I believe that as soon as the EMFin becomes ranked, it will undoubtedly become more valuable.
Paul Birkett

Paul Birkett

Paul Birkett1.jpg
Nationality/Passport: South African Year of graduation: 2018 Current Role: Partner at ASOCapital

Why the INSEAD EMFin amongst all other available Master programmes worldwide?

First, I believe that as soon as the INSEAD EMFin becomes ranked, it will undoubtedly become more valuable. Thus, I saw this as a good value for money. Second, I wanted something that gives me exposure to the faster-growing markets of Asia and the majority of the modules are conducted on the Singapore campus. Third, I also considered the LBS Master in Finance programme. However, felt this was not global enough. Lastly, the EMFin’s modular format works – I was unwilling to forego my current work, so I needed a programme that allows me to work and study at the same time.

Did the programme meet or exceed your expectations?

A little of both, in some respects it met expectations and then, in certain instances it exceeded them. For example:

  • Some of the lectures, particularly with respect to Accounting and Corporate Finance were exceptional. The quality of the instruction exceeded my expectations;
  • Being a small class, we developed much deeper friendships amongst our classmates; this exceeded my expectations.
  • A friend of mine who attended LBS suggested that the class was too large, and consequently, the friendships were not as deep.

How did the EMFin help you in your career?

We manage a small private equity fund, with great ambitions to grow and build the business. In my view, the EMFin will help to benchmark me (and our team) relative to other global investment opportunities. This is a longer-term view as it will take time for investors to build trust and support us.

Do share with us your thoughts on the quality of the professors.

On the whole, the faculty is very good. Some professors were exceptional including the Accounting and Corporate Finance lecturers.

Can you share more about the Leadership Capstone?

My capstone focused on the business case for our current business and beyond. To this end, it helped to crystalise the future path that we are driving towards.

Can you share the multi-campus experience?

It was really an amazing experience. This is one of the main reasons why I chose INSEAD EMFin over other business schools’ programmes.

What advice will you give to potential EMFin participants?

Three advice:

  1. Plan for the time away from the office: you really want to absorb as much as possible in and out of the classroom
  2. Engage with your classmates: one of the greatest benefits was actually meeting people from around the world and I had two instances where I visited them in their home countries.
  3. Get involved outside of the classroom: Singapore offers many opportunities and as an international student, I took the opportunity to meet investors who lived in Singapore (e.g. Jim Rogers);