Philippe Toutoungi
And just like that, P3 draws to an end, ushering the way to P4.
P3 started with major changes in the student body: 17Ds were now gone, replaced by super enthusiastic 18Ds, and the 18J population churned as well - many having gone to Singapore and few coming this direction.
People often ask me why I chose to stay in Fontainebleau for the whole programme. My answer? No need for complex stories about classes or recruiting: the cafeteria on campus is fantastic.
Most of our schedules were front-loaded this period, which made for a difficult start. Also, P3 was for most of us the start of our recruiting efforts - needing to reach out, learn more about different options, sectors, roles, opportunities, career paths, etc.
New faces, new classes, a hectic schedule, and bombarded with so many new pieces of information. Oh, and it snowed a few times too.
Winter Wonderland
The academic standouts for me this period were definitely:
  • New Business Ventures - giving us real and actionable insights into building or launching a new business
  • Financial Statement Analysis - focusing on ROIC, RONIC and valuation tools 
  • Data Science - an essential class for those wanting to understand how to get from raw data to business level insights and iterating between the two.
I really enjoyed participating in the Startup Bootcamp - a real eye-opener in terms of how quickly we can move from an idea to a tangible project.
This was a great opportunity to work in a team of D's, J's and GEMBAs. The next step in our startup development is to pitch our concept to the INSEAD venture competition.
Le Cercle - where the Startup Bootcamp took place
This accumulation of work made travelling a rarer sight. But hunkering down in Fontainebleau for the winter also meant cosy dinners and parties and bonding. It really is incredible to feel the extent to which, now six months into INSEAD, we are linked by these shared experiences.
Most of us started practising for consulting case studies, which is more fun than I had expected. The premise is simple: understand the assigned issue, develop a structured plan, and solve the case asking for specific data along the way. I learned that I need to be answered first and maintain structure, even in answering seemingly succinct questions.
The IPEC club (PE & VC) was very active this period. Specifically, I took the lead on the VCIC, a competition which will be hosted at INSEAD, aimed at providing students an opportunity to be in the shoes of a venture capitalist for a day: teams see startups who have already raised funds pitch, analyse the opportunity, and make recommendations to an investment committee composed of alumni working in VC. Given the student body’s appetite for experiential learning and all things VC, I think that the competition will be a great success.
And just like that, P3 draws to an end, ushering the way to P4, with more churning of the student body, more enthusiasm, and more learning opportunities.