I learned how to lead myself to the goals I have in life.
Rafael D'Andrea

Rafael D'Andrea

Rafael D'Andrea
Nationality/Passport: Brazilian Year of graduation: 2016 Current Role: Founder and CEO, Grupo Toolbox

What made you decide to embark on the EMC programme at INSEAD?

At a certain point in my career, I realised that everything is about people, myself included. If I were to continue growing professionally, I should understand personal relations, leadership, and my role as a business owner. That was when I decided to apply for INSEAD EMC programme, in 2014. When I was reading the programme's website, I stumbled across a list of questions for potential participants. At a certain point, there was an indication something along the lines of, "if you are not comfortable with these questions, this is probably not the right programme for you". The honesty of that statement got my attention and trust. I knew right there that EMC was the right place for me. I never finished reading the website and went straight to the application on the spot.

Has the programme met or exceeded your expectations?

The programme exceeded all expectations I had about INSEAD. I thought that I would learn how to lead people, which I did. But more importantly, I learned how to lead myself to the goals I have in life. It is much deeper, and transformational than I thought from the beginning.

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

Top-notch professors who understand theory and have real-world experience in their topics made the programme 100% transformational. I was also amazed by the level of attention and support given by the staff to the international students.

How has the EMC changed your perspectives/outlook towards life?

I can safely say that I reinvented myself during the programme. I learnt how to access my own inner self in order to make better decisions.

How different is the EMC as compared to other master programmes out there?

I think that there is nothing compared to EMC programme. This is the only master programme after which people around you will spontaneously say "you're a changed person, what happened?” The programme focuses on self-transformation and stimulates us to practice reflection in order to drive action. Once we realise the need to change, there is no way back. I think there is no other programme with this kind of approach. The sessions are full of 'wow' moments, but the academic basis is as solid; proven by the thesis. I have learnt as much as any academic would have learned from the making of my paper, which was meticulously rated and discussed during the final module.

What is one most significant lesson you got out of the programme?

By understanding how to be, as much as I could, and free from judgment. I have gotten the ability to really listen to the people around me. That ability is truly empowering.

What advice would you give to potential EMC participants?

It is really hard to explain the EMC programme. It is even harder to try to understand something experienced-based before the experience. EMC is nothing like anything you have ever seen. So for potential candidates, I would say, "Embrace the unknown".