Before my MBA I was a scientist and didn't know any career options outside of science. The MBA really broadened my horizons.
Julian Zachmann

Julian Zachmann

Nationality/Passport: German Year of graduation: 2019 Current Role: Venture Capital Investor (Live Sciences)

Tell us about yourself, and how you go to where you are today both on a professional and personal level?

At the moment, I am truly happy and content on all aspects of my life. After three and a half years at VC fund, I just started a new job and now work for a multi-billion family office. My work is both exciting and meaningful as I can invest in startups, help them grow and hopefully reach and support patients.

Switching jobs also allowed me to move back to my home town Munich, where I haven't lived for 18 years. I'm healthy, happily married to a beautiful wife, everything is perfect.

What made you decide you wanted to pursue the INSEAD MBA, and why INSEAD in particular? 

Before joining INSEAD, I worked as a senior scientist for a pharma company at the intersection between computer science and drug discovery. I knew that I wanted to leave science but didn't know where to go and hoped that an MBA would allow me to explore the business world.

The INSEAD MBA is one of the top-ranking programmes globally, takes only one year and is based in Europe - for me this was a very easy choice.

Which campus(es) have you experienced, and can you tell us more about any similarities or differences?

I was mainly in Fontainebleau but P3 (January, February) I spent in Singapore. Both campuses were great!

In Fontainebleau I liked the village feel and spending all the time with fellow INSEADers. I was also close to my then-girlfriend / now-wife who lived in Barcelona. Singapore was completely different: a big city in South-East Asia which allowed me to live in an interesting part of the world. Being able to experience both sides was amazing.

Could you tell us about your experience with the Career Development Centre (CDC)?

It was Kynan Lee from CDC in Singapore, who gave me the idea to explore venture capital as a career path. Without him, I wouldn't be where I am today.

Has the INSEAD MBA helped you in your career?

Before my MBA I was a scientist and didn't know any career options outside of science. The MBA really broadened my horizons.

I had never heard about venture capital before and would never have thought I could qualify for such a role. It turns out I do: After my MBA I worked for three and a half years for Europe's biggest seed stage VC firm and recently joined a multi-billion family office.

What advice will you give to prospects who are still considering whether an INSEAD MBA should be part of their career plan?

We all have different backgrounds and so we all experience things differently. For me INSEAD was life-changing, for others maybe not. But to my knowledge, all my fellow INSEADers were glad they did it.