Getting out of my comfort zone was something that I continuously did during the two weeks, both academically and personally.
Sarah Høegh Gjørup

Sarah Hoegh Gjorup

ISS Sarah
Nationality/Passport: Danish Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: ISS 2023 Participant

Could you share something unexpected about you?

I spent a year in Japan as an exchange student between junior high school and high school. I did not know anything about their language or culture before living in Japan. This led me to be unbiased when I arrived and forced me to learn the language as very few spoke English. My time in Japan is what fueled my curiosity for culture.

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

I was born in a family that had their own business, which exposed me to entrepreneurship and business at a young age. The interest in business, finance and the economy never went away and therefore I chose to join a high school which focused on business after I had been an exchange student in Japan for one year. 

My eagerness to get accepted into the International Business Studies at CBS was what fuelled me to always perform my best in high school even when times were tough. After I graduated from high school, I chose to take a gap year where I worked full-time at a Scandinavian bank for most of the year and travelled the rest of it.  

I am now studying my dream studies at CBS and working part-time in the same job as I did during my gap year. I hope to continuously develop, learn, and understand different aspects of the interests I had growing up while experiencing new cultures and meeting people from all around the world. 

My two weeks at INSEAD was a combination of all I want to continuously develop, learn, and understand in the future.

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

I was motivated to join the INSEAD Summer School due to my curiosity of expanding my knowledge on business, and meeting other students from various cultures, and diverse professional backgrounds. I have always known that I wanted to study and work with business and finance. Therefore, I used the INSEAD Summer School as an opportunity to fuel my curiosity while learning from world class professors.

Tell us about your experience on the ISS – what was a typical day like?

A typical day at ISS was knowing that INSEAD has a rule called the "Swiss train". The rule states that everyone is expected to be on time as the professor will start his lecture exactly on time and it is therefore, not accepted to be late. 

Before attending an eight-hour day of insightful, interesting, and fun lectures and teamwork, the early birds would meet at breakfast at the hotel and start off the day by connecting with peers. I must admit that I tried to make it to breakfast almost every day, but some days due to everyone spending a lot of time together every day after classes, I didn’t make it to breakfast. 

Every day was not the same as we learned something new and got to know every student even better, as we spent more than 12 hours together daily. From 8:45am until 5/5:30pm we would have lectures and lunch and thereafter a short break where after we again would have either an event or a guest speaker. 

When the academic part of the day was over we would always make sure to spend time together and get to know each other even better outside the classroom. I really enjoyed my time at INSEAD and am grateful for the friendships I have gotten.

Any memorable moments that you will take back with you?

It is hard to pick one moment that was the most memorable, as the whole experience started out with a teambuilding day where we all were forced to get out of our comfort zone. 

Getting out of my comfort zone was something that I continuously did during the two weeks, both academically and personally. 

The reason why it was possible to go outside of one's comfort zone was because you could feel the support both from the other students but also from the staff coordinators, MIM graduates and teachers. Going out of my comfort zone made me learn new things about myself and for that I am grateful.

What were your impressions of campus life?

I loved campus life as it was a place that accepted and embraced differences and challenged its students to the fullest. We learned something new every day and had a good time whilst doing it. 

INSEAD’s way of teaching is different from what I am used to and I very much enjoyed the interaction between teachers and students. We were often asked a question and the teacher showed a great interest in the answer. We also had a lot of teamwork and this taught us how to navigate communication when we were all from diverse cultural backgrounds.

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

The application process for the Summer School was long and required that I started writing my application early. It was necessary to plan on how to receive the recommendation letters, from both my boss, former economic high school teacher and former professor at CBS. 

It was a stressful process as I wanted to make sure that I made the best possible application and hence it required that I reflected a lot upon what to write in my application. I learned a lot from the experience of both writing my application, reaching out to receive recommendations and doing the online test question interview.

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

The only thing that could have made the Summer School programme even better was if we had had another week, as the time flew by and I enjoyed every moment of my life at INSEAD. I surely hope that I will be back in the future and prospective students are more than welcome to contact me.