Category Archives: Campus Exchange

School’s Out Forever for Summer

So it finally did happen – we finished P3. I know it’s been only 2 weeks, but somehow it feels like ages ago already. On Thursday, June 29, we had our last core exams (and since most of our electives do not have any exams, these may have been our last exams ever :-), Politics in the morning and Macroeconomics in the afternoon. With all the assignments due to the last minute and those exams to prepare, I didn’t even have time to realize that by Friday morning, I was leaving Fontainebleau for good.

Yes, that’s right – since I will be spending both P4 and P5 in Singapore, I won’t be back at the Camembert this fall. No more champagne parties, no more weekend trips to Paris. Even our graduation in December, for which I will return to France, takes place in Versailles, not Fontainebleau, so I guess I’ll have to wait until my five-year reunion before I get to see Amphi A again.

It’s very sad to know that I won’t be seeing some of my classmates until graduation. As I said before, INSEAD’s 10-month program is short as it is, and the campus exchange with Singapore makes it even shorter.

The E6 pyramid, left side, ... ... and right side (yes, the one behind Dan's pink shirt is me :-)

Of course, we had to celebrate this occasion in style. After a relaxed E6-only BBQ in Arbonne-la-ForĂȘt (thanks to Oren, Karen and the rest of the crew), we headed off to Shangri-La for our biggest champagne party to date. After lots of champagne (not for me, as I was driving), we got into all sorts of section-bonding activities: first, Charles talked us all into forming a human pyramid (above), then we talked Charles into going for a swim (below).

Charles looking forward for a refreshing dip in the pool Charles thanking his classmates for the idea
Splash!

In the end, we followed his example and continued the party in the pool, despite the somewhat chilly weather. The cold the next morning was well worth it.

E6 in the pool

PS: We finally got our E6 T-shirts. Thanks to Pateel’s design, they really are the sixiest thing on campus.

T-shirt front ... ... and back

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Singapore, here I come

Quick update only, because my schedule is crazy at the moment – electives, core courses, assignments, readings, Student Council work, job related stuff and parties, speakers, national weeks … just too much to handle (yes, P3 really is the busiest period at INSEAD, no matter what anyone else tells you).

I have decided over the weekend to spend September to December, i.e. both my P4 and P5, in Singapore. My rationale for it is that this is a unique opportunity for me to find out more about this part of the world, broaden my network even further and travel to some exotic locations. And two months are just not enough to experience all this. In addition, I feel that the professors who will teach electives in the areas I am interested in (Entrepreneurship, Finance and some Strategy) are stronger overall in Singapore than they are in Fontainebleau, at least for my promotion.

On the other side, this may have negative implications for my job search in Europe. Moreover, it means that will not see a lot of my classmates from the first two periods, at least not on campus – after all, my decision means that I have only one month left on the Fontainebleau campus (so if you are one of the many who wanted to visit me in France and never came, time is running out quickly – hint!). Last, but not least, it means that I will have to work for the Student Council from the other campus, but this should not be a major problem, especially not when it comes to working on technology.

As always, there is no free lunch – you have to balance the positive and negative implications for every decision you make. After considering all arguments for and against Fontainebleau versus Singapore in the past few weeks I am conviced that this is the right choice for me now. In the end, it boils down to the same main reason why I have taken many key decisions in my life so far (join Trilogy, travel around the world, apply for an MBA, come to INSEAD …): If I don’t do it now that I have the opportunity, I will regret it for the rest of my life and keep asking myself: “What if …?”