I am clearer about what I really want and I have the courage to make things happen.
Nancy Chen

Nancy Chen

Nancy Chen
Nationality/Passport: Chinese Year of graduation: 2016 Current Role: Leadership/Executive Coach at Leadership Coaching China

What made you decide to take on the EMC programme at INSEAD?

Although I loved and believed in coaching, for the first three years as a professional coach, I struggled a lot. I studied many coaching programmes and ‘mastered’ many relevant theories and tools. I also had some successful coaching cases, and every customer I served came back and repeated their contract with me. However, I did not feel satisfied, because I didn’t quite know why it worked, and why it didn’t work sometimes. It became even more challenging as I reached the executive level at work – how do I crack their masks?

I was then introduced to Professor Manfred Kets de Vries' books. His books were describing what I was facing as a coach and what I was facing as an executive before that. Psychodynamics sounded very unfamiliar, but his approach seemed very effective. And his books were very easy to read – I learned a lot, but not enough!

Then, I visited Manfred in person (luckily) and I decided to apply to the EMC immediately.

Has the programme met or exceeded your expectations?

The programme truly exceeded my expectations in many ways:

First of all, it cracked my own mask after the first four modules, especially during the family origins system exercise, 360-degree assessment and debrief.

Secondly, it brought me world-leading and proven theories and tools for consulting and coaching for change, which I use now every day to add value to my executive customers.

Thirdly, my classmates and professors became the emotional ‘home’ of my spirit. We could laugh and cry together, and had a profound understanding of each other.

Fourthly, I got very warm support from alumni for my thesis and I am now friends with almost all the alumni with a Chinese cultural background.

How has the EMC changed your perspectives or outlook towards life?

Since I am an action-oriented leader, I moved to Singapore from China in the middle of the programme because I wanted to coach more people across cultures.

I set up my own company and started to serve customers like Prudential and McKinsey after my graduation.

I also got to know great friends and supervisors in this field, and I am learning so much from them every day. My world completely changed. I am clearer about what I really want and I have the courage to make things happen.

What is one memorable thing that happened to you during the programme?

The after-class activities with my classmates were super effective for learning, and very enjoyable as well! I learnt from my thesis study that many tipping points happened during after-class activities.

What advice would you give to potential EMC participants?

Listen to your heart and talk to the professors and alumni. If you decide to participate, put in your all.