Meet INSEAD’s MBA Class Of 2019

Laurenz Vorderwülbecke

INSEAD

“Curious and open-minded, technology enthusiast, interested in continuous challenges and autonomy.”

Hometown: Munich, Germany

Fun Fact About Yourself: As a kid, I used to eat onions like apples. I would just bite off big chunks

Undergraduate School and Major: Karlsruhe Institute of Technology – Industrial Engineering and Management

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Technical Consultant at El Retiro S.A.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Having a positive impact on the lives of the employees on the farm in Paraguay. The farm is so remote that no public infrastructure exists: no running water, no electricity and barely any internet. I am therefore proud of all the improvements that I implemented, such as a stable solar-powered electricity grid, clean water, and improved communications capabilities. Getting the opportunity to watch these changes impact the daily lives of the employees has been one of the most meaningful achievements of my time in Paraguay.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Sympathetic, open, approachable, humble, and down-to-earth. In addition to being from diverse backgrounds and very successful in their jobs, basically everybody I met so far at INSEAD is incredibly fun to hang out with. It is a great confirmation of the impressions I got of INSEAD during the incredibly pleasant alumni meetings before starting the program.

Aside from your classmates, 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? The school’s excellence in Entrepreneurship and Innovation topics and the opportunity to explore these areas with like-minded classmates were essential to me. I wanted a school, where free out-of-the-box thinking is not only encouraged but nurtured through a curriculum that will push me to deep dive into these topics.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am looking forward to all of the Technology and Entrepreneurship activities. In particular, I’m excited about the Entrepreneurship Club and Technology, Media and Telecom Club as well as Silicon Valley and Israel Treks. The treks offer a great way to spend time with energized people in highly engaging situations and network with alumni as well as companies in the field I’m interested in.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I want to start my own business in the future and have a positive impact on people through it. I hope for this MBA to be a boost towards that goal. Even though I was fortunate enough to have significant responsibilities early on in my career working in small companies in different countries, I feel I still need to learn and acquire more skills and experiences. My line of thought is that the extraordinarily dense and accelerated MBA experience and learnings that will help me in gaining or working towards these skill in an accelerated timeframe. Furthermore, I expect to meet a lot of entrepreneurial people and exchange ideas. It is also a great personal growth opportunity to have all the different experiences and cultures around you in the pressure cooker called INSEAD.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I looked at what I hope to achieve at INSEAD, how much that is worth to me, and compared it with how much effort and time it would take me to do it somewhere else.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford, MIT, IESE, Kellogg

How did you determine your fit at various schools? First, I short-listed business schools based on ranking, recommendations, and other unique features. Then I looked up the curriculums, focus areas, and electives to get an idea of what is important to each school. You can also find a lot of information on the school’s culture, people, and daily life on the internet on various personal and professional blogs such as Poets & Quants, Clear Admit or GMATClub. Furthermore, I spoke to a few alumni in my network to get an idea of their experience and their impressions & thoughts on the school and its culture.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? A personal family tragedy affected my family and indirectly influenced what I am like and what is important to me. It made me think hard about problems, care deeply about others, and taught me never to judge too quickly. You never know their story.

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Currently, I don’t have a firm plan for what to do directly after the MBA. I will probably travel a bit, meet up with some newly-made friends and relax after the MBA experience.

Regarding my career, I will see what opportunities present itself during the MBA and what opportunities present themselves. I am not fixed on one path to reach my goals.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I would love to be working on solving challenging internet and technology-based problems with a team of dedicated, smart, and aspiring individuals. I hope to lead them or have founded the enterprise.