About Master Strategist Day
At INSEAD, the work of “advancing business as a force for good” starts in the classroom, where an innovative approach to teaching prepares students to transform business and society in novel ways. The Master Strategist Day (MSD) serves as a prime example. This unique full day event, held with a real-life not-for-profit organisation, is part of the core strategy class. Twice a year, over 500 MBA students across Fontainebleau and Singapore campuses are presented with a challenge and offered the opportunity to practice strategy. Mentored by senior strategy professionals, participants compete and support others to analyse the organisation and suggest strategic options to achieve its goals. A finalist team from each section presents its recommendations to a panel of judges comprised of faculty from different disciplines across the school and senior executives from the organisation.
The MSD event is appreciated by both students as well as the target organisation. In recent years, MSD has focused on various not-for-profits as well as organisations pursuing socially responsible initiatives, including Unjani Clinics NPC, Almouneer Diabetic Eye Care Clinics and La Brûlerie de Belleville.
The Hugo van Berckel Award
Hugo was an MBA ’89D INSEAD graduate. Throughout his career, including his time at CVC Capital Partners, he cared deeply about the impact of business decisions and their contribution to long-term sustainability. Friends and family described him as caring and thoughtful, someone who loved the energy of working in teams and striving for solutions to social issues. His belief in responsible and sustainable business inspired his friends and family to create the Hugo Van Berckel Award to continue his legacy in a way that embodies the core values of INSEAD. It is supported by the MBA class of ’89D.
The Hugo Van Berckel Award supports the endeavours of MBA students striving to achieve meaningful social impact during Master Strategist Day and associated learning exeperiences. This unique capstone session provides a fun, competitive and collaborative experience. It urges students to think about profit and purpose in an integrated manner, reflecting Hugo’s passion for the same.
The Award is run independently by INSEAD to honour Hugo in the manner envisioned by his friends and family. Supporting the academic and teaching efforts of the school, it is used to help the winning team implement their strategy alongside the chosen non-profit organisation.
Impact on Student Experience
The Award supports case development for analysis during Master Strategist Day, MBA elective, Business as a Force for Good Practicum, and summer internships focused on social impact.
The Award supports the development of new case studies focused on hybrid organisations pursuing both profit and social purpose.
A new dimension was added to Master Strategist Day in 2019. MBAs bid for a ‘Business as a Force for Good Practicum’ as a part of their electives that involves hands-on work with organisations that are the focus of Master Strategist Day. Students identify knowledge gaps which are critical to the execution of the company’s strategy, operations and marketing plans, and work on-site with the staff for a week to address them and to help further advance the organisation's goals.
Award funding also supports summer internships with the Master Strategist Day organisation, whereby students work 'on the ground ' with the organisation's staff for a period of 6-8 weeks, collaborating on in-depth efforts to advance their strategic and operational goals.
In the Spotlight
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