As P4 comes to an end, there is finally some time to reflect.

Looking back at the last 8 months, I notice how very different each of those months have been. The first two periods, when we get to know the people around us and study core courses, were really like a hurricane. Things were flying in front of my eyes with incredible speed – faces, cases, formulas, parties, national weeks, exams… Core courses were certainly useful, but not all of them particularly exciting. I was also not always sure I really captured what I had to capture, when flying by at this incredible speed…

In P3 things have changed. Now that you have a choice of electives to choose from, it makes so much of a difference – finally, more of the things discussed in class are closer to my true interests and are really engaging. The cases we studied have also changed – this certainly depends on the course, but many cases I read started with the main character being an INSEAD alum! Not only that – for many of the entrepreneurial courses, such as New Business Ventures and Realising Entrepreneurial Potential, the protagonists of the case would actually come to INSEAD on the day of the case discussion, stand in front of the class in person and participate in the discussion together with us. It is amazing to hear the guest speaker start by saying “I was sitting in this very same amphi in your place X years ago…” In some cases X is 2 years ago and in others it was 20 years ago… For me personally, not only did this make the discussed case more interesting, but it also helped us better understand the potential of our post-INSEAD career and life choices.

Another aspect which stands out in the way the courses in this second part of INSEAD year are being taught (again, this mainly relates to entrepreneurial electives), is that in many cases we learn from FAILURE. The more I think about it, the more I am convinced, that there is no better way to learn entrepreneurship than through failure – by digging deep into the stories of various businesses that failed or went in the wrong direction, INSEAD gives future entrepreneurs a unique opportunity to learn from someone else’s mistakes. This certainly does not mean that you will not go out and still do your own mistakes, but hopefully you will do them less…

With less than 3 months to go until graduation, it feels like for the last 8 months I was living in a virtual world – a world with infinite concentration of professional and personal events and emotions, all happening here and now. With the end of the program approaching, it is often scary to look out of this virtual world into the real one. I feel like an astronaut, who has been out in the orbit for 8 months and is about to return to earth. What will I see and how will I feel when I land?