Partner: '12J Class
Education: Bachelor of Arts
Work experience before INSEAD: Professional Development Manager at an international law firm
I have made a very diverse group of friends and have expanded my cultural knowledge of the world around me.
1. Did you have any concerns before coming to INSEAD and if so how did you deal with them?
Before coming to INSEAD I had some concerns like what I would do with my free time, what will I do about work, would it be easy to meet people, and would it be easy to get around (particularly the Fontainebleau area since it is predominantly French speaking). I tackled each by either researching the country to learn about the culture or talking to the partner liaison at INSEAD about what to expect.
2. How would you describe the partners’ community?
The partners` community is friendly and diverse. I met a lot of interesting people and had engaging conversations on all sorts of topics. There are partners who are in similar shoes as I am, a bit confused about life and working on planning for the future. There are many partner gatherings and I found people whom I connected well with and they become my new best friends here and after INSEAD.
3. How does a typical day look like for you?
If you do not have a schedule for yourself, there will be no typical day. Most of my days consist of good times hanging out with my new friends, the "mini-UN" as some of us dubbed it. You will be busy exploring the city, meeting partners for lunch and making dates for other fun activities.
4. How has INSEAD contributed to your personal and professional development?
On a personal level I feel I have made a very diverse group of friends and have expanded my cultural knowledge of the world around me. As for a professional impact, you will find that you have a strong network of people who work in all industries and in various functions. You will gain some invaluable insight if you are considering a career change and meet people who have or are planning to make a similar move.
5. What personal advice would you give to future INSEAD partners?
Have a plan. Do not come into the program without an idea or a list of the things you want to achieve during your year off. It does not have to be about professional growth, it can be something personal like hobbies you want to pursue or a new skill you want to learn. Depending on which campus you are on, research the country and decide how you would like to make the most of your time there. I chose to use my time to manage a small online business (www.tsaiclip.com) that I started, meet new people, and travel within Europe and Southeast Asia.
6. What are your plans after INSEAD?
At the time that I am writing this, my plans after INSEAD are still not very clear. We are in P4 and the job hunt/recruiting madness has just started so we will see what opportunities are offered. I did recently accept a job here in Singapore so ideally I would like to settle here for some time before moving on. It is a lot easier if you keep yourself flexible to match the unpredictability of what opportunities may be presented to your partner who is in the program.