Pre-MBA Education: Top US public school
Work Before MBA: Finance at a Fortune 100 company in the U.S.
Work After MBA / Post MBA Goals: Consulting/International development
Why did I pick Insead?
1. I wanted to move to Asia.
2. I wanted a different experience for graduate school after having been educated/living in the U.S. It came down to INSEAD vs LBS. I chose INSEAD because it's a larger school, with campus rotations, and opportunity to learn a new language/culture.
3. INSEAD is known as a party school, it has so far proven to be very true.
Best part of program?
1. Ability to live in/exchange to France, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and US (Wharton/Kellogg) for 1-3 periods out of 5 total.
2. People are genuine, nice, and humble at INSEAD.
3. One of the best schools to land a job in Asia and Europe.
4. Laid back atmosphere.
5. It's only 1 year.
Not so best part of the program
1. Name recognition is weaker than US schools.
2. The campus in France is in a small town called Fontainebleau 1.5hr drive south of Paris. Life in Fontainebleau can feel isolated, especially during winter. It's difficult to get access to top notch speakers and conferences as a result of the location. This is where most of the top U.S. schools and LBS have advantage (silverlining being it's much easier to make friends due to its geographical isolation). Singapore campus may not have this issue.
3. The caliber of the students can vary widely.
4. Student clubs are poorly run and non-engaging due to duration of program and split campuses.
5. It's only 1 year.
What were you most surprised to learn about Insead after starting the program?
1. Everyone at INSEAD is super international. Most people have dual citizenship, have lived/worked in multiple countries, and are fluent in at least two languages. Very different from U.S. schools.
2. That it's very intensive. An usual day runs from 8:30-8pm. On weekends, most people travel around Europe/Asia.
3. INSEAD is a consulting school. This is very clear from the first day I stepped on campus. The school has a lot of sponsored students, and a lot people end up with a job in consulting.
4. More than half of the students have engineering backgrounds.
5. The way the school is run feels very entrepreneurial and lean, opposite of HBS.
Is it difficult for foreigner students to find jobs in Singapore / France?
This is what the school is built for, so it is very easy. It's hard for INSEAD students to land jobs in the U.S., however.
In your opinion, Insead provides the most opportunities for MBAs entering which industries/functions/geographies?
1. Consulting. Most people go to London, Singapore, or Dubai/Adu Dhabi.
What should more applicants know about Insead?
INSEAD students are very friendly and know how to have fun. There are multiple parties and trips every week.
Bottom-line: If you are slightly older and looking for a job in consulting/industry in Asia/Western Europe, enjoy parties/travelling, wish to be exposed to diverse cultures and learn a new language, INSEAD is the school for you. However, if you want to work in the U.S. in Finance, care about prestige of school brand and network, elective courses, student clubs, or need more time to figure out what you want to pursue, go to a 2 year US school that has an undergraduate program.
Feel free to ask me about:
LGBT at INSEAD vs LBS vs US schools
Why I chose Insead
My experience during the admissions journey
Global exposure and international travel
Campus life and residences on campus
Student Associations and activities
Life in Singapore / Fontainebleau