Susannah de Boinville
“Curious, determined and open-minded and always tries to find the positive.”
Hometown: London, England
Fun Fact About Yourself: Took up the trapeze in order to help conquer my fear of heights
Undergraduate School and Major: Economics BSc, Newcastle University
Most Recent Employer and Job Title: KPMG – Forensic, Assistant Manager
INSEAD is one of the most culturally and professionally diverse MBA programs in the world. How do you see these global perspectives enhancing the value of your business education over the next year? I have learnt, and strongly believe, that if you are curious of your environment, it will make for a more enriched experience. To be a part of a class that is made up of over 70 nationalities with professional backgrounds ranging from engineers to musicians will open my eyes to so many different perspectives and approaches to many facets of life. Whilst the content of the classes will equip me with the business acumen, it is the people that will teach me how to implement it most effectively.
Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of INSEAD’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? 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.
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far? I introduced a mentoring initiative whereby myself and my colleagues had the opportunity to work with students from disadvantaged backgrounds and help them with their job and/or university applications. By the time I left the company, the initiative had helped over 400 students.
How did COVID-19 change your perspective on your career and your life in general? COVID-19 gave me time to stop and think about what I was doing, what I wanted to do, and how I wanted to get there – from both a personal and a professional perspective. The world became more connected, despite not being able to see one another in person. However, this connection only highlighted the disconnection between the developed and the developing world. This encouraged me to pursue a career involving social impact, something I had been wanting to do for a while.
What led you to pursue an MBA at this point and what do you hope to do after graduation? The goal is to work alongside people who have the same desire to help meet environmental and social needs, specifically those arising from emerging markets. After graduating, I plan to do this through the medium of a Private Equity firm that seeks to help purpose-driven businesses have a social impact.
Forensic taught me how to identify some of the financial and reputational risks that companies face. I wanted to develop this technical knowledge alongside the leadership and strategic development skills an MBA would give me and chose INSEAD since it would help to enhance my global mindset.
What other MBA programs did you apply to? Harvard Business School
What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into INSEAD’s MBA program? Before you start, make sure you have a clear understanding in your mind as to why you are pursuing an MBA, why INSEAD, and why now. If you can answer these, then it will make the application easier as they will help to give your application a direction.
Don’t over-engineer your application; if you are even considering applying, then you most probably have something interesting to talk about and are an ambitious and curious person. Draw on your experiences to convey your ability to acknowledge and harness differences and diversity. While international motivation is important, make sure to highlight how you will contribute to the program and how this motivation will further this. Be honest, be authentic, and have fun with it as you tell them your story.
DON’T MISS: MEET INSEAD’S MBA CLASS OF 2022