Choosing to do the INSEAD MBA was the best choice for me and for my career.
Tell us about yourself!
I’m originally from Sydney, although for the two years prior to INSEAD I was working as an investment banking associate in London. My path into investment banking was convoluted; I completed a combined undergraduate degree in business and arts, majoring in finance, economics, art history and political economy.
While completing this lengthy degree, I worked as the editor of an action sports magazine. This exciting job allowed me to travel extensively and get involved in several exciting projects. I even produced a documentary film about a snowboarding trip to Afghanistan.
Why made you decide to do an MBA and why INSEAD?
I decided to complete an MBA to diversify my skillset and prepare myself for the remainder of my career. I chose the INSEAD MBA for three reasons: it’s a top-ranked programme, it has an incredible global alumni network and the one year curriculum offers a high intensity environment that forces you to take every opportunity to learn, have fun and grow.
Finally, I am planning to complete my career in Asia and Australia, and INSEAD is unrivalled for reputation and relevance in this region.
What are your thoughts on our faculty and class experiences?
The learning process at INSEAD is focused on practical applications of the theory, rather than learning the theory in isolation. The faculty facilitate this by encouraging lots of dialogue in the classroom. We get to learn from the faculty, many of whom are remarkably knowledgeable and entertaining, and we also get to learn from the diverse experience of the students in the room.
The variety of elective subjects also means that, regardless of your background, there are always opportunities to learn.
Share with us your experiences in INSEAD's student clubs.
I am involved in a number of clubs. Most notably I am the Co-President of IPEC – INSEAD’s private equity club. The club culture at INSEAD is very positive. The clubs are student run and designed to bring together people with common interests. The activities range from panel discussions and guest speakers, to “treks” (a holiday where you visit a few companies), to good old-fashioned parties. As the leadership team for IPEC, we try to bring the club together with an event at least once each fortnight. One week could be a Leverage Buyout modelling workshop, the next week could be drinks with a private equity firm.
How has the Career Development Centre (CDC) helped you?
The Career Development Centre is an amazing resource for INSEAD students. Even before I arrived at INSEAD, the CDC worked with me to deduce which careers would fit my skills, motivations and ambitions. On campus, the CDC provided me with ample resources to explore future career options. For example, they provide career coaches for each student; I meet mine regularly to discuss my thoughts about different careers. The CDC also brings all the top employers on campus to present to the students and network, which takes out some of the hassle of recruitment.
Any advice to potential prospects who are considering the INSEAD MBA?
To be honest, the decision to come to INSEAD was difficult for me. Taking a year off work is a big commitment and I wasn’t sure if I was making the best choice for my career. However, now I can say that choosing to do the INSEAD MBA was the best choice for me and for my career. So if you’re weighing up this same decision, my advice is to take the plunge. You won’t regret it.
The second thing that I would say to anyone lucky enough to be admitted, is that the year is non-stop. I’m not surprised that many people reflect on their year at INSEAD as the best year of their lives. It’s a cocktail of learning, making friends, partying, meeting companies, travelling and growing as a person. It’s great fun, it’s empowering, and the time passes too fast. My advice: dive in head first.