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I am wondering whether my profile would be competitive for INSEAD.
- Bachelor/Master in Architecture (5+1 years) in Europe - 4 years experience in Architecture in Europe/Asia - Master in RED (1 year) in the US - 2 years experience in major developer (Associate) in Europe
- GMAT for MSRED was 680 (no idea on the Q/V split), probably should retake... I am confident I would do better (prior to the MSRED I wouldn't even know what a DCF was).
My current job and salary is a typical post-MBA, and I see there are opportunities in the short term. Yet I intend to do an MBA to move into PERE, get business recognition, since I realised I don't want to get stuck in Development into the long term, and eventually more flexibility than just Real Estate.
I want to stay in Europe (or eventually Asia again) and head for 1-year programs (due to ROI and age). The only one for which I am genuinely attracted (and for which I think I could fit because of my international experience) is INSEAD.
I am concerned about my age though. I am 31, I would be at least 32 at matriculation and 33 at graduation. How is that much of a concern? I have browsed profiles in Linkedin and there are certainly students on the 31-34 range in INSEAD, yet they have extensive post-graduation experience and a few PhDs.
I am also concerned about whether the MSRED would be seen, since I have taken it only 3 years ago, and not just after my bachelors. I wonder if they will feel that I am a "degree-seeker"... and I am sure they will pose the question of why I think that an INSEAD MBA will give me the tools to move into PERE that my MSRED has not given it to me... or even why I pursued the MSRED at 27/28, which already is an MBA age (I hadn't even thought about it at that time!... I was just happy to work in RE development at that time... and I did it)
Well, the first piece of good news is that although you are a little bit old, but by no means are you out of the running, esp for 1 year European programs which tend to be more flexible. Really, it's not a problem.
And I don't think having a master in RED is a problem either. Pleeeenty of folks get a professional degree not in business and then an MBA, so it doesn't look bad at all.
Actually the trick to dealing with both of your above issues is in your STORY (which is why for you especially, the essays are extra important).. if all that you present regarding your goals, the logic leading to them, your reasons for applying at this time all fit into a single cohesive story, no one will doubt you... so this is one of your primary tasks when applying.
If you are looking into one-year European programs, you might also consider IMD, IE, IESE, HEC, Oxford and Cambridge....
Planning on applying January for Insead and maybe some other schools?
I was thinking about 14D or even 15J. Deadline is April for R1 for 14D... main concern is whether to retake the GMAT or not. I want also to visit Fontainebleau, eventually Singapore campus (I travel from time to time to SE Asia)... and why not, Oxbridge schools. So 15J would give me some more time.
I am aware that I must make a good story... my main concern is not the MSRED itself but the fact that I pursued it at the age of 28, which is already an MBA age. It seems most people took Masters and other degrees straight out of bachelors.
Regarding the other schools... I am not really keen for different reasons on any of them. I have been reading about Oxford and it does not seem like a bad fit... (yet Oxford is not the place I would like to live! - even if it is close to London -). For me pretty much is INSEAD or the EMBA path now or in the future. I know I am probably being too picky, but I think at this stage I gotta be a bit selective since I have quite specific targets, and I am not sure that going to lower ranked schools such as HEC or IE would help me at all to get something more than what I have today.
Regarding the acceptance... apparently INSEAD does not publish it, but I have seen it is "somewhere between 25 and 33%" (higher than a top US MBA). I wonder, however, how your odds are increased/decreased depending on your nationality/industry. I know this is a factor in any school (let's say with similar GMAT/GPA/interviews an Indian IT guy would have it probably harder than a Cambodian girl who has worked in non-profit), but it seems more noticiable in INSEAD because of the internationalization and all that stuff. I am coming from quite an "underrepresented" country (they have this 10% maximum for each country, that only the US and India top, for what I have seen), and I guess that development/architecture is un "underrepresented" industry. Unfortunately I am a man. How would those odds eventually impact the acceptance?
Well, like I wrote, you don't NEED to take the GMAT. But if you are confident that you could for sure do better, then yes it's worth it. Totally. Otherwise it may be a waste of your time.
I totally get your logic about the schools, and that's up to you. After all it has to meet your professional needs, or there's no point, yeah?
On an aside, I've heard a lot of really wonderful things about the life on Oxford from clients, so you may like it more than you think...
Other than that, yes all of the things you mentioned in factor in. How exactly? It's anybody's guess, and likely changes circumstantially on the year, on who reads your essays, etc.... Buuuuuut you can say in general that the rarer something is, the better. So if you are from Angola, you'll be more interested than the 500 applicants from China a priori. Will you get in over them? Depends on sooo many other factors, so who knows? But yes, rarity is a good thing