I’m starting INSEAD in January as part of the 19D class. Due to the end of my predetermined job posting last week and my habit of being compulsively early, I’ve already arrived in Fontainebleau and have plenty of time to reflect on how I got here.
Coming from jobs that got us to INSEAD - M&A investment banking for me -, I wanted to spend time travelling, meeting family and friends, or just relaxing before all the excitement started. But the exit language is a strict graduation requirement! Options were to study French (my choice of exit language) in London while I worked either at Alliance Française or on my own, take classes at INSEAD in P1-P3 or attend the intensive language programme prior to the start of P1 in either campus.
Hey there! I feel it will be a good idea to briefly introduce myself before I start my blog. My name is Sona, an Indian living in a small country on the coasts of Persian Gulf, Qatar for the past four years. Like many other people, I had an opportunity to visit Europe two years back during an amazing short trip with friends. But now, it’s for the first time that I am living in Europe for the long term starting this fall as I got accepted at INSEAD to pursue my MBA.
Well the World Cup is over – and the INSEAD community was proud to celebrate a French win. As a Brit, maybe because expectations were so slow (historical football performances, ramshackle Brexit and so), I was glad to see a young vibrant team, and a progressive nation, grasping the opportunity to mark their name in history – France that is… So, I bet you are wondering, how do I now tie the World Cup into a blog about an MBA programme? Given I am a communications professional by trade, I have made far larger leaps.
Its 3:30 pm and I am sitting in the swish and swanky Terminal 3 of the New Delhi International Airport. The contrast is rather stark with the outside sky which remains as smoky, dusty and dull grey as I have always remembered. The flight to Indore – the town where I am supposed to fly next for my brother’s wedding, is delayed by another 2 hours. I have finished my free wifi quota and with nothing else to ponder over, have my INSEAD year book propped up.
I’ve decided to change the way I keep account of my time here at INSEAD- I have now transitioned effectively from weeks to days (I did start with months). In the daily rush to make it to classes, finish assignments, buy the tickets for the next house party and writing cover letters, it’s quite easy to lose track of how quickly P1 and P2 have flown by. In the rampant pace that INSEAD throws at us, what I find truly remarkable is our ability find time and establish bonds with people who perhaps have nothing in common.
After two periods of sunshine and humidity in Singapore, I moved to Fontainebleau campus for P3, and only P3. People are questioning why I'm going to the France campus in such a bad season, but people probably don't understand how much I desire for some cold winter and snow after spending ten years in this tropical island with eternal summer. Indeed, the wind was harsh; my hands were always frozen; took way too much time putting on and taking off clothes; waited over an hour for the
It’s a freezing night out in Fontainebleau, and I’m just home from another dinner with my friends. Except that this was no ordinary dinner. The end of each INSEAD academic period is marked by painful moments of separation as we say goodbye to friends whom we might not see again until graduation. I said goodbye to many familiar faces at the end of Period 2 as they headed off to enjoy the sun and warmth of Singapore. This time, as Period 3 comes to an end, it’s my turn to take the long flight home.
Here I am, sitting in the Doriot Library at the start of the third week of class. INSEAD has so far been a blur. When I was here back in December for Business Foundations it had also been quite fast-paced, but in some way manageable. There were very few people on campus, our class size was smaller, and the atmosphere just seemed more relaxed. We knew we weren’t being graded on our work and spent more time introducing ourselves and socialising. There wasn’t much else to do besides go to class, do assignments and then go to a party or happy hour.