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Swimming Champions, Musicians, Social Entrepreneurs, INSEAD MBA Class of 2018 Spells Diversity

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The full-time MBA Class of 2018 at INSEAD had participants comprising 94 nationalities with an average age of 29 years and six years of average work experience. The GMAT score range (middle 80%) was 670-750 and women made up 33% of the cohort.

The 10-month program had a fair share of major achievers including two professional swimmers, a violinist, high scorers in GMAT test, social entrepreneurs and students from non-traditional backgrounds.

Michele Cursio and Sarah Amrein with a professional background in the consulting sector, have considerable achievements in swimming. Michele was a professional swimmer during his teens and clinched the first runner-up position at the National Championship 2004 in his home country, Italy. He graduated with a Masters in International Business from Università Bocconi and joined the Boston Consulting Group as an Associate, the school said in a blog post.

Sarah holds a Master of Science in Medical Biology and was working at Mckinsey as an Associate before joining INSEAD. She excelled in synchronised swimming and represented Switzerland in the European and World Championships. She went on to win the US National Championship title in 2009.

Marta Munoz Souweine started playing the violin at the age of six and was enrolled at the Conservatori Superior de Música del Liceu where she studied for more than 10 years. Apart from the training at the conservatory, she had the opportunity to be a student of Ala Voronkova, a famous violinist in Barcelona. Marta also played in several orchestras such as the Conservatori del Liceu, Can Ponsic and Diaula, and has even won music awards.

Later, she enrolled at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and graduated with a Masters in Mechanical Engineering. Prior to INSEAD, she was with Oliver Wyman as an Engagement Manager.

The top GMAT scorers in the class are Ekaterina Kuznetsova and Mohammad (Moh) Mashayekhi, both having notched up an impressive 770.  The Russian-origin Ekaterina carries a German passport and has spent most of the past decade in Switzerland.

While her formal training is in the sciences (Master of Science in Physics from ETH Zurich), Ekaterina’s professional interests are more firmly grounded in business. She has worked in  McKinsey & Company prior to enrolling for the MBA.

Moh came to INSEAD with work experiences in the United States, Venezuela and in his country, Iran. While working as a bond trader in New York, he took up the challenge to work for a construction company in Venezuela. He then returned to Iran to help run two family businesses.

Among the social entrepreneurs, New Zealander Rodger Douglas had charted a career path in agriculture and dairy farming, not only in his home country but also in Brazil where he gained some enriching experience setting up and running a dairy farming business in a frontier and remote region.

Born in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Angelica Mandaric left home at the age 14 to pursue her education, funding her new life by becoming a professional concert pianist. A first-generation college graduate, she is now a PhD candidate at the Centre for Performance Science (a cross-institutional partnership between the Royal College of Music and Imperial College London), a social entrepreneur, and a strategy consultant.

Before INSEAD, she co-founded an NGO whose work, supported by the European Commission, raises educational and cultural standards, reduces unemployment, and addresses post-war tensions between ethnic groups in Bosnia. Since leaving home, Angelica has lived in 11 cities across six countries.

Canadian Jean-Christophe Mortreux created wind turbines before selling off his patents and company. Jean-Christophe’s passion for renewable energy continues to burn bright and he hopes to use the new knowledge gleaned from his MBA to create more environmentally sustainable start-ups in future.

Among those from non-traditional backgrounds, Maria Nunes Pereira from Portugal, during her PhD studies, developed a life-saving technology that can be used in minimally invasive heart surgery. She is now the Chief Innovation Officer at a biomedical start-up company, created to translate her work from the bench to the bedside.  She has been recognised by Time Magazine, Forbes for her achievements and by MIT’s “Innovators Under 35”.

Victor Lim had graduated with a Bachelor of Law from the National University of Singapore. Working as an Associate in a law firm, he has also been an active volunteer with the Law Society of Singapore since 2012, rendering pro bono legal services to low-income families.

Isabelle Albertalli, a recipient of the French Medal of National Defense, received several awards while studying at École Polytechnique. By the age of 26, she has already been both an army officer as a Platoon Leader Assistant and a McKinsey consultant.

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