The Singapore campus felt like family – our cohort was very close, and everyone knew each other.
Nicolas Poulain

Nicolas Poulain

INSEAD MBA Nicolas Poulain
Nationality/Passport: French Year of graduation: 2022 Current Role: Investment Associate at TotalEnergies

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA, and why at INSEAD?

I'm a French engineer and I've been working in that field for the last five years. I was looking at a career change and I felt the best way for me to achieve that was through an MBA. 

I was also keen to explore the world and work abroad, so for me, INSEAD was the perfect springboard to an international career. 

What was your class experience like?

I had a great time and made very good friends in my cohort which I hope will last a lifetime. 

In terms of learning, I've also been challenged a lot. I discovered a lot of new things, and I realised that the learning is very broad and it's never a never-ending journey. So, you constantly have to challenge yourself to step out of your comfort zone, and to stay curious.

What was it like to study on the Singapore campus, and what are your views on working in Singapore post graduation?

Firstly, I love the campus, it’s very green and very welcoming, with many beautiful spaces for study and relaxation.

The premises on the Singapore campus are great (library, coffee bar and fitness centre).

I’ve experienced both campuses in France and Singapore, and I have to say in Singapore it has felt more like family – our cohort was very close, and everyone knew each other, which was great. 

When it comes to working in Singapore, the quality of life is very high for sure. It's also a great hub to travel in Asia.

How did you go about your job search journey?

Networking was absolutely key in landing in my job. If I was not based in Singapore and had not had the opportunity to meet people in person, I don’t think it would have been possible.

I had put in a lot of effort to reach out to people via LinkedIn and the INSEAD database and scheduled many coffee chats and drinks with alumni and other contacts in Singapore.

It is a competitive market, hence building personal connections is very important. 

What is your advice for anyone who is considering whether the INSEAD MBA is the right next step for them?

Go for it! It is worth it, both in terms of the knowledge you gain but also personal development.

Take some time to reflect on your career goals as well and be clear on what your objectives are before you jump into the job search process.