The programme's rigorous curriculum, case studies, and experiential learning opportunities will equip me with the tools to develop and launch innovative business ideas
Bala Abba

Bala Abba

Bala Abba MBA23D
Nationality/Passport: Nigerian Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Senior Sales Executive, A.P. Moller - Maersk

Could you share a fun fact about yourself? What’s something unexpected about you?

Something fun and unexpected about me is that I enjoy using virtual DJ to mix Afrobeat music. While at my former workplace, I also anchored a radio programme called 'Virtual TGIF,' which became quite popular among my colleagues. It was a fun and relaxed way for us to end the work week, and sometimes we even shared important information in a creative and engaging way.

Mixing music and hosting radio shows may differ from what you would expect from me at first, but I enjoy it and find it a great way to unwind and have some fun.

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?

I decided to pursue an MBA to challenge myself, get out of my comfort zone, and lay the foundation for my long-term goal of becoming an entrepreneur. After working in the corporate world for several years, I realised that there were gaps in my knowledge and skills that an MBA could help fill.

Furthermore, an MBA from a prestigious institution like INSEAD would provide me with a strong community of like-minded individuals and a diverse network of professionals from different industries and countries.

The INSEAD MBA is an opportunity to gain valuable insights, knowledge, and practical skills that will help me become a successful entrepreneur.

The programme's rigorous curriculum, case studies, and experiential learning opportunities will equip me with the tools to develop and launch innovative business ideas.

Pursuing an MBA at INSEAD is the perfect next step in my career, and I am excited to be part of such a dynamic and challenging programme.

What are your thoughts about the academic experience – what are your favourite subjects and why? What makes the classroom experience special at INSEAD?

Introduction to Strategy, taught by Professor Ithai Stern, has been my favourite course at INSEAD so far. The class is highly interactive, where we analyse various business cases and discuss their strategies. I found it fascinating how we were able to develop a new perspective on businesses and make strategic decisions. 

What I loved most about the class was that the discussions were always open-ended, which allowed for creative thinking and diverse viewpoints. One of the most memorable cases required us to use VR to visit a company and learn about their struggles, which we used to develop strategic options - it was a truly unique and exciting experience.

Could you share any tips for the admission process and financing?

Regarding the admission process, my first tip is to be genuine about who you are and your aspirations. The essays are an opportunity to demonstrate how your past and present have made you who you are and how the INSEAD MBA is the right fit for you going into the future.

Remember to highlight your unique experiences, skills, and perspectives and show how they align with your career goals. Remember that the admission committee is looking for a diverse cohort, so embrace your individuality and be authentic in your application.

Bala Abba, INSEAD MBA'23D

As for financing, I understand how daunting it can be when you first see the tuition fees. However, my advice is not to let finance deter you from pursuing your dream of an MBA.

I was in a similar situation and felt overwhelmed but I didn't give up. I demonstrated my commitment to the programme and my situation to INSEAD, and they were supportive in providing options that included scholarships and securing finance from support institutions.

Remember that many financial aid options are available, so don't be afraid to explore them and ask for help.

In conclusion, my top tips for the INSEAD admission process and financing are to be genuine and authentic in your application, showcase your unique experiences and perspectives, and not let finance be a barrier to pursuing your dream of an MBA. You can overcome any obstacle and achieve your goals with perseverance and determination.

What are your plans post-MBA and are there insights you could share about career development and job search during the MBA?

The INSEAD MBA has equipped me with the skills and knowledge to achieve my post-MBA goal of transitioning into strategy and operations. The career development resources available to me have been invaluable, including my leadership and career coach and interactions with employer engagement teams. I am grateful for their guidance in helping me create a personalised career plan that aligns with my interests and strengths.

Initially, I was unsure of what I wanted to do after completing the programme, but through continuous engagement with my coaches and the engagement team, I could narrow down my choices based on my experiences and potential impact.

The on-campus recruitment events have also allowed me to network with firms that visit INSEAD, which has been a highlight of the programme.

Overall, the INSEAD MBA has provided me with the education and skills needed to achieve my career goals and access to invaluable career development resources and networking opportunities.