… except you get to build stronger relationships with 300+ bright minds as each day goes by. You can bet that no one day is like another in this unique, exhilarating and rewarding environment.
On my very first day at INSEAD, I met Miguel Cunto who told me he is from Venezuela. And I was thrilled. Who would have thought that I could speak to someone who has first-hand experience in a topic that you’re sturdily interested in but had no one around you to discuss with? I read Venezuela, A Failing State by William Finnegan just two months ago and was appalled by the challenging political context and unbelievably harsh living conditions. Miguel’s insights from a resident’s point of view certainly balanced the undeviating picture the writer painted. This is just an example on how often you would be amazed by incredible wealth of knowledge and talents of your peer thanks to diversity at INSEAD.
As you apply to business school, you are often asked repeatedly “why do you want to do a MBA?” Most of us can come up with half decent answers or some great ones that were then transformed into absorbing stories in application essays. However, when we finally arrived on campus, all excited to start this new chapter, INSEAD asked each of us again to seriously think about both what we want to achieve in this one year and in the long-term – in 20 years, what position do you want the MBA to have in your life? These are not just straight forward questions because INSEAD creates an environment that revolves around series of events such as classroom learning, company presentation, career coaching, peer to peer evaluation, student clubs, group exercises and many others. These events reinforce this process of understanding more about yourself and clarifying your goals.
Of course, the INSEAD day is not all about the future and what job we want to get upon graduation. I seriously underestimated the amount of laughter, ridiculous and memorable moments we share in this remote French village and beyond. Important life events happen at INSEAD too – Tony Yang, my study group mate, decided to propose to Lisa, his girlfriend, at the famed Fontainebleau Chateau when she was visiting. Despite our hectic schedules (trust me), 50 of us pulled a surprise proposal with Legends of the Fall on violin, MARRY ME silver balloons imported from Paris, and a rainbow that I assure we were not responsible for. And Lisa said yes!
Even though it’s been merely 2 months, INSEAD for me has been a tremendous source of inspiration, resources, and offers an environment where I feel safe and confident to pursue my dream. I know as I come in with the” everyday is day 1″ mindset, I am growing and getting closer to the person I aspire to become.