The programme helped me advance my career by expanding my network and building my confidence.
Thais Xavier

Thais Xavier

Thais Xavier
Nationality/Passport: Brazilian Year of graduation: 2015 Current Role: Digital Business Manager for Clubs & Federations, Nike

Why did you choose the INSEAD MBA?

I chose the INSEAD MBA for a couple of different reasons. Firstly, I was intrigued by INSEAD’s diversity. Exposure to different ways of thinking, contrasting viewpoints and ideas was very important to me, and I wanted to be in an environment where this was a foundation. Secondly, INSEAD alumni all had the same sparkle in their eyes when they talked about their INSEAD experience and the feeling was contagious. Thirdly, the school's location in Europe and the opportunity to study in France was exciting for me because I wanted to experience Europe's cultural abundance and easily travel around the region. 

How has the programme helped you to embark on a career switch?

INSEAD provided me with the tools I needed in order to make a career change. I had full support from career services, from my colleagues (who had connections with people in the sports industry) and also from alumni who were always willing to talk about their experience, offer advice and introduce me to people. In this way I can say that networking at INSEAD is a key advantage. Furthermore, I had the chance to work in multicultural teams and take classes that taught us how to thrive in an international professional environment. Also after talking to many alumni, I realised that convincing a company to sponsor my visa was not an issue, nor was it an issue to work in a country where I did not speak the local language. These were all obstacles that could easily be overcome. Because of this insight, I felt more confident about pursuing a new job abroad.

How has the programme helped you advance your career?

The programme helped me advance my career by expanding my network and building my confidence. INSEAD alumni are very supportive of each other, either by sharing experiences or by introducing you to people. As an INSEAD alumna myself, there is an instant feeling of empathy when I am introduced to fellow INSEAD alumni. I know that if I want to move to another country or company in the future, having such a global network will help open doors.

The INSEAD MBA transforms lives – what did this mean for you?

The INSEAD experience helped me grow a lot as a person. INSEAD encourages its students to share their ideas. Everyone is invited to contribute and most of all, there is a lot of space for creativity and spontaneity. For example, there are picnics by the chateau, poetry recitals, costume parties with the funniest themes, talent shows, you name it – it’s all there. All of these opportunities encouraged me to consider different paths for my life and reflect on what I consider to be meaningful. Plus, living in the small community of Fontainebleau made it so much easier to bond with people. Coming from and always having lived in a huge metropolis such as Sao Paulo, I found it enchanting to bike around Fontainbleau and to run into my friends and colleagues at every corner.

What is the most important lesson you have gotten from INSEAD?

During my time at INSEAD I felt both free and that anything was possible. Consequently, I was able to change my life in many aspects – I found the courage to make difficult changes in my personal life, I found a job in the sector I wanted in Europe, I ran a marathon, and I made new friends from all over the world. All of these experiences helped me to find strength within myself. As a result, the biggest lesson for me was that I should never settle in both my personal and professional life.

Thanks to INSEAD, I have learnt that it is always important to fight for what you believe in and for what truly makes you happy.

What advice would you give potential students looking to pursue an INSEAD MBA?

I would encourage potential students to talk to current and previous INSEAD students to understand the ethos of the school. And then they should demonstrate through their essays and interviews why they would be a good fit for the school. I believe that INSEAD is not just interested in people who want to grow professionally and be future leaders, but it is also interested in individuals who want to broaden their perspective of the world by exchanging ideas and sharing experiences with other inspiring people.