The Leading Independent
Resource for Top-tier MBA
Home » Blog » Real Humans of MBA Class of 2020 » Real Humans of INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2020 » Page 2

Real Humans of INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2020

Image for Real Humans of INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2020
Jie Lu, INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2020

Jie Lu, INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2020

Age: 29
Chengdu, China
Undergraduate Institution and Major: 
B.S. in Management from Shanghai International Studies University; M.S. in Accounting from the University of Virginia
Pre-MBA Work Experience (years, industry):
1 year with BDO New York Assurance practice; 3.5 years with PwC Dubai Capital Markets and Accounting Advisory Services (CMAAS) team

Why business school? Why now?
Pursuing an MBA 4+ years into my career is about achieving my professional objectives and making a career transition at this stage. I have been consistently amazed by my friends and colleagues about how a top-ranked MBA shapes and accelerates their careers.

Business school would allow me to gain a more comprehensive business perspective, ranging from strategy to operations. At the same time, an MBA provides great professional opportunities and alumni networks that will facilitate my long-term career development and personal growth.

Why INSEAD? What factors figured most prominently into your decision of where to attend?
A combination of elements makes INSEAD a unique and attractive place for me to continue achieving my career goals.

First, INSEAD offers great international exposure with its emphasis on diversity. Also, I have personally studied and worked in China, the US, and the Middle East and would like to gain further insight into the European markets.

Second, INSEAD’s 1-year intense MBA program provides a time and opportunity cost advantage for me to make a career transition. I believe the program has a strong pool of resources to help individuals achieve their professional aspirations effectively and efficiently.

Third, INSEAD has a strong and quality alumni network in a wide range of sectors, functions and geographic locations. I attended an INSEAD reception in Dubai where I met with a number of alumni and current students from the Abu Dhabi campus. The people and their experiences were very interesting and the conversations were inspiring and insightful. I would love to be part of the network.

What do you think is your most valuable or differentiating contribution to the Class of 2020?
My life experiences in a diverse set of contexts, including growing up during China’s economic boom, studying in liberal American environments, and working in emerging markets undergoing significant reforms across the MENA region.

Each represents a phase of my life that has inspired and shaped me to be who I am today. They have empowered me with open-mindedness and vision to act as the catalyst to drive the diversity at INSEAD into tangible impacts. I also hope to help bridge the gender gap, bring unique perspectives, contribute to group studies and share with my class business cases, which might not be well represented in the b-school textbooks.

Post-MBA career interests?
With the platform of an MBA, I would like to grow beyond my current background and to transition from a financial advisor role to a role with broader impacts and vision on a wider set of topics.

Advice to current prospective applicants:
–One thing you would absolutely do again as part of your application process?
Speak with INSEAD alumni about their MBA perspectives and experiences, seek their advice on the application, and even have their recommendations. 

–One thing you would change or do differently?
Plan well ahead and try to apply in earlier rounds (i.e. rounds 1 and 2) to maximize the opportunity of admission and scholarships.

What is your initial impression of INSEAD’s students/culture/community?
My initial impression of INSEAD’s community is that this is a group of very diverse and open-minded people who share global backgrounds, mature personalities, and interesting experiences.

One thing you have learned about INSEAD that has surprised you?
It surprised me when I first learned about INSEAD’s language policy (a candidate must have at least a basic level of understanding of a third language). The “exit language” requirement provides me with a unique opportunity to learn French and pass A2 level prior to the start of the program. I am glad that I did as I really enjoyed the learning process with my intensive language class on INSEAD Singapore campus.

Thing you are most anxious about in your first year?
Immersing us all back in an academic environment, the program is an intense one where I will need to actively manage the use of my time and make various decisions on a daily basis to best prioritize tasks on the to-do-list and to achieve the goals I set for myself.

Thing you are most excited about in your first year?
I am most excited about starting a new adventure ahead with INSEAD in France, a country I have not lived in previously. I will have the opportunity to explore beautiful places, meet amazing people, and make the most out of the entire business school experience.

Jonathan Pfeffer
Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as Contributing Writer at MetroMBA and Contributing Editor at Clear Admit, he was also a co-founder of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.