When I walked off the plane five months ago in Singapore and headed straight for our launch day at INSEAD, I had no idea what was in store for me. I had been living in South Africa working as a Product Manager for Tencent.
A week after graduation, I still don’t feel like leaving campus. I’m literally writing this post in a breakout room reminiscing the past few days. Friends, academics, recruitment, trips, parties and so on. Looking back, one of the best decisions I made was about where to start my MBA journey.
A Bellifontain is an inhabitant of Fontainebleau, the small French town where INSEAD is located, and part of the MBA experience is about adjusting to life here – not exactly French life, but Bellifontain life, which is a very particular subset of the French culture. As the seasons change, let’s say you are an authentic Bellifontain when: You complain that there is nothing to do in Fontainebleau, but your schedule is always full.
I couldn’t have asked for a better P4/5 break!
Reminiscences from a bicycle trip through the forest of Fontainebleau
I’m no stranger to live music nights. When I lived in Hong Kong (where I grew up and also worked before INSEAD), I used to volunteer for Sofar Sounds Hong Kong, a global movement based on secret gigs built to promote live music in intimate settings.
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.
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: