Pre-MBA Coming from an isolated country, I was overjoyed to receive multiple b-school offers. I selected INSEAD because of the large alumni network, diversity of thoughts and culture, and positive feedback from a high school friend who had graduated from INSEAD.
The happiness I felt when I got the acceptance call from INSEAD is a feeling I will never forget. But, after a first wave of excitement, and when it finally sunk in that the INSEAD dream was actually going to become a reality, my next reaction was to look at my calendar. I was eager to start bonding with the other students from my cohort, but there was one challenge: classes would only start in six months!
I am sitting in front of the ocean in tropical weather, concluding my journey at INSEAD. It has been a truly life changing year.
If long run averages are anything to go by, it wouldn't be unreasonable to expect a Fontainebleau to Paris car ride to last 45 minutes. But the moment you throw a national public transport strike into the mix, the travel time increases to an astronomical 2.5 hours. To many a bystander, this would qualify as a high barrier to entry. Hence, if said bystanders chose to cozy up in bed with a warm mug of cocoa, rather than brave the vagaries of Paris’ traffic network, they would probably not be judged too harshly by society.
Fear of Missing Out - FOMO. Some of you might have heard about it, or even might have felt it before. It is somewhat of an invasive feeling of anxiety that others might be having more meaningful experiences. It tends to get people to become distracted from their inner desires to avoid the feeling of being different, or not part of a group or community. FOMO can happen in very simple ways.
When you hear “INSEAD”, “fashion” isn’t necessarily a word that comes to mind. After writing a blog post about my intention to switch to a job focused on luxury fashion, people asked, “So why didn’t you choose a Master’s programme specialising in that industry?” After all, the post-graduation placement in luxury from schools like IFM, SDA Bocconi, and HEC is incredibly impressive.
The final exam has just ended. People are streaming into the school bar, congratulating each other. Some even start hugging their friends and bidding teary farewells. A typical bunch of graduating MBA students, you say? Not quite. That was the scene played out last month when we finished Period 2, only four months into our ten-month MBA.
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.
P4 has been quite a different experience at INSEAD. Now that things are a bit calmer I can finally take a step back and see the bigger picture. Recruiting time. It's something that you can actually feel in the air.
Reminiscences from a bicycle trip through the forest of Fontainebleau