Three periods have passed already, half the program duration! I still remember the first week with all the welcoming activities as if it happened last month, and all the fun we had in the sun during breaks in the first few months. When P1 ended, we thought it had gone by fast; we had spoken too soon: P2 was even faster. But both pale in comparison with P3, which literally flew by.
And so, what I want to convey through this post is the following: enjoy your day-to-day and make the most of what INSEAD has to offer, and for that, you’ve got to do it your own way!
Don’t compare yourself to others but learn from them. Don’t doubt yourself but be confident in your abilities and develop an attitude of constant learning. Enjoy every moment, whatever you are doing, without having FOMO: otherwise you’ll simply be so worried about things on which you’re missing out that you’ll never enjoy anything. This goes for socializing of course, but most importantly for recruiting where you really need to be yourself and relaxed.
If you need to prepare more than others for recruiting, don’t get demoralised in case you feel you’re less ready at some point (that might just be a feeling you are having or that others are showing). You might have spent a lot of time researching different industries to ensure you embark on the career you like best, while others were already confident of their post-INSEAD direction. They might have done some prep previously, or might be working harder than you, in which case, as always, you have to ask yourself whether you’re giving your best. If you are, keep focused and be confident in your ability to excel as you didn’t make it to INSEAD by chance. But rest assured that even if you take time to explore or choose a non-traditional path for recruiting, there IS always time to do what you want to do: it all depends on the effort you put in.
If you are interested in clubs that are not popular but that really benefit you in any way (professionally or personally) or that revolve around a passion of yours, go for it and don’t wonder why others don’t find these clubs as attractive. Student clubs are a unique experience that if anything, help you meet new people and discuss subjects/hear stories that change from the constant academic/recruiting talk.
If learning is important to you and you find that you need to study more than others to learn the same amount, then do it without doubting yourself and thinking you’re slower than those who do it faster. They might have seen the material in another setting, whether at work or at school. Or they might just be quicker to learn, so what? Not to mention that you might simply be wanting to learn more. Even if in a few months you won’t remember most course details, you are building a unique way of thinking and a discipline that will stay for life. So learning IS worth it.
And finally, if you end up doing many of the above more than others, you might have to socialize (or sleep) less than others. By my own experience, you can still really enjoy the company of friends and colleagues, go to most parties and still get your sleep, but you’ll need to slightly cut on both aspects (you can always choose to cut heavily on one or the other or on any of the above activities of course 🙂 ).
So I’ll leave you with this: make the most of INSEAD, at your own pace and without comparisons, and you’ll quickly find your own balance and learn how to manage your time really EFFICIENTLY.