"It is worth remembering that it is often the small steps, not the giant leaps, that bring about the most lasting change." – Queen Elizabeth II, Christmas 2019 The struggle is real
I am now four months into this life-changing experience that is the Global Executive MBA (GEMBA), and with the constantly changing landscape in the world because of the COVID-19 pandemic, each module has been an experience on its own, challenging our capacity to adapt. Nevertheless, a common denominator emerged from this situation: an intense feeling of camaraderie amongst the cohort.
Any business negotiation involves late nights and drama. Opinions are tested, arguments start and stress escalates. However, there is also eventual relief. At the end of the day, it is smiles all around and celebratory drinks flow. It is no different from a module in the INSEAD Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) programme.
It has been five months into a unique GEMBA Journey in the period of a pandemic and every day has been thoroughly exciting and challenging. My motivations for embarking on this journey, as stated here, were clear. I have completed two modules so far and I can say without any equivocation that I couldn’t have made a better choice in my life.
The GEMBA has been an unforgettable experience so far. The pandemic makes everything more challenging and at the same time more meaningful because all those previously trivial and taken-for-granted moments now become rare and valuable opportunities to create memorable stories and friendships. It has been four months since the official start of the programme, and I have somewhat gotten used to this high level of uncertainty and agility!
Self-isolation paints a scary picture during COVID times. For many, the thought of attending MBA classes via Zoom while being confined to a tiny room is a significant compromise to the campus experience, and potentially a nightmare. But having being thrown unexpectedly into this situation for two weeks, my perspective transformed.
“While we may come from different places and speak in different tongues, our hearts beat as one.” —Albus Dumbledore The obvious question many prospective candidates ask me is the impact of COVID-19, or more specifically online classes (for one month) during the MBA. The honest answer from my point of view is that it's not ideal but it is much better than I had initially expected. Faculty have adopted quickly to provide extremely engaging classes and non-traditional assignments such as games and simulation exercises.
Networking has always been an indispensable part of building a successful career. Despite some of the challenges that COVID-19 has thrust upon the world as we know it, it still remains just as important as ever. Networking hasn’t gone away – it’s simply changed a little. It’s vital for professionals to develop career agility and adapt to new challenges, while keeping a focus on expanding your networks in a safe but effective manner.
Learning in the New Normal takes places in many different forms: on campus, virtual or hybrid. Hear first-hand from the community on what the INSEAD experience is like in these extraordinary times.
Early on in my career, I had always dreamed about pursuing an MBA at a top-ranked university. INSEAD had always been on my radar, but over the course of my experience I became more interested in Finance rather than general management and wanted to continue growing my career within that field.