In just a couple of weeks, my INSEAD journey will officially begin. While the official start date of the program may be August 23rd, the journey definitely started eight months before, on the day I received the news of my admission in November. I still remember that day: from the moment the first R1 admitted posted the good news on gmatclub, I was checking compulsively my phone and emails every ten minutes, including in the middle of the night. And then finally I received the news that I had been waiting for since submitting my application! Back then, August seemed so far away, and I had no idea that these eight months would give me the opportunity to start getting to know my future classmates and start feeling the incredible INSEAD spirit.

I had heard from Alumni and students about the unique INSEAD spirit of community and how helpful everybody is, and I found the same among my future classmates. From the moment we started chatting in gmatclub, and then via Facebook, WhatsApp and Slack, there was a strong sense of community and friendship among us.

INSEAD 18J meet up in London, January 2017

In these months, we had a taste of what INSEAD life will be. Socially, we got to know each other via chat and social media, we arranged meet ups all over the world, we planned trips, we shared articles, book recommendations but also funny memes, we discussed topics that passionate us. There was always someone to reply to our doubts, from sharing tips to help us in preparing for the move. We lost count of the number of times the locals in Singapore have been replying to the same questions about which Internet or mobile provider is the best! We even have a doctor that has been guiding us in understanding the daunting process of sorting our medical exams in Singapore.

Over the last months, I was lucky to meet some of my future classmates in Delhi, London, Panama, Bogotá, Mexico City, Guadalajara and San Francisco (the pictures I posted were taken during these meet ups). These meetings gave me a taste of how unique and different our class is, in terms of nationalities and backgrounds. On Slack, we had group chats with people in more than 20 different times zones. I already made friends that I know will be for life. And I can’t wait for my plane to land in Singapore in ten days and head for our first group adventure – our pre-MBA trip to Bali!

 

INSEAD 18J meet up in Bogota, April 2017

Besides the social aspect which so far has been dominating my INSEAD experience, over the last month we have also started to get a feel of what the academic requirements will be – from pre-readings, to preparing for the Personal Leadership Development Program, to getting to know the Career Development Center. I am extremely excited about sharing this adventure with my fellow 18Js and learning with and from them.

While I was preparing for submitting my application last year, I would often read this blog to get insights of what INSEAD life would look it. The stories I read had inspired me even more to apply and to be part of this unique community. I hope I can do the same for you over the course of the year, as I keep you updated on my INSEAD journey.