INSEAD MBA Criterion #2: International Motivation
This is the second post in a 4-part series that examines INSEAD MBA’s 4 admission criteria.
Sure, international experience is a big plus for an INSEAD applicant. But the website says that they seek candidates with international motivation which, in their eyes, means having “perceptive insights into the complexities of business in an international setting.” It also involves “adaptability and flexibility in multicultural environments” – which you can hardly achieve without some insight, so these elements naturally interconnect. The final component of international motivation is goals that have a global dimension.
So, meeting this criterion involves more than working in multiple countries, continents, or galaxies. “International” should be an element of focus, reflection, and growth.
What if you don’t have international experience? You can still possess international motivation if you’ve had global exposure (an example might be leading or serving on a virtual global team). It can even be in non-work form. (If you’ve had neither global experience nor global exposure, INSEAD might not be the school for you…)
To summarize, the three key elements sought by the adcom – whether you have global experience, global exposure, or both – under this criterion are:
What does that mean for you?
Global experience and/or global exposure is simply a qualifying point. To make yourself shine among INSEAD applicants, go further. Offer vivid, thoughtful, sharp insights from your experiences. Those insights don’t have to be cosmic in scale. They do have to address “complexities of business in an international setting” in some way, shape, or form. Your insights should show that you are thoughtful, synthesize your experience and distill meaning from it, and are open to learning as you grow professionally.
Also, through example and anecdote, demonstrate your ability to adapt across cultures – and beware the pitfall of using stereotypes when doing so (the Japanese are indirect, the Israelis are blunt, the Indians are culturally conservative) – hint: stop when you find yourself saying “the French,” “the Chinese,” “the Saudis.” Very likely a simplistic stereotype is about to burst forth.
Here are some specific ways to incorporate this criterion into your application:
I am always thrilled when I get an “I’m in at INSEAD!” email. I welcome the chance to help you show you belong at INSEAD and receive such an email from you in the future.
Looking for more INSEAD info? Click on the link below to register for our upcoming webinar, Get Accepted to INSEAD, airing live on February 13, 2019.
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Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 20 years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted? Click here to get in touch!
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