INSEAD has taught me to understand businesses from various angles, and that is a great skill to have to advance my career.
Gabriel Pozzer Kuhleis
What made you decide to do an MBA?
After seven years of working in the industrial sector, I felt I had plateaued and I was ready for another challenge. My decision was to move to a different industry where I would need to use different skills. I knew it wouldn't be an easy change and that I would need proper training. Consequently going through a year of learning and preparation, and most importantly, reflection, seemed to be essential for this shift to happen.
And why INSEAD?
INSEAD was my top and only choice for several reasons. Firstly, its international perspective would allow me to choose my next destination. Secondly, the length of the programme is just perfect as it would not keep me away from the market for too long and therefore, I could turn the experience into a fast return on investment.
What was your biggest fear prior to joining the programme?
My biggest fear before joining INSEAD was that I would not belong and that everyone would be soloists with completely different interests and priorities from me. This preconception turned out to be completely false. I soon learnt that everyone belongs. INSEAD is made up of real people. It is up to you to reach out to your classmates and find shared interests. And if you make an effort, you will have friends in no time.
What are your thoughts on the curriculum and class experiences?
The curriculum was well balanced. In the first two terms, I learnt the basics: finance, economy, accounting, and so on. After that, I was ready to choose any elective I wanted and prepared to make the best of them. There were more than 70 different electives spanning various fields so that I could tailor INSEAD to my needs and interests.
The class experience was also some of the best I have had. Rubbing shoulders with 70 brilliant people in the same room is quite an experience! I heard comments that changed my point-of-view on a daily basis.
How has INSEAD helped you in your career so far?
INSEAD has opened doors that I would never have had access to before, from companies in different industries to well-positioned alumni that are ready to have a conversation and help. Furthermore, INSEAD has taught me to understand businesses from various angles, and that is a great skill to have to advance my career.
What is one important lesson that you have learned at INSEAD?
It is hard to pin only one lesson out of so many, but one of the one lessons I learnt and which I wish I had learned earlier is to ask for help. Being humble enough to admit you can't do it alone will bring you closer to your goal faster.
If you could relive one moment at INSEAD, which one would it be?
I would like to relive the first event, which was the reception. This was when I spent the night meeting people from impressive backgrounds, realising that I was about to start a life-changing journey and feeling absolutely thrilled to be there.
What advice would you give potential prospects who are interested in the INSEAD MBA?
A piece of practical advice is to start researching INSEAD a year or so before joining. In addition, make sure to get your finances, your body and your mind ready. Decide where you want to be each period, look into the subjects, the electives, and connect with alumni to gain insight so you can make informed decisions.