I feel that the exposure to how global business works and the network that INSEAD provides will be crucial to my future success and aspirations.
Katrina Yap

Katrina Yap

Nationality/Passport: Filipino Year of graduation: 2024 Current Role: Global Support and Training Specialist in Roche Diagnostics

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

I was born and raised in the Philippines. When I was in high school, I would volunteer at a breast cancer clinic that catered to low-income patients. I saw first-hand the impact of how medical technology could improve the lives of people who have access to it. This core experience drives me to put people at the centre of what I do. 

This is also the reason why I am so passionate about contributing to the healthcare industry, which has led me to move from the Philippines to the United States and Germany.

I have had several technical roles – in global quality and global customer service – where I had the chance to work with people around the world and gain a deeper understanding of how hospital systems operate in different regions. I was curious about how products were brought to market, and wanted to take a more strategic role in the future. I feel that the exposure to how global business works and the network that INSEAD provides will be crucial to my future success and aspirations.

What motivated you to choose the INSEAD MBA, and how do you envision it aligning with your future goals, even at this early stage?

As I have experience moving from the Philippines to Europe, it was important for me to feel like I belonged.

What stood out to me the most is that “everybody is a minority” here in INSEAD. 

We were several people, all from different backgrounds, working hard to get where we wanted. I was very inspired by the alumni and the people I met during Open Day.  

Now that I have been here for a month, my expectations were far exceeded. The faculty has given very engaging lectures, and my study group always challenges my perspectives. What I like the most about my study group experience is that we come from very diverse backgrounds, which I believe really helps me develop my communication and leadership skills. I am learning from them as much as I am learning from my professors.

What were your impressions of campus life so far and how did you navigate accommodation, and sorting out all the admin? Any tips for incoming students?

Fonty is a charming town. What I like the most about it is that it gives you a lot of opportunities to get to know your cohort. I feel very supported during my move. INSEAD helped me answer questions regarding my student visa and provided a list of verified accommodations. 

I also reached out to alumni ask about their experience and recommendations. My advice – reach out to alumni or students! They are all open and kind, it’s part of the “pay it forward” culture that I love so much in INSEAD.

Could you share a little about your application process, securing financing, and making your way to Singapore/Fontainebleau?

To be honest, I was very intimidated when I first started applying! My friends, mentors and some INSEAD alumni helped me with my essays and motivated me to continue with my application. I was so excited when I finally got accepted. 

I was able to receive a scholarship from INSEAD which helped me in financing my MBA. I also reached out to several of INSEADs global loan providers to support the rest. The next thing I did was look for accommodation in Fonty, and I reached out to alumni to get more information about the city.

In your first few weeks, what aspects of the INSEAD MBA have stood out to you as unique or particularly appealing?

The leadership development activities definitely stand out.

I did not think I would be getting this deep into my feelings and getting to know my groupmates in such an intimate level, but it has been one of the memorable experiences so far.

Aside from your academic pursuits, what extracurricular interests or activities are you exploring at INSEAD, and how do you see them enhancing your overall MBA experience?

INSEAD has a lot of interest clubs – climbing, running, hiking, wine, etc! There is also a forest right beside campus, where one can go for a short walk to decompress. It’s been really good exploring different towns with my classmates. I think sharing these experiences with people who are also going through a big change is what makes the whole MBA experience better.

Any parting words of wisdom, and are you willing to be contacted for more information by prospective students?

Before you start applying, really take the time to get to know yourself, your motivations, and what you want in life. Then, find a business school that can help you get there. Try to use as much resources as you can to know more about the school. For me, it really helped me to go to INSEAD's Open Day (if you can’t go in person, they also host a lot of online events). Contact alumni and/or current students for more information about student life. Finally, give it your best shot and do it!

Yes, you can contact me for more information. I will be happy to help!