P1: It’s a wrap!
Key takeaways from P1:
1. Work hard. Party harder. Enough said.
Also – Fonty isn’t a village, people! There is more than one bar and the whole of Europe is out there just waiting to be explored!
2. Why an MBA?
If nothing else (career progression, industry change, new geography) what can possibly be worth spending €58K? I know MBAs are often criticised for being Jacks of all Trades and Masters of None. But senior leadership roles are really about stepping back and looking at the big picture. Here you have the joy of learning in an intensely challenging but risk-free environment – it works if you’re willing to put in the requisite effort to learn. Do your CFA if you really want to understand the details behind ammortisation policies. Do an MBA if you want to answer the ‘so what’.
Also – learn to work with people who have zero hindrances in telling you what they really think of you.
3. Make friends because you want to make friends. ‘Networking’ doesn’t work anyway (#PersonalOpinion):
Yes, B-school is a great way to build your network. And yes, you have access to all these wonderful contacts and jobs and everything else. But if you’re going to strike up a conversation with someone ONLY because the person worked at some place you might consider joining, chances are the person ISN’T going to help you. Would you? INSEAD is truly about some wonderful people so give yourself a chance to get to know them and push yourself out of your comfort zone; at the end of the year you might not have all 500 on LinkedIn but you’d come away with 50 solid dependable relationships. That’s what counts in the long run.
4. Save up or arrange the funds.
B-School is expensive. SO expensive. You have NO idea how expensive. You don’t want to reach here and be panicking or thinking about every penny you spend because it will stress you out. Missing out on parties or travel trips will dilute the experience for you. And unfortunately, you will often feel that you’re paying for the air you breathe (true!). Start saving NOW. Also – everyone says it will all be okay in the long run. Ask me again 5 years from now
5. Jobs? Be proactive. Be realistic. Work hard.
Jobs won’t appear on a platter and you’re not going to be the star you’ve always been because this place is the Milky Way. Again, it’s hard but it’s true. You’ve got a dream? Dream it! And make sure you chase it on your own! There’s tons of people happy to help
6. Don’t panic!
Exams start on Monday. It’s Thursday evening. And I’m yet to get my head around Uncertainty, Data & Judgment’s (UDJ) Hypothesis testing. You know what? There’s tons of other stuff I’m good at and that makes me happy. So I’m just going to work 80-20 on things that make me happy and things that don’t – and life will sort itself out. I will of course do UDJ (this is in case my dad is reading this ). But the effort will be proportional to happiness derived, and great work is smart work – not JUST hard work. You’ll see!
5 days to Portugal! Here I come