Get ready to be stuffed with knowledge like afoie gras goose!
Nikolaj Kosakewitsch

Nikolaj Kosakewitsch

Nikolaj Kosakewitsch
Nationality/Passport: Danish Year of graduation: 2012 Current Role: President Nasdaq Copenhagen, VP, Head of Sales, European Equities and Derivatives

Why did you decide to do an EMBA?

It seemed the right time to update my CV and get some leadership education. Also, I’m a very curious person, who’s always hungry for new knowledge! After 20 years in investment banking, I already had too much experience for a regular MBA. And I have a family, so a full-time programme wasn’t an option for me.

Why did you choose INSEAD?

I’d already done the Management Acceleration Programme at INSEAD, which made me want to reach out for more learning.

How did you fund the programme?

Through negotiation! When I started my new job, I had it written into my contract that my employer would pay for an EMBA.

If you had to pick out one highlight of the GEMBA what would it be?

The all-round learning experience. It’s a kind of dynamic dialogue between the professors and the 55 nationalities in the class.

What was the biggest surprise when you started the programme?

One day in the first week, I was so exhausted from all the late-night reading that I went to sit on my own in the campus restaurant. A professor came up to introduce someone else working in finance whom he thought I should meet. I don't think that would happen in any other school.

What is the value of INSEAD’s famous diversity?

Although I’ve travelled widely for my work, I’ve always been based in Denmark and only really experienced mature markets. The insights into Africa, Asia and Latin America have been very powerful.

What impact has the GEMBA had on your work and your ambitions?

I’m much more tolerant. Sometimes you get into a workgroup with someone who isn’t your cup of tea. The leadership training has taught me how to be patient with them. I've already had one promotion and I’m committed to my current employer. But INSEAD has also whetted my appetite for an international career, so who knows where I’ll go eventually? Maybe a new sector, maybe an emerging market. I’m open to everything now.

Do you have any advice for future GEMBA students?

Make sure your family is committed. And get ready to be stuffed with knowledge like afoie gras goose! But be realistic about the fact there’ll be too much to take in as well.