P&Q: What are INSEAD’s two most popular elective courses? What makes them so attractive to students and what are a couple of the big takeaways from them?
KM: “The two most popular electives:
Management Decision Making
This course focuses on the psychology of judgment and decision making.
People rely heavily on intuition in making decisions, judgments, and forecasts. There are many advantages to intuition. However, while intuition often serves well, there are many decision traps that students tend to fall into on a repeated basis.
These traps relate to how they think about risk and probability, how we learn from experience, and how we make choices.
The course is very popular as it teaches students about the traps. Knowing what can go wrong and knowing the right questions to ask helps them think smarter, and maybe only a little harder.
In addition to improving their own decision-making, this course also teaches a great deal about how other people make decisions and think about uncertainties. Managers, consumers, investors, forecasters, and negotiators all fall into the traps. Therefore, understanding the psychology of decision making gives a competitive advantage.
Improving decision making abilities requires active learning. One needs to make decisions, and to see (and feel) him/herself fall into the traps discussed in class. Students enjoy doing so through a number of class exercises and activities in which they must make decisions in the face of (often tremendous) uncertainty, the kind of uncertainty that they will experience every day as a manager.
Private Equity: Venture, Growth and Buyout Investing
The private equity model has in the past decades created considerable wealth and employment in the most advanced economies.
A solid understanding of this industry is without doubt critical to entrepreneurs, business owners, board members, and investment professionals alike.
This course offers students a balanced overview of the private equity landscape, covering both early-stage (venture capital) and late-stage (growth and buyout financing) investments. The course focuses on the perspective of the private equity partnership, while also highlighting the important roles of the entrepreneur and limited partners.
As an applied course, this elective aims to balance the qualitative and quantitative aspects of private equity management.
The course is hugely appreciated by students interested in careers in venture capital, growth equity and buyout firms, entrepreneurial start-ups, high-growth and established corporations that seek to acquire start-ups, as well as the investment management and consulting industries. It is also of interest to students wishing to make personal investments in privately held firms.”
P&Q: What are your two most popular MBA student clubs? What are the biggest events put on by these clubs? Why do these clubs resonate so deeply with your students?
KM: “INSEAD MBA Student clubs are run by students and supported by the school. They play an important role in student life and solidify the MBA experience.
The two most popular clubs are INSEAD Women in Business Club (IWiB) and INSEAD Private Equity Club (IPEC).
Both clubs host two conferences each annually – one on the Europe Campus and one on the Asia Campus. Consulting companies often have targeted coffee chats with IWiB as well.
IWiB aims to create more opportunities for women to become stronger leaders and future role models. It was created in 2005 to promote awareness of gender diversity issues in the business world, across the INSEAD community, and beyond.
Many INSEAD students and partners have a desire to change norms and influence perceptions during their careers or their personal lives. IWiB is attractive to students who want to make an impact in this cause.
IPEC serves as a forum for those interested in all aspects of the private equity industry.
IPEC’s goal is to provide opportunities for its members on both the Europe and Asia campuses to learn about private equity, interact with key industry players, and meet fellow students and alumni with similar interests. With over 1,000 INSEAD alumni working in private equity firms worldwide, IPEC’s goal is to support INSEAD’s thought leadership, participation and recognition in the field by enabling INSEAD MBA graduates to pursue an exciting career in or related to private equity.
At INSEAD, a good number of students who start their MBA come from private equity and venture capital backgrounds, or this is the industry they may want to pursue after their MBA. The vast and global INSEAD network has been a strong advantage to them.”
5 REASONS TO CONSIDER INSEAD
1) 1-Year MBA: “Being an intense 10-month program, students are really pushed to prioritize what is most important to them at that specific moment, challenging them to focus and to efficiently juggle all the activities in which they are involved. The possibility to spend time in different campuses also contributes to how dynamic the course is so that students can tailor it to their own preferences and needs.
I believe this aspect of the course is also very relevant to my life. In our jobs and lives we are always juggling between different priorities and different activities to carry out. INSEAD creates an environment where student can become more comfortable making choices on how they want to spend their valuable time.”
Maria Lia Magni (’23)
2) Multiple Campuses: “The multiple campus set up – Fontainebleau, Singapore and Abu Dhabi – as well as multiple other school exchanges is unparalleled to any other MBA programme. I have never lived abroad and INSEAD offered me the opportunity to do not just that, but also to live in distinctly different environments to one another.”
Susannah de Boinville (’23)
3) Deeply International: “At INSEAD, everyone is a minority” – This was one of the many promises that invigorated my aspiration to not just do an MBA, but do it at INSEAD. What I can tell you from my experience so far is that this promise has been far exceeded to a degree that words cannot explain. This translates to working on real world problems or even case studies using 3D approaches to 3D problems – where every member of the group doesn’t just come up with a different solution but the way they approach the problem is also unique. I have no doubt that this will serve us all well in our future careers and in our personal lives.”
Sunny Paia’aua (’23)
4) Personal Leadership Development Program: “PLDP is another activity I can’t wait to dive into. The PLDP runs parallel to the MBA and consists of personal and interpersonal assessment tools, communication effectiveness, leadership skills development, and professional and peer-based feedback on experiential learning opportunities. As an incoming MBA student, we’ve all spent a few hours in introspection when completing the Personal and Professional Identity Narrative (PPIN) survey, which forced us to deeply reflect on values, drivers and what we want to get out of our careers (and life). I strongly believe that emotional intelligence has become key in being an exceptional leader; the PLDP is designed to provide us with self-awareness that will be precious to enhance our career success.”
Amanda Michel (’23)
5) Third Language Requirement: “I’m genuinely excited about INSEAD’s third language requirement. Immersing myself in other cultures and languages has been a passion of mine ever since high school when I did an Intercultural Program with AFS in Central America. Gaining fluency in Spanish through my junior year studies in Madrid was easily the highlight of my undergraduate career, and I’ve picked up bits and pieces of French through my work trips to French wine country. Now, instead of tapping away at DuoLingo on my phone, I’ll be living full-time in France, speaking the language in Fontainebleau. And if running marathons taught me anything, it’s that having a tangible, time-sensitive goal is the best motivator. If I really want that diploma next summer, then the français better start flowing tout de suite!”
Chris Poldoian (’23)
ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE APPLICANTS
“INSEAD is a unique school with an equally unique application process that includes two alumni interviews and a myriad of short and long answer essays. It’s easy to lose the forest for the trees; to me, the through-line of your application should be a commitment to a global perspective through international experiences. Make sure it’s clear in your interviews and essays that foreign immersion is what you really want – not just a touristic jaunt. Be ready to talk about your formative moments abroad, instances of culture shock, and the ways you handle change.”
Chris Poldoian (’23)
“Be curious about the spaces you do not know yet want to explore with an INSEAD MBA. Reach out to alums or professors about their areas of interests and develop a network of individuals who can help you better understand these spaces and the school from which they flourished. These conversations will ultimately give you a vat of knowledge which will help you throughout the application process.”
Sakina Esufally (’23)
“Be yourself – the INSEAD MBA application process can seem long and exhaustive. In the end, it is mostly about getting to know you, who you are, and what do you want to do. It takes time and humility to reflect and formulate what made the person you are today. It’s a demanding task of introspection and, in my opinion, the best approach is to be honest and take it as a good way to get to know yourself better. You will probably surprise yourself and you might even (almost) enjoy it along the way!”
Bruno Lucas (’23)
|MBA Student||Hometown||Undergrad Alma Mater||Last Employer|
|James Atkinson||Amsterdam, The Netherlands||University of Exeter||Deloitte|
|Felix Bataille||Senlis, France||Ecole Centrale de Lille||Plastic Omnium|
|Susannah de Boinville||London, UK||Newcastle University||KPMG|
|Sakina Esufally||Colombo, Sri Lanka||Brown University||Hemas Holdings PLC|
|Maria Geagea||Beirut, Lebanon||Universite Saint Joseph, Beirut||Strategy&|
|Tetlanyo (Teti) Lekalake||Gaborone, Botswana||University of Cape Town|
|Maria Lia Magni||Monza, Italy||Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST)||McKinsey & Co|
|Bruno Lucas||Boulogne-Billancourt, France||École Supérieure d’Ingénieurs Léonard-de-Vinci (ESILV)||ALTEN|
|Amanda Michel||Monthey, Switzerland||École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL)||Vogue Fitness|
|Constance Noziere||New York City, NY||Cornell University|
|Sunny Paia’aua||Rockhampton, Australia||University of Sydney||Australian Defence Force|
|Chris Poldoian||Houston, TX||Tufts University||Freelance Wine Consultant|