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Happy New Year! December 30, 2006

Posted by InvisibleInk in General.

Happy New Year

Well, I forgot to write in time to wish everyone Happy Christmas. I hope you had a nice time over Christmas. Mine was relatively quiet compared to usual. In the past 4-5 years I have been lucky enough to go travelling but this time I am firmly put at home as my moving date is coming closer. Only a week left before I drive to Paris!

I was organising my photos the other day and one pic in particular caught my attention. It is taken on Christmas day 3 years ago. It is a bright sunny day. I have my Christmas hat on, my swimsuit and sandals, sitting by the special diving pool, listening to Jamie (our instructor) talk about decompression. This was followed by a fantastic 3 day diving at the Great Barrier reef in Australia. I just hope I can do more of that during my exchange in Singapore. I know the MBA will be very busy and hard work but I really want to take advantage of the different campuses INSEAD has.

I am looking forward to 2007. I think it will be a fantastic year. My objectives for the next year are:

– to build long-lasting friendships
– to get a great job & widen my network
– to enjoy the experience
– to travel around Asia
– and of course to survive the MBA!

If I manage to do all of these it would be truly exceptional year.

Happy New Year to you all!


Got my visa, been to Goldman Sachs.. December 22, 2006

Posted by InvisibleInk in Finance, MBA Prep / Logistics.

La Republique FrancaiseIt’s been a week since I came back from the Foundations Course (I’ll write a post about it next time). I managed to use this time wisely and I got my French visa sorted. It’s incredible but I actually got my visa in 30 minutes! INSEAD students apply for a long-stay visa and luckily we don’t have to do the huge queue outside the consulate (for a change). Also, there is a special counter for long-stay visa applicants and a dedicated person to deal with INSEAD students. The lady who served me was very helpful and polite. But make sure you have all your documents with you if you don’t want to come back. For the list of documents you should e-mail them at Ls.LONDRES-FSLT@diplomatie.gouv.fr then they will give you a number to set up your appointment. The application process (appointment and issue of the visa) normally takes 2 days for British residents but if you have all your documents then you might get it the same day like me. For me this was the shortest ever processing time of all the visas I got up to now. And I have been around the block in terms of collecting visas. i.e. a colourful passport..

Goldman Sachs Logo I also attended a career event at Goldman Sachs two weeks ago. I applied at the end of November. Honestly, I was a bit surprised that they accepted my application since I have a limited finance background but when I got there the message was clear, they don’t seem to mind too much whether you have previous financial experience as long as you are very interested in the field, know what you want to do, and match up to their expectations. We’ll see if this hypothesis holds when the interviews start in February. As expected, Goldman did pretty much everything to impress. There were 25 people invited to the event (suggests either a low turn-out or selective HR dept). GS offered to fly everyone to London and put us up in a hotel down the road. We had a full day event starting with breakfast at their main building, followed by a line of impressive speakers including a partner, and panel discussions. The event also offered a chance to meet recruiters and people working in Investment Banking, Private Wealth Management, Equities and Fixed Income divisions. Overall, I am glad I applied. I learned quite a bit about the company and found a new area of interest ‘corporate restructuring’. I hear that with the private equity boom, highly leveraged companies, and potential slow down of the economy, corporate restructuring might be a good area to look into in the long-term. Apparently, GS is expanding its team and recruiting some of the top guys in the field. I also found out that we have the summer associate programme application deadline just two weeks after we start the MBA! Hard one to pull for career changers!

To Wharton or not to Wharton? December 4, 2006

Posted by InvisibleInk in General, INSEAD.

Wharton INSEAD Alliance

I was thinking about pros and cons of doing an exchange at Wharton, the following comment from an INSEAD exchange student at Wharton helped a lot. I thought it would be useful to share.

I am now on the exchange and it is very different from Insead! There is less of an international feel and people seem a little more “serious” in general. Classes are similar but there is not the campus feel like at Insead since wharton is just part of a huge university. Not as much socializing than at Insead especially when you arrive for a 2-month program its hard to really meet people there. You end up spending time with insead people which can be nice though coz you get to spend time with people you wouldnt have had otherwise. On the positive sides there are some great career services and I personally had a lot of interviews and one job offer so if you want to work in the US thats the way to go. 2 pre-requisites though: you need a valid US visa and you need to be on campus in November-December. If you dont fullfill these two criterias you have very little chances to get a job there. Also, a word of advice for non-americans looking into marketing in the US: be careful it seems they are looking for Americans in priority. Also, if you are interested by working in the US its interesting to be in class and hear other people’s comments and just get a feel of people there.