It was on 07 October 2010, a month before my final undergraduate exams, that I knew life would have to be different. Before this point, my life in South Africa had always consisted of two constants, my father and my brothers. With the setting of the sun that day, I was left with one.
My journey to INSEAD started with my parents, who took incredible risks from when I was born in Uganda to allow us to transition to lives that were spent between Uganda and South Africa for most of our upbringing. Consequently, our history remains embedded in the lives of my broader family, almost all of whom still live and work in Uganda.
With the passing of my father on that day, my brothers and I were left with no choice but to seek our own way. For me, that entailed academics and a career in finance which has ultimately led me to this point. So why now? Why leave the present for an uncertain future?
As children, we are never taught how to dream. We are left to the tools of our imaginations, which for each and every one of us are sharpened differently by the experiences and scars of life. The journey to INSEAD is an acknowledgment of that fear to truly explore what we see when our eyes close.
The road hasn’t always been easy and it’s not about to get any easier. Embedded in the application process is a healthy requirement to introspect, securing funding a constant stress (which only really hits you once you are in) and for most of us leaving our jobs feels like jumping off a cliff (without a parachute). Yet we do it, and in the process challenge ourselves to a year of learning, personal growth and (ofcourse) amazing social experiences.
As a student at a leading international business school, I am aware that the opportunity ahead is unique. In some respects, it is exclusive. But far more important for me, it will hopefully provide a platform to leverage my experiences in ways that will hopefully inspire others from Africa to dare to chase their dreams. Each and every story of the people I am likely to meet over the course of the year ahead is bound to be unique with potentially 80 different nationalities represented in my class.
Their stories will combine with mine for at least a few months over the course of the next year. If nothing else, the year ahead promises to be uniquely magical, occasionally mad, but written with memories.