Sunday, December 25, 2011

I figured it out!

so THIS is why the caged bird... oh no, not that.

I meant to say - THIS is why INSEAD breeds (such great) consultants!

Let me explain myself. I was at the airport today to check my dad into a flight to India (for a family function). He excused himself to the restroom and while standing there waiting, I (for a moment) just closed my eyes (early morning grab a moment of shut-eye kinda feeling) and suddenly I was transported back to the Camembert/Kheria...

Opening my eyes I realized why... I was in an airport. In the international terminal. Families together, speaking in their native tongue, wearing their most comfortable clothes, walking around in their most comfortable strides - just being themselves. After all - when you fly, you generally want to worry the least about anything apart from your passport...

And it hit me. This is why INSEAD breeds consultants. It is our withdrawal program. Some take a year to get over it. Some 2+... others, well that's why we have partners ;)

After spending a year in a climate so diverse that you wonder if you can ever replicate it, you are attracted to the simpler methods of your addiction. For us, it is the consultant's lifestyle. The hours at the airport in transit. The reminiscence not just of our travels with our friends, but also of our classrooms. If I could pass everyone a laminated green card (no, not a work permit although that would be nice too): BUT the nametags we (and our dear professors) oh so dearly came to love for P1 & P2, I would be in a hallway on the way to class. That is Fontainebleau. That is Singapore. That is the INSEAD campus. A terminal in an airport, guiding souls from various destinations during their transit time to find the right exit gate... some of us are still in the transit area, hopefully upgraded to sit in one of those business class lounges, sipping on cappuccino or eating the cakes they provide, wondering if we should board the next flight or head back to the check-in gate to purchase a ticket for a "better" destination.

Now back at the airport... we are at the point in our lives where we can actually choose where we want to go. Our credit cards have just enough of a limit to afford us a one way ticket to pretty much any destination. How we decide to use those funds (be it on a new flight or on duty free shopping) is completely up to us.

For some, it is more travel (yes, the consultants in case i have not driven that point home deeply enough). We are happy to be in the terminal and not ready to leave these familiar moments.

For others, it is the management office within the airport - we travel quite a bit, but we're not necessarily jumping between flights as much...

Others are exiting the airport directly to go to the head office to speak to CFOs on why almost every airline has been bankrupt at some point. Yes, I'm talking about the bankers...

Some might even go the route of betting where the heck others will travel and accordingly hedging their risks (and their clients') to switch up their credit card limits in anticipation of purchasing the BEST possible flight out of the airport at some point. Yes iBankers, that's my short analogy for you.

And of course there's those of us that will fly directly into the eye of several different storms to pursue the non profit route, the startups, the new ventures... supporting those low cost airlines (but remember never to run out of ca$h fools! :)

OK so now the analogy is starting to get really drawn out but I'm trying hard not to miss one of your decisions - I think however, you already know where you fall in this airport/terminal analogy so I invite you to comment (should you choose to) on where/how you would land. Janitorial staff? Check-in? Security? Taxis? All viable options :)

Either way, I guess I want to say I miss you guys... oh 11D. I have spent more time on Facebook & Google+ keeping up with your status updates in the past week than I'd normally like to admit. But today's run-in with the airport made me feel just a little better. I guess that's why they say that the best way to deal with an addiction (at times) is with the hair of the dog that killed you? or bit you? something. Not sure why you'd want the hair of any dog (speaking from experience with a shih-tzu sitting next to me as I type this).

Safe Travels. In the case of emergencies, remain calm and proceed to the nearest exit. Although knowing you crazies, we'd probably take charge and get creative with some new exits into.... the Blue Ocean! HAHA! Sorry, I just absolutely had to take that inadvertent shout out. Cheap shot? I don't think so. Maybe slightly. Yes, pun intended.

See you around!

11D boarding flight to Sri Lanka for Grad Trip on Dec 14, 2011. Thai, Japanese. Canadian, Honduran, Chinese, American. Indian. Taiwanese. Swiss. Brazilian. Colombian. German. African. British. Lebanese... ok you get it.

Oh - and Happy Holidays - Xmas, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, etc... :)


  1. Nice. A very interesting parallel you draw. I really liked the part where you talked about how people are just themselves at a terminal. An airport terminal, INSEAD, all microcosms of the global mosaic of cultures we are.

    1. sorry for the awfully late reply, but thank you. i find that most folks are really not as aware of their facades when at an airport where they are transitioning generally from one destination to another and highly unlikely to meet anyone they need to worry about maintaining aforementioned facades. until you graduate from insead. not the facades, but the bumming into people at the most random places (and airports)… which is awesome and does not require facades either :)