Well, it exists 🙂 …and it’s quite great! You keep hearing about “that amazing year at INSEAD” and you can’t help but think that whatever comes right after cannot be as fulfilling, challenging, enriching and fun. Luckily that’s not true.
The reality is that INSEAD is never really over. Even if you want to, there is no way you leave it and go back to who you were before. You realize you have changed, you have grown, your horizons (regardless of how worldly, well-travelled and accomplished you thought you were) have expanded thanks to the incredibly intense year you shared with your fellow batch of 500+ classmates, many of whom by now feel like family. So whatever you end up doing after, you will have a different perspective on things and you will feel connected to the INSEAD family anywhere you go.
I also believe that taking that one year away from the workforce is one of best gifts you can give yourself – to step back and reflect, to push yourself to explore new things, and to truly challenge your goals. This time for self-reflection allows you to better understand and gives you the most fulfillment, which I believe allows you to make right career choices going forward.
Job-wise, the expectations from MBA grads are quite high. It’s very exciting as all of us thrive on challenges and opportunities to make a difference, learn and acquire new skills. INSEAD definitely delivered on my goal for an international job – submitting travel expenses in five currencies after my first month at work shows that. Also, it’s been great to see people getting really exciting jobs in diverse industries all over the world!
Last but not least, that “travel bug” that we all get while at INSEAD definitely doesn’t go away! Moving countries, apartments, opening and closing bank accounts, hopping (last minute) on a plane for a weekend getaway – that seems like the norm now! INSEAD 13D meet-ups are also at an all-time high with weekly updates from all over the world: from South Korea, to Brazil, to South Africa… So as scary as it seems when you are still at INSEAD, going back to the “real world” is a lot of fun, too!