Having so many different yet equally credible perspectives really challenges you to consider those issues from completely different angles.
Kieran Beck

Kieran Beck

Kieran Beck
Nationality/Passport: Australian Year of graduation: 2018 Current Role: Director, UBS Investment Bank

What made you decide to do an MBA? Why the INSEAD MBA?

I had a longstanding interest in doing postgraduate study since leaving university. However, it took time to work out exactly what the right programme was for me. My background was in investment banking – I really enjoyed working across different industries, with a range of businesses and management teams, and I wanted to complement my advisory experience with business operations and management skillset. Ultimately, I decided that an MBA represented the broadest and most attractive professional development programme at that stage of my career.

I applied to INSEAD because of its strong international reputation, the unrivalled diversity of the class composition and the length of the programme. I felt that studying with people from all over the world and learning about their countries and cultures would add a unique and highly complementary dimension to the academic programme, whilst making some great friends along the way.

Is INSEAD what you had expected?

I expected the programme to be very demanding – classes, industry competitions, social events, sporting clubs, travel and other activities. It is probably more intense than I envisaged! The time has flown by, but it has been extremely enjoyable and rewarding. I will miss stepping into this warm, inclusive and inspiring community each day when the programme is over.

Can you describe what is the INSEAD diversity all about?

INSEAD’s diversity is visible in many ways: each campus is a melting pot of so many cultures, languages and professional backgrounds, just to cite a few examples! For me, the value of INSEAD’s diversity has shone through in situations where we have analysed or debated global issues: having so many different yet equally credible perspectives really challenges you to consider those issues from completely different angles. I’ve found these insights to help foster humility, respect and greater understanding between the students’ countries and cultures.

What is your class experience like?

The class experience at INSEAD has undoubtedly been one of the highlights of the programme. During the first two periods, you complete nearly all core modules with the same group of about 70 students, of which most are case-based rather than theoretical. It’s an incredibly rich learning environment and a lot of fun. During this time, you are also allocated a study group comprised of four to five students. You often live in each other’s pockets from week to week get group assignments done! The latter parts of the programme mainly comprise electives where students can orientate their MBA in so many different directions, and I’ve felt these smaller and more focused classes intensify the learning experience even further.

The Personal Leadership Development Programme (PLDP) is a new component of the MBA programme. Please share with us your experience!

The Personal Leadership Development Programme (PLDP) is an initiative that aims to help develop students’ self-awareness, interpersonal skills, and communication effectiveness through coaching from professionals and their peers. Working through the programme over the first two periods of the MBA with my study group, PLDP was a helpful framework which allowed us to identify and develop personal and leadership skills during our time at INSEAD. The trust developed within our study group meant that we could provide and receive honest and constructive feedback, which I am sure we will take forward into our future roles.    

Where do you see yourself 10 years down the road?

It is always a tough question – especially when career paths can change so quickly these days! Whatever I decide to pursue in the future I hope I can be in a leadership position where I can make a positive impact in the Australian and international business communities, and the community-at-large. As “The Business School for the World,” INSEAD instils in its candidates the knowledge that whatever path we choose to take beyond INSEAD, we can really shape the future as business leaders.

What is one important takeaway you have gotten from your INSEAD experience so far?

You can learn something from every one of your fellow candidates. Being open and willing to share your own experiences really allows you to get the most out of the programme in the short time that you spend with an inspiring and talented group of people.

What advice will you give to potential prospects who are interested in taking the INSEAD MBA?

INSEAD is a learning experience like no other. And the learning doesn’t just happen in the classroom. Whether it is the school treks available to different parts of the world, the huge range of guest speakers brought to campus to present on topics you know very little about, or business school competitions in industries you consider “left-field” prior to joining INSEAD, dive in and be open to as many new opportunities as possible! It might spark an interest and open doors which you never thought existed.