When I received the news that my husband had been selected for the INSEAD MBA, I was obviously incredibly proud and happy for him. However, this would mean a complete turnaround in our happily married live, given that we would need to move to the other side of the world. This also meant that I would not only be away from my family and friends, but also that this might require that I would put my career on stand-by. Many times, I wondered if I should go? Will this experience also enrich me personally and professionally? Should I put my career on a stand-by?
But after a few days, I wondered: why would this opportunity necessarily put my career on a stand-by? If I stopped working, it would be a great opportunity to have time to dedicate to new activities for which I always wanted to invest in but lacked time for, or even, to find an opportunity in a completely new professional setting in Singapore. Fortunately, this potential issue hasn’t even been on the table so far, given that I have had the privilege to work at Microsoft, who truly put work flexibility into practice. Everyone can work anytime and anywhere. As such, I questioned the possibility of coming to work remotely from Singapore. The company gave me the okay and now, I have been in Singapore for almost 2 months with my husband working remotely for the Portuguese subsidiary.
Nowadays, Millennials – the generation where I, my husband and most INSEAD students belong in – value flexible work hours and remote working. It enables employees to have a better balance between professional and personal lives, to take the time to do what they enjoy doing like travelling and reading, in my case. At the same time, I could also continue to invest in my career and learn more thanks to the opportunities and resources that INSEAD provides me with, such as reserve any kind of book in the library, attend corporate presentations, use the CV review tool, and many other things. In addition, we can also benefit from other activities which are organized by INSEAD, or students, like access to the gym classes or sports activities (football, rugby, etc.).
I want to tell all the Partners in the same situation that we must see the glass half full. This year can be an opportunity for us to invest in ourselves, both personally and professionally. We can also take advantage of the many initiatives that INSEAD promotes and enrich ourselves with the many resources we have at our disposal. At the end of this year, I’m sure that I could say that INSEAD, apart from having opened up a world of opportunities for my husband, also opened up an enriching experience for me.
Andreia Correia Sousa, MBA Partner’19J
Andreia was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. She completed her master’s degree in management with a major in Marketing. She began her professional career in 2014 as a trainee in one of the largest technology companies (Microsoft) where she still works today. Passionate about travelling the world, cooking, reading, beach and for her home country. She will be living in Singapore throughout the entirety of her husband’s MBA.