The EMFIN helped me to connect the dots.
What made you decide to do a Master in Finance?
I had considered pursuing a master’s degree earlier in my career, however, the timing did not work due to both personal and professional reasons. As I progressed in my career, I started to think that a master’s degree is not a necessity for my profession and it may not even be worth the investment.
Then, I reached a turning point in 2014 when I had the opportunity to attend the Manager Development Course at GE Crotonville, which was effectively a ‘leadership bootcamp.’ The two-week classroom experience was so influential that it completely ignited my intellectual curiosity and inspired me to go back to school.
Why the INSEAD EMFin amongst all other available Master programmes worldwide?
My first option was to do a Masters in Finance programme offered in the UK that had a solid reputation. However, I came across the EMFin at INSEAD, which turned out to be a more convenient format for a full-time working mother like myself.
I started the programme when my second child was five months old and the modular format worked perfectly to maximise the learning on campus while minimising the time away from family.
How did the EMFin help you in your career?
EMFin went above and beyond my expectations! The programme helped me understand the various frameworks of finance, connect the dots (the fragmented working knowledge I learned through my career), apply theories to business contexts, and acquire advanced skills.
All of these ultimately resulted in me building stronger confidence as a risk management professional. The programme also helped my career transition to Singapore, which was completely unexpected before I started the programme.
My classmates from diverse backgrounds brought new perspectives and made me realise that there are a lot of exciting things happening outside of my home country. I was fortunate enough to receive an internal offer to move to Singapore and the transition took place during module four.
Which module did you enjoy most, and why?
The programme was so well-structured that it is difficult to pick the most enjoyable one, but I would say module three in Fontainebleau was like a bonus with the extra fun outside of the classroom.
After the first two hectic modules, that was the module the class got to relax a little and enjoy the social evenings out. I think the class bonded strongly during that module.
What were some challenges you face as you juggle work, studies and family, and how did you overcome it?
My life was already quite busy managing work and family before I started the programme, so adding business school on top of that seemed like a crazy thing to do in the beginning. I had to admit at an early stage that I cannot do everything perfectly and needed to lower my expectations for many things.
By not aiming for 100% performance allowed me to multi-task and do a lot more! Also, I cannot thank my family (including my parents and parents-in-law) enough for their understanding and cooperation.
What advice will you give to potential EMFin participants?
I would especially like to call out to the working mothers in the financial sector. If you would like to get ahead in your career, but never had the chance to pursue an advanced degree because of family constraints, this is the programme you should go for.
The academic journey can be quite intense and it will be intellectually demanding throughout the programme, but the reward is very much worth the effort. I will never forget the joy and sense of accomplishment I felt at graduation.