Got my P3 results. Not used to seeing so many 4.0s :) We generally do better for electives, although I heard you can still do badly if you don’t put in any effort. I hope to repeat the good scores for P4 and P5. My groupmates from one elective were pretty happy, too. I’m working with one of them again for a P4 elective.
Groupwork - past and present
Speaking of groupwork - it’s starting to build up. So far P4 is nowhere as bad as P3, where there were more subjects and scheduling was difficult as everyone in the group was taking different subjects at different times. However, in P4 people get busy applying for jobs, which is not an easy thing to do considering the economy.
The Ding bell (which as part of INSEAD tradition you are supposed to strike if you’ve been dinged for a job), will be brought back, thanks to a fellow student council member, HN. At the same time I’ve learnt in my Psychological Issues of Management elective that we should not be succumbing to self-fulfilling (negative) prophecies! However those who do get dinged will hopefully get treated to a drink at the bar.
For P1-P3 core subjects, you get paired with people who have different backgrounds. For P3-5 electives you can usually choose your own groupmates. As a result of this freedom of choice, we tend to join people we already hang out with. In a way it’s convenient because you know the people, what their strengths are, and are more likely to hit the ground running. However that also means you don’t get to work closely with lots of other people, and there may be a higher chance of groupthink. It’s a tradeoff we have to make. Also I’ve found that you can sometimes learn more by not having any ‘experts’ in that group. It’s good if the expert sets the tone right and guides the rest but is also open to suggestions, but bad if the expert decides on everything and makes others feel sidelined. Let’s see how it goes ;-)
Also, in classes where we sit at tables instead of being in the amphis, the groupings have become more obvious. I decided to break the trend today and sit with people whom I didn’t know. We introduced ourselves and got along well. I know we all have different objectives at INSEAD, but one of mine is getting to know people I’d otherwise not have the chance to meet. We only have 10 months together, and in some cases, 2 months max (if we happen to be in different campuses for the other 4 periods). Sure, in the years to come if I need help I could still look up the alumni directory, but it’s even better if we knew each other in person already.
Interestingly, the partner of one of the classmates I had just met at the table, emailed me an hour after class asking about for my help on a research project. Small world indeed! You really never know what you may be doing with the people you’ve met… or their significant others.
And even people whom I met at the INSEAD open house, who are interested in applying to INSEAD, have been helping me. One of them, MT, came over to chat with me and we exchanged contact details. I decided to add him to Facebook and Twitter too. One day I Twittered that I was looking for a specific type of job. and he gave me not just a lead but also a contact person in another part of the world. What’s amazing is that I didn’t plan for any of this to happen - I was simply happy to help people and answer their queries about getting into INSEAD - and when I needed help, I received it. That’s the spirit!