I have just returned from the break between P1 and P2. One period has gone and what is true is that it goes by so fast. But it’s dense, so full of everything. It’s international. Everyone knows that and many choose INSEAD because of this unique opportunity to be exposed to such diversity. This diversity does not end there.
I live outside the forest, a 10 minute drive from campus… I might even see a deer or a boar along the road, Fontainebleau is wild! Coming back home I’m ready to join the crowd: two Brazilians, two Indians, one American-Chinese, one Aussie and a Brit… plus me, the Italian. We usually meet in the kitchen and conversations go in multiple directions. Stories are shared while someone is eating and others are checking their laptops and emails do come from everywhere (quick look at my inbox and I have a report of expenses from the last trip to Chamonix, invitations to company presentations, new clubs’ leadership elections, daily digest from yammer, a survey on my consumer habits from students exploring new businesses, the last update to the calendar for P2, etc).
In my work group we spread from Santiago to Shanghai, stopping by Rhode Island, Venice, Riyadh and Mumbai. It’s quite a trip and a constant discovery. Being so different brings into play patience, adaptation, curiosity, respect, reciprocity. And as time passes, we get to know each other better and we develop a sense of belonging that will tie our lives together.
P1 was very intense. I didn’t think I needed all those career info sessions and CV workshops so early on in the programme, but now it’s already P2 and summer internship applications are almost due. I definitely need to catch up by writing a few cover letters this week and do more research on companies I am interested in.
Classes were mainly quantitative in P1; accounting, statistics, micro economics, financial markets… but I think organizational behavior was the best one. It was filled with classroom interaction and group work and there was not necessarily a “right” answer to most things. It really exercised one’s judgment and critical thinking which is one of my main areas of interest. We took all the exams in two and a half days and I have never seen the campus so populated at night as it was a week before the finals. Before this, all I heard were of people sleeping at the library to recover from parties, but during exams, students were sleeping with their books under the pillows!
P1 was indeed a rush. As soon as we started, parties were thrown all over, Club 16, Villa Foch, Chateau Fleury, Tavers (social life is core at INSEAD). There are so many different and interesting people around, that you want to meet them all. In February, the Lowlands week transformed campus to the world of the Dutch and Belgians. Beers and delicacies appeared on the tables of the Belgian dinner while red lights shone over the Dutch final party! It was colorful and full of enthusiasm; I can’t wait to organize the Italian week in June!
There’s always something going on at INSEAD and I believe that one of the best ways to get to know other classmates is travelling together. So far I’ve been to Amsterdam, Chamonix, Champagne while others have travelled to Turkey, Morocco, Portugal, etc. It is a real journey at INSEAD! Stay tuned!