At INSEAD, we learn how business can be used as a “Force for Good”. With a strong interest in entrepreneurship and a dream to have a start-up ourselves someday, my classmate, Gijs Wilbers, and I, Manasvi Srivastava, wanted to discover how entrepreneurs are using technology, particularly in the financial world, to disrupt the industry and positively impact society.
I lived in the US my whole life before landing in Paris three weeks ago to start my MBA programme at INSEAD’s campus in Fontainebleau, France. Some of my friends and coworkers back home in Los Angeles, California had a hard time understanding why I wasn’t interested in going to Stanford, UCLA, or any number of top business schools in sunny California or a short flight away.
If I once imagined INSEAD’s academic courses to be intense, I must admit that learning by doing real-life projects is an even more demanding endeavour, but the learning and fulfilment is absolutely phenomenal.
As a Chinese student, I looked forward to INSEAD Chinese Cultural Week as an opportunity to showcase the highlights and joy of my culture with classmates from all around the world. After an intensive week full of cultural and educational activities, genuine discussion and much fun and laughter, I realised that the experience helped me to connect deeper with my Chinese roots and see my own culture from a new perspective.
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.