This is a question that you hear right after arriving at INSEAD and it refers to the way you plan your career search during the MBA. Being a natural explorer but feeling I came to my MBA with a hunter focus make me still reflect a lot about the optimal model to use at INSEAD. Of course this answer is completely personal, nevertheless, some general considerations and reflections can help you to expand perspectives on the question.
On the one hand, INSEAD is the perfect place for explorers: at once you get to meet 500 professionals from all around the world— each with a particular interesting experience and all willing to share their stories. You can also participate on Entrepreneurs in Residence chats, which are amazing to test business ideas or even simply to discuss about your career outlook. You have several treks outside campus, talks inside campus and club’s events happening to easily bridge you and outstanding professionals. Inside the CDC, you can talk with coaches specialized in different industries. And finally, you can do a broad range of courses: from languages to boot camps, from finance to psychological decision and so on.
On the other hand, it is precisely because at INSEAD there are so many things happening at the same time that having a hunter approach can help you better select your musts and don’ts (for the sake of time). Focus may be a powerful instrument for time management and to reduce the FOMO anxiety. Also, the hunter mode can thrive on you a more proactive behavior to build more fruitful connections even when people does not “come to INSEAD”. Keep in mind that the institution can open several doors for you and put you in contact with a number of new players on your professional network much faster than you can imagine. Though, it will be up to you to make these contacts.
On my personal experience, I feel that I started my P1 more as a hunter, only looking at Fintech companies and gradually I migrated to my natural explorer profile during P2. Finally, now on P3, when our class schedule is reduced and we can chose electives (more linked to our personal interest) I found out a balance between hunter, to focus on my career next step, and explorer, to keep an open and broad view for my long-term plans. Let’s see how I will end up defining myself in next 4 months to come. And you: are you a hunter or an explorer?