The diversity of the cohort has exposed me to different perspectives and approaches, which has broadened my thinking and helped me to develop new skills.
Maria Ana Valente de Matos Zorrinho

Maria Ana Valente De Matos Zorrinho

maria ana
Nationality/Passport: Portuguese Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Digital Transformation Project Manager

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

Growing up, my parents taught me the importance of integrity, hard work, and respect for others. In school and university, I formed deep connections with my peers and community, shaping my personality and leveraging my desire to succeed.

After earning my International Master's degree, I joined NOS, a leading telecommunications company in Portugal, as part of a trainee programme. Over six years, I gained diverse experiences across multiple departments and grew as an individual, developing my strengths and working on my weaknesses.

While I initially wanted an international professional experience, the opportunities in Portugal led me to stay. But to advance my career further, I knew I needed to broaden my horizons and develop my leadership skills.

That's why I decided to pursue an MBA at INSEAD, known for its multicultural environment and brightest minds from around the world.

This programme is enabling me to become an even more effective leader and expand my professional network beyond Portugal. I'm excited to leverage my skills and learn from my classmates, confident that their varied backgrounds and experiences will help me tackle the challenges of the global business world.

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

My decision to pursue an MBA at INSEAD was heavily influenced by the people I looked up to in my professional and personal life, many of whom were INSEAD alumni. Their stories of success and the global network they had built through the programme made me seriously consider this path for myself.

But it wasn't just the connections that drew me to INSEAD. I was attracted to the school's culture of diversity and inclusivity, which I believed would give me a unique perspective on the business world. Additionally, INSEAD's reputation for both working hard and socialising hard was a perfect fit for my own work ethic and desire for a well-rounded experience.

I applied for the January intake with a desire to complete the programme and do a summer internship, and I was eager to secure my spot by applying in the first round. I knew that this was a competitive process, but I was determined to make my case and demonstrate why I was the ideal candidate for the programme.

Which campus(es) have you (and will you) experience, and can you tell us more about your experience on the campus(es) so far? How did you navigate accommodation, and sorting out all the admin?

Since starting my INSEAD MBA journey, I have had the opportunity to experience the Singapore campus, and I am looking forward to exploring the Fontainebleau campus in the upcoming P3 and P4 periods.

When I first arrived in Singapore, I was excited but also a bit nervous about navigating accommodation and sorting out all the necessary administrative tasks. However, I quickly found that the INSEAD community is incredibly supportive and helpful. Through the network of contacts that previous students have, I was able to easily find accommodation and make all the necessary arrangements to settle in.

Living in Singapore has been an incredible experience. The culture and diversity of the city is unlike anywhere else I have been, and I have enjoyed exploring all that it has to offer.

I have also appreciated the strong sense of community on the INSEAD campus, with many opportunities to connect with my classmates and form meaningful relationships.

Looking ahead to my time at the Fontainebleau campus, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to fully experience all that INSEAD has to offer. While I expect that navigating accommodation and administrative tasks may present some challenges, I am confident that with the support of the INSEAD community, I will be able to settle in and make the most of my time there.

Overall, I am excited to continue my journey at INSEAD and to see what new experiences and opportunities lie ahead.

Did you have any expectations before you started the MBA, and did you speak to any alumni before joining the programme?

Since I had been in touch with a few INSEAD alumni before joining the programme, I had an idea of what to expect. They shared their experiences and the impact that the programme had on their careers and personal lives. I was particularly interested in the diversity of the cohort and the quality of my classmates, as these were factors that were emphasised by the alumni.

I had high expectations for the programme, and so far, it has exceeded them.

The diversity of the cohort has exposed me to different perspectives and approaches, which has broadened my thinking and helped me to develop new skills. The quality of my classmates is impressive, and I am constantly learning from them.

Overall, speaking to the alumni before joining the programme was incredibly helpful in managing my expectations and understanding the value of the INSEAD MBA. Now that I am part of the programme, I can say that it has been a transformative experience, and I am excited to see how it will shape my future.

Could you tell us about your experience with the Career Development Centre so far?

My experience with the Career Development Centre (CDC) at INSEAD has been incredibly positive. The CDC has been an invaluable resource for me as I navigate the complex and often stressful process of job hunting. My career coach has been particularly helpful, providing me with personalised guidance and support as I work to achieve my professional goals.

The Career Development Centre has also been instrumental in connecting me with a wide range of potential employers, both through on-campus recruitment events and virtual networking opportunities. Through these interactions, I have been able to gain a better understanding of the types of jobs and companies that align with my career goals and interests.

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

My advice to prospects who are still considering whether an INSEAD MBA should be part of their career plan is to seriously consider the benefits of pursuing an MBA at INSEAD.

The programme is designed to challenge you both professionally and personally, providing you with opportunities to develop your leadership skills, expand your global network, and gain a deeper understanding of business on a global scale.

The experience at INSEAD is truly unique, with a diverse community of students and faculty from all over the world, providing an opportunity to learn from a multitude of perspectives. Additionally, the Career Development Centre is a valuable resource that offers guidance and support throughout the recruitment process.

If you are considering applying, I encourage you to take the time to research the programme and speak with alumni to gain a better understanding of the programme's culture, curriculum, and impact on their career.

As an INSEAD MBA student, I am open to sharing my experience and answering any questions you may have, so please feel free to contact me for more information.