Thanks for the level of detail in your post. What I can tell you at this point is that your candidacy at INSEAD is borderline. There are a couple of primary reasons why – your GMAT score does not appear to be significantly higher than the average (which it should be as an Indian applicant) and your years of work experience meet just the minimum required by the school.
Now I do understand that you have quite a bit of good internship experience, but INSEAD is not going to consider it. This is a pretty hard and fast rule with INSEAD. As evidence of this point to a statement made by Kara Keenan (INSEAD Assistant Director of Marketing for the Americas) earlier this year (2012)"Yes. I mean avoiding applying too early or when you know that you can benefit from a few more years’ experience. Something to avoid is applying before you have two years of experience. Our minimum is two years of work experience since graduation, not internships or not part-time work as an undergraduate. Really, two years of full-time work experience after you finish undergrad is a requirement. So, you definitely want to apply when you have that under your belt. Always, the more experience you have the better. Again, our average is five years of experience. I think the 80% range is really like three to eight. So, if you’re in that range, you’re generally in good shape. "
Sure, you can definitely apply with two years work experience, but you really do not want to be the outlier especially when you consider some of your other profile characteristics – such as your GMAT score.
Overwhelmingly, your bright spot is your current work experience and leadership/management responsibilities. Beyond higher than average test scores, what I believe is most important for an Indian applicant is to possess significant international work experience. I think it is very compelling that you are able to work in China, and now you are being placed with American and European clients. I think if you can get another year of this type of international management experience, INSEAD would love to have a look at your profile.
Can you please evaluate my profile?
Education: Bachelor’s in Mechanical, GPA: 3.2 from a good university in India (Top 10 rank in class)/ strong academic focus with 90+ percentiles through school and college.
Current work experience: Full time- 2 years; Part time-6 years
Details of part time work experience:
Started working for the family business when I turned 18. I did not have a fixed task (no task was more important or less trivial than the other; all work had to be done). I also handled sourcing of components, general management of the business and client interaction. The business involves manufacturing and commissioning of a consumer product.
I relocated to another city after graduating to take up a full time job. This city was home to the R&D center of our business. I moved to corporate development. I now started determining the course our business would take and hence appropriately guide the R&D team. I will continue to stay in this role till I apply to college.
Details of full time work experience:
I considered graduation important to get experience in a foreign multinational and in a quest for a logical thinking process that graduates possess. I was also looking for international exposure through this. I have been working with the world’s leading tractor manufacturer for the past 2 years. I work with clients from the US/Europe/China. I have held varying responsibilities from designing to styling to a bit of program management for upcoming tractors. I have spent about 6 months working in China for the local products there.
After asking for a chance to prove myself (on completing a year with the company), I was assigned the china project. It was a runaway success resulting in a triple promotion and a star of the month award. Consequently I will now be given greater responsibilities – mainly working with American and European markets.
Future target work:
I started working in the full time job mainly for international exposure but I still want to continue with corporate development (in line with what I do in my family business) for a large multinational. Preferred post MBA location would be Western Europe.
Extra curricular activities:
Singer in a band, numerous awards in drawing/painting, numerous awards in quiz competitions
Target school: INSEAD
After conducting research, I concluded that INSEAD is the best fit for me. I plan to apply in 6 months time for the Class starting in Jan 2014 (when I have about 3.5 years of full time experience/7.5 years of part time experience). Considering my profile, how would you rate my chances? What can I do in the coming months to improve those chances? What are some of the weaknesses in my profile which I must fix?
Thanks for all the help in advance!
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