The Tsinghua-INSEAD Executive MBA (TIEMBA) is globally recognized for empowering experienced executives to thrive in the corporate world. Graduates acquire essential skills for leadership success in today’s dynamic business landscape.
From an impressive track record, TIEMBA graduates gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed as effective leaders in today’s complex and always-changing business world.
Are you curious about how TIEMBA alumni took bold steps to change their mid-life careers and how the INSEAD Career Development Centre (CDC) supported them in this journey? Read on for inspiring stories of TIEMBA alumni who transformed their careers and lives through the program.
Denis Lambert started the TIEMBA program with the goal of joining a larger company with a higher salary. “I was looking for the next step up in my career. Being CEO of a mid-cap company or entering the exclusive private equity world were clearly my targets,” he shares. During the program, he met with INSEAD’s career advisor and was suggested to consider using his final thesis to explore new areas.
He never expected that this move would change his career path, bringing him from China to Vietnam after graduation in 2019.
In the same class as Denis, Rachid Kherrouf was working in an international non-governmental organization in Cambodia and Singapore. He was looking to get into a senior strategy role either at his company’s headquarters or closer to the ground in a country management role. As he went through the TIEMBA program and interacted with classmates, he felt he should keep his options open and explore new industries.
“I was stuck in an aggressive career-oriented life, but money and power are not what I really wanted. I started looking for a goal that made me feel accomplished and happy.”
Denis met with his career advisor again, and they reviewed how his past experience could be integrated with his new career goals. Once Denis decided to base his thesis on technological entrepreneurship in Vietnam, his career advisor found new opportunities for him.
“I had never realized this before, but throughout my career, I have been acting like an entrepreneur. My thesis placed me in contact with many people in Vietnam, including a Wall Street-listed fund.”
After a few casual meetings, the partners offered Denis the position of Managing Director of their Venture Capital fund!
For Rachid, change came a little earlier. Halfway through the program, he got promoted to a strategy role in the headquarters and was offered the opportunity to relocate to London – exactly what he had aspired to at the beginning of the program.
“When I got the job offer and needed to negotiate, my INSEAD career advisor provided very good advice. They helped me analyze the pros and cons of moving to London or staying in Singapore,” said Rachid, who then decided to remain in Singapore.
This turned out to be a wise choice as it opened new opportunities for him to move into a different industry – tech – after graduation.
Leaving a comfortable life, friends, a big professional network, and countless memories in Shanghai, where he had spent the last 12 years, was daunting for Denis.
With help from his career advisor and guidance from a career coach, Denis finally decided to take the plunge and moved to Vietnam. “The first two weeks adapting to a new environment, new country, new kind of job, and new sector were hard,” Denis recalls.
“I told myself ‘just make it through the day and you will be fine.’ And it worked!”
A few months after graduation, Rachid made an industry switch and is now the Chief Financial Officer for a tech start-up.
Tips for a career change
For professionals considering a geographical switch, it’s important to ensure that the country has real business potential and living environments that you like.
Denis adds, “Create as many connections as you can before you make the move. And plan for the worst – what if it takes you longer than expected to find a job, or the job you found is very different from what you expected?”
For those looking to make an industry or function switch in their careers, Rachid advises, “Don’t think ‘it’s not for me’ or ‘I did not do that.’ Ask questions, read, and connect with people. Mindset is the most important ingredient for pretty much anything one sets out to achieve.”
Tsinghua-INSEAD’s Executive MBA Program
The Tsinghua–INSEAD Executive MBA (TIEMBA) is a unique partnership between INSEAD, one of the world’s leading business schools, and Tsinghua, one of China’s most prestigious universities. The TIEMBA Double Degree program, designed for international students, is taught in the English language over a period of 22 weeks. Students have the opportunity to exchange perspectives within an elite, dynamic, culturally diverse class of experienced managers and be part of two powerful alumni networks. The TIEMBA is where life-changing leadership development meets the technical mastery of key business disciplines. It is the best of East and West, learning and working, technical knowledge and soft skills — in a single programme.