I was able to leverage the Career Development Centre's network to have important conversations with alumni to further help me with my career planning. 
Sama Asali

Sama Asali

Nationality/Passport: Jordanian Year of graduation: 2021 Current Role: Digital Strategist at Adobe

Tell me about yourself, and how you got to where you are today both on a professional and personal level?
Originally from Jordan, I grew up in an expat community in Saudi Arabia which at a young age exposed me to a very international environment.

This was a nice preamble to my multinational escapades – from university and a brief work stint in New York, to a posting in London where I played a large role in bridging between the London, New York and Dubai offices, to finding myself at INSEAD in Fountainebleau, finally settling back in London post-graduation.

Professionally, I started my career in an insights consultancy where I advised blue chip clients on their messaging and communications through data-driven recommendations. These skills came in handy throughout the MBA, and I was able to leverage them during my MBA internship at WhatsApp (Meta) and ultimately now in my role at Adobe where I advise clients on how to get the most out of their digital transformation.
What made you decide you wanted to pursue the INSEAD MBA, and why INSEAD in particular?

 I was looking for a way to apply my skills that I had developed in insights consultancy in a different industry – which is why I started looking into MBAs.

What drew me to INSEAD was the unparalleled opportunity to have a truly diverse experience: INSEAD attracts a professionally and geographically diverse cohort and faculty, but also offers the opportunity to have diverse experiences inside the classroom through campus switching and on-the-ground consulting opportunities.
What expectations did you have before you started the MBA?
I didn’t have any specific expectations, but I was hoping to learn a lot, meet interesting people and set myself up with a new career path. 
Could you tell us about your experience with the Career Development Centre (CDC)?

I hit the ground running with the CDC before I even arrived at INSEAD with resume review workshops where I was able to start honing and crafting my resume for the type of career I wanted.

When I started thinking about tech, I was able to work with the industry specialists in the CDC (like Michael Scott) to surface relevant opportunities and work through important career decisions.

It was so helpful to have a sounding board to discuss ideas – and I was able to leverage the CDC network to have important conversations with alumni to further help me with my career pathing. 
Has the INSEAD MBA helped you in your career?
It has only been a year or so since I graduated – but the MBA was a huge propeller for my career! It gave me time, space and the tools to think about the career I want, and helped me facilitate a career shift to a different industry.

I was also able to gain essential business skills that I still use on a day-to-day basis, particularly around reading financials, building business cases, and thinking strategically about problems. I have no doubt I’ll be continually reaping the benefits in the years to come.

What advice will you give to prospects who are still considering whether an INSEAD MBA should be part of their career plan?
I feel that this kind of decision is a very personal one dependent on many factors, so I can’t speak for others.

For myself personally, I embarked on the MBA journey in the middle of a pandemic. It was a time of global lockdowns, travel restrictions and economic challenges, yet it was one of the best experiences I’ve had both professionally and personally. If you’re looking to make a change, don’t let fear hold you back!