Our class has been defined as the “can-do” class.
I am a Vice President of the Private Infrastructure Asia Pacific Investment team for Partners Group. I was motivated to pursue the Executive Master in Finance (EMFin) programme because I wanted to equip myself with the knowledge and experience to be able to drive my firm's infrastructure investment in Asia in the future. I was drawn to INSEAD's small classroom interactions where faculty and participants could spend hours debating and talking about business issues and how each of us may approach the same issue differently because of our diverse backgrounds.
In December 2019, when I was packing my bags to start my MBA at INSEAD and COVID-19 was still mostly unheard of, I would have never contemplated that by the following year, I would be starting a new role, in a new industry, and in a new geography after such an eventful and uncertain year. After graduating and obtaining my MBA in December 2020, I ultimately switched from Consulting in Brazil, to starting a new exciting chapter of my career in Investment Banking in London.
Starting my journey at INSEAD came with the typical uncertainties; expectations of workload, marking schemes and competitive environments, to name a few. Knowing that I would not be able to study with my classmates in person was an added ambiguity. What I have learnt during my time over the past eight months of the programme, is that collaborating on group projects binds people together quickly.
The Rolling Stones released the song “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” in 1969, during a period of social upheaval and disappointment in the ability to effect meaningful change. The song verses wander through melancholic vignettes while each refrain of the chorus increasingly uplifts Mick Jagger’s gut punch of proud contentment in spite of it all and acceptance of a less than ideal outcome.
“You might say I am a dreamer. But I am not the only one.” The COVID-19 pandemic continues to present challenges to our TIEMBA'22 learning journey, preventing us from having long-awaited and wished for face-to-face studies under one roof.
Four apartments in six months. Cliché Emily-in-Paris locked out of my apartment twice. Job-in-limbo for half a year. For a time when the pandemic forced people to stay in one place, I was all over the place, I didn’t know what my place was. Well, fellow person-in-transition with ambitions and plastered hopes of making this year yours, welcome to the co-generational class of hello pandemic, now what?
"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.