It has been three weeks into the start of my TIEMBA programme journey and here I am suffering from withdrawal symptoms following an intense 1.5 weeks of adrenaline-packed, intellectually stimulating flurry of activities, discussion and experience sharing. I still occasionally dream of class discussions and even competing again in the TechMark competition (where teams within the class compete with each other to design, produce and market products for global markets). Not sure if any of my classmates experienced the above.
“The idea that business has the power to change the world for the better is not only an inspiration to me as Dean, but also central to INSEAD’s DNA.” - Ilian Mihov, Dean of INSEAD
A Singaporean tax official, a Latvian urban planner and an American journalist pile into a car at 6am by the carousel in Fontainebleau. It’s not the beginning of a joke. It’s the start of a case competition.
Since my first blog was a bit serious, I wanted to keep my second blog a lighter read. Again, I promise to make this short but entertaining. Growing up as a 90's kid, I loved watching sitcoms. And until today, I remember a lot of the famous catchphrases. Some memorable ones include: how you doing?, suit-up!, have you met Ted? or Bazinga! Hearing them automatically triggers happy thoughts. Even across different cultures, as I found out on campus. For us INSEADers, even students and professors have our own most-used catchphrases.
It's been one month since INSEAD started and I am finally beginning to feel the heat. The first month was pretty chilled out - welcome week, welcome party, Dean's party, buddy dinner, section dinner, nationality dinner, broke dinner, fancy dinner, fancy clubbing, cheap clubbing, skipping dinner and straight to the drinks - time was just going by and people were going out for trips every weekend (not yours truly though - thanks finance recruitment).
Today is Sunday, February 3rd. It's the first work day in February in Abu Dhabi. The official first work day of our second half of the INSEAD MBA programme. The 40+ of us in Abu Dhabi just spent an entire eight hours in a Crack the Case session with David Ohrvall, and about 1/5 of the class was filled with GEMBA students. Because we are a much smaller class than on the other two campuses, David said he could give us one more session hence bring us to a next level of cracking case interviews.
They say, “Wherever you go, it becomes a part of you somehow”. And it couldn’t be truer for INSEAD, the business school for the world.
What a start! Period 1: the balancing act! Whooiii what a first period it has been! Even though I have been at other learning institutions, this is the first time I feel as if my horizons have truly been opened. There are different clubs for almost everything, recruiting events, and industry introductions, on a weekly basis. But my peers are the true horizon openers, which is exactly why I applied to INSEAD in the first place. So many things are happening, everyone talks about FOMO in reference to trips and parties, but my FOMO is not getting to know my peers…
Partying on a Friday night is always a good idea. You have fun, decompress, some good music and drinks. Meeting new people is always exciting. Then you wake up the next day with a headache and you swear to watch your drinking habits next time. You decide that one party per week is just enough for you but then it happens again.. FOMO!
‘Why would you want to leave the stability of your well-paying job, the proximity to your family and the comfort of the city where you’ve lived for the past few years to do an MBA in France?’ - the classic, pervasive pull of the ‘status quo bias’ often made me re-assess my decision to do an MBA. A year later, I’ve started my MBA at INSEAD and it feels fabulous to break out of the rut and dive into a new challenge. Here I’ve addressed a few relatable biases that prospective MBA candidates might be prone to - as I was, during my application process: