Classes at INSEAD are very engaging. The discussions are lively, and professors always seek to hear different perspectives.
Could you share something unexpected about you?
I lived in Mexico for almost two years as part of my transition out of law – I traveled to over ten states and developed an interest in Mexican culture and history.
Tell us a little about yourself, your personal and professional journey so far?
I grew up in a small town in the Netherlands and moved out at age 17 to pursue a degree in International Law in The Hague. I always wanted to see more of the world, so after completing my master’s degree, I moved abroad and worked for a law firm in New York and London.
Although I enjoyed working on complex legal issues for large international corporations, I did not see myself pursuing this as a long-term career. Fortunately, I got an opportunity to work for a start-up in Mexico that had received funding. I enjoyed the dynamic environment of a start-up and working on its product strategy.
This experience led me to realise that I wanted to pursue a career in business in the long run,
Can you share a little about why you decided to pursue the MBA, and in particular, the INSEAD MBA?
Because of my background in law, I knew I needed an MBA to solidify my business skills and knowledge. INSEAD was my top choice of all MBA programmes. I learned a lot from living in different countries and wanted to be in a multicultural environment during my MBA. INSEAD provided this setting, as it has no dominant culture. I also want to get back into the labour market quickly, so a one-year MBA was perfect for me.
What are your thoughts about the class experience, professors, the curriculum so far?
Classes at INSEAD are very engaging. The discussions are lively, and professors always seek to hear different perspectives. Theory is constantly linked to real business cases, making everything you learn stimulating. For example, during our strategy class, a start-up came to us with a problem we were asked to solve.
Theory is also often explained by letting students do fun exercises.
We experienced supply and demand dynamics by doing a real-life trading game and learned about operations flow by doing art drawings.
What is the student life like at INSEAD?
Student life is vibrant. Besides dinners and events students organise, I was surprised to learn the extent of the different groups and communities INSEAD has: from board game fans to hiking or photography fanatics – I believe there is a group of enthusiasts for anything. People are very active, and you can join or learn any activity you are interested in. During weekends, students often organise field trips to explore different parts of France and Europe.
Are you looking forward to anything in particular during your time on the programme?
I look forward to going more in-depth on specific topics during the electives in the second part of the programme. In addition, some electives have exciting field trips – for example, the elective in Sports Industry Management will organise a trip to Madrid and Barcelona to meet with top sports organisations. Such opportunities are unique.
Could you share a little about your application process, securing financing, and making your way to Singapore/Fontainebleau?
I started my application process early (around April), as I wanted to apply in Round 1 (September) to maximise my chances.
During the application process, I attended webinars hosted by INSEAD and spoke to several alumni to get an idea about the INSEAD experience.
Financing for my MBA comes from multiple sources: savings, an INSEAD scholarship, financial help from my family, and a loan. Getting a loan was relatively easy – INSEAD has good connections with providers such as Lendwise and Prodigy, so the process went very smoothly.
If you could share an admissions or application tip to someone who is considering the programme, what would you say?
I would make sure to spend a lot of time reflecting on yourself. Ask yourself questions: where are you, where do you want to go, and why. Make sure you tell a clear story and bring this forward in your application. Highlight your unique qualities and experience and how that can contribute to the INSEAD community.
Parting words of wisdom?
Career paths are not always linear; sometimes, things come your way unexpectedly. So take advantage of the opportunities you get and try to learn and grow as much as possible – even if you do not (yet) have a particular North Star in mind.