The programme may have just started but my head is already brimming with memorable moments.
Tell me a fun fact about yourself!
I am a huge ABBA Fan and I know by heart all the lyrics to their discography! I have watched Mamma Mia 1 & 2 at least 20 times.
So Alison, what were you doing before you joined INSEAD?
I was born and raised in Mauritius. At the age of 18, I went abroad to pursue higher studies. As such, in 2017, I joined S P Jain School of Global Management, an Australian Business School, on a full scholarship for their 4-Year Bachelor of Business Administration (Finance Specialisation).
I spent my first year in Singapore, second year in Dubai (UAE), went on exchange to York University, Toronto, during my third year and I spent my final year in Sydney where I graduated in May 2020. My initial plan was to dive straight into a Masters after my Bachelors but COVID decided otherwise.
As I did not want to enroll in a Masters through Zoom, I took a gap year. Apart from spending quality time with my dear family, I made good use of the gap year to work on myself and try to find my passion and purpose in life.
And can you tell us why you decided to apply for the MIM? What are your goals post-MIM?
I applied for the MIM in the first place as I personally believed that a Master’s degree would better assist me in kick-starting my career and in scoring my dream job in a highly competitive job market.
To my great delight, the MIM did not require much work experience and hence it was a perfect fit for me. Through my undergrad, I experienced the concept of ‘Studying while travelling’ and I really loved it. As such I was looking for a business school which had a similar offering. Therefore, the INSEAD MIM which offers the two fully integrated campuses in France and Singapore and various field trips to the UAE, China or USA, topped my list.
INSEAD’s consistent top-ranking position amongst business schools also motivated me as I want to be part of the elite, la crème de la crème. In addition, the programme provides the opportunity to develop valuable leadership and managerial skills through the various practicals and workshops delivered throughout the course. Lastly, I also wanted to gain access to INSEAD's 62,000 alumni so as to enlarge my network of contacts and learn from their insights and experise in different areas.
I am still on the fence when it comes to my post-MIM goals. I am yet undecided between pursuing a career solely in consulting or sticking to my guns which is to pursue a career in Finance, or combining both.
What have your first few weeks been like? Memorable moments so far? First impressions, in one sentence?
The launch week, which spanned over two weeks, was great. On top of the usual introduction speeches, we had a treasure hunt, an insightful LEAD seminar, a three-day business simulation and a fun outdoor activity. We ended the launch week on a high note with an exquisite closing dinner at Le Cercle.
The first weeks of P1 were a bit overwhelming as with my gap year, I had lost the habit of sitting through three consecutive lectures in a day. It was hard to remain focused through all three lectures. Moreover, the workload was pretty impressive with numerous cases and assignments due overnight.
The programme may have just started but my head is already brimming with memorable moments; from the amazing birthday parties, the group trips to Paris to the wild Karaoke Nights. One memorable moment is that during the outdoor activities day I lost my brand new shoe while ziplining but most importantly, my team and I won the ‘ski race’ by a landslide, thanks to my amazing teammates.
First Impression: The INSEAD experience is life-changing, enriching, fun but really intense.
I was really surprised by how nice and warm my fellow classmates are. Since I am the only Mauritian in the MIM'22 cohort, at first I thought that it would be tough to adapt and integrate with my classmates. However, they welcomed me with open arms.
What are you most looking forward to during the programme?
I am looking forward to making the most of this unique experience. Such opportunities, especially when you come from a tiny island like mine, are very rare. I am planning to make the most of every day I spend at INSEAD - making new friends, embracing new cultures, learning from INSEAD’s top-notch faculty, and growing from the various real-world exposures.
Any tips for anyone who might be interested in pursuing a MIM in the future?
Try to work on your application as soon as possible. I was a R1 admit, my application deadline was in September but I started planning my course of action in May. Plan enough time to work on your GMAT/GRE score and try to balance quant and verbal scores. Plan sufficient time to work on your application essays, which I believe are the key to admission. I took a month to finetune my essays.
Be yourself, do not overthink and focus on your strengths and don’t forget to elaborate on these using examples.
Also, add strong rcommendation letters from people who know you very well. I included four letters: one from the Dean of my undergraduate school, one from a project mentor and two from professors with whom I had had several classes with.
Parting words of wisdom?
‘No matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.’- Lupita Nyong’o