INSEAD is an extraordinary place where you will find amazing people from different backgrounds, cultures, and ways of thinking.
Cesar Aramayo

Cesar Aramayo

Nationality/Passport: Peruvian Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Trade Specialist at Reckitt Benckiser

Could you share something unexpected about you? 

Even though my career was always very oriented towards hard skills (engineering background, GMAT math teacher, worked in pricing, business analysis, etc.), I always try to do and learn things out of my comfort zone. Taking acting classes was one of those things. I also organised and created a startup related to education, a very challenging and rewarding task where I coordinated with many people.

Tell us a little about yourself, your personal and professional journey so far?

I studied industrial engineering in Peru. I was very sure at that time that I wanted to work in a factory, and I even started my career working in a big paper factory in Peru.

But after a few months, I realised that it was not what I wanted, so I resigned and moved on to another position within Arca Continental (bottler of Coca Cola in Peru). There I discovered my passion for marketing, and had the opportunity to work in many marketing positions, such as revenue growth, market intelligence, and brand management. After that, I decided to change my job and started to work at Reckitt Benckiser as a trade specialist for the Peru-Ecuador-Bolivia region.

At a personal level, my partner and I have gotten married this July 2022 (three weeks before the start of the programme). I can also mention that I have a 15-year old chihuahua (very spoiled) and that I love sports (mainly football but tennis and basketball as well).

Can you share a little about why you decided to pursue the MBA, and in particular, the INSEAD MBA? 

After graduating from university, and in parallel with my job, I started teaching the GMAT in an academy, and I met a lot of people who were starting to pursue their dream of doing an MBA. At that time I knew very little about what an MBA was but I started researching and asking more and more about it.

After a while, it was very clear for me that I wanted to pursue the degree once I accumulated more experience. After seven years I started my preparations. I chose INSEAD because I knew that I wanted a very international experience in Europe at one of the best MBA schools in the world and after talking with some Peruvian alumni who told me that they had the best experience of their lives, I decided to apply.

What are your thoughts about the class experience, professors, the curriculum so far?

The academic experience so far is very interesting. We have different kinds of courses, and classes are usually case-based, which enables us to get more engaged in the topics.

The curriculum is very diverse, from courses in finance and accounting to organisational behaviour, allowing everyone to show their experience in particular topics. Now we are applying for electives, some of which include trips to different parts of the world like Israel or South Africa.

What is the student life like at INSEAD?

Student life is super intense, there is so much to do, and we must prioritise and find a balance according to our particular preferences and goals. There are many different options, between going beyond in academics, getting involved in various professional and non-professional clubs (in my case, I'm part of the TMT Club, Consulting Club, Latin American Club, and Football Club), doing sports, taking part in different competitions along the year, and also sightseeing to other cities near France or Singapore.

And then of course there are the classes and the recruiting process, which is the most critical part of the MBA, starting from discussing career topics, CV, and goals with our career coaches, counsellors or alumni.

Are you looking forward to anything in particular during your time on the programme? 

I look forward to participating in many extracurricular activities that INSEAD offers, such as clubs, case competitions, and different events, particularly those related to tech or consulting. Also, I am looking forward to engaging and learning with people from all around the world.

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

The application process was complex and rigorous, including reflections about past experiences, values, interests, etc. So you have to dedicate a considerable amount of time to check all the main points in your career path and your (initial) post-MBA goals in the short, middle, and long term.

Regarding financing, there are many options to secure your place at INSEAD. In my case, I took a loan with one of the companies that offer loans to MBA students. The process was very straightforward compared to regular companies (such as banks). Finally, about the visa process, I did not have any issues at all. But I strongly recommend relying on your classmates from your country (or even alumni).

If you could share an admissions or application tip to someone who is considering the programme, what would you say?

Dedicate time to the entire process and be genuine. Also, be clear about why you are applying to INSEAD (not only ranking positions, for example). Finally, don’t forget to consider all your international experiences and other relevant points that could boost your application.

Parting words of wisdom?

INSEAD is an extraordinary place where you will find amazing people from different backgrounds, cultures, and ways of thinking.

So it could be expected to feel a bit overwhelmed at the beginning, but feel free to show the others what you have to offer and ask for help if you need it.

Also, don't forget your main goals during INSEAD and your plan to achieve them because the INSEAD experience is unique for everyone.