The flexibility of the programme to tailor learning outcomes that address actual business challenges, under the guidance of renowned, subject-matter experts was a formidable tool.
Apeksha Gupta

Apeksha Gupta

Nationality/Passport: Indian Year of graduation: 2024 Current Role: CEO at John Jacobs Eyewear

Fun fact about yourself?

I designed for and styled an entire elite cricket League team in 2016 - I even wrote the press release myself.
What led you to decide to pursue an EMBA, and why did you choose INSEAD in particular?

I had originally enrolled for the full-time MBA at INSEAD. In my last week at work, I was offered the opportunity to take over the brand as CEO. The board at the company had offered me the option to start my role pre-MBA and sponsor my place at the school. INSEAD had been my dream school, and its reputation with the board was so strong that the school's impact on my life had begun even before I set foot on campus.

Given the fast pace of the organisation’s growth and the key role I had played as founding member, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to lead the business as CEO was not one to pass. I had the opportunity to build a global brand for the customer of the future, and to be at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, cultural trends, and ground-breaking consumer influencing practices. Yet, I very much wanted to be an INSEADer, albeit via a different MBA.

The GEMBA was the ideal programme and I requested the admissions board to consider my application for it.

The flexibility of the programme to tailor learning outcomes that address actual business challenges, under the guidance of renowned, subject-matter experts was a formidable tool.

My peers would be seasoned leaders, with whom I hoped to build strong ties as collaborators, innovators and colleagues. In my consideration also was the international profile and outstanding reputation of the INSEAD brand that would help bring me credibility with the board as a young leader. 
Could you describe your experience so far? The classes, the curriculum, your fellow participants, the professors?

I find the EMBA to be an innovative programme, with a demanding curriculum designed to aid leaders in modern businesses. I appreciate that the academic rigour of the programme does not supersede the professional application and relevance of what we learn in the classroom.

The school has a strong emphasis on fostering entrepreneurship and truly internalises the motto "Business as a Force for Good" with its emphasis on sustainability and societal impact in its courses.

The quality of the class is outstanding. The famous INSEAD diversity is on full display with an international cohort and with 36% women candidates.

I am grateful for the opportunity to create strong relationships with a global community of talented and driven individuals, who challenge my perspective and push me to be a better professional. 

Has the EMBA helped you in your career so far?  

As a specialist who has had to rapidly transition to a generalist role in the past year, the core courses at the GEMBA have helped fill the gaps in my knowledge repertoire.

As someone building a global consumer brand, it was incredible to study subjects that cover the impact of biases in consumer purchasing decisions, or how to unlock the next big growth market and product categories for my business via case studies in class.

I even refreshed the strategy document of my brand at work after the classes in the second module.
Could you tell us more about the Leadership Development Programme experience?

The design of the LDP and the excellent choice of facilitators have made me hit 'reset' and evaluate my priorities and what type of leader I aspire to be.

Being grouped with four other individuals enabled me to be vulnerable and receptive, something that is nearly impossible in a formal setting lacking the safe space that INSEAD provided. It is the part of the programme I am most looking forward to and hope for it be a mirror to the work I will be putting into myself.  
What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in pursuing an INSEAD Masters programme?

To prepare all facets of your personal and professional life in advance for the fast-paced period to come. If you are in a team leading role, then delegating and building effective communication will be critical to allowing yourself to be fully present in class during the GEMBA, instead of fretting over work while at school.

It is of course challenging for families while away. However, I would imagine this to be a worthy endeavour for anyone, regardless of personal and professional circumstances and one of the best investments in their personal growth. The cohort is highly supportive and empathetic, and time really does fly by.