One of the major contributing factors to my happiness at INSEAD is that the international and collaborative culture is exactly what I was looking for.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and why you decided to embark on the INSEAD MIM programme?
I was born in the city of Stuttgart in southern Germany. When I was 8, my family moved to Mexico for three years as expats, where I got my first introduction to living in an international environment. After returning to Germany in 2009, another more prolonged stay in Australia and a return to Mexico for an internship, I started studying Business Administration and Economics at the University of Hohenheim in Germany. Having spent time abroad from an early age, I was always looking forward to meeting new people with new backgrounds and perspectives.
INSEAD’s reputation for its international environment was one of the main factors that always intrigued me about the school.
Did you consider other higher education options?
I had offers from other universities, but INSEAD has been my dream school since I first considered studying business. So, as soon as I got the call that I was admitted, my decision was made.
It’s been a few months since you started and you’ve now begun the second ‘leg’ of the journey in Singapore. How does it feel?
It feels unreal. There is this weird dichotomy, on the one side, I remember the first days of launch week as if it were yesterday, on the other side, I feel like I have been in this INSEAD world for two years.
I feel like the intense schedule of the INSEAD MIM allows you to form deep bonds, despite the seemingly short duration.
Spending most of every day with my classmates is something that I have never experienced before in this intensity, and the friendships I have made here feel truly special. There is a certain bittersweetness as well. I have been excited about the time in Singapore since the beginning of the programme, but I know that coming here also means that we are nearing the end of the programme. Even though the shortness of the programme is exactly what makes it so intense (in a positive way), there is a certain wish for the time to never end. Despite that, I am excited for our time in Singapore and the future.
Anything, in particular, you are surprised about regarding the curriculum, the professors, the quality of the teaching, your classmates?
One of the biggest surprises for me personally has been my classmates. I knew full well going in that a big part of INSEADs culture is its internationality, but what that truly means wasn’t clear to me.
One of my biggest learnings was that diversity is hard, but it is incredibly rewarding if it is done well.
It took time for all of us to adjust to one another, but I feel like through our time at INSEAD, we have more and more formed our own culture.
Despite our differences, being here together and sharing this incredibly formative time, parts of our cultural identities seemed to have melted together. It is impossible to be in this environment and not affect it and be affected by it. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to meet all the wonderful people I now am privileged to call my friends. I had high expectations, but I still starkly underestimated the wonderful community in our MIM.
If you had to do it all over again, would you?
YES, 110%. I wouldn’t even have to think about it. Coming to INSEAD has been one of the best decisions in my life.
Lastly, can you share any tips or advice for anybody interested in pursuing a MIM in the future?
I think anybody interested in pursuing a MIM in the future should try to understand the philosophies and the cultures at different schools.
One of the major contributing factors to my happiness at INSEAD is that the international and collaborative culture is exactly what I was looking for. Having a good personal fit with a community or institution is a crucial factor that many people seem to undervalue when first applying to different schools.
Final words of wisdom – in 5 words or less
Do what makes you happy!