When I came to INSEAD, I had a notion that given the short time span of 10 months and the pace of things here, it would be almost impossible to establish any kind of bonds or friendships here. 4 months and 2 periods later, I am so happy with the fact that how terribly wrong I was.
INSEAD puts you in sections for the first 2 periods that span over 4 months. You are with your study group, definitely the people you spend the most time with. Be it sitting together in all the classes, sailing through multiple assignments or the group outings and dinners – the group becomes your safety net, inner circle and the people whom you trust the most with this transformation in the INSEAD journey. With group assignments ranging from 20% to 50% contribution, the endless hours you spend together definitely teach you a lot and makes you fall in love with your group. The group coaching sessions spice it up further with you getting to know the personal stories and values of your group, something that forges an unimaginable personal connect and a strong bond.
The kind of bonding that you form in the section is also something that becomes a part of your pleasant routine. Be it taking the case of desperate class participants, chilling together in the parties, the endless WhatsApp Banter, the willingness of people to help each other, the section cheering in Master Strategist Day or the inter group section dinners: all of it plays an inseparable role in making the learning fun. I wonder if I would have enjoyed my learning experience or the class discussions even half as much if this section was not there, completely invested in through thick and thin as a part of the journey.
As it dawned upon me that the groups, the sections are ending, I wondered what really transpires into this bonding, and the answer was just one word – INTENSITY! The intensity of the INSEAD experience is the beauty of it – not only does it teach you to handle pressure and manage time, but also makes you unequivocally close to these people. Some friendships are built over time like a slow wine but at INSEAD, the word slow doesn’t exist in the dictionary, the friendships are like Vodka shots, intense, with a lasting hangover and a never-ending desire to have more of it!