Meet the MBA Class of 2024: Deema Bin Homed, INSEAD

Deema Bin Homed


“Ambitious, resilient, and passionate person. Occasional painter, overly attached to my cats.” 

Hometown: Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Fun Fact About Yourself: I started painting when I was five.

Undergraduate School and Major: King Saud University – Pharmaceutical sciences

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Eli Lilly and company – District Sales 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?

The culturally and professionally diverse environment at INSEAD will undoubtedly enrich our business knowledge in the coming year. By interacting with peers from various backgrounds, we will gain insights into different business approaches and learn to adapt new strategies to diverse markets. This exposure will prepare us to tackle global challenges, foster innovative thinking, and develop cross-cultural communication skills, which are crucial for success in today’s interconnected business world.

At INSEAD, the study groups offer a distinct chance to approach current business challenges. As we enhance our teamwork abilities, we also master collaborating with individuals whose cultural and professional experiences significantly differ from ours. We’re not only creating connections for our immediate post-MBA aspirations, but also establishing an enduring global network of exceptional individuals spanning diverse fields.

I’m thrilled to engage in challenging conversations with my classmates, mutually pushing each other to cultivate cultural awareness, develop competencies, and become tomorrow’s inspiring global business leaders.

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? Apart from my classmates, what sets INSEAD’s MBA program apart is its invaluable focus on personal career development. INSEAD’s commitment to nurturing resilient leaders is evident in its tailored career development initiatives designed to prepare us for future career growth. This involves a thorough understanding of our strengths, weaknesses, competencies, obstacles, and aspirations. By providing fresh perspectives and opportunities for skill enhancement, INSEAD profoundly shapes our personal and leadership growth.

Moreover, the INSEAD Alumni network is considered the strongest network among other business schools in my opinion, and one of the top reasons that made me choose INSEAD. Before my application, I connected with several INSEAD alums and was deeply impressed by their dedication to supporting me throughout the application process. This demonstrated a collective responsibility among the alums to attract and aid potential INSEAD applicants.

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. My initial encounters with INSEAD MBA students and alums have been incredibly unique. Their diversity in backgrounds, experiences, and cultures is genuinely inspiring. The enthusiasm they bring to discussions and the collaborative spirit they exhibit are truly impressive.

One of the standout experiences was during a networking event where I interacted with an INSEAD alumna. She shared her story about how her time at INSEAD transformed her career trajectory and instilled in her a broader perspective, despite starting the MBA not knowing precisely what she would do after graduation. She emphasized how networking, exploring with her career coach, and utilizing all the resources she had from the program gave her clarity on her next steps. The support and guidance did not stop after she graduated, although it has continued throughout her career journey so far. It was clear that INSEAD had played a key role in shaping her into the successful and globally minded professional she is today.

What course, club or activity excites you the most at INSEAD? Clubs play an essential role and offer significant support to any INSEAD student aiming to establish a robust network of individuals who share similar industry interests or common passions. I’m looking forward to joining the Middle East Club, given the substantial interest among my peers in pursuing careers within the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia. I’m eager to contribute to the club, aiding in acquainting them with the diverse opportunities available in the region.

Another club that resonates with me is Women in Business, reflecting on my strong commitment to promoting women’s professional and social inclusion. Growing up in a patriarchal society, I’ve faced cultural pressure to endorse traditional gender roles. Nevertheless, I’ve consistently challenged these norms and advocated for equal rights and social integration.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I would like to reflect on two dimensions of my journey, which I consider my top accomplishment so far. I’ll start with my commitment to improving the lives of those around me. While my background lies in the commercial sector with a strong emphasis on revenue and sales, I’ve always perceived the significance of my contributions beyond just numbers and sales growth. Over the years, I’ve held various roles within Eli Lilly and Company, including sales specialist, Brand manager, and District sales manager. Here, I lead a team of 10 at the age of 25, with multiple short-term assignments such as Diversity and Inclusion, communications, and Talent acquisition. Through these diverse responsibilities, I consistently recognized the impact of my actions – from empowering colleagues, coaching my team to progress in their careers, establishing trust and rapport with customers, and ultimately enhancing the lives of patients suffering from chronic illnesses.

Secondly, beyond my professional objectives, my vision has been to combat the stigma surrounding mental health disorders. Globally, over 250 million people suffer from depression, a leading contributor to global disability. However, lack of awareness, fear of discrimination, and hesitancy to open up to friends or family have proven to be significant barriers for people suffering from depression.

Upon completing high school, I joined the Enayah Health Association, which educates volunteers on health-related topics and effective methods for executing awareness campaigns. In 2017, I co-founded Wamda (Enlighten Me) with a team of four, uniting a group of 90 volunteers across the kingdom. We executed awareness campaigns focused on depression, schizophrenia, anxiety, bipolar disorder, PTSD, and eating disorders. We aimed to understand these conditions and fight them through scientific means. This opportunity was enriching, as our community didn’t give proper attention to mental well-being at the time.

What do you hope to do after graduation (at this point)? My immediate post-MBA goal is to implement my learnings from INSEADs leadership programs, intense academic cases, and multicultural exposure. Eventually, I plan to grow as a broader and more decisive data-driven decision-maker, advancing my analytical/financial skills and coaching capabilities.

In the long term, this program will help me obtain the knowledge, experience, and tools needed to positively transform my field and develop myself to be a competent global transformational decision-maker.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I have also applied to Harvard Business School.

What advice would you give to help potential applicants gain admission into INSEAD’s MBA program?

Maintaining authenticity and letting your personality shine throughout your MBA application is crucial. Express your true self, highlight your accomplishments, and showcase your personal growth.

INSEAD places a high value on individuality, making it vital to share your genuine narrative. To craft your story, consider building around these key elements:

1. Your journey, including your achievements and lessons learned from failures.

2. Your motivations for choosing INSEAD and why pursuing an MBA at this point in your career.

3. Your post-MBA aspirations. By keeping these points at the center and presenting them coherently and logically, the various components of your application will naturally come together.


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