Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Benjamin PIERRE, INSEAD

Benjamin PIERRE


“I am a former French military officer passionate about innovation, creation, design and sports.”

Hometown: Paris, France

Fun Fact About Yourself: I was so passionate about the protection of marine mammals that I wrote a letter at the age of 6 to thank a minister for their work on the issue. The fun fact is that I actually received a response from him!

Undergraduate School and Major: French Air Force Academy – Law degree.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: French Ministry of Defense – Deputy Head of Unit

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? The significance of having a diverse array of backgrounds and origins is often exemplified through the use of case studies. When addressing a problem, we tend to rely on familiar methods and reflexes acquired during our academic and professional journeys. However, collaborating with individuals from different backgrounds allows us to break free from the usual patterns and come up with new and innovative solutions. Working together during the MBA program provides an opportunity to assimilate the perspectives and knowledge of others, enriching our own skillset. The essence of this process is best captured in Paul Valéry’s quote: “Let us enrich ourselves with our differences”.

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 primary factor that attracted me to INSEAD’s MBA program is the school’s strong brand recognition and extensive network in both Europe and Asia. This is crucial for my career pivot, as I aim to establish myself in these regions and explore opportunities across various industries. The reputation and connections offered by INSEAD serve as a valuable gateway to unlocking a wide array of career prospects.

What has been your first impression of the INSEAD MBA students and alumni you’ve met so far. Tell us your best INSEAD story so far. When I visited INSEAD with two prospective students, camaraderie and happiness were the predominant emotions among the current student cohort. Our visit coincided with the day of the final exam for the preceding batch, and it was heartwarming to witness them leave the classrooms, coming together to express their relief and share the joy of completion. The atmosphere was palpable with the excitement of upcoming vacations, yet tinged with a hint of sadness as they realized that their INSEAD experience had come to an end. They were reluctant to part ways, and every person we spoke to emphasized how quickly time had flown during their MBA year.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at INSEAD? I am particularly enthusiastic about the courses that cover the core theoretical subjects necessary for building and growing a business. Coming from an unconventional background, I feel a strong need to acquire this knowledge. The dynamic club life surrounding industries like consulting, private equity, venture capital, and technology also holds great appeal for me. Moreover, the campus offers a plethora of sports activities to engage in. As everyone at INSEAD often mentions, the most challenging part is realizing that there are so many exciting opportunities available, making it impossible to participate in all of them.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: It took place at the end of 2020 when I was appointed deputy head of financial and legal office for the Barkhane’s operation in Mali. During the first part of my mission, I solved a problem of supplying drinking water to an isolated French forces camp with 400 soldiers. Military and civilian convoys were constantly under attack. With the help of Malian entrepreneurs, we set up a camouflaged supply chain with operators of different ethnicities depending on the potential bandits on the route. Thanks to this solution, the isolated soldiers finally had access to this fundamental resource.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)?  I am driven by the goal of actively assisting companies in reaching their growth objectives. Following graduation, it holds great significance for me to pursue an international career and amass valuable global work experience. In line with my desire to find a job that genuinely excites and resonates with me, I plan to explore some industries of interest during my academic program. This exploration will enable me to make a well-considered decision about my future career path at a later point in time.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? HEC.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into INSEAD’s MBA program? Once you’ve made the decision to pursue an MBA at some point in your career, the crucial step is to initiate GMAT preparation and contemplate the questions that will arise during the application process. These questions may involve your core values, significant successes and failures, motivations, and more. By starting early on these two endeavors, the application process will proceed effortlessly, as you’ll be well-prepared for the essential components.


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