Saturday, October 24, 2015

Some update. Some advice!

You may have read in my previous posts that I kick started a few personal pet projects during my year at INSEAD. Just wanted to bring that topic to a closure by giving a quick update.

In my previous posts, I'd mentioned about two projects that I'd initiated with the Entrepreneurship club at INSEAD. One on publishing student entrepreneur stories and the other on creating a volunteer match platform for student entrepreneurs and partners.

Did I see them through completion? Sadly, no! Why? Well, there were many reasons but here are a some lessons I learnt and some advice for partners who want to support /actively participate in student clubs:
    • Timing is everything! In order to gain traction, start early - in P1 & P2
      I initiated both these projects almost at the end of P3 - worst decision ever. First of all, schedules in P3 are absolutely crazy. Secondly, by the end of P3 the recruitment fever begins. Reality strikes and everyone gets super busy applying for jobs. So it's really difficult to get support from the students (understandably so) and it may become difficult for you to keep the momentum going.
    • Be patient. Find someone from the student community who champions your idea and follow through, follow through and follow through.
      It may get disheartening at times when things stall or when you don't see things gathering mass. Remember, students will be busy and they have their own priorities. Supporting you may not be a priority for all those you reach out to. Nevertheless, you are sure to find someone who will support your idea. However, even they'll be pressed for time. So you need to really push, follow through, find a way to get things going.
    • Be realistic 
      When setting goals, assess what's really in your control in terms of execution and what's not. I found that most things in my case were not in my control and because I hadn't assessed the situation early enough, I felt I was too hard on myself. So save yourself from doing exactly that - you'll enjoy the experience even better!

The other goal I'd set myself was to pick up french. Again, given that my first and foremost priority was my little son, I found it very difficult to find time to invest in this task. However, the good news is that I have picked up quite a bit in the last two months and am taking regular classes now as we'll be based out of Paris!

In addition to the above, I'd started working on a business plan for an idea that came up when my husband went through the entrepreneurship bootcamp  and I am happy to share that I have taken it forward, though with tiny baby steps! :)

If you want any information or questions or advice as a prospective INSEAD student partner, feel free to write to me. Always happy to share my experiences.