Posts Tagged ‘Diversity’

National Week Bidding Day

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

On 11 May, INSEAD students across both campuses held the National Week bidding day for September to December. In the two periods over these four months, four National Weeks are going to be held – and given that there are obviously many more nationalities of students present than there is space for national weeks every year, the spots for national weeks are tightly contested. Each year, two bidding days are conducted (one for the first six months of the year and one for the last four) and prospective national week candidate teams prepare a booth with exhibits and food, a 10-minute presentation, and fun activities to advertise why they should be the ones to host a national week. Then, all students can cast their votes, and the national weeks that get the most votes across both campuses will then be scheduled.

For this bidding day, the competing teams were Comrades (Russia and other former Soviet Republics), Africa, Japan, Desi (India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka), Lebanon, and GPS (Greece, Portugal, Spain). Those nationalities that already had their national week in January to June were barred from participating in the bidding day.

The actual bidding day was one of the most fun days at INSEAD so far, a full display of INSEAD diversity. The teams had set up booths in the school’s foyer, and students dressed in traditional regional attire handed out delicious food. The presentation of all the proposals then took place in the main auditorium, and most teams had prepared videos, played traditional music and showed some kind of performance. Highlights of the presentations were clearly the Desi bollywood dance, the comrades flag-waving, uniformed entrance, and the Africans’ bonfire story (told by one of the students who was dressed up as a hunter – another one was the hunted game, a zebra). After the presentation, everyone headed out to the school’s courtyard for national drinks from GPS wine to Comrade vodka shots.

In the end, the winning teams were Lebanon, Japan, Africa, and Desi – I am looking forward to experiencing these national weeks in my last two periods (and taking part in the national week bidding for next year’s Heart of Europe week!)

Student Diversity

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Priding itself to be the “Business School for the World”, INSEAD really offers a level of diversity that is absolutely stunning. The six people in my designated study group, for example, are two girls from America and Bahrein and four guys from China, France, Canada/Bangladesh, plus me as a German. At the first inofficial welcome party yesterday, which was attended by ~100 of the 200-odd students starting in Singapore, I had the opportunity to get to know and talk to so many different fellow students, it was actually pretty overwhelming. First of all of course the students are diverse in terms of the nationalities, that cover pretty much all of the globe: I talked to students from the US and Canada, Brazil, various European countries, Israel, Lebanon, China, India, and Indonesia, among others. Also the backgrounds of the students vary in terms of their education and previous job. Of course there are many with an economic degree, but also many others such as engineers or former art students. In terms of previous jobs, there are obviously the usual suspects coming from investment banking or strategy consulting (I already met four people from my company alone, and many from the competitors), but I have also met project managers, an R&D guy, a girl who has worked in film production and wants to start her own production company, and others. I am really looking forward to working and learning together with all of these very different people, which as I am sure will enrich discussions and make everyone together achieve results that no single one would have been capable of on their own.

Besides that, the party yesterday was also really good and a preview of things to come: we started with pre-drinks at Heritage View, which is the condo that I and many of the other students are living at, and then headed for a rooftop bar in the city. I was really excited how many people actually turned out, considering that many arrived just a few days ago or even on the day of the party. When I went home and shared a cab with six other students also living at Heritage View, it was really a boarding school feeling: Everbody said good night and went up to their apartments. I am so looking forward to having this kind of community every day here over the course of the next year.

Tomorrow, the official part of the MBA program is going to start with registration and the opening ceremony, and then we are off to busy eight and a half weeks of the first period: every week is packed from Monday to Saturday, and there is only one two-day weekend (Monday 23 January is off due to Chinese New Year). I guess this year is going to be really intense in both a work and a social way, and I am really excited about that!

© 2012 – 2018 JF Goetzmann — Impress