INSEAD is not just a business school; it is an incubator that nurses intellectual, professional, and personal development.
Olaedo Osoka

Olaedo Osoka

Nationality/Passport: Nigerian Year of graduation: 2024 Current Role: Chief Executive Officer (West Africa) at Daystar Power Group

Can you share a fun fact about yourself?

I have two names which translate in English to Good Friend and Gold. I try to embody these two things. 

What led you to decide to pursue an EMBA, and why did you choose INSEAD in particular?

In my professional life, I got into leadership positions at a young age. I was fortunate to have incredible and hands-on experience growing and scaling a renewable energy company to the point of acquisition by one of the largest energy companies in the world.

I decided to pursue an EMBA at a defining moment in my life, where I was actively seeking to challenge my perspective and expectations. Despite having two other degrees, I wanted a structured learning environment that would not only broaden my skillset but also challenge my assumptions and refine my thinking. An EMBA makes invaluable connections with senior executives from different industries which makes the learning experience richer. 

At the time of making the decision, it was also important for me to continue to work and apply the lessons real-time to my business. The EMBA allowed me to stay connected and test the learnings against reality, real-time. 

I want to pour myself into solving meaningful problems that make the world better, which made INSEAD the perfect choice for me. I knew it would be the bridge I needed to cross over into the next phase of my life and career.

Could you describe your experience so far? The classes, the curriculum, your fellow participants, the professors?

My experience at INSEAD has been incredible.

INSEAD is not just a business school; it is an incubator that nurses intellectual, professional, and personal development.

I am in the fifth month of the programme and feel like clay being refined (some parts of this are challenging) but ultimately, I believe the final outcome is a beautiful work of art. INSEAD will mould you.

INSEAD has a distinct approach to business education; it is values-driven and this filters into the course content, the calibre of the professors and people that are admitted into the programme. The fact that they have a course (Leadership Development Programme) dedicated to you - maximising your leadership and personal potential is unique and one of the most valuable aspects of the programme.

The cohort is super diverse with 41 nationalities represented. The range of experience is quite wide; there is something to learn from everyone and it has really challenged me to rethink my views and thoughts.

As much as I struggle to believe that I am back in classrooms, it is a humbling and rewarding experience coupled with the opportunity to visit the different campuses in France, Singapore and the UAE, as well as study trips to Brazil and Israel. In my professional life, I am very often speaking at conferences and relish the opportunity to listen more than contribute and to submit myself as a novice.  

The professors are well rounded not only are they leading in the theoretical aspects, but they are in their own right world class leaders with practical experience.

It is difficult to elevate your mind and perspective if you stay in your comfort zone. I wanted to raise the ante and being in the INSEAD environment with the intellectual rigour and community, does just that! 

Has the EMBA helped you in your career so far?  

The EMBA has helped my career in more ways than I can articulate. It has created a whole new frontier on my career outlook and five months into the programme I already have new tools, which are refining how I approach challenges at work. 

The alumni network runs quite deep. I have connected with alumni in different fields from across the world. It is helpful to have a community of professionals across the world to call on. 

Could you tell us more about the Leadership Development Programme (LDP) experience?

The LDP is the course that is dedicated to you. The experience has been remarkable requiring deep individual and collective reflection. I am paired with a group of people with whom I am able to be vulnerable and who are committed to mine and I to their development.

The LDP has given me a dedicated platform to (re)design, rethink, (re)shape my life. 

What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in pursuing an INSEAD Masters programme?

Go for it! There may never be a more perfect time to start than now. There are three main areas I would suggest you look out for:

-    Heart: have a blank canvas, be open to inspiration and to change your mind about the things (you think) you know.
-    People: don’t lose sight of the people and experiences beyond the learning. The learning will happen but make sure to invest in spending time with the (precious) people that you will meet.
-    Support: it would be important to have a support system professionally if you are working during the programme and personally. If you are like me, on some days you will question how and why you are doing an EMBA. Don’t worry, on those days you will still see that the value is not without challenge, which I think is what makes it super rewarding and worthwhile.