I’ve learnt that leadership is sometimes about following, about knowing when to take a step back.
Why INSEAD for your MBA?
I was basically at a crossroads in my life and needed a network and a push. I did not want to move away from my past in consulting and electrical engineering, but I wanted to make sense of it and understand the bigger picture. I also wanted the chance to experiment in a safe environment.
How does INSEAD stand out from other business schools?
The entrepreneurship track. I’ve done entrepreneurship and social entrepreneurship courses, boot camps, competitions, simulations etc. Having virtually taken up every option offered, the faculty in that area are probably fed up with me. I didn’t realise how effective and useful these opportunities could be until I started taking advantage of them. They take you right through the value chain with experiential learning all the way.
Sum up the INSEAD experience and culture in a single word.
Transformational. INSEAD took what I was thinking and totally remodelled it. It’s not just about thinking, but about doing too. I’m definitely more efficient now.
What is the value of INSEAD’s famous diversity?
People tend to underestimate it until they experience it. Put yourself in a room of 50 or 60 people from 40 nationalities and different career backgrounds… and you’ll not only see all the possibilities; you’ll also combine them into a super-solution.
The professors are expert at facilitating this process in a seamless manner to reach a definite outcome.
What’s the most important skill you’ll take away from INSEAD?
Flexibility. I’ve learnt how to have a plan B, C and D. I’ve also learnt that leadership is sometimes about following, about knowing when to take a step back. And now, I know how to absorb changing dynamics, rather than being broken by them.
How does the campus exchange add to the experience?
It’s a vital part of it and it goes beyond the campuses themselves. By studying in Asia and Europe you see different ways of doing business and the way they integrate with life. Even the decision-making processes are different in the two locations.
Any advice for future students?
Sharpen your strengths. Don’t neglect your weaknesses, but don’t over-invest in them either. Your value lies in your unique strength. Find it and focus on it. Also, invest in your relationships. Keep your network alive – including faculty and administrative staff as well as fellow students. Finally, just do it! Jump into whatever you’re considering: Experiment, fail, fall down and get up again. It’s the safest environment you’ll ever have in your life.