Meet INSEAD’s Incoming Class of 2016




Indeed, INSEAD offers the best of many worlds to students. Long-known for being the cradle for European CEOs, the school has also emerged as a breeding ground for entrepreneurs. While 6% of students start a business after graduation, that number jumps to over half over time, says Dean Ilian Mihov in an interview with Poets&Quants. The school’s faculty, which includes professors from nearly 40 nations, also mirrors the students’ international flair. Even more, its multiple locations in France, Singapore and Abu Dhabi offers intensive exposure to students on how business is done in both the east, the west, and the middle east.

But it’s the students themselves who’ll ultimately make the experience worthwhile for each other. And this incoming class boasts an intriguing blend of backgrounds and ambitions. For example, Sneha Shrestha, a native of Nepal, is looking to return home to start a business while applying social impact concepts. Shaivi Desai plans to use her business training to establish clinics and hospitals in her native India. And Phil Koretz, who grew up near Stanford, hopes to work in Asia after spending time with the U.S. Department of State as a regional issues officer.

Beyond the prospect of working with such elite professionals, INSEAD’s one-year MBA program, which costs roughly $65,000 in tuition, offers a lower risk proposition to ambitious students. Indeed, only yesterday (Sept. 9), Forbes magazine proclaimed INSEAD’s MBA program to have the quickest payback of any in the world. The INSEAD degree takes just 2.4 years to offset all its costs, including the lost income from leaving a job. At Stanford, the payback takes 4.2 years, and at London Business School, it takes 3.7 years, according to Forbes. “Its 10-month intensive program will enable me to go back to the professional world quickly and save on opportunity costs,” says Zhongyang Lu, a Chinese banker transitioning to consulting.

That said, Lu – like his classmates – plans to squeeze the most out of the next year as possible. “I really want to personally know everyone from my batch, hear about their life stories, and learn about their industries and their opinions on those industries, he tells Poets&Quants. “After my MBA, I really want to be able to say ‘I don’t have any regrets.’ I hope I can be proactively involved in classroom discussions, group assignments, clubs and student activities, career development sessions, and (of course parties) and traveling. Study hard, work hard and play hard!”

To read profiles of incoming INSEAD students – along with their advice on tackling GMAT, applications, and interviews – click on the student links below.

Alexander Abasheev / Moscow, Russia 

Marie-Renée B-Lajoie / Shawinigan, Québec, Canada 

Shaivi Desai / Mumbai, India 

Phil Koretz / Palo Alta, California 

Zhongyang “Benjamin” Lu / Shanghai, China 

Sneha Shrestha / Kathmandu, Nepal 


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