Studying on the Singapore campus made for a more intimate experience and allowed us to really get to know each other.
Yalin Hou

Yalin Hou

Nationality/Passport: Chinese Year of graduation: 2022 Current Role: Programme Manager at Apple

Why did you decide to pursue an MBA, and why at INSEAD?

I started my career in engineering, and I found that there were many good ideas which couldn’t go to the market. This got me interested in the business perspective, and I decided to switch my career into management. 

However, I realised that I didn’t really have a strong understanding of decision making in business, for example, what factors to consider when driving performance and impact. Hence, I decided to do an MBA. 

INSEAD appealed to me because after having lived in China and Europe, I was keen to study in a diverse environment, meet different people and have access to global career opportunities.

What was your class experience like?

Although we were still studying under restrictions imposed by the pandemic for the first few months, it was a great experience. Our cohort was a bit smaller but I felt this made for a more intimate experience and allowed us to really get to know each other. After the first period, the entire Singapore cohort travelled to Cambodia together which was a very memorable experience. 

I also learnt a lot from my classmates, especially my study group. We spent a lot of time together and formed a very deep connection with each other which is very special to me. 

How would you describe the Singapore campus? And why did you decide to stay in Singapore post graduation?

I felt it was very easy to hang out with people from different backgrounds on the Singapore campus. We had such a diverse group and there was no dominant nationality or background – everyone was forced to step out of their comfort zone and mingle together. 

Singapore also has so many interesting places to visit, from beach bars in Sentosa to restaurants in downtown or hawker centres nearby. Our cohort had a really great time and made lots of wonderful memories together.  

I’ve lived and worked both in China and France, and wish to experience another culture. Singapore’s multicultural environment with an Asian flavour attracts me a lot.

Singapore is a place that is very open to different cultures, which is a very good fit for my current expectations. 

How was your job search experience at INSEAD, and what resources did you find particularly helpful?

INSEAD’s job search platform CareerGlobe was very useful during my job search. There are many different job opportunities constantly added on, so it’s a great place to see what’s going on in the market, what roles are available and what employers are looking for. 

I also spent a lot of time with my career coach who helped me reflect on what kind of roles and industries would be a good fit for me in the coming years. The employer engagement specialists gave me valuable insights about current industry trends, as well as advantages and disadvantages of different companies in the market. 

What is your advice for anyone who is considering whether the INSEAD MBA is the right next step for them?

The INSEAD MBA is a short programme and time will just fly by once you’re on campus. My advice would be to take some time and reflect on how you envision your career, not only immediately after the MBA, but in the next 10-15 years. Think about where you want to be, and what kind of life you want to lead. This clarity will be very helpful as you chart your way forward during the MBA.