I believe the programme will help me become a well-rounded finance professional capable of making key strategic decisions that generate value for long-term business success.
Syuzanna Padarova

Syuzanna Padarova

Syuzanna Padarova EMFin
Nationality/Passport: Bulgarian Year of graduation: 2025 Current Role: Partnerships Revenue Manager, EMEA, Netflix

Could you tell us more about your professional journey so far?

I have been living and working in the Netherlands for the past 12 years. After four years at Booking.com’s Amsterdam headquarters, where I held multiple finance roles, I joined Netflix, where I have been for the last seven years. 

During my tenure at Netflix, I have seen my role progress in line with the company’s expansion in the EMEA region. Today, I lead the EMEA region’s Partnerships Revenue Finance Team.

What motivated you to pursue the INSEAD Executive Master in Finance (EMFin)?

I am a naturally curious person, so after over a decade in various finance roles at Booking.com and Netflix, the INSEAD Executive Master in Finance felt like the natural next step in my career. 

I am eager to expand my horizons, improve my knowledge of both the fundamental and strategic aspects of finance, and expand my network by meeting diverse individuals.

Why did you choose INSEAD’s EMFin over other programmes out there?

Initially, I was looking at schools that were closer to home. However, my colleagues who were INSEAD alumni recommended that I try an INSEAD programme instead. 

After researching the school and speaking with Hazel Cui, Assistant Director and the programme advisor for EMFin, I was convinced that the EMFin would be a good fit for me. 

INSEAD's mission to become a force for good inspires me, and it aligns with my values. Additionally, I feel the programme’s modular structure is ideal for people like myself who want to work and study simultaneously.

Lastly, I love Singapore. I have visited multiple times for work and leisure and admire the country's seamless blend of technology, innovation and natural beauty. Singapore is also one of the world's largest financial centres, so having the programme take place in Singapore makes perfect sense.

What was your experience like in the classroom?

It was intense, insightful, and, at times, challenging and uncomfortable.

My classmates came from different industries and parts of the world. We bonded, shared valuable knowledge, and supported each other through the intense moments over just two weeks. I don't come across such people in my daily life, so I am very excited to deepen my relationships with them during the next few modules. The faculty has also been fantastic! They are knowledgeable, passionate, and inspiring as both human beings and professionals.

Overall, I enjoyed absorbing all the knowledge and having time to learn.

A group of INSEAD Master in Finance participants standing and laughing together in a bar

What has been the most significant highlight of the EMFin so far?

Life can be demanding, and we often forego learning in favour of more urgent items on our to-do lists. Therefore, the most rewarding aspect for me has been the opportunity to make learning and being curious a priority.

During the two weeks on campus, I am fully immersed in the programme, and I enter constant learning mode. It is so refreshing! When I return to "normal life" in between modules, the excitement continues as I try to connect the dots between what I have learnt and my day-to-day work.

How can the EMFin add value to your work?

I believe the programme will help me become a well-rounded finance professional capable of making key strategic decisions that generate value for long-term business success. 

It is still a work in progress, but I believe I can connect the dots and find ways to apply classroom learnings to my work.

What are your plans after graduation?

I hope to spend the next few years enriching my skillset by improving my knowledge of both the fundamental and strategic aspects of finance. This will allow me to gradually expand my scope of work and ultimately pave the way for me to rise to a senior leadership position in an organisation that values diversity and inclusivity.

What is the secret to balancing work, life, and studying?

I am still in the process of finding the sweet spot for myself when it comes to balancing work life and studying. However, I believe the key is to be good at planning, prioritising, and delegating. Only by making the programme a priority and enjoying the learning process, even when it feels uncomfortable, can I make the most of my time at INSEAD.

Do you have any other advice for potential EMFin candidates?

If you are interested in developing your career in finance and the EMFin programme appeals to you, do not overthink it. The best way to learn more about the school and EMFin programme is to apply to the EMFin programme!