Time literally flies at INSEAD.
Tell me a fun fact about yourself!
Serving exactly 100g of rice into a bowl is my favourite daily habit. I never fail to weigh my bowl of rice before eating, at least when I am at home.
So Shiho, what were you doing before you joined INSEAD?
I was born and brought up in Tokyo. Dreaming of living in the country side since I was a high school student, I decided to leave the big city, Tokyo, and go to a northern part of Japan to study liberal arts. I spent one year in my undergraduate programme in Paris as an exchange student. This is when I started to think of pursuing graduate education at a business school abroad directly after graduation from my college.
Coming from the background of liberal arts studies, I did not have a firm understanding as to how business works. So, I interned in the sales division at Danone Japan for three months and as an investment analyst at a hedge fund for two and a half months to make a smooth transition from humanities to business studies at INSEAD.
And can you tell me why you decided to apply for the MIM? What are your goals post-MIM?
One of the most compelling aspects of the INSEAD MIM was the global mobility that the programme allows me to equip myself with. I have aspired to work in a global context outside my home country since I was young. So, I was looking for a programme that helps me translate my international motivation into actions.
The MIM at INSEAD was a perfect fit for me because of the diverse student body and the programme structure. Students start on the Fontainebleau campus in France, and six months later, we fly all together to the Singapore campus. This enables me to immerse myself in both European and Asian cultures and learn about the business landscape in both regions.
Especially during the practical following the core courses in each period, students have many opportunities to work closely with local business leaders. As a student aspiring to work abroad after the programme, I appreciate the school providing many touchpoints to different cultures and local business practitioners. Therefore, I decided to apply for the MIM at INSEAD.
What have your first few weeks been like? Memorable moments so far? First impressions, in one sentence?
You will never get bored at INSEAD!
A lot of things go on at INSEAD from classes, groupwork and career workshops to picnics in a beautiful garden behind the Fontainebleau castle and trips to other cities in France. Each day is stimulating to the extent that I forgot to turn the pages of my desk calendar for two months!
The most memorable day is the most intense day that I have had so far at INSEAD. It was one week before the final exam. I went to the campus at 8:30am to do a PCR test and worked on the group assignment for the financial accounting course where we were asked to analyse the financial statements of a company and record a video presentation.
After lunch and coffee break outside in a pleasant weather with classmates, we attended a career workshop that helped us prepare for case interviews. After three and a half hours of the intense workshop, I met my home group members again to work on the group assignment, ordered Indian curry and samosa for dinner, learned how to eat curry with my hands from one of my group members, went to the library to study for the exam and headed back home at 11pm.
Although a day at INSEAD usually has more social aspects outside the campus than this particular day before the exam, it is enough to explain how fulfilling the MIM programme is.
Time literally flies at INSEAD.
What are you most looking forward to during the programme?
I am most looking forward to going to Abu Dhabi as part of the optional field trips. As I have not been to Middle East yet, I am excited to learn what business opportunities and challenges exist in the region, visit some companies and hear from local business practitioners.
We have the opportunity to join three optional field trips during the programme (Abu Dhabi, Shanghai and Silicon Valley). The global mobility represented by this programme structure is one of the main reasons I applied to INSEAD.
Any tips for anyone who might be interested in pursuing a MIM in the future?
Read the articles and watch the videos uploaded on In The Know and reach out to MIM students. This is the best way to get an insight into what the INSEAD MIM is, what the student life at INSEAD looks like, and what brought MIM students to INSEAD.
Parting words of wisdom?
The application process is not just for the school to assess you as a candidate, but also for you to assess the school. You will get to know more about INSEAD during the application. Enjoy!