Cezanne Maherali, Insead

In the first blog I wrote, I compared business school with a steeplechase. Read more

Cezanne Maherali, Insead

I was asked to speak on a panel and give advice to the new promotion about my experience with job hunting.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

My final round of consulting interviews was over videoconference. While the fundamental psychology is the same as if it were a face-to-face interview, there are a number of differences that a candidate should keep in mind.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

This week marks the grand finale to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Insead.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

It gets more difficult to say goodbye to people at the end of each period.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

There is a bell at the bar in school. If you ring it you are entitled to a free beer with which to drown your sorrows because you have received a ‘ding’ email or phone call from a recruiter who does not need your services.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

I am taking a course called Realsing Entrepreneurial Potential, which is about buying a company.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

The unique dual-campus structure at Insead allows students to benefit from the same courses, faculty and career opportunities while being located on their campus of choice – either Fontainebleau in France, or Singapore.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

This period has been much harder than I expected in terms of workload.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

According to an old African proverb, ‘The best way to eat the elephant standing in your path is to cut it into little pieces’.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

One of the first lessons I learnt at Insead was taken from the movie Inglourious Basterds. I am reminded of it as I watch the new students desperately running around in their suits trying to attend as many company presentations and apply to as many jobs as possible.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

So you end up paying about €50,000 for an education, a brand and what else? In my opinion, the greatest value one gets from the MBA is the network – not only with your fellow students, but also the access to the 40,000 alumni.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

As I sat in my investments class … looking a little bewildered as I listened to the intricacies of calculating betas … I couldn’t help but think about the subject matter of the course and how we should apply diversification to the biggest investment of all – our education.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

We sat in the moist heat for almost two hours waiting to board the ferry to take us to the south coast of Mombasa. Apparently, we were lucky. Our driver informed us that he had had to wait for four hours the previous day.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

Everyone is on a fixed schedule for the first two periods of the MBA programme. Our sections are allocated, our working groups are set, we sit in the same amphi for every class and we even have assigned seating. Feels like prep school all over again!

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

A few days ago I had my first experience of what recruiters call ‘assessment day,’ in other words (in my case anyway), a final round of interviews.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

National weeks are an Insead tradition and take place throughout the year (about two per period). The week, hosted by students of one nationality, showcases their culture, food, music, dance and other activities.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

Grades for the first period came out last week. Thankfully we are now well into the second period to worry about how we did – as long as we passed!

Insead operates a non-disclosure policy for grades. This means that grades are considered confidential to everyone – including recruiters. To have gone through the rigorous selection process for the MBA programme and to have obtained the degree is considered a significant achievement in itself.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

The international experience at Insead is about interacting with the 80 nationalities represented, studying on your choice of campus in France and Singapore, as well as having the option to spend a period of time at Wharton at the University of Pensylvannia in the US and taking advantage of the opportunity to travel with your classmates.

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

The year is 2009. Two-year MBA programmes predominate, but one French town is holding out against the invaders. A town where morale is high and any excuse will do for the indomitable students of Insead to hold a banquet with lots to eat and drink. As it happens, I find myself living in this town…

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Cezanne Maherali, Insead

Business school feels like a steeplechase – you have to go as fast as you can and try not to knock down any hurdles along the way!

To start off my MBA blog, here are five lessons I learnt during my first period at Insead:

1. Don’t wear socks. Otherwise your feet will get wet – and that’s just uncomfortable. Often, you must do things in ways you are not accustomed to be more efficient. This will happen to you especially during group work when you have to work with four other people from different cultures. Keep an open mind.

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