MBA Student Profiles

Nicolai Kramer Jakobsen

 
Nationality: Danish    
Previous Education: Bachelor of Science in Economics, University of Copenhagen, Master of Arts in Economics, Boston University
Previous Employment: Economist at ITR Economics

While there were many options out there, I felt that with my international background and the global career I was looking for, INSEAD was a perfect fit for me.

Why did you decide to do an MBA and why did you choose INSEAD?

I wanted to transition from being an expert in market trends to becoming a better influencer and decision maker. I knew that I needed to learn soft skills to complement my quantitative background to make this transition successful.

While there were many options out there, I felt that with my international background and the global career I was looking for, INSEAD was a perfect fit for me. I was impressed by the school’s ability to match me with two alumni interviewers that I could easily relate to on a personal and professional level in Boston, which is over 3,000 miles from the Fontainebleau campus. The positive interview experience and the spontaneous local meet-ups arranged by incoming students made it easy to conclude that INSEAD was the right place for me.

Has the programme met your expectations so far? 

INSEAD has surpassed my expectations. I arrived here ready to learn in the classroom, but I found that a big part of the MBA experience is actually not from books. I am learning just as much from my classmates, the experience of the professors, and from traveling in Southeast Asia. I had never been to Asia before enrolling in the programme, so I deliberately chose to start in Singapore to get out of my comfort zone. 

What are your thoughts on your class experiences?
The classes switched from theory to case studies in Period 2, which brings the experience of the student body into the classroom. It is a humbling experience to listen to the professional and cultural diversity of the class. I am amazed when students approach a case from a perspective I hadn’t considered before. It is really rewarding to learn new ways of thinking.
 
What are your long-term plans after the MBA?
In P1 the INSEAD Career Development Center did an amazing job encouraging us to get to know ourselves better and expand our mind toward different career options. I applied to the programme with a very clear idea of what I wanted to do right after graduation. However, after analysing myself further, I am open to an even wider range of options - all with a focus on making  the world a better place. 
 
One of INSEAD’s values is believing in the role of business as a force for good. How do you think the school is steering students towards achieving this?

IINSEAD is doing a great job at integrating ethics into its new core courses. I rarely thought about ethical issues in business, but the programme is teaching me how common ethical dilemmas are and how to identify and address these challenges. Hopefully this will help me when I encounter similar problems in the future.

What advice would you give potential prospects who are interested in the INSEAD MBA?

I would recommend that potential students go on LinkedIn and look for alumni in their current city. First, you need to ask yourself if you would want this alumni’s job one day. Second, you need to reach out to the alumni and ask to meet for a cup of coffee or tea. During the meeting, you should assess whether they seem like the kind of people you’d want to spend a year of your life with. Furthermore, try to visit one of the campuses so that you can get to know the school better.

Lastly, people who already have some international exposure have an advantage. So if you haven’t studied or worked in another country, I would encourage you to build some international experience before applying.

 

 

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