Category Archives: INSEAD

Skype Mood Messages

Best Skype mood message ever: “Skype mood messages – the blog for the short-attention-span generation”

Thanks to Mark for this insight – wish I made a screenshot :-)

For the uninitiated: Skype is an internet telephony and instant messaging application (for a more detailed description, see this article on Wikipedia). It allows you to add a short mood message to your profile, which gets displayed next to your name in the user list of your friends whenever you are online. Originally meant to contain a description of your current state of mind (e.g. “feeling lonely”, “hungover from last night”) it is being used among INSEAD students to communicate anything from current phone numbers, current location and weather to general comments about classes, faculty, last night’s party or life in general. Some people change their message multiple times per day. Quite entertaining actually.


P5 has begun

My short trip back home proved quite successful – I returned with a couple of job offers in my bag, as well as a few more interviews in the process. I’m very happy about this, especially since it means that I won’t have to worry about job search too much during my final period here in Singapore. To all my classmates out there who are still looking, good luck! Remember, we will all get good jobs with our degree on the resume.

Today, I attended a workshop of the Venture Capital Case Competition (VC3) of the Asia-Pacific Students Entrepreneurship Society (ASES) in Singapore. After mentoring one of the teams in the competition over the past few weeks, I was happy to see them make it to the final presentation next Tuesday. Way to go, Team Pusoy Dos!

My last period at INSEAD is off to a good start. While most of my courses don’t begin before next week, the most entertaining one is already well under way. It’s called Your First 100 Days, and it’s about running your own company for the first few months after a Management Buy in. If you want to find out more, see this BusinessWeek article as well as this entry in Johnny’s blog.

Inflight Blogging

In-croy-a-ble! So I board my plane to Germany, and the pilot announces that there is wireless internet on board. Even better, the service, called Connexion by Boeing, is free on Lufthansa until Dec 31!

So yes, I am currently on board LH779 while writing this entry. This is cool stuff. Geeky, but cool. Remember, geeks are the new cool (can’t argue with that, especially after the most recent acquisition frenzy in Silicon Valley).

The best part of inflight internet is chatting with friends on Skype – free inflight calls! (I know, I’m way too excited about this …)

On somewhat unrelated news, P4 came and left (the most abrupt ending of any period so far, mostly due to a lack of exams), and so I only have one more period to go. Kind of sad to know that we will all go our separate ways in a little more than two months.

BTW, a big thank you to Henry, a P1 who told me he appreciated this blog very much, especially while getting ready to start at INSEAD, and thus encouraged me to take the time to revive it.

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-Forêt (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

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


P3 is the busiest period here at INSEAD, and it promises to end with a big bang! This week, I have four papers due: IT on Monday, Macroeconomics on Wednesday, Investments on Thursday and Politics on Friday. And at the same time, the social calendar is completely full too: Tuesday is Cabaret, Wednesday is Section Dinner and Thursday is Montmelian Party.

Why I am still blogging then when I should be working, you ask? I guess I am addicted …

INSEAD Summer Ball

As promised a while back, here are some pictures from the INSEAD Summer Ball, which took place on May 27 in the Château de Courances. The weather was gorgeous, and so were my classmates, all dressed up in tuxedos and evening gowns.

Aine, myself, Myrto and Elli ready to go The Château

About 1,500 students, alumni, faculty and staff were there. Unfortunately, the catering company did not anticipate their aggregate demand, so we ran out of champagne even before midnight. Despite this misfortune, everyone kept up the good spirits and danced until the early morning hours – a night to remember.

Fireworks More fireworks
Happy ball guests Don Sleath

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 …?”