November 14th, 2017 at the INSEAD campus was a day dedicated to an important part of the business school community, MBA Partners. A full day of pitches, reciprocity rings, networking, presentations and a cross-campus Panel discussion.

The aura in the room was great – everyone was excited. The ’18J Partners had started their P2 with their B-schoolers and were really starting to feel how fast time went at INSEAD.

The theme throughout the day was “How to Make the Most of Your Year at INSEAD” – which I can really talk about for days. For now, I want to take this time to share some of my reflections and takeaways from the panel discussion.

 

  • Don’t put so much pressure on yourself. This theme came up a lot. Some people felt that 2 months had passed but they hadn’t done much. In retrospect, even if you feel like you’re not doing much, you are doing a lot personally in terms of building friendships, which can last for many years and therefore this is time spent well for your current and future support systems.
  • Building on that, no other time in your life will you be subjected to a community which is so open to creating friendships based on a shared experience and background, coming from all corners of the world. In ‘real life’, it’s not so easy making friendships as an adult (I’m sure a lot of you in ‘real life’ at the moment can relate to this).
  • Time is a precious commodity at B-School. Sure, it definitely is a precious commodity in every other situation, but what I mean here is that it’s only 10 months and that’s it – there is only a limited time where you are a part of this community and experience.
  • Change happens at B-School, to both your B-schooler and yourself. And that’s all for the good, allow, embrace and adapt to the changes happening. Change is the only constant in life after all.
  • In terms of productivity, break your goals down to weekly small steps, where you have both structured and unstructured time in your daily schedule. Adding that flexibility yet commitment will set yourself up for success.
  • This is also probably one of the few times in your life you can have a weekday morning free with your B-schooler to catch a your favorite eggs benedict brunch, so enjoy it!
  • Accountability was a big theme. Sometimes we just need a little push, or helping hand, so finding someone who has resonating aspirations and keeping each other accountable helps tons.
  • There are probably ways in which we can help one another that we don’t know yet. Talk it out, bounce ideas off each other, explore and get out of your comfort zone.
  • Everyone is shy to an extent, and a lot are unsure, but try to ignore your doubts and go for it anyway. What’s the worse that can happen?
  • The year can be curated to be the way you want, as relaxed or as focused as you want it to be; it’s in your hands.

 

Thank you to INSEAD for this initiative, for dedicating a jam-packed productive day for MBA Partners, and for hosting me on the panel. I met such inspiring panelists, as well as eager MBA Partners! I look forward to seeing your dreams become reality.