Meet INSEAD’s MBA Class Of 2023

Chris Poldoian (’22) with INSEAD classmates at the Brazen Head


1) Leadership Development: “The Personal Leadership Development Program (PLDP), which runs parallel to the MBA’s academic curriculum, is a set of courses and individual and group coaching sessions designed to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others and to develop leadership skills. The program kicks off in P0 (before joining the campus) with the PPIN (Personal and Professional Identity Narrative) where we have to reflect on our vision, values, identities and leadership journey. I believe that the PLDP is an indispensable tool to develop the necessary skills to succeed as a leader.”
Hamza El Mahboubi (’23)

“INSEAD Business School develops brave leaders who are willing to transform the world and create a positive impact on people’s lives. This mission exactly matches my goals, as I want to dedicate my work to making a long-term positive impact on people‘s living conditions in the developing countries. The idea of applying to INSEAD and meeting some of the world’s most influential management thinkers, such as W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne, Erin Meyer, Gianpiero Petriglieri: does it get any better than that?”
Tamuna Andguladze (’23)

2) Diversity: “With INSEAD’s diverse MBA program, there also is no dominant culture or profession at INSEAD, which keeps the discussion from steering into one specific direction. Coming from a European / consulting background, I am excited to better understand the line-of-thought of people from all around the world.”
Hiro Herfert (’23)

“Against this backdrop, INSEAD positions me well for post-MBA opportunities by offering a global and diverse perspective. Such perspectives will help me develop strong cross-border leadership skills with the ability to relate, understand, and build trust-based relationships across cultures and professions. The experience of putting myself in a microcosm of the business world in a span of 10 months is the most efficient and effective way to get to know cultures, industries, and countries in a non-superficial way. That same rich experience prepares me for opportunities to work in different countries (including my home country) armed with fundamental context, the ability to cross-pollinate ideas, and the aptitude to share insight in multifaceted situations.”
Melloney Daye Awit (’23)

3) 1-Year Program: “The time period. Apart from Its extra-ordinary international reputation, INSEAD condenses a 2-year program into 1 intense year. Sadly, I do not have the time nor the budget for a 2-year program, so INSEAD was an obvious choice – life maybe a journey, but it helps to get to the finish line before everyone else.”
Jack Arkwright (’23)

4) Multiple Campuses: “Moreover, INSEAD has four campuses and I studied in two of them: Fontainebleau in France and Singapore. Each region allowed me to get more exposure to its specificities and to the opportunities that are there. I also got to meet the alumni network in each region, and it was exciting to see that you can meet with the community wherever you go.”
Ikrame Bahhar (’21)

5) Entrepreneurship: “The best part of our MBA was that it let us experiment with entrepreneurship before actually taking the big jump. Our team was born in “New Business Ventures,” a two-month class where groups of students come up with a startup idea and test it as much as possible before presenting it to actual VCs. We still remember the excitement of running our first interviews with people who later became Spaciously’s first customers!”
Laurent Baillot (’22)

“My favorite MBA tradition here is the INSEAD Venture Competition (IVC). I came to know about it before joining INSEAD through now an alumnus. When she was about to participate in the IVC, we discussed her business idea. It was intense and fun to experience the multi-stage event designed for aspiring entrepreneurs. The winner can even be awarded EUR 60K support for developing their venture. The 44th IVC is about to take place in the coming month, and I can’t wait to join.”
Xi Kang (’22)

INSEAD Students


“I would focus on answering the following three questions, getting their answers absolutely down, and building your story around them.

  1. What have I accomplished that I’m proud of?
  2. Why is now a good time for me to pursue an MBA at INSEAD?
  3. What do I want to achieve once I have my MBA?

I sincerely believe that as long as these three questions remain in focus and can be answered clearly and with reasonable logic, the rest of the pieces will fall together. While it is true that some backgrounds and profiles have higher admission rates than others, no story is irrelevant, and everyone has something to bring to the table.”
Eric Husny (’23)

“Reflection, reflection, and reflection. It is not something nice to have but a must. I do not settle for telling all the stories about success and failure. I dig deep and ask myself a series of questions. Why do I do that and say that? What is the motive behind my decisions? What are the factors I have or have not considered? How does that tell about me? What is something I hold dear to, and what are those I find truly excited about (by which I define as something I am willing to dedicate extra time and effort into)?

From a practical perspective, reflection helps one write essays with breadth and depth. More importantly, it generates critical insights that are unlikely to change over time. It will give you a better sense of who you are and compass you to find your passion in life better.”
Xi Kang (’22)

“Emphasize why you want to study at INSEAD beyond the cultural diversity element. In the application, it is easy to focus on the multicultural aspect of the program, but this will likely be mentioned in 99% of applications. While this is no doubt a core reason to want to pursue an INSEAD MBA, I would recommend focusing on the wholistic objective of the program. Specifically, demonstrate how the INSEAD will shape and develop your leadership skills.

The INSEAD mission is to “bring together people, cultures and ideas to develop responsible leaders who transform business and society” – the leadership component is just as important as the global aspect. The admission committee and interviewers, who themselves are global leaders, will want to know how the program will benefit your leadership skills and how your leadership journey to date can help bring a new perspective to help fulfill the INSEAD mission. I would encourage any applicant to be as authentic as possible in sharing how you will be an addition to a program helping you and your classmates to become the ethical and sophisticated leaders the world needs!”
Julia Schulz (’23)

MBA Student Hometown Undergraduate Alma Mater Last Employer
Tamuna Andguladze Tbilisi, Georgia Georgian American University in Tbilisi European Investment Bank
Jack Arkwright Warwick, United Kingdom Edinburgh University Javelin Services
Juliette Cremel Paris, France Harvard University BEGOOD
Melloney Daye Awit Manila, Philippines Ateneo de Manila University Bain & Company
Hamza El Mahboubi Sidi Bennour, Morocco Ecole Hassania des Travaux Publics JESA
Lara Gruering Paris, France NA Tally Weijl
Hiro Herfert Stuttgart, Germany ESB Business School EY-Parthenon
Eric Husny Beirut, Lebanon American University of Beirut The Samir Kassir Foundation
Hadeel Jaradat Rawabi, Palestine Birzeit University, Palestine Bayti Real Estate investment
Julia Schulz Munich, Germany Stanford University McKinsey & Company
Tamerlan Vahabzada Baku, Azerbaijan Azerbaijan State Economic University Shell
Nana Yaw Kyere Opare-Anim Mamfe, Ghana University of Ghana Nestle Central and West Africa

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