The academic excellence and multi-cultural differences of the first professors I met during that module represent what makes INSEAD so special.
Nicolas Bourdilloud

Nicolas Bourdilloud

EMFIN Nicolas Bourdilloud
Nationality/Passport: French Year of graduation: 2024 Current Role: Senior consultant in a French risk management consulting firm

Can you tell us a little more about yourself and your personal/professional journey so far?

I live near Paris, and I work in that city in the financial industry as a consultant. I have almost seven years of risk management and business analysis experience through assignments in three major French banks. I have a master’s degree in financial engineering from the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris.

Any fun facts about yourself you would be willing to share?

I bought the INSEAD onesies for my twins, and they really suit them.
So, what made you decide to take on the EMFin programme at INSEAD, amongst the other programmes out there?

My INSEAD journey started around 10 years ago when I met a couple of INSEAD staff at a dinner with my wife’s parents. After that, I started to prepare my candidacy for the MBA programme in 2017. But I rapidly realised that a full-time programme would be difficult to manage with a young kid.

Furthermore, I wanted to live a vibrant multicultural experience and gain in-depth knowledge in finance, especially in corporate finance. So, after many useful discussions with a recruitment advisor and some alumni, I understood that the EMFin programme was the perfect combination for me, considering my personal objectives and the constraints of a family with young kids.

You’ve completed module 1. Please share your thoughts on your classmates, the faculty and classroom experience?

This first module completely met my expectations. Being the only European person in a cohort, composed almost entirely of Asian people living and working in Singapore, was the type of experience I wanted to live at INSEAD. Attending this programme with those people is truly a life-changing and enriching experience.

The quality of the faculty is really great.

The academic excellence and multi-cultural differences of the first professors I met during that module represent what makes INSEAD so special. I particularly noticed the ease with which the professors were able to explain complex matters, especially in the accounting course as I had no background at all in that field.

The atmosphere of the classroom was also amazing. Compared to the previous cohorts, mine is smaller, 15 people, so it was easy to connect rapidly with all of them during the first module. I also spent very enjoyable dinners with some of them. After almost two months since the end of module 1, I really miss Singapore and look forward to starting module 2.

Any advice, application or admissions tips for someone thinking of joining the EMFin programme?

Even if the alumni I discussed with after my admission warned me about the intensity of the first module, I really realised it only once in Singapore. So, I highly recommend to future candidates to work seriously on the pre-readings given before the first module as soon as possible, especially for those who don’t have basic background in one of the courses. 

For the Frenchman I am, who never travelled to Asia before the programme, this is truly a transformative experience. Therefore, to get the most out of this amazing learning experience, you have to be an active participant and so, be very well prepared before each day.
What are your plans post-graduation?

During the first module, I discovered the world of corporate finance that I found highly interesting, and that course confirmed my desire to switch from risk management/market finance to corporate finance. After the programme, I would like to find an opportunity in the corporate finance department of an international firm and move to Asia with my family.

Any parting words of wisdom?

I will always remember the day I received the news of my admission. And I am convinced that doing this INSEAD programme will be one of the best choices of my life for me and my family. I truly believe learning is a force for good, and to quote Benjamin Franklin, “an investment in knowledge pays the best interest".