Every new idea I heard, I thought: “I can apply this in Africa."
Why did you choose to do the INSEAD MBA?
I came here for the multi-lingual, international mix to gain leadership skills and cultural sensitivity. But it’s been even more enriching than I bargained for. With more than 80 different nationalities and almost as many professional backgrounds in some classrooms, you can imagine the debates. Take one problem and you’ll get at least 80 different views. And by exchanging campuses, you see things from yet another angle. The professors are real experts in allowing the different perspectives to emerge.
Which has been your favourite class so far?
I’ve got lots of favourite classes! Coming from a finance background, I loved the Operations and Strategy core courses, because they were totally new. And I appreciated the elective in Psychological Aspects in Management for the same reason. But best of all was probably the International Financial Management Elective. It’s truly global with cases from all over the world and totally different from financial management in a local company, which is what I used to do.
What is the value of the campus exchange?
The two campuses are like twins separated at birth! Everything is identical, yet the environment is totally different even the climate. I had never been to Asia before. Nor had I known temperatures as low as in Fontainebleau this winter. It was an incredibly rich experience switching from one to the other. You could say it’s the best of both worlds.
What are your long-term career plans?
Although I’ve experienced both Europe and Asia, thanks to INSEAD, I’d like to return to Africa to work for one of the big consulting firms. In the long run, inspired by INSEAD, I’d like to start my own business there. But in the meantime consulting will expose me to many industries and open new doors. Africa is at the point Asia was at a decade ago. There are 180 million Africans moving into the middle classes and trillions of growth is predicted over the next few years. If you want to seize the opportunities created by that, you just have to be on the ground!
How has INSEAD helped you to further your career plans?
Career Services bring all the global consultants to recruit on campus and prepare you for interviews. And then there’s the Consulting Club. The events and speakers have given me a huge amount of knowledge about the current industry dynamics worldwide.
What’s the main thing you’ll take away from INSEAD?
I came as a finance person. Within a week, I was an energy person, then a pharma person and finally a consulting person. Every new idea I heard, I thought: “I can apply this in Africa”. So my key take-away is the knowledge, the confidence and the broader outlook, as well as phone numbers of friends all over the world.