The first two months at INSEAD fulfilled all my expectations. It all looks so normal now for everybody to be here, but when you remember all the efforts you had to make before coming here to get admitted, it all pays off. Each person has a different unique, interesting and inspiring story… I love to hear each and every one of them! Fontainebleau
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.
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.
Here in Fontainebleau, there is a crossing in front of the INSEAD campus. Every day, it is easy to spot several INSEADers waiting for the streetlight to turn green, ready to rush into school. People are often in a hurry and late for class, and often try to gain a bunch of seconds by crossing on the red light, to the delight of the local drivers.
Caveat: Before I continue on this sharing, I would like to highlight that many of the key takeaways posted in this blog are literally taken from the assignment that I have submitted post-module, least I get accused of plagiarising my own work. :)
The environment at INSEAD is more collaborative than competitive.
Do you really learn anything in an MBA? One of my primary motivations for pursuing an MBA was to fill in gaps in my economics background, specifically my limited knowledge of finance and accounting. As I researched MBA programmes and MBA culture over the past few years, however, I grew a bit sceptical of how much actual learning would occur, relative to the priorities of networking and recruiting.
I am a minority at INSEAD. Coming in, I had never taken a business or quantitative degree – ever! Even though I had already braced myself for a challenge when I decided to apply, I still found myself initially overwhelmed in the first couple of weeks of classes. I was sitting in finance class with CFA-certified colleagues and computing regression models with engineers!
When I came to INSEAD, I had a notion that given the short time span of 10 months and the pace of things here, it would be almost impossible to establish any kind of bonds or friendships here. Four months and two periods later, I am so happy with the fact that how terribly wrong I was.
Before starting your INSEAD journey, everybody is very excited and curious about an awful lot of things. One of these are the study groups: a group of five to six people that will work together during all the courses of P1 and P2. Who will I be grouped with? Where are they from? How much smarter are they than me? How many consultants are in the group? After completing P2, I can share some insights about the reality of study groups and tips on how to make the most of the experience. Let’s focus first on some truths and myths…