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
With the end of the valuation exam, we approached the end of P1. I am now taking a break in Prague, thoughtfully, calmly, and hopefully. Overall, P1 life was fast and intensive, and I have three specific reflections: Firstly, academic intelligence. Although INSEAD is known as a school where students like to have fun, they demonstrate high levels of academic intelligence thanks to the standards and requirements of the courses.
After a two-month summer break, I was so happy to restart the MBA and reunite with my INSEAD family once again. For the fourth period of the programme (which we call P4), I went on a campus exchange to Fontainebleau. It was nice to be in Europe, and to experience some true French ways of living - especially in the cozy small town of Fonty.
At the end of August, I had the opportunity to attend an elective in Silicon Valley, as part of my MBA. INSEAD has been a wonderful opportunity to step outside of my comfort zone and explore different career paths, and I signed up for the Building Business in Silicon Valley (BBSV) trek to do just that: explore the epicentre of tech startups, and what makes it so unique and successful.
It was two weeks into the 10-month INSEAD MBA programme. Six strangers were dining pasta on a weekday. What we didn't know however, is that this was an evening that would change our lives forever.
It is incredible how much has happened this year. As a recent grad and someone who is joining the labour force again, I wanted to share some reflections while answering the most popular question: why did I decide to do an MBA? Let’s summarise it into three reasons: