The professional world can easily be harsh. Having a strong purpose in the job you have makes you cope with it way easier and tackle challenges as they appear
Abdel Traore

Abdel Traore

Abdel Traore
Nationality: Ivorian Year of graduation: 2018 Current Role: Regional Lead (Power Generation and Delivery) at Deloitte Consulting

Do share your INSEAD EMBA experience!

The EMBA experience is very hard to describe. It’s a very excellent blend of good times on various campuses, but at the same time it was very intensive throughout. While in Fontainbleau, the Leadership Development Programme (LDP) initiation activity into the forest was very magical and effective. The diversity and quality of classmates overall were highly impressive. From the US to Japan, you’ve almost got someone from every key spot on the planet to interact with.

In the midst of leisure times such karaoke parties, we surely found time to cope with the intensity of the programme. Having attended the Europe section of the programme, I remember in particular our first stay in Singapore.

The fact that the LDP experience remains vivid even after graduation shows how unique this programme is, and it's very much efficient in supporting us throughout our professional and personal lives.

How was your career journey during the programme?

I was very fortunate to be admitted to INSEAD Europe section in 2016 and delayed my enrolment to the next intake in 2017 for professional reasons.

Way beyond France that I already know relatively well, the incredible 14 months took me to Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and San Francisco through core courses, Key Management Challenges (KMCs) and electives. The campuses are very different and specific in their own ways, yet all carry the same robust INSEAD mindset. The least I could say is that it was very much culturally diverse and a very effective way to have a deep immersion into global business environment.

What is your current role and how did you get there?

As a consultant at Deloitte, I’m currently the Head of Power Generation and Evacuation, implementing a US Federal programme across 22 countries in West and Central Africa. In my job search, I considered two approaches: active and passive search. Simply put, the active search is most common and implies looking for opportunities, submitting applications or going through executive search etc. The passive form is about identifying most relevant and dedicated platforms in line with our profile and careers needs and then ensure that a well-crafted CV is made available to recruiters.

So well beyond LinkedIn - which is fine - but general, industry-specific platforms work well indeed.

I‘ve been successful with the latter, having been contacted by the firm with very specific needs matching my profile. Last but not least, networking remains relevant in both approaches and should be used as such.

Any advice to people who are interested in the GEMBA programme?

  1. Have a purpose: The professional world can easily be harsh. Having a strong purpose in the job you have makes you cope with it way easier and tackle challenges as they appear. During the GEMBA, we met have several CEOs, including those from the Valley, who confirmed that the primary target should not be making money. Wake up every morning for something real you want to achieve to solve real issues.
  2. Failure: Fail small, fail quick but learn even faster: hard is normal, too easy is suspicious. Try something. The process is always under your control but the result is always an expectation. If you have a process that did not yield the expected result, then you can rigorously improve this process.
  3. Use networks effectively: At some point in your career, people will have no doubt about your qualification, your knowledge or expertise. The only question that will make a difference is “how cool/easy is it to work/collaborate with this guy”? Most of the time, this question is best answered by a third person knowing both the recruiter and the candidate. The best time to strengthen the network is when you don’t “need” it.