After the battle the reward; GEMBA is my most intensive experience yet and I’m winning in my progress as an individual.
Mamadou Balde

Mamadou Balde

Nationality/Passport: Guinean Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Technical Director (Engineering)

Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself?

I am proficient in four languages - French, English, Arabic and Fulani. I have vast international experiences as I’ve worked in eight countries, and I’ve appreciated that the most effective medium to building bonds is going for a drink and discussing sports! I believe in the power of having mentors, reading widely, and socialising daily. 

So, what made you decide to pursue an EMBA, and why did you choose INSEAD?

I am a technical expert with an ambition to occupy a C-suite position and I know that an EMBA is the best way to finetune leadership and all other non-technical skills required for my transition. Strengthening and diversifying my professional network was also a key objective. INSEAD is renowned and hones an excellent track record for this.

If you were to describe your experience in one sentence, what would it be?

After the battle the reward; GEMBA is my most intensive experience yet and I’m winning in my progress as an individual.

Has the EMBA helped you in your career so far?  

Yes, I am 50% through the programme and I’ve been actively applying learnings from GEMBA especially as it relates to strategy, which is a key skill needed for the new company that I’ve been consulting for.

What are your thoughts about the multi-campus experience?

It’s a privilege. Simultaneously learning and experiencing different cultures and lifestyles gives rise to adapting more gracefully in new environments which is a requirement in today’s business world.

Could you tell us more about the Leadership Development Programme experience?

The importance of self-reflection is my biggest takeaway.

I could have been classified as having a tunnel vision, as previously my focus was chiefly “career”, but my horizon has expanded admirably. I’m no longer limited to the definition of my profession though it’s an essential part of who I am. I was oblivious about certain personal traits that I’ve recently absorbed from my coach’s feedback. I now intentionally listen rather than merely hearing.

What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in pursuing an INSEAD Masters programme?

Prioritising is a must, plan your time effectively so that your focus can be undivided during the on-campus periods. Build relationships; your classmates will be your immediate support system and accountability partners. It makes the inevitably challenging experience more endurable.