Early Career

My MBA Journey in Europe from First Day to Graduation Day

Karen Kagoo Forte Fellow Alumna

Karen Kagoo
Forte Fellow Alumna

I recently graduated from the INSEAD MBA program. For my first post, I am sharing my thoughts from last September before I started at INSEAD. Watch for my posts over the next few months, as I will let you know how things actually turned out.

Every time I told acquaintances I was moving with my boys to start school in France they gave me a look of utter bafflement. My husband and I made the trek from sunny California with our feisty 9 month old (going on five) and our five year old (always 9 month old puppy) German Shepherd.

The day we arrived in France we had our hummer of a stroller which is hard to miss and takes its own parking space and our dog in his giant crate which looked like our entire family lived in it. We had our belongings packed neatly into three suitcases of which the airlines helpfully lost one, and at that point I was baffled as well. But the feeling soon passed and I continued on to contemplating about my life changing 10 months. I imagine it will parallel my pregnancy last year. The initial euphoria of finding out I was accepted will quickly be followed by the grueling first and second period. Like the first trimester, tiredness will be a constant companion along with the nervous excitement of what is to come.

The second trimester will bring relief with it that I made it through the most difficult part of the program and maybe some respite and some travel as advised usually in pregnancy. Just as I get used to the pace of life at INSEAD I will be thrown into the world of recruiting where the frenzy to get a job will be similar to the nesting before the baby’s arrival.

Soon it will be graduation day and I will walk away with a degree, earned after lots of hard work and support from my family and friends. My husband on the other hand will have an awesome ‘network without the homework’. He will also be part way through his INSEAD GEMBA (Yes, we are that couple working on our MBAs together while raising our boys). My son would have lived in two continents before he turns one and probably speak more French than the two of us put together. My GSD would have explored every rock in the forest and maybe just maybe be tired for once.

That INSEAD is one of the best business schools in the world and will without a doubt give me a boost in my career is a given. That I could not have chosen a better set of people to spend the next one year also holds true. But what I am most excited about is in addition to these perks my family also gets to be a part of this transformational journey. Before he starts speaking my 9 month old will have friends from countries whose names he or for that matter I will probably never be able to pronounce. And that makes the INSEAD experience all the more awesome.

Karen Kagoo
Forté Fellow Alumna & MBA 2013

Related posts

Get newsletters and events relevant
to your career by joining Forté.

our partners