INSEAD immediately stood out to me for its diverse community, academic excellence, and practical learning approach.
Olivia Roccavilla

Olivia Roccavilla

Nationality/Passport: Italian Year of graduation: 2024 Current Role: MIM Student

Could you share something unexpected about you?

I was a computer science teaching assistant at my undergraduate university, something which I discovered is definitely not my vocation. This is to say - don't be afraid to try things out and change paths!

Tell us about yourself, and how you got to where you are today both on a professional and personal level.

Although I am Italian-born, I have spent most of my childhood living abroad in Spain, France, Singapore, the United States, and Switzerland, where I completed high school. These moves have certainly challenged me with many opportunities to adapt and learn from different cultures. This is something that I value greatly and which certainly attracted me to INSEAD, where I am able to continue studying in a stimulating environment with international interconnectedness.

My professional interests are mainly centred in the field of non-profit management, having done numerous volunteer experiences in Switzerland. For example, I have worked at a refugee centre near my school and taught at a local school for young children with disabilities. I hope to continue this passion in my future career.

What motivated you to choose the INSEAD MIM, and how do you envision it aligning with your future goals, even at this early stage?

After pursuing a Bachelor in Economics and Management for Arts, Culture, and Communication at Bocconi, in Milan, I wanted to broaden the scope of my studies towards a more encompassing Master in Management. I was also looking to pursue a more applied approach in my Master's.

INSEAD immediately stood out to me for its diverse community, academic excellence, and practical learning approach.

I was able to experience this enriching environment first-hand when I attended the Summer@INSEAD programme in 2018, and when I was living in Fontainebleau and Singapore when my dad attended the MBA in 2006. I knew from the start that this programme would be the perfect fit for me - and it has most certainly met my expectations.

What were your impressions of campus life so far and how did you navigate accommodation, and sorting out all the admin? Any tips for incoming students?

INSEAD is truly unique in its student life services; I found housing in no time through one of the agencies suggested in their "Fontainebleau Guide". I also heard a lot of my classmates doing the same thing!

My only tip would be to find a house close to campus. That's a game changer to make it on time for the "Swiss train" in the morning (classes start on time and latecomers won't be entertained, so don't be late)!

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

The MIM application process is truly a trailer of what this course is all about; you are asked to demonstrate not only your academic and professional achievements but also what you can contribute in terms of experiences, points of view, and diversity. It was really a unique experience.

Almost everyone makes their way to Fonty around three to four days before the start of the programme, so be ready to dive right into the intense social life that makes this programme so special.

In your first few weeks, what aspects of the INSEAD MIM have stood out to you as unique or particularly appealing?

Definitely the people - it's incredible how inspiring everyone is. I have enjoyed listening to everyone's stories and experiences and backgrounds; from champion cyclists and swimmers, top-class doctors and engineers, to people who were home-schooled on a boat!

Yet, everyone is incredibly down-to-earth and friendly. You will really learn a lot just from the people around you at INSEAD.

Aside from your academic pursuits, what extracurricular interests or activities are you exploring at INSEAD, and how do you see them enhancing your overall MIM experience?

I'm looking to try new sports by joining the martial arts club and participating in mindfulness activities, which is something that I particularly enjoy. Obviously, life outside class is just as important, and INSEAD values the social aspect as much as the curricular one, so I want to make the most of all the events and activities offered on and off campus.

Any parting words of wisdom, and are you willing to be contacted for more information by prospective students?

Come with an open mind, and lots of energy, and be ready to share your experiences and learn from others on campus! Don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, I'd be happy to chat!