MBA Student Profiles
Job Before INSEAD: Economic and Commercial Specialist, U.S Department of State
One of my favorite moments was when the MBA Dean introduced me during Orientation Week as the first ever Bruneian at INSEAD. I was given a warm and resounding applause by the entire student body. Although my cohort is comprised of over 80 different nationalities, every one of us feels at home at INSEAD.
I grew up in Brunei, but completed my high school diploma and obtained an undergraduate degree in Commerce / Journalism at the University of Melbourne. Since then I have worked in five different countries. Most recently, I spent six years coordinating strategic and commercial objectives for senior public and private sector leaders across Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), the Cambodian Government, and the U.S. State Department. Additionally, I had the privilege to represent Brunei at the inaugural ASEAN-Korea Next Generation Policy Expert Programme.
The decision to do my MBA at INSEAD was a no-brainer. In addition to INSEAD having the world’s best international MBA programme, I was attracted by the strength of its international alumni network and by the opportunity to connect with great institutions around the world.
I admit that INSEAD’s programme and academic rigor has been much more intensive than I had expected. Although the intensity took some time to get used to, I have grown to appreciate it as it has taken me out of my comfort zone and stretched me to accomplish things I had not previously thought possible.
On a separate note, I have been thoroughly impressed with the generosity of INSEAD’s student and alumni networks. On many occasions, I continue to experience a culture where INSEAD students and alumni “pass it on” and try their best to help each other whenever possible.
Although it was initially daunting to be surrounded by so many talented individuals in a pressure-cooker environment, I have been able to achieve success and this has allowed me to ‘find my level’ and has given me confidence in my own analytical and technical abilities. This insight is priceless and something that I will keep for the rest of my life. Additionally, the strength of the student relationships is remarkable. Through shared experiences in and out of the classroom, I have been able to develop incredible bonds with a diverse group of people from around the world.
One of my favorite modules has been “Uncertainty, Data, and Judgment” (aka Statistics) as taught by Professor Anil Gaba. Professor Anil is an intense and charismatic professor who brings statistics to life and earns the attention of his students, and has given me a newfound appreciation for what I had thought was a very boring subject!
I am a connector and enjoy bringing diverse people together to generate win-win outcomes. Post-MBA, I intend to sharpen my business skills in a dynamic investment firm or family office where I can connect business and investor networks across Asia. I intend to be based in Singapore because its unique ecosystem is the ideal hub for business in Asia.
My INSEAD MBA experience has transformed the trajectory of my post-MBA career. If I could change anything about my MBA experience, I would have done the MBA earlier in my career. I believe the best time in a person’s career to do an MBA is the earliest time they are ready for it (in terms of resources, career experience, personal maturity, etc.)