Late nights of preparing for the GMAT, writing application essays and preparing for the interviews have come to an end. I was at work when my wife informed me that a lady from INSEAD called and wanted to talk to me about confidential matters. I knew I was admitted, and few hours later I received the famous email: “On behalf of the Admissions Committee, it is my great pleasure to offer you a place in the INSEAD MBA Class of December 2013”.
A dream come true, I was going to one of the best business schools on the planet. One month later, my wife went into labour and gave birth to our first child, a baby boy. My wife was very supportive throughout the whole application process; Now that we had a baby, we found out very quickly that we both needed support. Around 20 – 30 percent of INSEAD MBA students bring their partners and/or their children to school. As such, we saw an opportunity to create a support network in order to be well equipped and ready once school started. We created a networking platform for partners to share information that was useful for our preparations to start the MBA. I was starting in Singapore and after some information exchange, I knew where other students with families were house-hunting. I focused my search in those areas because we thought of organizing social activities that are family friendly, and living close to each other would make such events easier to attend. Furthermore, we hoped that, living closer to each other would encourage more social interactions between our partners while we studied hard to earn our MBAs. For instance, my wife might find a new person to practice her French while I’ll be busy studying. There was a French couple already living in Singapore and the husband offered to inspect a place my wife and I found through another student. After receiving his feedback, we decided to take the place and can’t wait to move in as soon as we get to Singapore.
We started networking immediately after receiving our admission letters; sharing information (such as child care, visa application processes, insurance for partners and dependents, etc.) has made our preparations a lot easier. Lastly, we created a bond before the beginning of the program. This will ensure that students with families get as much from the MBA’s social life as single students do. Many alumni have rated their year at INSEAD as one of their best. There is only one way to find out: We’ll be on the plane to Singapore shortly… Let’s do this.