Meet INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2017


Serban Dick


Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Keen to explore the world and change the world.

Hometown: Bucharest, Romania

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was once circled a few times by a shark during a night dive in the Great Barrier Reef. It was not fun at the time.

Undergraduate School and Major: Bucharest Academy of Economic Studies, Bsc Economics

Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:

  1. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) – Associate – Investment Funds Group – London, UK
  2. PwC – Senior Associate, Valuations – London, UK
  3. PwC – Manager, Valuations – London, UK
  4. PwC – Manager, Consulting/Corporate Finance – Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Building PwCs corporate finance expertise in Papua New Guinea, as the Corporate Finance Specialist/Team Leader. It was a very exciting challenge of winning work, building a team and establishing strong client relationship in a completely new environment.

Looking back on your experience, what advice would you give to future business school applicants? In my view, some of the key things future business school applicants should consider are:

  1. Make sure you research schools early and decide which ones best fit your goals. Applications take a lot longer than you’d expect, so be prepared to set aside a lot of hours in the weeks before deadlines.
  2. Split your applications between rounds. I applied to all schools at the same time and it wasn’t a fun experience.
  3. Take the first GMAT early, in case you’re not pleased with the score and you need to take it again at a later date. Schools only care about your highest score.
  4. Recommenders can take their time, so reach out to them early and keep chasing regularly.
  5. If interviewing with alumni, do some research on them before the interview, it can really help if you talk about common interests or experiences.

What led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA? Several key factors made me decide INSEAD were:

International focus: Although I may not be 100% what I want to do in the long term, I know I want a global career. INSEAD is really focused on developing global leaders, and does so through multiple campuses, various electives and treks.

Diversity: This relates to both students and alumni. I have not seen a more diverse business or school, where students from all over the world come together to share their experiences and knowledge. Although many students go into consulting, I had met alumni in most industries. The constant was that all of them had lived and worked in multiple countries.

Recognition and opportunities: Although rankings are also quite important, during my research and conversations with alumni, I realised how valuable the INSEAD brand is in the business world. And it seemed that this recognition was not centered around a specific area (such as Western Europe or South-East Asia), but worldwide.

Tell us about your dream job or dream employer at this point in your life? I want to change my career and work in role where I believe I could make a tangible, potential global impact one day. Therefore, I am aiming to either start my own firm or work in a technology company (either a startup or a large company like Google, Amazon etc). However, if the first weeks are anything to go by, there are so many interesting projects and opportunities that come up every day at INSEAD, that I can’t be sure where I will be in 12 months’ time.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? That I showed people there is no FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) if you do everything. Alumni told me that students at INSEAD can only do 2 out of 3 S’s at a time: Study, Socialise or Sleep. So far, I haven’t done Sleep.

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