Already the end of P3, it feels like only yesterday that P1 ended, let alone P2…

After an amazing P1 and a stunning break climbing volcanoes in Indonesia for 4 days, I started P2 already tired…. Little did I know things were only going to get worse!

P2: Toughest period yet?

P2 hits you hard: within the first fortnight, you have submitted countless job applications, started 6 core classes (I am envious of Ford club members who have exempted from the basic classes… more elective for them later and more time to job hunt for internships!) and realised that INSEAD was about to get a lot more challenging!

P2 is a gruelling mix of courses, job hunting and interview preparation. Barely a week into the period and already internship applications to the most sought-after consulting firms were due. We were juggling writing cover letters, attending company presentations (many consulting firms but also tech, industry and a few niche players) sponsored and organised by companies that extend your INSEAD experience and give you a chance to mingle with even more students from outside your section or your cohort.

The first few weeks of March saw countless groups of students locking themselves in Break Out Rooms to practice mock case interviews and soon the invitations to interview and letters of rejection started coming in. For some, an even more intense level of preparation begins, for others pressure builds up to find a suitable internship for the summer…

Finally, after several rounds of interviews, by early May many people finally knew if they have been accepted. For the lucky ones who got their desired internship, P3 becomes a lot more enjoyable, for those unlucky to have come this far only to miss the goal, job hunting goes on with a much broader focus than their original targets.

Is the internship worth it?

As I watch the Js running around looking stressed as they seek full-time employment, I tell myself that despite the hard work we Ds had to put in to find internships during P2, we are much better off than the Js. We have already practiced our job hunting and interviewing, and I believe this will pay off for us with a more relaxed approach to full-time employment in our P4.

P3: The calm before the storm

For those of us lucky enough to receive a job offer in early May, P3 is a lot more relaxed than P2. With electives starting, courses are more tailored to your personal interests and all become extremely engaging. One falls into a pleasant routine, attending courses and preparing assignments and slowly the summer break creeps up on us.

After 6 or more months out of a job, here we are about to start our internships in the busy worlds of corporates, start-ups, tech, banking and of course consulting… I’m looking forward to starting work, but I know it will be a shock to move from the tropical weather and lifestyle of a Singy lifer to the Southern hemisphere winter and into the world of consulting. And while I am excited to enter this new world, I go forward with the confidence of the safety net provided by the internship and the knowledge that after this 4 more months of INSEAD await me.