INSEAD MBA Criterion #1: Ability To Contribute
This is the first post in a 4-part series that examines INSEAD MBA’s 4 admission criteria.
The adcom gives, as its first admission criterion, “ability to contribute.” I take the liberty to add: ability to contribute as a person of quality and substance. All the criteria involve factors such as insight, growth, connection with people and cross-cultural facility, motivation.
This criterion is based on INSEAD’s culture of interaction: among students (from around the world), between students and alumni, and between students and professors. Therefore, INSEAD seeks students who bring something distinctive and meaningful to the program – it’s not just what you’ve done and plan to do – but what you have to say about it, what you’ve learned from it, how it informs your perspective, and how you may grow in the future – and your willingness to put that learning and growth at the service of your classmates and others.
This criterion also therefore mentions participation – show how you have been an active member of your various communities: school, work, neighborhood, family, social group, etc., formally and/or informally. INSEAD is interested in long-term contribution, so, if you have already been an active alum for your undergrad (or grad) program, spotlight that participation in the application. Nothing will be more credible than an actual track record of contribution!
Let’s finally examine the list of desired qualities this criterion cites at the end; try to reflect these qualities in your essays and other application elements (some may naturally be more prominent than others):
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