Coming from a background in science and start-ups, many of my MBA programme options felt like a strong departure from the unfamiliar mind-expanding experiences, on-the-job learning, and team-building challenges of start-ups into a world of conservatism, risk management, and generally-accepted best practices—except for INSEAD.
Before I talk about my experience, I want to tell you about Ahmed (name changed). Ahmed graduated with a degree in hydraulic engineering from the UAE, before completing a traineeship with the Ministry of Agriculture in Gaza. Unsure about his career goals, he decided to open a supermarket with his brother, where he was the general manager in charge of inventory management, customer service and financial record keeping.
Having regarded my past few months at INSEAD as experimental grounds, the MBA’s 2-month break felt like an exciting new experimentation window. And with a “single” professional 4-year experience in management consulting, an internship seemed like the perfect opportunity to test new professional variables around sector and work setup.
Most Executive MBA (EMBA) participants are looking for some kind of career change, either during the programme or after graduation. However, individual professional development needs and goals tend to differ widely amongst participants, and the INSEAD Career Development Centre for Working Professionals (CDWP) is in place to support you in the process of self-assessment and discovery, as well as execution of your individual career plan.
I am still fairly new to Singapore having just passed my eleven-month anniversary since arriving from Washington, DC. I regularly advise students to build relationships in the industry where they want to work. Relationship building can happen in many ways and one way to learn more about an industry, give back to your professional community, and build strong bonds with like-minded individuals is to volunteer.
And just like that, P3 draws to an end, ushering the way to P4. P3 started with major changes in the student body: 17Ds were now gone, replaced by super enthusiastic 18Ds, and the 18J population churned as well - many having gone to Singapore and few coming this direction. People often ask me why I chose to stay in Fontainebleau for the whole program. My answer?
Having just concluded INSEAD Fintech Club's first company trek (we visited Aviva Digital Garage, Curve, iwoca, Techstars, TransferWise, and
Entering INSEAD as a 16J Partner, I viewed the coming year as an endless stream of potential paths, but one avenue I didn’t expect to go down was towards the start-up world. However, one can say that at INSEAD there are a growing number of Entrepreneur-spirited individuals. Personally, this journey started during the first few weeks when my B-schooler and I received an invitation to the INSEAD Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, hosted by the INSEAD Centre for Entrepreneurship. Why not, we said, lets have a go at this.
Israel is a remarkable, fascinating and controversial country, bursting with energy, innovation, attractions and interesting challenges. With (by far) the highest number of start-ups per capita of any country, and massive venture capital investments, Israel is one of the world's premier technology and entrepreneurship hubs and has been dubbed the “start-up nation”.
One of the first emails I received upon arriving on campus was for a weekend-long ‘start-up boot camp’. 7pm Friday night to 7pm Sunday night with strict instructions that there would be no free time for anything else over the 48 hours, but that you would walk away with the tools to equip you to begin the start-up journey as either an entrepreneur or an angel investor.