Monday, July 02, 2007

Many thanks

As Graduation is fast approaching, marking the end of this blog adventure too (after all, I'll need to work very hard), it is time to wrap-up on the Programme, and thank everyone who participated in it.

I've had the pleasure to inform some applicants, sometimes help them through the application process. I've seen some accepted, some unfortunately denied.

On Admissions, if there's one single takeaway, it is that the more outlier you are, the more focused and determined you will need to be. Consultants or IBs follow a path. If you are creating your own path, you'll need to convince that INSEAD can help you, and stay consistent throughout in interviews etc.

While in, you'll really be able to customize your own track. Roughly, it seems to me that there are: the Entrepreneurship, the Finance/Accounting, the Leadership/OB, the Marketing, and the Economics/Strategy tracks. Realistically, you can follow in depth 2 tracks. For instance, I chose Entrepreneurship and Leadership. The good thing is, you can complement with bits of other tracks (like some B2B Marketing, or some Corporate Restructuring, or some ICA). But because 10 months is short, and credits are limited, you need to know what you want to take out of INSEAD. Where your weaknesses must be improved and where your strengths will be leveraged to give you a competitive advantage later. For these reason, INSEAD is so not a factory with a one-fits-all programme if you don't want it to. Although on some occasions you may need to audit because of excess demand...

As I said during the Alumni Reunion, I came in with a set of objectives/expectations. Looking back in my application dossier, I was looking for many answers:
"Through OB, I would improve my leadership and people management skills. Strategy classes would allow me to refine competitive dynamics and define strategic objectives. And Entrepreneurship and Family Businesses electives would provide me essential tools with which to understand the specifics of my family Group and optimise its governance and financial model, and guide me in mapping future opportunities. They would also help me to tackle the succession issue and model the optimal ownership structure."

INSEAD gave me answers to every single issue. Not only are they answers for pressing issues, but also for the longer term. The network will always be a pool of answers, as will be the prestige you get from School. I feel more confident than ever before, because it's no fluke -foundations are rock solid. Strong to have been able to go through 10 super intensive months, to have competed with such a bright crowd, to have exchanged with them. Strong, because I know them, and I can count on them, or on the School, and on Profs.

Back in November 5, I set myself a goal list to which my year would be evaluated. I've fulfilled all of them (but maybe for the longer-term relationships).

For this, I would like to thank:

- the Admission Committee for selecting an amazing crowd,

- Dean Fatas for doing an incredible job organizing this complex programme with extremely demanding people, and the Staff,

- Dean Brown for accepting the School challenge of raising the School's profile even more (my 2 cents, we are not Harvard and don't want to be it right?)

- The Faculty, for inspiring us so much,

- my Housemates for being so nice,

- all July07 for the whole experience, stay in touch!

- and of course, the Alumni for building the reputation, and giving back to School...

Many thanks.

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At 12:17 AM , Blogger The Apprentice said...

I'm gonna be annoyingly nosy and ask what your list was. Though I understand if it's private.

At 7:20 PM , Blogger DomoDomo@INSEAD said...

Hey Apprentice, check the Nov 05 post. The list was there, I wanted to put it in writing not to alter the objectives at my convenience over the programme!

At 6:06 PM , Blogger Stuart said...

hey domo..

a li'l mouse nosed his way to ur blog.. and u know wht? he's added ur blog as the first link on his
check this out

At 6:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Many thanks to you!!! You have given invaluable guidance to future applicants/students through your blog. Readers have experienced the life@INSEAD vicariously by reading your journey. Thank you for recording it so vividly.

All the best to you for the future.


At 10:21 AM , Blogger Alex said...

My name is Alex Gladstone and I'm in the INSEAD J'10 promotion.
I know that many people who come to this blog are at least slightly concerned with the INSEAD language requirements. For those of you from the US and Canada, I'm going to guess that your second or third language is probably Spanish.

If you do need certification in Spanish you basically have 3 options. The first is to fly to France and take the language test in Fontainebleau with FL&C language school, but I wouldn't suggest that unless you are already pretty close to fluent.

The second option is to study independently or with a school familiar with the DELE exam, but this is fairly difficult since the DELE exam is only given twice per year. Regardless of whether you are in a January or July start and when you might get your acceptance letter, you will be in a situation where you'll only have one shot to take the test. The DELE takes a very long time to return your results (up to two months?) so while you wait you'll have to keep studying hard in case your fallback is to take the FL&C test instead.

The third and IMHO the best option is to take classes with to prepare for the FIDESCU D.I.E. (I know its a terrible acronym for an exam but don't worry) which is also accepted at INSEAD. Tradfax is the first (and right now the only) school and _exam_center_ in North America that is associated with FIDESCU.

Tradfax is physically in Ft. Lauderdale, FL. Its run by Francis Guinazu who has been teaching Spanish, Portuguese, and English as a foreign language for over 25 years. He'll assess your skills and if necessary set you up with an intensive course of study (say, 8 hr/week or so) to help prepare you for the exam, and you can do it in person via skype or even by phone. You can take the test with tradfax directly rather than having to fly to Spain or elsewhere.

I'm plugging them because I personally used their services and went from a very basic level of Spanish to the required level in just a few months while working a full-time job by using their intensive course.

Check them out at
And good luck to you all!


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