This is Gwen Jettain, our alumni from our very first South East Asia tribe in 2017. Through The Nomad MBA program, he’s gone from working in corporate insurance to becoming a startup consultant.
Watch our full interview with Gwen as he explains how he discovered his drive and the intellectual challenges he was searching for to change his career path to become more fulfilling.
What kind of work were you doing before The Nomad MBA, and how was it?
I was working as a project manager in the corporate insurance industry. I felt that I wasn’t being intellectually challenged enough, and I had too many boundaries to operate within. Even though I had the freedom to choose how I would do something, the final product was already defined by someone else.
Where does your journey start?
It all started on the 20th July 2017, when I decided to leave my job, a decision that had been lingering for months, and to look for something else, to do something different. I came across The Nomad MBA through my girlfriend and decided to apply.
This decision has shaped everything that has happened since then. Even today, I feel more driven than I’ve ever been, and I can say that I’m happy because I’m happy with myself, which I wasn’t before.
What was the biggest challenge to overcome?
Comfort. I came with my habits from my previous life, and to be able to implement some changes to who I was, I had to get out of my comfort zone and do things I would always postpone to the next day. The biggest challenge was getting out of this comfort zone.
What are your best memories from The Nomad MBA?
The first would be the Bonding Weekend, where I met people from all around the world that I’d never met before. You find yourself opening up to people you’ve just met, and you get a feeling of satisfaction that you’ll be spending the next 3 months with this special group of people.
The other one would be the last weekend. On the last day when we split, that’s when you realise how attached you’ve become to the group. It was a great but sad moment as you’re still swallowing everything that has happened in the past 3 months, how it’s over but you realise that it continues and you take back with you what you’ve learnt.
Did The Nomad MBA change your career direction?
I’m very happy with where I’ve ended up. If I hadn’t done The Nomad MBA, I probably would have chosen the easy way out and gone back to exactly what I did before.
What surprises you the most?
That it sticks so much! In my whole life, it’s been hard to find people I instantly connect with. I’ll be talking to someone from the tribe, and the conversation flows straight away.
Did it change the way you think about education?
Definitely! I feel that education as it is today doesn’t enable students to figure out what they want to do with their life - what they like, what they’re good at, and to explore things. It’s very structured and it isn’t fit for our generation and our aspirations.
With The Nomad MBA, you have a platform where you take an online course to learn the skills and at the same time be immersed in a co-working environment where you meet people and can actually apply those skills that you’re learning.
Any advice for people applying?
If you’re ready to open up yourself and to other people, to discover who you really are, I would say this is the best experience you can do.
I would also say that if you’re planning on having a good time, then this isn’t for you. You will have a good time, but you won’t get a sense of what The Nomad MBA is all about, where you can discover who you are through yourself and through the eyes of the community. You get out knowing much more about yourself than you did before.
Is it worth it?
Yes it is, it is worth it.
What kind of work are you doing right now?
After graduating, I found a company based in Australia who are helping organisations to set up their operations in an adaptable, innovative and systematic way. Usually if you want to innovate in big corporations, you have to set up all these committees, it’ll take a few months, there has to be a budget and ultimately, it makes them slow.
In this case, the company wants to be able to help companies innovate a lot more efficiently. I’ll start working with them in October and I’m very excited. The company is called Adaptovate.
Anything else you need to share?
If you feel like you can’t do what you want to do, then that means you need to change something about your life. You can always do what you want to do. It means sacrifices, choices, work, persistence but you can do it. The Nomad MBA is a platform to make you realise this.