I see my participating in the INSEAD GEMBA programme as a gateway to a new chapter in my career.
Stefanie Dedeurwaerdere

Stefanie Dedeurwaerdere

Stefanie Dedeurwaerdere
Nationality/Passport: Belgian Year of graduation: 2024 Current Role: Senior Director, Head of Epilepsy Discovery Research at UCB Pharma

Fun fact about yourself?

My last holiday destination was a house swap in the Netherlands through a home exchange platform. A great way to meet new people and live like a local. 

What led you to decide to pursue an EMBA, and why did you choose INSEAD in particular? 

I’m a senior healthcare leader having a strong scientific background and a PhD in Neuroscience. While achieving a steady career progression as a neuroscientist working in drug discovery, I am convinced there is still so much more to be discovered.

I see my participating in the INSEAD GEMBA programme as a gateway to a new chapter in my career.

I’m keen to take up a leadership role in a new department within the company (Strategy, Commercial or Business Development) to broaden my scope and experience. I’m aware that my plans need further development and that’s why I believe 14 months of reflection, stimulation and deep training at INSEAD will allow me to grow as a leader and accelerate my career in the best way possible.

I’m looking to learn, to be inspired, to connect and to broaden my view on the world.

While I looked into different business schools, the values and sense of purpose which INSEAD stands for really resonated with me. The supportive environment and great discussions with recruiting managers and alumni made me feel at home at INSEAD immediately.

The INSEAD GEMBA programme is my first choice to prepare myself for a bright future with purposeful impact.  

Could you describe your experience so far? The classes, the curriculum, your fellow participants, the professors?  

In a few words: a rollercoaster ride.

You think you come prepared, but it is not the case. It’s a lot of juggling and many balls to keep in the air. However, the fellow classmates are truly fantastic. There is such a breadth of different people, personalities, preferences, cultural background and nationalities.

Most of all, everyone comes in very humble and with a genuine interest to learn about and from each other. The courses are interactive and tailored for steep learning. The professors are very dedicated and give a unique spin to their classes. I really appreciate what they do for us, and the effort put in. 

How has the EMBA helped you in your career so far?   

I have only completed the first module and just came back to Fontainebleau for the second one. There are several things that have already clicked in my head, which is helping me to have a more holistic view even in my current role.

My colleagues at work tell me that they already notice the positive effect the course is having on me.  

What advice would you give to someone who might be interested in pursuing an INSEAD Masters programme?  

Be clear to yourself on what you want to get out of it and the reasons why you want to pursue the programme, but don’t overthink it. 

Do your diligence about different schools and programmes as this is going to be a major investment of time and money. In the end, follow your intuition and enjoy the journey.