If you know me, you probably know that I sit at the Camembert every morning. Experiencing what it is like in the middle of the busiest paths of the Asia Campus (understandably, it is next to the caffeine hub), I get to encounter a plethora of individuals on a daily basis. Be it students or staff, I would always get someone stopping by to have a chat: either to find out about my day, or to talk about theirs. Either way, we both benefit from a mutual exchange of words or a smile.
“Humor doesn’t translate well in an international setting,” it has often been said. But with 12 brave volunteer comics, 60 innocent bystanders, and 30+ nationalities from INSEAD’s Class of July 2020 in attendance, the debut standup comedy night methodically debunked this myth – one chuckle at a time!
It’s funny how time passes. It feels as if I joined INSEAD in Singapore a lifetime ago, but I just looked at my calendar and it’s only been a little over a month. I’ve attended a bunch of parties, drank a few too many beers and gone on two international trips in the span of five weeks. INSEAD certainly does live up to its name of being an unforgettable year.
At INSEAD, we embrace every culture and provide opportunities for everyone to explain their backgrounds and perspectives. The renowned National Weeks are held during our MBA Experience, allowing our cohorts to discover each others' cultures. And to promote Chinese culture on campus, we had our Panda Week Campaign.
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.