Harvard | Mr. Croda International
GMAT 710, GPA 3.8
Chicago Booth | Mr. High GRE Low GPA
GRE 332, GPA 3.2
Harvard | Mr. French In Japan
GMAT 720, GPA 14,3/20 (French Scale), Top 10%
Harvard | Mr. Healthcare IT
GMAT 730, GPA 3.4
MIT Sloan | Mr. Auto Engineer
GRE 323, GPA 8.08/10
Harvard | Mr. Government Entrepreneur
GMAT 770, GPA 8.06/10
Cornell Johnson | Mr. Startup Experience
GMAT 700, GPA 8.1/10
Harvard | Mr. Strategy Consultant Middle East
GMAT 760, GPA 3.4
Wharton | Mr. MedTech PM
GMAT 770, GPA 3.58
MIT Sloan | Ms. Technology And Tax
GMAT Waiver at MIT, GPA 3.42
Kellogg | Mr. Sick To Fit
GMAT 730, GPA 3.5
NYU Stern | Ms. Indian PC
GRE 328, GPA 3.2
Wharton | Mr. Chemical Engineering Dad
GMAT 710, GPA 3.50
Kellogg | Mr. Energy Strategy Consultant
GMAT 740, GPA 2.4 undergrad, 3.7 Masters of Science
Harvard | Mr. Low GPA Ex-MBB
GMAT 750, GPA 3.0
Tuck | Mr. Energy Saver
GMAT 760, GPA 8.98/10.0
Chicago Booth | Mr. Sustainable Minimalist
GMAT 712, GPA 7.3
Wharton | Mr. Non-Profit Researcher
GMAT 730, GPA 3.6
Kellogg | Mr. Another Strategy Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 5.5/10
Harvard | Mr. Med Device Manufacturing
GRE 326, GPA 2.9
Columbia | Mr. Consultant Transitioning To Family Venture
GMAT 740, GPA 3.6
Wharton | Mr. First Generation College Graduate
GRE 324, GPA Low
Berkeley Haas | Ms. Want To Make An Impact
GMAT 710, GPA 3.7
Columbia | Mr. Pharmacy District Manager
GMAT 610, GPA 3.2
Ross | Mr. Military To Corporate
GRE 326, GPA 7.47/10
Harvard | Mr Big 4 To IB
GRE 317, GPA 4.04/5.00
Kellogg | Mr. Tech Consultant
GMAT 720, GPA 3.9

Meet INSEAD’s MBA Class Of 2018

Roni Semaan

INSEAD

Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A resilient go-getter passionate about bringing structure to chaos and emanating positive energy in group settings

Hometown: Beirut, Lebanon

Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a determined shameless person willing to face any challenge as long as it is on the ground and does not involve heights. Last year, I decided to face my fear of heights and went for adventurous air park and zip lining…it took me one full hour, partial agnosia and high-levels of adrenaline to complete a 5-minute air park track. I’m hoping to check skydiving off my bucket list while at INSEAD. So, my determinism helps me improve as an individual but often lands me in shameful situations; I once kept going in a TV-broadcasted national swimming competition after my swimsuit fell off just to finish 1st.

Undergraduate School and Major: American University of Beirut, Lebanon – Mechanical Engineering

Employers and Job Titles since Graduation: From oil and gas engineering to a startup and finally to the corporate life! In 2012, I started my career as an Expediting Engineer at “Petrofac”, one of the leading oil & gas service providers in the Middle East. In 2013, looking to exhaust my full potential in a more fulfilling career, I joined “Tanfeeth”, a Financial Services Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) startup where I worked as a Strategy & Transformation Assistant Manager. In 2015, I moved to the parent company, “Emirates NBD”, the biggest bank in the Middle East in terms of assets, where I occupied the role of a transformation manager, working on flagship projects such as digital transformation program and international operations transformation

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I was a key lead in running a holistic diagnostic on Emirates NBD digital transformation in 2015 and I led the implementation across Retail Assets work-stream. With a portfolio of 30 projects and a US$ 15 million budget, the Retail Assets work-stream promised to deliver US$ 50 million in savings over a period of 5 years. With a team of just two assistant managers, I oversaw the entire project lifecycle from design to implementation. Within a year of taking charge, I have led cross-functional teams to achieve US$ 10 million savings and introduce cutting-edge technologies, significantly improving customer experience.

Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Start early and allow enough time for personal reflection and prioritization! Most applicants focus on perfecting their GMAT scores or essays because they believe they lack the special unique background that B-schools usually look for. This is a common misconception! Each one of us has his own special story, but it simply boils down to how well you know yourself. I recommend applicants focus on reflecting on their past experiences during their application preparation period to connect the dots, get to know themselves, and be able to showcase their well-rounded unique identities. This is a time-demanding process but it will help applicants identify the weakest link in their profiles upfront and get their priorities straight in their preparations. Getting a 700+ GMAT score is not always enough! By the end of the application process, if you amazed by how your life trajectory all of a sudden makes perfect sense, you’re already one step closer to getting accepted in B-school.

What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? DIVERSITY at work! It is no secret anymore that INSEAD has become a melting pot where students from different cultures and backgrounds converge meet and befriend each other. This is why INSEAD is labeled today as “The business school for the world”. However, the key factor that led me to choose INSEAD is that it stands out in the way it leverages diversity to offer exceptional global perspectives and experience learnings to its students in a one-year timeframe. As a matter of fact, especially nowadays with all the cultural conflicts, I believe that the world can learn a bit from INSEAD.

What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I would gauge my success at INSEAD on three factors: the network, the job and the personal experience. Personally, I would be successful if, by the end of my MBA, I have built strong friendships and connections that broadened my professional network, have landed myself my aspirational job and have lived the memorable adventure that INSEAD alumni keep reminiscing about.

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