Our class has been defined as the “can-do” class.
As a Portuguese engineer surrounded by a social environment where engineers take the majority, the MBA word is not commonly heard. Therefore, when I was challenged by a senior member and INSEAD alum of my previous company to think about my future and pursuing an MBA, it felt kind of unfamiliar.
Diversity in the workplace is more important to business success than ever. The buzz around diversity is growing. But building diverse organisations that make better, bolder decisions and are more competitive in the global economy isn’t just a matter of hiring employees from different backgrounds.
INSEAD is a school that promises cultural diversity, career development, and a network beyond comparison. With more than 60,000 alumni spread across over 170 countries around the world, both past and present students have been empowered to prosper in business globally. This has also allowed students from the African diaspora to use this synergy for business growth on the continent. Imagine a school that brings people together. A place that builds and develops leaders who transform business and society. Enter the place of higher education and learning, INSEAD.
The day I got admitted to INSEAD is a day that still remains very vivid in my memory. It was a Friday evening in May, and I was not expecting to hear from INSEAD for another five days at least. I was enjoying a quiet evening at home after a hectic week at work, when suddenly my phone lit up with a notification and my heart started beating a million miles an hour as I opened the email.
In September 2020, a group of almost 300 young men and women met for the first time on the doorstep of INSEAD's campus in the gorgeous town of Fontainebleau, France. With excitement reserved for first graders, we started exploring the bustling diversity of people who flew from all over the world and more than 60 countries to spend one year in a place that will shape and change their lives forever. As I received my diploma and became an INSEAD alumnus, I tried to think what is that one takeaway from this year?
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.
What is the difference between diagnosing a dog’s health issue and offering a strategic solution in an MBA class? How can a former veterinarian doctor leverage her previous medical skills and knowledge as strong foundations to thrive in business? Those questions may seem odd.
Leadership is both science and art. It is so intangible and abstract just like the air, yet such an incredibly critical force that holds ambitious endeavours together like gravity. Learnings about leadership are so embedded in the INSEAD experience that when I reflect back on my one-year MBA journey, I feel pleasantly surprised by the new leadership wisdom and capability I have developed.