Discover a learning journey as diverse as our student body
This was a particularly busy twelve months for INSEAD Degree Programmes, with several external reaccreditations confirmed for the next five years. The French government officially recognised the MBA and Global Executive MBA (GEMBA) once again – along with the Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA (TIEMBA) for the first time. The department also played a key role in the renewal of the school’s international AACSB and EQUIS accreditations, both of which singled out the recently reengineered MBA curriculum for particular review and praise.
Over the course of the year, the administration was reorganised by function rather than separate degree programmes, which allows for greater efficiency and improved customer service. The restructure established a new, cross-programme Student Life team that is leading our concerted efforts to make the INSEAD experience better than ever. In a very short time, the new team has achieved a great deal. For example, the team created new MBA student representatives for diversity and inclusion and integrated Executive Master Degree participants into student clubs.
Meanwhile, the marketing team has been more dynamic than ever. In academic year 2018/2019, the team launched the new In the Know website, featuring articles, podcasts, videos and slideshows tailored to existing and prospective learners at every stage of their career journeys. This major undertaking complemented a whirlwind of activity – 555 global events reaching 12,590 prospective candidates and 32,730 more online.
On the operations side, the smooth rollout of the new Learning Management System announced last year continued, enabling professors to become even more creative with their MBA teaching.
This year, we continued to evolve the highly successful new MBA curriculum, with additional content added to the introductory digital Period 0, or P0, as well as earlier and more intensive engagement with incoming students. Once on campus, students joined the new Launch Week, which includes an Inclusive Manager session in game format that focuses on issues such as cultural variation and gender.
Incoming students in academic year 2018/2019 also completed four teambuilding projects that benefit our local communities, led by UK-based organisation SPLASH Projects. In January 2019, students in Singapore built a fantasy-themed bike track to help children with learning difficulties develop their coordination and strength, while their classmates in Europe constructed a town-themed play fence for a similar Fontainebleau charity. We have calculated that our 12-year partnership with SPLASH Projects, which includes some Executive Education activities, has created value of about €4 million in terms of saved labour and materials costs for more than 30 community groups.
As the year progressed, our two classes had further opportunities to apply INSEAD’s philosophy of building a better world, including an intensive, weekend-long SDG Bootcamp and a Force for Good Practicum in South Africa, which allowed students the opportunity to work with the non-profit clinic chain, Unjani. The students were able to hit the ground running in South Africa, as Unjani was the subject of their core Strategy course Master Strategist Day in November 2018, where the class addressed the question of scaling up a model for delivering affordable healthcare to underserved communities.
Although each programme still begins in Fontainebleau or Singapore, our MBA is increasingly becoming a three-campus experience as more and more students are interested in spending time on the Middle East Campus. Our MBA’19J cohort featured 47 MBAs in Abu Dhabi, our largest number ever.
In 2019, the Financial Times ranked the INSEAD MBA #3 in the world, behind only Stanford and Harvard. Our reputation as a truly top programme was further enhanced by intense social media coverage – from the new-format Launch Week to the spectacular graduation ceremonies. From first impressions to emotional farewells, academic year 2018/2019 was another year of which to be proud.
INSEAD’s suite of Executive Master programmes thrived this year. The newly renamed Executive Master in Change, or EMC, is receiving rave reviews. Similarly, the Executive Master in Finance, or EMFin, garnered great feedback from graduates – the first to have the new ‘Executive’ title on their degree certificates – and is getting even higher ratings from current students.
Turning to the Executive MBA programmes, the new Just Like You peer referral mechanism is working very well. The latest GEMBA intake, starting with those who joined in Singapore in August 2019, will be the first to graduate in January rather than December, which means that there will be no GEMBA’20 class. The new schedule allows more time to be devoted to the Leadership Development Programme and includes an additional coaching session.
The combined GEMBA, TIEMBA and EMFin elective session, held every summer in Fontainebleau, broke records for attendance with more than 400 participants and 135 alumni joining. The more participants, the better the networking – and the greater the choice of courses on offer. This year, for example, we were able to address business as a force for good in electives with components on social entrepreneurship and building impact ventures.
Although the first students will not arrive until September 2020, this was a vital year for the Master in Management, as we geared up for our first applications in September 2019. The official launch was very successful, with positive feedback from alumni, wide press coverage, a front-page ad in the Financial Times and 400 brochure downloads in the first few days alone. We have an experienced programme director, Thibault Séguret MBA’12J, leading the team, which is focused on curriculum design and delivery, including a business and society core course. Marketing and student recruitment is going extremely well – indeed, we are ahead of where we expected to be at this stage.
The year ahead will be even more important, as we make offers of places and prepare to welcome the first students to what will be INSEAD’s first completely new degree programme in more than a decade.
Alumni, including the very first intake of 1989 returned to Fontainebleau in July to celebrate the anniversary and present their latest ideas. The 30th Anniversary Conference covered themes such as research and social impact; management research in the age of artificial intelligence; and leveraging new sources of data.
What began 30 years ago to position INSEAD among world-leading research institutions has produced 221 alumni working at top schools throughout the world. Our most recent graduates have secured academic posts at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business; the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington; Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management; the Indian School of Business; HEC Paris and University College Dublin.
We are particularly proud to announce that the 2019 intake of 18 new students is 61% female – the result of our concerted effort over the past years to achieve not just geographic diversity, but gender diversity as well.
This exceptional group of minds was welcomed with a PhD mini-conference, which lays the foundations for future success as professional researchers. The conference also gives our senior PhD students the opportunity to showcase their work and for our doctoral candidates to learn about topics outside their own field of research.
Among the papers presented at the kick-off conference was research on road safety by PhD Candidate in Technology and Operations Management Vivek Choudhary. Working with researchers at other schools and industry partners, he conducted a field experiment with nearly 1,100 drivers using telematics technology. The cost-free ‘nudges’ trialled by the team could help reduce traffic accidents in cities across the world.
Arzi Adbi, PhD Candidate in Strategy, also presented a paper on financial sustainability of for-profit versus non-profit organisations based on evidence from the microfinance industry. Other students working in the field of social impact include PhD Candidate in Technology and Operations Management Varun Karamshetty who is working with co-authors at INSEAD and the University of Nairobi on topics ranging from healthcare facilities in low-income, urban neighbourhoods in Kenya to electronic monitoring of food waste in commercial kitchens.
In addition to the anniversary, there was particular cause for celebration in 2019. Julien Clement, a recent PhD graduate, now a professor at Stanford, received the prize for the best dissertation in Strategy from the Academy of Management. This is the fourth such award received by INSEAD PhD students from the Strategy area in the last 15 years, an achievement that no other business school in the world has matched.
The Career Development Centre, or CDC, does not just serve current students, but the global INSEAD community. While on campus, we help students and participants leverage the worldwide alumni ecosystem’s wealth of career experiences. And when they leave as INSEAD graduates, they go on to enrich that wealth of experience yet further – knowing that they have the continued support of the CDC, whenever they choose to make a career move.
In academic year 2018/2019, we engaged early with our MBA students – even before they arrived at INSEAD. On their arrival, the new MBA Learning Management System enabled us to more successfully integrate our careers curriculum with the academic schedule than for previous intakes. And now that the MBA’18D and MBA’19J classes have graduated, we will share the news of their career destinations in a new World of Talent interactive report available from January 2020.
Highlights of that news include a record 92% who received job offers within three months of graduation. This rising figure reflects not only the positive impact of the careers education and coaching programme, but also the dedication of the employer engagement team, who this year worked with more than 1,200 organisations throughout the world.
Over the year, these organisations were invited to several events where they could meet students face to face. Three talent and networking forums were held in Dubai, Paris and Singapore, respectively. There were also smaller specialist fairs showcasing start-ups, scale-ups and other ventures. Among them, the events attracted 175 recruiting organisations and over 1,000 students.
Technology was a major theme throughout the year. Most of our 50+ career treks, which involved more than 500 students, focused on the way technology is transforming a wide range of markets. These treks went to developed and developing economies, including China, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, the UK and the US.
We strengthened our partnerships with key players in tech and entrepreneurship networks. A notable event was the Scale-up Fair in Paris, organised in partnership with France Digitale and our colleagues from Digital@INSEAD. When the MBA Class of 2018/2019 graduates submitted career data, it came as no surprise that there was an increase in numbers joining start-ups in the Technology, Media and Telecoms sector, up 9% from the previous year.
We also boosted our online resources, including a library of podcasts, videos and newsletters that tell inspiring alumni career stories. This is part of our effort to engage across the school to amplify efforts, create connections and provide resources that benefit the community.
Our engagement with the Executive Master programmes grows with each intake. In academic year 2018/2019, our number of touchpoints was up 44% on the previous year. Highlights include:
1,321 executives engaging in coaching sessions
632 participants in 13 career workshops
223 attendees at 4 events with executive search firms
965 people at 12 skill-development webinars
Our workshops were particularly highly rated, scoring 4.2 out of 5, and were attended by 64% of the Executive Degree population, while 75% of students accessed the INSEAD career portal with its 500+ senior-level job postings.
Just as for the MBA classes, digital transformation was a major focus. More content and activities moved online during the course of the year, with annual webinar attendance increasing fourfold and generating extremely high satisfaction rates, averaging 4.4 out of 5. In addition, around 72% of students participated in our digital ‘networking maps’, allowing them to create peer-to-peer networks that span the globe.
Reflecting our strategic commitment to lifelong career support, alumni services represented our biggest growth area of 2018/2019. The number of annual touchpoints rose by a remarkable 65%. Highlights included:
358 career-coaching sessions
777 alumni attending 6 career events
893 participants in 9 skill-development webinars
In addition, our efforts to raise awareness of our alumni services resulted in a 129% increase in attendance of career-development events at Alumni Forums and Reunions.
As for our MBA and Executive Degree clients, we enhanced our digital portfolio of alumni career resources. We now offer access to:
A digital CV database, accessible by INSEAD recruiters, and featuring on average 156 alumni profiles every quarter
The Alumni Extra webinar library, which was visited by around 300 new alumni this year
A YouTube Channel with over 55 alumni experience videos and increased presence on the Alumni LinkedIn community
Moving forward, we plan to strengthen our relationship with National Alumni Associations further and to launch a new peer-to-peer mentoring service.
In 2018/2019, we were particularly proud of the way students used their career exploration to become a force for good in the world. With our support, the Energy Club installed solar panels at a school for underprivileged children in the Philippines as part of the inaugural Shine On project. The third Start-up Summer Tour featured visits with several profit-with-purpose businesses for MBA students touring entrepreneurial hot-spots around Europe and Asia while on summer break.
In collaboration with the Hoffmann Global Institute for Business and Society, we now provide financial support for MBA students who pursue summer internships with organisations with a social or environmental purpose. Among the recipients were students who interned at an alumni-led venture that provides housing for female industrial workers at the base of the economic pyramid. This award-winning business model was developed during the INSEAD MBA programme, uses MBA students for interns and will be further boosted by student support as part of the second Shine On project. The school’s force for good spirit is truly turning into a virtuous career circle.