INSEAD was my first choice because of its incredibly diverse student body, the one-year length of its MBA programme, the ability to study in both Singapore and in France, and of course its reputation for providing an outstanding, globally-focused education.
Could you share something unexpected about you?
My 'COVID hobby' that I picked up at the height of the pandemic was crossword construction. Solving crosswords is one thing – making them is something else entirely! It's a brutal process of trial and error, but the feeling of accomplishment you get when everything finally comes together is difficult to put into words (pun intended). It's on my bucket list to have one of my puzzles published in the New York Times someday.
Tell us a little about yourself, your personal and professional journey so far?
I was born and raised in the Philippines, but I moved to Singapore when I was 13 and completed my high school education there. I subsequently moved to Los Angeles for university and started my career in the music industry as the Marketing & Promotion Coordinator for a record label.
Soon after, I returned to Singapore, where I have been working at early-stage startups for the past seven years. Most recently, I was the Director of Growth at Keepme, an AI-powered SaaS platform for fitness clubs.
During my time in Singapore, I also began DJing professionally and founded an events business – since 2016, we have produced over 30 events under our 'Ice Cream Sundays' brand of pop-up parties, and our DJs (including myself) have performed at notable events including the Singapore Grand Prix.
Can you share a little about why you decided to pursue the MBA, and in particular, the INSEAD MBA?
I decided to pursue the MBA because I wanted to refine my marketing and business acumen.
I also intend to make a career change – currently, I am hoping to pivot into big tech, and in the long run I aspire to become a full-time entrepreneur.
INSEAD was my first choice of business school because of its incredibly diverse student body, the one-year length of its MBA programme, the ability to study in both Singapore and in France, and of course its reputation for providing an outstanding, globally-focused education.
What are your thoughts about the class experience, professors, the curriculum so far?
So far, I've been blown away by the quality of instruction at INSEAD.
The faculty are not only highly regarded experts in their respective fields, but the focus on practical application, as well as the in-class contributions from classmates with a wide variety of professional backgrounds, makes it much easier to link theory to what we want to accomplish in the real world.
Thoughts about the student body, the community?
I have never been part of a community as diverse as the 23'D class at INSEAD. From the very first day of launch week, I was amazed by how many nationalities and backgrounds were represented in the class.
While it has only been a few weeks, I have already formed strong bonds with my classmates and I look forward to spending the rest of this experience with them.
Are you looking forward to anything in particular during your time on the programme?
I plan spend part of the programme at the Fonty campus. I'm very much looking forward to experiencing what Fontainebleau has to offer and meeting my counterparts there.
Could you share a little about your application process, securing financing, and making your way to Singapore/Fontainebleau?
The application process was not easy. I made sure to allocate at least three months to GMAT study, and spent a few weeks crafting and refining my essays so that they would showcase both my achievements and my personality.
I am fortunate to have familial support to help me with financing my MBA. I have been living in Singapore for several years now, so the transition to INSEAD has been fairly seamless.
If you could share an admissions or application tip to someone who is considering the programme, what would you say?
I would recommend that prospective applicants emphasise what shapes them as a person, and how they can contribute to the INSEAD community both in- and outside of the classroom.
Please do not let your personal statements come across as glorified CVs!
Parting words of wisdom?
The INSEAD experience is all about prioritisation. It's important to set aside time for coursework, but you also don't want to miss out on the opportunity to build relationships with the amazing group of people around you.