INSEAD helps to reveal your true leadership skills while undestanding your strengths and weaknesses during the simuliations and group case studies. 
Nihad Mansim

Nihad Mansim

MBA Nihad Mansim
Nationality/Passport: Azerbaijani Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Business Operations

Could you share something unexpected about you?

I have an acrophobia (extreme fear of heights), although I have visited some of the famous tallest buildings in the world. 

Tell us a little about yourself, your personal and professional journey so far?

So far I have lived and worked in five countries. I am an economist as I did my Bachelor's (Texas A&M University) and Master's degree (University of Leeds) both in this field. I have worked as an economist at the Central Bank of the Republic of Azerbaijan, then switched to the debt restructuring at the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan (SOCAR).

My first international job started when I joined McKinsey's Poland office in the public finance field where I have worked on projects for various countries.

Going back to the energy industry I have gained hands-on experience in operations of an oil and gas services company while supporting the strategic transformation to become an integrated energy company. 

Can you share a little about why you decided to pursue the MBA, and in particular, the INSEAD MBA?

I wanted to focus on improving my leadership skills to create a multinational business in the future.

An MBA would give me both technical and soft knowledge required in this journey. INSEAD being a business school for the world was a natural choice for someone who wanted to focus on the global leadership instead of just working in one country or region. 

What are your thoughts about the class experience, professors, the curriculum so far?

So far my experience has exceeded my expectations as the main goal is not to get the answers of the questions from the professors but to reflect on your ideas, thoughts, and personality to find your own answer while learning and sharing knowledge with your group mates.

INSEAD helps to reveal your true leadership skills while undestanding your strengths and weaknesses during the simuliations and group case studies. 

Thoughts about the student body, the community?

INSEAD delivers what it promises about being a truly global school as we have people from more than 60 countries and nationalities in our class.

As it was mentioned at the first day by the Dean, we are mainly here to learn from each other as everyone has something from his/her background and knowledge to add value to every discussion. 

Are you looking forward to anything in particular during your time on the programme?

Coaching sessions, both leadership and career focused, are something that I am looking forward to utilise more to discover any particular area of interest that I might not be aware about myself. 

Could you share a little about your application process, securing financing, and making your way to Singapore/Fontainebleau?

My application process started with getting a coaching from the local MBA club. It helped me to shape my application while identifying the main storyline of my application profile.

Financing is difficult for international students, however I used Prodigy Finance which makes it easier for students like me to secure enough loan without any collateral or co-signer.

Fontainebleau is a small town, so it requires to find a place to stay months before your arrival. It is directly linked to Paris with a trainline which makes it easier to travel. 

If you could share an admissions or application tip to someone who is considering the programme, what would you say?

It is important to show your interest to the international community, be open to work and study with other cultures.

Try to share as much real-life stories as possible from both your academic and professional background to show you have what it takes to be a future global leader.

Parting words of wisdom?

Think about what you exactly want from the programme before you start. It will help you to be focused and find a balance for your academic and social life to achieve it (you wont feel FOMO for everything).