Learn to embrace uncertainty and to navigate through it successfully to take advantage of the opportunities opening up in front of you.
Alexandra Magdei

Alexandra Magdei

Nationality/Passport: Moldovan Year of graduation: 2022 Current Role: MIM Student

Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you decided to embark upon the INSEAD MIM programme?

Born and raised in Moldova; educated in France, Singapore and the UK. I come from a family of doctors - my grandparents and parents have studied medicine and worked in healthcare. I consider myself a global citizen and I fluently speak four languages: Russian, Romanian, English and French.

A lifelong learner, I am passionate about education and women empowerment. I’m one of the co-founders of the R.I.S.E initiative - Refugee Integration Into Society and Education - one of the top six projects that have won Christian Dior & UNESCO’s support.

I decided to embark upon the INSEAD MIM programme because I felt unprepared to enter the job market at that point of time and needed to equip myself with the necessary knowledge and skills to land a successful career.

The INSEAD MIM encompasses all the dimensions that are sought by international employers - a rigorous academic curriculum, hands-on practical knowledge, international exposure and the experience of collaborating within diverse teams.

Did you consider other higher education options?

As a risk-averse person, I diversified my options and applied to four top Master in Management/Strategy programmes. I vividly remember attending the INSEAD MIM Open Day in February 2020. After that day, I knew the INSEAD MIM was my top choice. I didn’t hesitate for one second when I received my admission. In fact, I was so elated that I turned down my interviews with other schools.

It’s been a few months since you started, in fact, you’ve begun the second ‘leg’ of the journey in Singapore. How does it feel?

I vividly remember my first time in Singapore, back in 2017, when I did a four-month exchange at ESSEC Business School. Ironically, ESSEC APAC’s campus is very close to INSEAD and I remember passing by the INSEAD campus every day on my way to the MRT.

I recall the (INSEAD) campus seemed imposing and the people exiting it - very serious and respectable. I asked myself how would it feel to be in their shoes, studying at the top business school of the world. The 2017 Alexandra would have never believed that five years later she would be walking the same path those people did.

In just five years, a pipe dream has become reality! It feels surreal to be back to Singapore making history as the second INSEAD MIM cohort on this fascinating campus.

Anything in particular you are surprised about regarding the curriculum, the professors, the quality of the teaching, your classmates?

Although I have studied business in the past, I am surprised at how many new facets and dimensions I have discovered by following the MIM curriculum.

I think this is mainly explained by the top-notch professors that deliver the classes in a very interactive and innovative way.

I am also amazed about the way the curriculum has been built: not only does it teach us the fundamentals, but also it helps us “connect the dots” and analyse businesses holistically. The world-class faculty never ceases to impress me. Being taught by thought leaders and highly reputable academic personas is an experience I will cherish for the rest of my life. 

My classmates are the kindest, most ambitious and humble people I have ever met. Being surrounded by such individuals is truly enriching for personal development. I am amazed by the diversity of thought, perspectives and beliefs that they bring in. I have never encountered so much diversity and I have learned to embrace it as one of the strongest forces for good.  

If you had to do it all over again, would you?

Without any hesitation - YES!

Lastly, can you share any tips or advice for anybody who would be interested in pursuing a MIM in the future?

  • Dare to be different. Don’t try ‘ticking the boxes’ - INSEAD is one of those schools which embraces diversity of thought and experiences. Understand what makes you unique, and focus on conveying these traits to the admissions committee. 
  • Be patient. Just because you’re doing a top programme it doesn’t mean that you will get everything delivered on a silver platter. You have to be mentally prepared for a marathon, not a sprint. The job application process can be tedious, frustrating and disappointing, but it is part of the journey, and everyone has to go through it. 
  • Be adaptable and open-minded. While having a general view of what you want to do is good, don’t be too fixed on a certain geography/company/position. Learn to embrace uncertainty and to navigate through it successfully to take advantage of the opportunities opening up in front of you.

Final words of wisdom?

“The start of all achievement is desire.” - Napoleon Hill