The INSEAD brand automatically grants you access to some of the most welcoming and influential alumni associations around the world.
Can you tell us a little about yourself, where you come from and your professional career path so far?
My name is Shameel, and I am a MIM'21. I am from Dhaka, Bangladesh and currently live and work in Stockholm, Sweden.
Throughout my life, I’ve been extremely lucky to have lived across multiple geographies. I attended middle and junior high school in Oman, went to summer school at The London School of Economics in the UK, interned at a service design/design thinking lab in Finland, and worked full-time as an M&A Analyst at PwC Advisory in Bangladesh, before pursuing my masters which took me to France and Singapore.
I hold a bachelor's degree in business administration from the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka.
After my masters, I started working as a business analyst in the Central Sales and Strategy team at Electrolux in Stockholm, Sweden.
What was your experience on the MIM programme like for you?
Whenever I introduce myself to strangers, one thing that comes up is my love for travel and exploring different cultures. Having lived in the scorching Middle Eastern climate while growing up in Oman to witnessing the coldest of winters while pursuing my internship in northern Finland, the diversity that the world has to offer truly baffles me.
Thus, the MIM at INSEAD was a no-brainer for me. The diverse and talented cohort of pioneers, each with his/her own unique approach to life, made it one of the best Master's programmes in the world.
I believe the MIM does an excellent job at teaching unity in diversity, i.e. the ability to collaborate with people from different backgrounds and combine the unique perspectives that they bring, into any sort of problem-solving or brainstorming session.
You graduated from the programme in 2021. What have you been up to since then?
After the MIM, I started working as a business analyst in the Central Sales and Strategy team at Electrolux at their headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.
I kept my love for football alive by joining the Electrolux football team and winning a few corporate games here and there.
I also utilised my prior public speaking experience to host internal events and summits for Electrolux, and sort of became a go-to host for the company.
Come September, I’ll be completing 14 months at the company, after which I’ll be joining Amazon as a brand consultant at their Stockholm office. Really excited for what’s to come!
Did INSEAD Career Development support you in your post-graduation job search efforts?
INSEAD’s CDC has helped prepare us for the job market even before day one at the school.
From sorting out CV formats, to editing cover letters, to offering effective tips and tricks on networking, to posting open positions matching our profiles on the internal job site, the CDC has been resourceful, to say the least.
But it’s also noteworthy, to mention here the effort that our cohort put together in making sure everyone had an offer before graduation. A few of our classmates set up internal groups on WhatsApp and Telegram to post relevant open positions, and that has helped many of us in securing great offers and achieving a 100% employment rate.
How have you applied the learning and skills you gained during the MIM to your current role?
The core Strategy course was very helpful, especially working for the Central Strategy team at Electrolux. But since the MIM equips you with a wide range of skills, including strategy, finance, accounting, marketing, data analytics, M&A/deals, etc. you have the liberty to either specialise in one or work in a role that requires an amalgamation of these skills. I went for the latter.
In addition to the hard skills, the international environment at INSEAD, where you get to collaborate with people from all around the world, is a great preparation for what’s to come, especially if you want to work for an international company or in a global city after you graduate.
Finally, the network that you build is something that stays with you for the rest of your life.
The INSEAD brand automatically grants you access to some of the most welcoming and influential alumni associations around the world. Almost every city/country I travel to, I get to meet someone I know or am connected to via our alma mater.
Would you have any advice to incoming students of the MIM programme as to how INSEAD might help in their search for employment?
Here’s step-by-step approach on how to best to utilise the resources at INSEAD to secure an offer, from my point of view:
Step 1: Choose 1-3 target industries that you would like to work in: consulting/strategy, finance/IB, PE/VC (only if you have prior IB experience), tech, luxury, retail, etc. The CDC can help you with prior data on industries and companies that are open to hiring MIM graduates.
Step 2: Make a list of 8 to 10 (or more) companies that you’d like to work for (the more the merrier).
Step 3: Research the open positions for these companies, matching your profile, either on LinkedIn, other job portals, or the company website.
Step 4: Once you find a position that fits your profile, try to reach out to one or two INSEAD alumni who work for that company, at the office location that you’re interested in. Trust me, we are everywhere, so it’s rare that you won’t find an INSEADer working for any company of your choice. Pro tip: LinkedIn is the way to go here. Just make sure you have a short and sweet intro message ready to kick-off the conversation. The CDC can help you with that.
Step 5: Try and ask for a referral from the alum. If not, at least ask for a CV and cover letter review, but be mindful of their time. Nine out of 10 times, they will help you out.
Step 6: You can also reach out to the CDC and check whether the company has a dedicated HR personnel for recruiting INSEAD students. In most cases, they do, unless you want to go into a very niche company or a startup.
Step 7: Prepare for your interviews - through mock interview sessions with your dedicated career coach or your classmates. Research the companies very well - their goals, their ethos, their mission, their history, and so on.
*Note: I say INSEAD alumni and not just MIM alumni, because MBAs, GEMBAs, or any other alumni are just as helpful. Because at the end of the day, we are all INSEADers.
*Last tip: The earlier you start, the earlier you’ll see success.