One year ago, when I embarked on the INSEAD MBA, I thought I already knew everything about diversity. Nationalities, cultures, and genders – I thrive in environments with different kinds of people. Surely INSEAD’s environment would be no different. Confidently, I breezed through the school’s front doors on my first day. Little did I know that it was the start of a journey that would soon reveal my naivety about diversity.
I am sitting in front of the ocean in tropical weather, concluding my journey at INSEAD. It has been a truly life changing year.
I am writing these lines sitting on a plane. I am flying back home for Christmas, and I look strange bringing a winter coat on top of my luggage in the humid, 30-degree Singaporean weather. When the aircraft took off, I mentally reviewed the last 12 months. What a year.
It’s been almost a month since we did the grad trip in Croatia and the graduation ceremony. Surprisingly enough, it has not yet dawned upon me that the INSEAD chapter is over. I have been feeling kind of numb, it’s been kind of blank. Possibly I have been trying to avoid thinking about it, or maybe even trying to dodge the realisation that it’s over.
I found him sitting down on some small stairs on the rooftop part of the building, looking at the city night view. Beer can in his hand. It would be dawn in several hours, the time when the sky should be the darkest. But it is never truly dark in a Singapore night, as the lights of the millions of souls living in the city brighten up the eternally starless night sky. “That was one hell of a party,” I said, sitting down on one stair above him. “Well, it’s one hell of a year.” He took a sip from his can.