Nearly every blog-post by INSEAD students, which I read before coming on campus, mentioned how fast the study year flies. And now I get to experience it myself! It seems as if just yesterday I was setting up my INSEAD mailbox, but now I see the incoming group of 14Ds already having a tour around campus on the open day!
There is nothing new in days flying by – whenever you work hard you don’t notice how time passes. The difference at INSEAD is that your day is full with classes and activities which are very different from each other: in the morning you may have to quickly switch your mindset between completely different classes such as finance and marketing (one very quantitative and objective, the other very creative and subjective); later in the day meet with peers to discuss the upcoming national week and how to attract sponsors; in the evening go to the gym and prepare my CV for the CV book; before going to sleep I try to read at least some pre-readings for classes the next day. Those with families also try to squeeze spending time with their partner and kids somewhere in-between these activities. It is a tough exercise in time management and prioritizing, but I believe this is also the main reason why most alumni refer to their time at INSEAD as the best year of their lives – the richness of life on campus is hard to match in real life.
Two months ago, our second son was born in the Fonty hospital, and although this happened less than a month into P1, he ended up being the 2nd INSEAD child in the 14J class. This tells you that having children during the MBA year is far from being rare. Originally we were concerned with how to navigate the French medical system, but for the last 2 months we learned to manage this pretty well and I’d be happy to answer any particular questions in this regard.
Mid-P2 is also the time when people start preparing to switch campuses and choose elective courses. Most singles and some couples will leave Fonty for the warmer Singy in a couple of months, most families with kids will stay in Fonty for the whole year. While moving to Singapore has an obvious advantage of escaping winter, there may be more reasons to stay in Fonty – many people prefer to be in Europe when the recruiting season starts, and you don’t want to know how many points need to be spent to change campus in P3 only!
In terms of assignments of a different kind, P2 feels even busier than P1. But walking back home I sometimes stop for a minute, just to smell the Fonty air and think about how much I enjoy what I am doing here!