Gulbahar Bazarova

Nationality: Turkmen
Age: 27
Partner: '12J Class
Education: MBA
Work experience before INSEAD: Buyer for Military Food Distribution Company

 It's really important to have a goal for this year in order to be able to grow in parallel with your partner. 

1. Did you have any concerns before coming to INSEAD and if so how did you deal with them?

I was excited to start this new adventure of living in a different place and trying something new – but the unknown was a bit scary. However, I can honestly say that I could not be happier with Kalin's decision to pursue his MBA with INSEAD. It has been a very unique and welcoming experience for the both of us.

2. How would you describe the partners’ community?

I found relocating to INSEAD to be one of my easiest transitions yet and the main reason for it is the partners’ community. I have moved before and I remember feeling lonely and lost at first. At INSEAD it was exactly the opposite. I had many invitations for social gatherings. One of the events held at the beginning of the program was the partners’ orientation. This gave me an opportunity to meet with other partners and hear what their experiences were like. The atmosphere was friendly and warm and it made me feel like I could imagine myself being part of this group. Moreover, it was really nice to talk with partners who understand exactly what you are going through. The community is very welcoming and supportive.

3. How does a typical day look like for you?

Almost every day at INSEAD you get to experience something new. From game nights and pool days, to movies nights and dinner parties there is always something to do. However, my typical day nowadays would be going to the gym in the morning, having lunch with the partners and enjoying sun or learning French in the afternoon. Usually, I spend my evening with my husband Kalin having dinner. However, I would say that there is no such thing as a typical day at INSEAD. You can easily find yourself eating zebra steak at the African national dinner, getting covered in paint during Holi, practicing partner’s cabaret dance or simply shopping at Orchard Road in Singapore or Champs Elise’s in Paris. Of course this does not even include planning and travelling to exotic places or wine tasting tours.

4. How has INSEAD contributed to your personal and professional development?

Because of the time spent at INSEAD I realized that I have an identity outside of being a student, an employee or a wife. I have really enjoyed exploring my people skills and have spent a considerable amount of time at INSEAD observing people’s behavior, learning about different cultures and studying psychology related books. I would like to incorporate these new skills in my long term career plan.

5. What personal advice would you give to future INSEAD partners?

You have an amazing year ahead so make the most of it. The really important part is to have a goal for this year - learn French, English, practicing some sport, find a job - you need to have one to grow in parallel with your partner. Overall, it is a tough year, but a very rich one. You will make a lot of new friends from all over the world and will develop a lot. The only advice I would give you is: Do not worry about anything too much, just enjoy the moment! At the end, “it is what it is”, and this year will be what you make of it!

6. What are your plans after INSEAD?

I am just reflecting on it and I still do not have any concrete plans. However, I am looking forward towards finding a job and putting my own career back on track.