A few years ago, I read the book "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" and I felt it changed my life. I suddenly had it all figured out. I knew exactly where I want to be ten years from now and exactly how I am going to get there. We all want to be happy, don't we? For me the equation was simple – follow the plan in the book = get rich = be happy.
A few days ago, one of my friends from Paris called me frantically out of the blue. She and her boyfriend had been in a successful long-distance relationship for several years, and now he was finally moving to France! He has been accepted at INSEAD.
When I received the news that my husband had been selected for the INSEAD MBA, I was obviously incredibly proud and happy for him. However, this would mean a complete turnaround in our happily married live, given that we would need to move to the other side of the world. This also meant that I would not only be away from my family and friends, but also that this might require that I would put my career on stand-by. Many times, I wondered if I should go? Will this experience also enrich me personally and professionally? Should I put my career on a stand-by?
I still remember receiving my acceptance phone call from INSEAD (Class of 19J). It felt like a large dose of dopamine being released in my brain. I murmured “thank you” a lot while stumbling over a chair trying to get out of the meeting I was in.
It’s been almost a year since you last heard from me. You can bet that a lot has changed: the cohort I started with, '18J, has graduated; I’m the mother of an 8-month old boy, I’m doing an internship in Beijing this summer, and I’m about to move to Singapore for P4 with the '18Ds. Many students and prospective applicants have reached out to me about my experience being pregnant and being a mother at INSEAD, so here I will summarise a few thoughts on this topic: Being Pregnant
Being in a relationship with an MBA student (or B-schooler) is like one of those things when people say, “You have nothing to worry about,” but what they actually mean is, “Nothing can prepare you for this.” So simply the ‘smile and wave’ approach seems an easier course of action for many. And it’s no wonder.
Dear 26-year-old Mona, First thing first, on day one of Orientation week at INSEAD, chill out. No one's going to bite you. Everyone is friendlier than they seem on that first day. Your B-schooler’s classmates, MBA partners, professors, visiting professionals and keynote speakers, are all looking for the same thing as you are: authentic connections. That cockiness is a front. That’s the big secret everyone will realize soon enough. So have the courage to be yourself, and don’t worry about the rest.