INSEAD is a school that promises cultural diversity, career development and an incomparable network. With more than 60,000 alumni in over 170 countries around the world, both past and current students have been empowered to thrive in business around the world. This enabled students from the African diaspora to use this synergy for business growth on the continent.
Imagine a school that brings people together. A place that builds and develops leaders who change the economy and society. Enter the place of higher education and learning, INSEAD. Your master’s programs create positive changes in people worldwide, from different generations and from all walks of life.
INSEAD’s master’s programs offer a standby state.
Rudolph Bella, an Ivorian Director at Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), started his career with a “Big Four in France”. After moving to Africa in the mid-2000s, he led finance teams in more than ten countries including Senegal, Tanzania, South Africa and Cameroon.
“This enabled me to recognize the many possibilities that our pulsating continent offers, but also the diverse African cultures that you have to adapt to when we have regional responsibility,” he told FORBES AFRICA.
It was then that Bella began to think about the next steps in his career and INSEAD’s Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) program was on his mind.
“… Given my working age, I decided to take part in the GEMBA program, which allowed me to meet colleagues with similar and greater work experience,” says Bella, who graduated in 2011.
Citizens of the world
Kenyan alumna Cezanne Maherali, Head of Policy at Uber in the Middle East and Africa, sits down with FORBES AFRICA and confirms how INSEAD prepared her to enter the business world without fear.
After completing her MBA at INSEAD in 2010, she remembered having the “golden opportunity” of moving to Nairobi to join the founding team to open McKinsey & Company’s Kenyan offices.
A few years later, in 2015, when Uber had just moved to town, she was hired by another INSEAD graduate from South Africa who had just opened her office in London. She was told of an opportunity to get into the business and although she had no experience in the transportation industry, she plunged “head first” in.
“That is what INSEAD prepares and trains you for,” says Maherali. “You are not afraid of the unknown. You just jump in with both feet and say, ‘Okay, sink or swim, let’s find out’. ”
Bella also explains that despite having more than a decade of professional experience, INSEAD has added value to his positions in the private equity space.
“In order to be able to assess all potential risks and be able to decide what to invest in or not, extensive skills in various disciplines are required, which are usually built up through experience in PE. But with programs like INSEAD’s, the knowledge and learning you gain can also help accelerate those skills, especially in Africa where investing has more growth stories than financial leverage, ”he explains.
Rigor and relevance of the curriculum
Fearless is not only popular when leaving INSEAD, but also during active studies. In an interview with FORBES AFRICA from Singapore, the Nigerian Masters in Management (MIM) student Abdulhameed Obileye Maherali agrees.
The MIM program was Obileye’s wish in his first year, as INSEAD has always been his “dream school”. So much so that he was willing to take the risk of being at “one of the best global business schools in the world” in the first year of the program.
“I think being a pioneer means we were willing to take the risk on a program that wasn’t tested. But INSEAD’s reputation and the quality of its lecturers made it worth it, ”says Obileye.
The value of diversity
Apart from the fact that you are a risk bearer, you have further advantages with one of the master’s programs at INSEAD: You are exposed to an unlimited variety.
“One of the most important things you bring with you to INSEAD is learning how to work with people from different backgrounds. In the first section of our course at INSEAD, we were divided into study groups with people from different countries and with different personal and professional backgrounds. This taught us to deal with different business situations and to take individual cultures and experiences into account, ”says Cezanne Maherali.
“INSEAD helps you think globally,” adds Obileye.
The power of the network
The Business School is proud of the alumni network.
“The network at INSEAD is very broad, which is unique and special about the school, as they infiltrated all of these other networks that I belong to,” says Maherali, who explains that there was a group of INSEAD alumni they were also part of the McKinsey network.
For Obileye, the network he has won so far has opened up a number of opportunities that even he knows will have a long-term effect even after graduating from MIM.
“It’s hard to quantify how great the network is,” he says. “It’s a tight-knit community.”
Bella adds, stating, “I think once you’ve climbed the INSEAD ranks, people believe that real leaders should always try to facilitate others. This is a lesson learned at INSEAD: Business should be a force for good. “
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