my first blog here, my stopover decisions, I pursued an MBA in search of change. I wasn’t too sure about how much or what exactly I wanted to change, but I knew it was time for me to shake things up both at a personal and professional level.

Today, I am happy to say that I have changed all three dimensions: sector, country and job function.

It wasn’t easy but I feel rewarded and ready to start this new phase. Having a year to reflect on what and how you want to change is both a luxury and a great opportunity to identify your risk appetite for the next move. INSEAD in itself is a particularly intense experience (sometimes I wish it lasted a little longer!), but then again, I think it is in the times when we are pushed to the limit that we make tough choices.

  1. Get some inspiration and access to different ways of thinking:

A big part of me was searching for inspiration, for something that would make me want to wake up every day excited to learn more.

INSEAD was a great place to explore.

At first, I approached the exploring through breadth, and as the months passed by, tried to find some depth in the things I was looking at. My jumps might have seemed crazy to some. You would find me attending the Venture Capital on the Middle East lecture in the morning, joining a design workshop during lunch, and finishing my day at a wine tasting event to learn more of the amazing quality French wine has to offer.

I tried to not just get the academic part covered by taking courses outside my comfort zone (Realising your Entrepreneurial Potential is a real jewel) but also learning from practitioners (all in all I must have visited around 50 companies on-site; go study treks!) to learn about their jobs and their career choices. The trick to all these probably came in the last periods, P4 and P5, when it was time to converge and put all the puzzle pieces together.

Abu Dhabi Family

  1. Access to an amazing community:

An alum once told me, INSEAD is like a movie, year by year the same characters appear, the only difference is who plays them.

I see it more like a big family we choose. Within the same class, you’ll find people with all types of personalities and life stories, but also some similarities. There is always one odd cousin no one understands but grows on you, the super passionate person who wants to take the world by storm and start three ventures at the same time, and the person who has done it all (it would have taken me three lifetimes to have so many switches).

It’s a bit of an odd but wonderful relation. These days, I see a lot of updates in my LinkedIn network and I don’t think I have ever been so happy in my life for other people getting jobs. I know my classmates are on their way to building great things, and in a way, I can’t wait until our one-year reunion to see my full class in action and the many independent meetings to come over the years.

I am also happy to say that INSEAD doesn’t just stop at the school; we have a wonderful alumni community. Throughout my journey to figure out my next career steps, I reached out to a lot of them in search for advice, and many went out of their way to advise me and provide support.

graduation

When choosing my grad school I remember thinking I want to be surrounded by “nice people” and thankfully this has almost always been the case. It is refreshing to find business people who care about doing good and even more impressive to see they can find win-win situations without being naïve.

In the end, it’s always about the people, so if you are considering doing MBA, make sure you take them into account 😊.