As each week unfolds, the severity of the COVID-19 crisis accelerates at a startling rate. According to the WHO, the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases has exceeded one million worldwide. We face an unprecedented global health challenge and a stark new reality.
One of INSEAD’s greatest strengths is our global alumni network. Currently, we have more than 60,000 alumni in 172 countries. Last week, I reached out to you to ask for your help in supporting the MBA journey of students impacted by the COVID-19 crisis through special volunteer opportunities.
To give you a real sense of the magic of INSEAD, within a week of sending the email we had more than 1600 alumni responses willing to participate in chats, share an inspiring story, partner with students on pro-bono projects, and help source jobs for our students. Read more about the opportunities available in my earlier email below and sign up today.
Your positivity, strength and entrepreneurial spirit will be crucial to our success. I am confident that if we act as one school, one community, one world, INSEAD will come out of this crisis stronger than ever.
Together, let’s be a force for good—and a force for INSEAD.
For the latest school updates on COVID-19, please visit https://www.insead.edu/covid-19.
Instead of meeting with alumni to debate the future of the school or discussing our strategy and innovation with faculty and staff, I am working remotely from a quarantine facility in Singapore, waiting for two consecutive negative results from the Coronavirus test. I deeply appreciate the support and kind words that you have shared over the last few weeks.
As the crisis has been unfolding, we have been truly impressed by the response of our community to this global situation. Faculty have quickly pivoted to deliver innovative online courses while contributing to critical conversations in the media. Staff have stepped up in important ways to safeguard our school, transitioned to remote working and adapted to a new reality. We had to make a number of difficult decisions such as postponing many events, including our spring reunions and the Europe Alumni Forum. I am going to miss connecting with so many of you in person, and I know that you will miss connecting with one another and with INSEAD.
I am inspired by how our alumni have worked tirelessly to help healthcare workers on the frontlines and source medical supplies. The COVID-19 pandemic is putting all of us — as individuals, as organisations and as a global society — to the test.
Today, we are asking for your help in supporting the MBA journey of students impacted by this crisis. Since the COVID-19 pandemic has moved all of our courses online, many of our students are feeling apprehensive about missing out on the INSEAD experience — and understandably so. There is something undeniably special about the camaraderie and spirited discussions that take place in the INSEAD classroom and on campus.
With your help, we believe we can bring important aspects of the INSEAD experience directly to our students. Together, we can show them what it means to be a part of this incredible community — not just during their MBA studies, but for a lifetime. For this reason, we ask you to consider these opportunities where you can make a difference now:
1. Chat with a student. We are organizing virtual, one-on-one chats for INSEAD students and alumni so they can connect on a human level — without an agenda. If you would like to volunteer, we will match you with a student based on your availability.
2. Share an inspiring story. We are organising virtual lectures that feature prominent business leaders from our alumni community. If you can spend 30 minutes sharing an inspiring story from your leadership journey, we will work with you to schedule a presentation (please note that spaces are limited).
3. Work with a student on a business project. A number of INSEAD students have expressed interest in volunteering their time to contribute to real-world business projects. If your organisation is facing a challenge that could benefit from this help, we can work to match you with a student.
4. Hire our students. The Career Development Centre (CDC) is looking for organisations interested in hiring INSEAD students for full-time roles or summer project work. If you have opportunities to share, the CDC can work with you to promote them.
5. This is a time-sensitive need, and we urge you all to sign up today. We will work to contact as many volunteers as possible. Soon, we plan to launch a new service, iLink, that will use algorithms to match alumni and students more efficiently on the MyINSEAD platform.
I also encourage you to visit our COVID-19 response page. We have launched a new lifelong learning webinar series, which provides our community with a deeper understanding of key issues surrounding pandemic control and current countermeasures around the world.
Last but not least, if you are able to make a gift to INSEAD at this time, your contribution to the Dean’s Fund/Greatest Impact is more important than ever. It will enable us to respond to urgent needs the school is currently facing, help students who are experiencing financial hardship, and support faculty to adapt their research and teaching to this dramatic new environment.
This is a difficult time for humanity and a defining moment for our community. Let us respond not with despair, but with integrity, generosity, kindness and grace. Together, we will serve as a force for good.