Inside the INSEAD Community for Partners of MBA Students

Inside the INSEAD Community for Partners of MBA Students main image

Moving to a business school for studying an MBA can mean relocating alongside your wife, husband, girlfriend or boyfriend. At INSEAD, almost 30 percent of students are accompanied by their partners (and in some cases children), so the school has an established community of partners who spend time together and build friendships.

The partners' community is an integral part of the school’s vivid life. To find out more, we interviewed two partners who are sharing the INSEAD MBA experience with their loved ones.

Nargiza Mamatkhodzhaeva, 28

Nationality: Russian, Uzbekistan

Education: Bachelor of Economics

Before INSEAD: HR Specialist

Did you have any concerns before coming to INSEAD? If so, how did you deal with them?

I was worried it would be hard to settle in with our two-year-old son and I wouldn’t be able to find suitable activities for me. I was also concerned about the language barrier, as I didn’t speak English well and had only just started learning French. But after much thinking, I decided to jump in and see what would happen.

How would you describe the partners' community?

I was really surprised by the openness of the partners’ community. I easily found Russian-speaking partners who helped me settle in and explore the campus. I found that partners were always ready to help, and they organized regular meetings to help us get to know each other.

For couples with kids, INSEAD is a friendly place. A dedicated staff member from INSEAD is there to assist with student life and help partners, and there is even a special playroom for kids on both campuses. INSEAD is always open to new ideas and the staff are very helpful.

What does a typical day look like for you?

As we have enrolled our son in a local preschool, my typical day in Singapore is a bit different from how it was in France. Now, my day usually starts by sending my husband off to INSEAD and taking our son to the pre-school.

Then, I usually organize the house, swim in the pool and head to INSEAD for lunch. On campus, I usually meet with other partners and maybe go for a walk around town after lunch.

My day usually ends with having dinner at home with my husband once all the team meetings, networking events or company presentations are over.

How has INSEAD contributed to your personal and professional development?

The interaction with other partners improved my English, while, unfortunately, my French did not progress. I managed to improve my photography skills and take part in the workshops organized by the INSEAD Photography Club.

Nishant Jadhav, 34

Nationality: Indian

Education: MBA (Wharton)

Before INSEAD: Director, Strategy and Corporate Development, Brocade

Did you have any concerns before coming to INSEAD? If so, how did you deal with them?

My biggest concern was fitting in with the student community. Given the cultural diversity and the fact INSEAD is a compact program, I believed partners would be a separate community. However, INSEAD does a fantastic job of assimilating partners into a culture which is its own.

Every partner I have become friends with felt included in this once-in-a-lifetime experience right away. With access to the same resources as the students have and the ability to sit in on a few sessions and special lectures, you don’t feel different.

How would you describe the partners’ community?

Global, energetic and influential. Forming friendships globally and learning from their experiences expands your understanding of different cultures. Partners bring a new layer of energy to this experience, whether it’s planning cultural weeks, visiting new and unseen places, or just having someone to hang out with. Partners influence most of the events INSEAD offers.

What does a typical day look like for you?

When at INSEAD, my typical day is spent waking up and spending some time with my wife before I drop her off at school (we have one car). I usually spend the rest of the morning catching up with my work emails and deliverables.

At lunch, I would meet my wife or some partners in school, spend the rest of the afternoon catching up with more work and then spend the evening around campus and attending social events, dinners and parties.

How has INSEAD contributed to your personal and professional development?

INSEAD has expanded my global network of friends almost immediately. Personally, I have learned a lot from their experiences and my desire to travel further and to places I have never intended before has been fueled by what I’ve learned from them.

Professionally, I know I have business contacts now (graduating students and partners) globally. So, whether it’s a new business opportunity or an opportunity to expand an existing business, I know I can reach out to a network that’s both reliable and responsive.

Learn more about studying at INSEAD.

Written by Craig OCallaghan

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