My experiences have made me understand how diversity enriches one’s development.
Gabriela Garcia Velloso
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?
Despite being only 1.65m tall I played basketball for more than 10 years at an amateur level.
So why did you choose INSEAD, and why the INSEAD MBA in particular?
After more than three years of professional experience, I considered a top MBA to be the next natural step in my career.
INSEAD was the only school I applied to. I knew it was the place for anyone seeking to immerse in a cultural exchange. Additionally, one-year programme fit better with my preferences.
INSEAD is one of the most culturally and professionally diverse MBA programmes in the world. How do you see these global perspectives enhancing the value of your business education over the next year?
My experiences have made me understand how diversity enriches one’s development. I have experienced how getting to know diverse people contributes to open your mind, thus fostering intellectual curiosity and creativity.
What course, club or activity excites you the most at INSEAD?
I joined the Private Equity club and the Retail, Consumer & Luxury Goods club. I was curious to exploit the wide range of learning experiences that INSEAD offers, including case studies, lectures, lab courses, simulations and master classes. Also, I got to travel and discover South East Asia, and build some memories that will last forever!
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general?
COVID-19 has provided more flexibility in the ways of working, making it easier for women to pursue a career in a demanding industry. Flexible working improves career disparity since it was proven that you don’t need to be “physically in the office until late” to have a managerial or leading position. It has evidenced that you don’t need to be physically present to be able to have high levels of responsibility. Before women needed to make a decision (office vs. child care). Let’s say myself I would like to pick up my children at school every day, I could do it and then work from home. It is extremely important that organisations are not complacent. They need training on judging people and promotions by productivity not presenteeism – and that’s something that COVID has started to evidence.
What are your plans after graduation? Where do you intend to go, and what do you intend to do?
I am a sponsored student. However, INSEAD has brought opportunities I would have never imagined and I got to know a lot of companies and interesting positions beyond consulting.
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into INSEAD’s MBA programme?
I would encourage them to leverage INSEAD's resources – contact the alumni network, the MBA office – to seek for more specific advice and get to know in depth other student experiences. Additionally, it’s important to really be yourself and show what you are looking for.
Specifically, for Spanish people I would encourage assisting to any of the events organised physically.
It’s a good opportunity to see if INSEAD is a match for you and for you to understand the academic programme, past student experiences, career prospective and tips for the process. Lastly, please feel free to connect with me and happy to discuss with Spaniards about INSEAD MBA!