I'm fascinated by human behaviour and EMC provided me the opportunity to pursue a master's degree which integrates both business and psychology. 
Joanna Koh

Joanna Koh

Nationality/Passport: Singaporean Year of graduation: 2022 Current Role: People Development • Diversity & Inclusion • Coaching • Empowerment & Beauty

Joanna, can you tell us a little bit about yourself – where do you come from and where are you intending to go?

I grew up in Singapore and have taken a rather non-conventional route through life. Leaving school at 18, my years as a young adult were spent between the universe of fashion, photography and beauty, which brought me around the world, which has made me realise the power of learning through experience. 

My parents were both educators and I too feel a pull towards it. Combining that with my love for travel and my background, for the last six years I've been working in beauty retail education within the travel retail industry. I'm intending to discover that "sweet spot" between learning and development, diversity, equity and inclusion in my future roles. 

What made you decide to pursue the EMC at INSEAD?

I knew I wanted to come back to school, to tie my years of experiential learning with theory.

I'm fascinated by human behaviour and the EMC provided me the opportunity to pursue a master's degree which integrates both business and psychology. 

I also wanted to find a course that would bring with it meaningful networking. For the record, the relationship bonds created at the EMC are much more than just about networking! 

What are your goals post-EMC?

With the research that I have done and the thesis that I will complete, I hope to be able to use that as the first bricks in the wall as I start building up my own space to apply DEI to future L&D programmes. 

Where are you in your EMC journey so far?

The person I am today is more compassionate, empathetic, aware, self-assured and grounded. I am just as curious, if not more, about the wealth of knowledge that EMC has opened a door to! 

What were your first impressions of the classroom atmosphere, the content, the classmates and Professors?

It is a real pity that we began the course in the thick of COVID-19, so our wave has been on hybrid mode since day one, on campus and on zoom. Regardless, the hybrid classroom quickly became our safe space. The academic content can be a shock in the beginning for anyone who goes back to formalised learning after a long time away, but the professors were always so kind and assuring to the class, that it was impossible to stay intimidated! 

I appreciate the diversity of my classmates, in terms of ages, nationalities, cultures, genders, backgrounds, everyone brought their unique perspectives and voices to the class. 

Do you have any advice for people who might be considering an EMC in the future?

Go for it - the journey of discovery starts within the application and interview process, and quite quickly, you'll know if this is the course for you. 

Parting words of wisdom or advice?

In EMC, there will be moments of pain, fear, fury .. and emotions that you may not even understand in yourself. It may be messy, but each time you emerge from these, that's when you can really taste change. It's a lived experience!