The first month is over and I still cannot believe just how much water has already flown under the bridge! After a month at INSEAD I truly feel like a train wreck. Even without the hyperbole, life really moves at a frenetic pace. I have covered more subjects and learnt more in this one month than I had learnt in my entire career. That part isn’t true for everyone though, as many who come here already have some sort of experience in many of the subjects being taught in class. However, what is true is that most people find themselves making trade-offs many times a day, mostly with regard to the optimum utilization of their time. The month started off with some of us trying to be everywhere all the time, despite some good advice from the senior batch. We soon learnt though that it’s not necessarily the best utilization of our time to try and be everywhere, especially once the studies picked up some tempo. The trade-offs started getting more pronounced and the risks of some moves more evident and groups of like-minded people started finding themselves spending more time with one another.
We had a lot of long career presentations and, in our fear of missing out on some good company presentations, we tried to attend every single one of them. We soon learnt though that most companies who come here to hire students, come with something specific in mind and many do not suit us as well as it suits some others. Hence, we started studying and figuring out a little more about the companies before signing up for the presentations and cocktails. Next up were the group activities, and some groups obviously fared far better than the others. However, the heartening thing to notice was that majority of the groups were really bonding well and enjoying the experience of working with equally talented and driven individuals, not allowing their competitive spirit to come in the way of forging strong relationships. This obviously highlights the high regard and mutual respect that members of the group have for each other and also the good camaraderie that exists among like-minded individuals. I can vouch for the fact that it does feel great to be a part of a high-performing group with great members, contrary to what I had feared initially from the experiences of some other MBAs.
This month was also about getting to know the people whom we will be spending a lot of time with over the next few months—some of whom will hopefully go on to become lifelong friends. I know everyone keeps talking about leveraging the network of amazing talent that we have here at INSEAD to forward careers, but I like to see it from a different point of view. I believe that the legacy of our time here at INSEAD will be the people we interact with, and hopefully, they will someday have some good memories of our times together. We got a bit closer to a few people, identified some clear takeaways, and strove to achieve our goals together rather than on our own. The pleasure of achieving together, and the sheer bonhomie gives me a good feeling about the months to come.