The Master in Management is the premier graduate business education degree in Europe. With its inaugural class this fall, one of the continent’s biggest schools hopes to shake up the established MiM order.
INSEAD’s new MiM class of more than 80 from over 20 countries around the world will begin classes September 7. Only last week, the school announced that because the French government had announced permission for in-person instruction beginning September 1, MiM classes at the school’s Fontainebleau campus, about an hour and a half outside Paris, would go forward — with ample coronavirus pandemic precautions in place, of course. MBA classes at INSEAD begin in October.
Members of the INSEAD MIM Class of 2021 “will be immersed in a truly global experience alongside international classmates and faculty, travel across continents, and gain access to top recruiters and diverse roles in a broad range of industries,” Katy Montgomery, associate dean of degree program at INSEAD, told P&Q in May 2019, when the program was announced. “Our graduates will be part of an unparalleled alumni network of more than 58,000 influential alumni working in 176 countries across the world.”
Thibault Séguret, program director of the INSEAD Master in Management, last year added that the new program will challenge, but it will also enrich.
“Making an impact on the world can be daunting. The INSEAD MiM will provide our students with the right tools and experience to go where they want to go and do what they want to do,” Séguret said. “It will be a challenging, enriching, and confidence-building experience academically, personally, and culturally.”
‘A HOLISTIC APPROACH TO BUSINESS’
The new program was designed to have a distinctly INSEAD feel, taking place for the first six months in Fontainebleau before relocating to INSEAD’s Singapore campus for the next four months. There are also optional field trips to Abu Dhabi, the U.S., and China, making this MiM a very international experience.
In all, the program takes 14 to 16 months. The first 10 months are split into five two-month segments, the first four of which consist of core courses, workshops, and practicals; in the final segment, candidates take six electives and complete a final “project management and agility” workshop. Topics include the usual MiM suspects: financial reporting, strategy, and microeconomics, with workshops covering subjects like coding and presentation.
One feature that makes the INSEAD MiM stand out: its “holistic approach to business,” Séguret says, meaning that all the professors understand what their colleagues are teaching, so they can relate their own classes to others.
Three “accents” run through the program, Séguret says: sustainability, digital and data, and soft skills. These have been developed following in-depth conversations with employers about the skills and knowledge they need in their managers. As an example of just how seriously these are taken, the program concludes with a boot camp on applying the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals to real-world cases brought by companies and NGOs.
In the final four to six months of the program, students take what they have learned and leave the nest — concluding their MiM journey with a company, either as an intern or a full-time employee, anywhere in the world. It’s a dose of professional exposure that “allows you to build work experience and conduct a final analysis on the industry you have joined,” according to the school’s brochure.
STUDENTS FROM AROUND THE WORLD WHO WILL ‘TRANSFORM BUSINESS & SOCIETY’
INSEAD’s MiM has students from more than 20 countries. “By engaging talented young people, the MIM will contribute to the INSEAD mission to develop responsible business leaders who transform business and society,” Urs Peyer, dean of degree programs at INSEAD, told P&Q last year. “Our current master’s programs are designed for experienced global professionals — from MBAs and participants in our Executive Master in Finance to senior executives in our Executive MBA and Executive Master in Change. The MIM will make the INSEAD educational offering complete by equipping a new group of post-graduate, pre-experience learners with the most relevant knowledge and skills to succeed in today’s complex world and move it in new and exciting directions.”
Tiffany Tang of Taiwan will be in the first INSEAD MiM cohort. In choosing a graduate business program, she was looking for global exposure — and INSEAD “offers me a chance to study in global campuses, to learn with students from global backgrounds and to seek career opportunities globally — making it hard to say no to this amazing program!”
Andrei Dogaru, of Bucharest, Romania, is planning to pursue a career in management or strategy consulting. He’s interested in “how businesses grow and evolve, how they make an impact in their market, and how they approach and solve the challenges they face along the way.” He found the promise of studying at INSEAD’s Singapore campus too good to pass up — “a really big advantage, because not only do we get exposure to the business environment of one of Asia’s most powerful economies, but we also gain a new and highly valuable cultural experience.”
Arshiya Ratan, of India, arrived at the INSEAD MiM after “intense explorative efforts.” She plans to work in consulting and social impact. “Equipped with an illustrious faculty, personalized attention to students, a strong alumni network, strategic locations, and an atmosphere where skills of the learner are whetted in a manner that maximum proficiency in a subject matter is achieved, the MIM at INSEAD is bound to take me a step closer to fulfilling my goals,” she says.
‘WHAT YOU WILL TRULY DISCOVER IS YOURSELF’
Why is INSEAD — known for its ultra-compact, rigorous, and elite MBA — making such a dramatic move into the MiM space, where schools like St Gallen have dominated for many years?
Séguret, the course director, says the answer lies in the school’s founding mission to spark innovation and bring together talented people from different countries and cultures. “At some point, we felt that in order to stay true to who we are, we had to include this younger population of people aged 20-24,” he told P&Q in January. “From our perspective, it’s less about entering a market than including a new age group.” The average age in the new MiM: 22.
Building a diverse network is a key INSEAD principle, Séguret adds: The school prides itself on creating classes where “everyone is in a minority,” meaning that participants learn to listen to and understand other viewpoints.
“The INSEAD MIM will provide you with an opportunity to embark on an intense journey to acquire the skills, knowledge, practice, and mindset you need to succeed in a global career,” Séguret says. “You will undertake this journey with a diverse class, and be enriched by different perspectives and different views on the world. Ultimately, what you will truly discover is yourself: what you want to achieve in your life, your true potential, and who you truly want to be.”