INSEAD values diverse profiles and there is no one correct fit so just be yourself and talk about what makes you and your journey unique.
Arian Bagheri

Arian Bagheri

Nationality/Passport: Australian, Iranian Year of graduation: 2024 Current Role: MIM Student

Could you share something unexpected about you?  

I used to play chess professionally and even now have a rating of over 2500 on which surprises a lot of people!

Tell us about yourself, and how you go to where you are today both on a professional and personal level?

I was born in Tehran, Iran. From a very young age, I loved participating in extracurricular activities, from playing the flute, guitar, and piano to pottery and even playing chess professionally. After moving to Perth, Western Australia, I started participating in charities giving back to children in third world countries. After getting accepted to study a Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Sydney (USYD), I decided to take a risk and move away from Perth and studied at USYD.

I thoroughly enjoyed both legal and business studies, however, I decided that in the long term I would prefer to stay in the business world. To confirm my decision, I took internships in corporate finance and legal. 

What motivated you to choose the INSEAD MIM, and how do you envision it aligning with your future goals, even at this early stage?

Moving to Australia at a young age and learning about so many different cultures as well as new languages was an amazing time for me. It motivated me to want to pursue an international career. In addition, I have always dreamt of being an entrepreneur.

Putting together entrepreneurship and an international career, INSEAD was my obvious choice.

I would love to have my own Private Equity (PE) firm in the long term. To that extent, I believe that INSEAD's strong alumni can help me start my career in PE and later on find the correct partners and investors.

What were your impressions of campus life so far and how did you navigate accommodation, and sorting out all the admin? Any tips for incoming students?

Navigating accommodation has been super easy. INSEAD's "Life in Fontainebleau" guide document was super helpful. Everyone in the cohort and all the staff have been very nice and wholesome as well. My biggest tips for incoming students would be to read the guide document and not worry! You will settle in a lot easier than you expect.

Could you share a little about your application process, securing financing, and making your way to Fontainebleau?

The hardest part for me and I believe most other applicants is the test preparation, be it for the GRE or GMAT. I personally went for the GRE and took about three weeks of maths revision to prepare for the test.

My advantage was that I already spoke English so there was little to no prep required for the verbal section for me. INSEAD's application for the rest is quite straightforward without requiring extensively long essays which is very convenient. One word of advice would be to really be yourself in the essays and don't try to give the "correct answer".

INSEAD values diverse profiles and there is no one correct fit so just be yourself and talk about what makes you and your journey unique.

I was very fortunate to receive a scholarship from INSEAD and there was no separate application required for it as INSEAD automatically considers you for scholarships.

In terms of making my way to Fonty, as an Australian citizen the visa application process was pretty straightforward forward but the 20+ hour flight definitely wasn't the most comfortable so if you are travelling from somewhere further, make sure to account for the jet lag and arrive a few days early.

In your first few weeks, what aspects of the INSEAD MIM have stood out to you as unique or particularly appealing?

The biggest aspect would be how student-driven the classes are as the professors give us many opportunities to express our opinions; in fact, we are expected to do so. Secondly, the focus on individualised career counselling and one-on-one time with your coach has been very useful.

Aside from your academic pursuits, what extracurricular interests or activities are you exploring at INSEAD, and how do you see them enhancing your overall MIM experience?

I have recently found out about Search Funds by joining the club at INSEAD. The opportunity to become an entrepreneur right after graduation is very exciting. As I learn more about this, It might be something I decide to take up after graduation which could be life-changing.

Any parting words of wisdom, and are you willing to be contacted for more information by prospective students?

Of course! Reach out to me if you have any questions about anything and I would be more than happy to help. My biggest advice would be to be more willing to take risks and be vulnerable. Good things can come your way if you let them!