MBA Student Profiles
Nationality: South African
Job Before INSEAD:: Consultant at The Boston Consulting Group
"We (Women in Business Club) aim to support gender diversity in the workforce by raising awareness of gender-related issues and by providing a networking platform for women and men who want to create more inclusive workspaces.
After working for a few years, I started considering either a graduate programme in Economics or an MBA. Deciding between these two courses was difficult, but I ended up choosing the MBA primarily because I felt I would enjoy the applied focus of the programme, rather than a more esoteric academic one. In addition, I liked the "networking" culture of MBAs. I believe that especially as you get more advanced in your career, it is your professional networks as well as your technical knowledge that determines the impact you can have. I chose INSEAD specifically because it was ranked as the top programme globally, because I liked the challenge of a condensed programme, and because I wanted to be in a more diverse environment rather than in an America-centric one.
The Women in Business Club consists of a group of men and women who believe that having a more diverse workforce can improve an organisation’s performance. We aim to support gender diversity in the workforce by raising awareness of gender-related issues (e.g. by organising speaker events and workshops on campus) and by providing a networking platform for women and men who aim to create more inclusive workspaces.
I think one of the most important things that men can do is to speak up when they observe their male colleagues or friends making sexist comments or acting in a way that may be offensive towards women. More often than not however, it is up to women to speak up about injustices. However, whether we like it or not, prejudiced men are more likely to listen to their male counterpart rather than their female counterpart, so having more male voices actively supporting gender parity can be very helpful.
Never underestimate the diversity of opinions that can exist around a specific topic! My ethics classes opened my eyes to the fact that good and intelligent people can come up with very different ideas on what the best thing is to do in a difficult situation. Becoming more aware of this diversity has been valuable, because it has made me more prone to question my own assumptions and to engage with others about their perspectives, which I hope will make me a more informed decision maker in the future.
Think carefully about what you want to get out of the programme before you join. There are so many opportunities at INSEAD - from focusing on classes, building your own business, socialising with friends, leading extracurricular clubs, and to travelling around Europe and Asia - that you really need to know what you want to get out of the programme if you want to opitmise your time there.