Alda Kule Dale
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: A citizen of the world interested in people’s potential more than in their current status.
Hometown: Kinshasa, Congo DRC
Fun Fact About Yourself: I am a really good African hairdresser. I would have loved to do that for a living. I might just, in another life.
Undergraduate School and Major: ESSCA Business School, Master in Finance and Risk Management
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation (from most recent):
- AlphaValue Equity Research (mid 2014 to mid 2017): Research Analyst on the Real Estate Sector
- AlphaValue Equity Research (2013 to mid 2014): European Equity Sales
- Crédit Agricole Cheuvreux (2012)- Brokerage: Junior Equity Sales (Internship)
- Financière de l’Echiquier (2012)- Asset Management: Junior Fund Sales (Internship)
- Société Générale (2011)- CIB: Junior Credit Analyst (Internship)
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am not a huge believer, however I tend to agree with Mathew 7:7 when he says, “Ask and it shall be given to you.” I was an equity sales at AlphaValue and I wanted to do financial analysis. This is a move that is quite unconventional and almost never happens. I had the guts to ask for the position when the opportunity arose, and I ended up getting it. I obviously had to show beforehand that I had the ability to get the job done. For that I was given one company to evaluate. I had recently sat for the CFA exam, so this helped for the financial analysis part. I, however, had to work long hours to get up to speed and be able to take over the Real Estate sector in less than a month—prior to the departure of the previous analyst. The mission was swiftly accomplished. I actually ended up winning a couple of Reuters Broker awards this year, just before leaving my employer. A great goodbye gift I would say.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? I would say one word: research, research, and research! Talking to alumni and students really helped in deciding which school was the best fit for me. I visited the school on various occasions, including in-house events and conferences. Then while writing my essays, I made sure I showed the AdCom why I was the best fit for the school. Other than researching, I personally spent quite some time on GMATCLUB, first for my GMAT and then for applications. Once I knew INSEAD was the school I wanted, I decided to step up and take on additional responsibilities. I started moderating the GMATCLUB INSEAD forum—which I still do. Although my first role was to keep the forum alive and track applications for INSEAD, it was also a great way to meet fellow applicants beforehand, to share insights on the school, and ultimately an awesome way to support one another throughout the very stressful process. I think contributing and helping others was the best way for me to learn more about the school, and I believe that my interest for INSEAD ultimately transpired on my essays.
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? It all summed up to diversity. I wanted a school that would provide me with the ability to travel in a classroom. I wanted to learn from people whom I might, under normal circumstances, never have the opportunity to meet. I wanted to build a global network and get out of my comfort zone. I also wanted to not be the only odd one standing in an all-white male dominated environment—as was the case in my previous job. The INSEAD’s “all minority” culture simply resonated with me.
So far so good. The school has not started; I however already know all my batch (or at least by name)—thank you Slack/Facebook/WhatsApp—and the diversity is clearly au rendez-vous! Nationalities are multiple, professional backgrounds astounding, and the cultural melting pot quite stimulating. I have never been as proud of my nationality as since I joined the INSEAD batch. I love that prior to even starting the programme traveling plans already get as exotic as visiting the new Tech Hub in the Palestinian city of Rawabi—a city that I would have never thought of visiting on my own. I am getting out of my comfort zone and loving it!
To me INSEAD’s diversity is THE icing on the MBA cake. And alternatively, a splendid inclusion statement against the current tide of populism.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? I would borrow Gandhi’s words and say that I want to be the change I wish to see. This very much goes hand in hand with INSEAD’s mantra of making business a force for good. I am embarking on this transformational year hoping that I will deliver on this promise. Success to me would be getting a job that is challenging enough to allow me to continuously grow, yet impactful enough for my community. What better way to do so than to contribute to Africa—a continent that is clearly lagging on qualified workforce.