Saturday, June 30, 2007

The Most

I've just finished my day with the 20, 30, and 40 year Alumni. Pretty interesting.
First on me, I think either my head is swelling like crazy, or I'm on illicit substances, or I've improved so much, because presenting in front of 80 alumns, in Amphi A, with a mike, caused me no stress or problem whatsoever. Actually my presentation was very well received, with plenty of people congratulating on the humourous touch, or at least the heart-felt tone. I'm so pumped up. Folks, that is 4 presentations in a row that went out perfectly. The point is: we'll leave INSEAD confident about our abilities, and with a brandname that gives respect. We'll have our First Hundred Days too, to fulfill expectations put on us...

Interesting points about the Alumni Reunion:
- Some of them were worried that Singapore and 900 people intake meant dilution and lesser selection. I beg to differ. First, ratio of applicant to acceptances is irrelevant, because of the self-selection to INSEAD (1 year programme, very differentiated, and 700+ GMAT). Second, in 30 or 40 years, the MBA market has grown to places untapped for before -Latin America, India, East Europe...
- Alumni were very impressed by the develoment of the School over years.
- They are so attached to School that many came with their children and groom them for INSEAD. I met an Israeli 40Y Alumn whose son (or grandson I can't recall) graduated in 2000 and other son is applying this year!
- In 30 years INSEAD has gone from less than 30 nationalities to more than 70. And has over 100 alumns in more 25 countries (against 12 for Harvard and co.)

On the train back to Paris, I met someone from the Student Council. While he did not want to reveal the recipients' names of Best Awards, he hinted at the finalists. Whoever wins will deserve it.

That made me wonder of all these great professors met during the programme.
Most passionate: Tim Van Zandt
Most funny: Enrico Diecidue
Most humour noir funny: Theo Vermaelen
Most sensitive: Michael Brimm
Most subtly un-PC (but I like that!): Thomas D'Aunno
Most cool: Igor Vaysman
Most weird-funny: Nils Rudi
Most edgy: Igor Vaysman
Most sharp: Pascal Maenhout
Most impressive: Phil Anderson
Most Hollywood: Horacio Falcao
Most nice and dedicated: Ilian Mihov
Most connected: Randel Carlock
Most obviously un-PC (but I like that!): Fernando Bartholomei
Most underrated: Deigan Morris
Most shrewd: Tim Bovard
Most challenging: Kevin Kaiser
Most insightful: Karen Cool
Most make-it-easy-and-fun: Jake Cohen
Most useful-for-survival: Jose Luis Alvarez
Most brilliant: all of the above -well, you know which ones I preferred for each period...

They made an impact on me, I will never forget them. And I did not attend most of the Finance track, which has lots of Stars...

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At 9:38 AM , Blogger The Apprentice said...

Hmm. I beg to differ. I think an old alumni who had an intake of 200 members is right to be concerned about a 900 person intake and Singapore.

The fact is that the two are completely different experiences - one provides a very tight, close knit alumni network whereas the other a broad and sparse network. I think it's purely subjective which one you prefer, but if you were a member of one and the school has changed to the other you're right to be concerned - today it's possible for two people to do an MBA at INSEAD and never even study on the same campus at the same time.

I guess this ties in with my second issue - my personal preference is for a much smaller campus - P3 in Fonty was by far and away the best period mainly because of the much smaller number of people here, which meant you could really build solid and lasting relationships. If the school were to shrink intake by increasing the applicant per place ratio, I think that would be a good step.

But of course that's just my contrarian 2c on a Sunday morning...

At 11:18 AM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Fair enough, I get your point.
Maybe again it's the 900 intake that stands out. But in reality, as said in a previous point, it's only 300 in Fonty per sub-intake right? I actually have the sense that people have as clone knit relationships as before. Look at Singapore people, or Fonty's Section people. You are right to point out that travelling back and forth on 3 campuses is the worst thing to do, in terms of network.

And again I'm not sure INSEAD has lowered its standards to accomodate for more students. If 40% of people only apply to INSEAD, and a yield ratio of 70%+ it's probably within Top 5 in the world.

But you've got experience. Is it that at some point you were unsatisfied by some of recent alumns -both professionnally or personnally- that'd make you think the School should tighten up somehow?

Thanks for your time!


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