I knew that to prepare for the entrepreneurship path, I needed deeper exposure to other business domains than marketing and data. INSEAD, with its reputation for nurturing entrepreneurship and diversity, was my top choice.
Giang Tran

Giang Tran

Nationality/Passport: VNM Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Entrepreneur

Could you share something unexpected about you?

I have lived in six different countries in Europe and Asia. Being able to experience many things that I had once thought impossible challenged my narrow view of life, particularly on what it means to be a woman.

Since then, I have taken vocal lessons for three years, run a non-profit focused on empowering women in tech, and earned a diploma in machine learning. 

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

I started my career as a marketing intern for a manufacturing company in Germany. After that, I moved to Singapore to work for Electrolux's APAC regional office, covering Southeast Asia, Australia, and India.

After two years of sound learning in a multinational, I wanted to explore the fast pace of the startup ecosystem, more significant social impact, and breakthrough innovation. I decided to leave my job and returned to Vietnam to work in tech startups focused on education. 

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

I want to start my own tech company in the next five years.

I knew that to prepare for the entrepreneurship path, I needed deeper exposure to other business domains than marketing and data. INSEAD, with its reputation for nurturing entrepreneurship and diversity, was already my top choice at the time.

Moreover, living abroad has changed me for the better, and I believe the international exposure at INSEAD would be a great addition to an already intensive learning experience.  

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

I greatly enjoy my experience at INSEAD, even though this must be one of the most challenging weeks of academic study in which I have ever been. 

The curriculum is designed to address challenges a general manager/an entrepreneur must face, both in a leadership capacity and comprehensive business understanding.

Knowledge can be acquired from any source, but a classroom debate in which 80 accomplished peers from 30-40 countries participate is unique to INSEAD MBA. It has truly expanded my understanding beyond given class materials, particularly in multidimensional topics such as Uncertainty, Data, and Judgement and Strategy. 

Thoughts about the student body, the community? 

It is both an honour and a challenge to be an MBA student at INSEAD, being surrounded by high achievers. The true value of an MBA can be distilled to the people you met during your study and what you learned from them.

For me, it is inspiring to work with my classmates, though it can sometimes be intimidating. It gives you the motivation (and pressure) to be a better version of yourself. At INSEAD, I grow older by weeks, not years.    

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

I am interested in entrepreneurship, and INSEAD offers a variety of activities to support that. I am particularly looking forward to the INSEAD Venture Competition and Alibaba global e-commerce challenge. 

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

INSEAD has always been my first choice. After obtaining the desired GMAT score, I started preparing my applications for round one to maximise my chance at a scholarship. The INSEAD application requires a lot of time investment. It took me more than a month to finish it and have it reviewed by different people. After that, I went through two interviews with INSEAD alums in Vietnam. 

Being admitted is just one part of the story. An MBA is an investment.

I funded it through a combination of personal savings, scholarships and external loans.  

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

Having different people, particularly INSEAD alumni and close friends to review your application is very helpful as they provide different angles that you could explore to strengthen your narrative. 

Parting words of wisdom? 

Learn from others but focus on yourself. And do have fun (and faith) in the process.