International MBA experience: INSEAD MBA story

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Prodigy Finance - August, 01 2023

3 min read

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Planning an INSEAD MBA

I can clearly remember the first INSEAD presentation that I attended as perspective student. It was in Warsaw in 2011, but now seems like ages ago – so many things have happened since then!

But there is one thing I remember particularly well from this event: the moment when I actually decided to give this whole crazy MBA idea a try. It was the moment when I realised that maybe INSEAD is not a place on another planet but rather something quite tangible, achievable, and, well… is it too much to say ‘affordable’?

Finding financing for an international MBA

During the Q&A session at the end of the presentation, someone from the audience asked a question that had been sitting in heads of all of us for quite a while.

What about financing? How do you gather funds to pay for studies?

It’s true after all, MBA fees and cost of living during studies are not exactly pocket money, especially for students coming from countries like Poland where salaries are still way behind the Western European average.

So unless you have a ridiculously rich grandma waiting to pay for this newest crazy idea of yours or a lenient employer willing to sponsor one year of MBA vacations, you have a huge problem.

So this obvious funding question hung in the room for a second, until one INSEAD alumni answered: “First try to get accepted, and then you WILL find the money”.

The simplicity of this approach was striking, and it appealed to me.

The next day, I started preparing my application. I focused on getting in and told myself that I would deal with raising funds when I get accepted. And this is exactly what happened.

It’s amazing how creative and resourceful you can get when you are accepted to INSEAD. All doors can be opened, every idea is worth trying, impossible is nothing.

I know it sounds like bragging to raise several dozen of thousands of Euro, but for me, there were options available: loans, scholarships, employer sponsorship, even the pocketbooks of friends and family began opening.

Prodigy Finance loans for INSEAD MBAs

I don’t really remember who was the first to tell me about Prodigy Finance – a friend? A fellow INSEADer? Or, maybe I got the info from INSEAD website.

The fact is that the loan from Prodigy Finance, along with some additional sources of funding, allowed me to finance the whole MBA year.

Somehow I also managed to get a scholarship and other sources of funding, so within literally a few weeks after INSEAD’s acceptance decision, I was all set and ready with my finances. I still wonder how I managed that.

Life as an INSEAD MBA

And then it started: the roller coaster ride. The Fontainebleau arrival, lectures, group work, write-ups, parties, best-friends-for-ever from all over the world, parties again, long night discussions about life and the Eurozone crisis, the feeling that you’re having the best adventure of your life… and then some more parties.

Now almost one year has passed and I can’t believe that I could have given up on this amazing experience only because of a reason such as lack of funds.

If I had to give one piece of advice to people who are unsure if they can afford MBA studies, I’d say exactly the same words I’d heard during INSEAD’s presentation in Warsaw: First try to get in, and then you will find the funds.

You might also be interested in how the INSEAD MBA experience helped José start his business?

Are you looking for finding to attend your dream MBA programme?

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If you want to know how to improve your international student credit score, or if you are at an even earlier stage and simply preparing to be an international student, check out more great articles in our Study Centre.

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