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Admitted to INSEAD !

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Admitted to INSEAD !  [#permalink]

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New post Updated on: 01 Mar 2018, 00:24
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Hey Everyone! I used to spend lots of time reading stories about GMAT and MBA during my one year preparation period for business schools (don't we all?), and now that my journey has finally been rewarded, I woke up this morning feeling that I should also share my story, which can be helpful to anybody preparing for his/her MBA journey.

So last week, I was offered a place at INSEAD business school :-) !!!! (Ranked 1st worldwide in 2016 & 2017 by FT)


Application Strategy


I spent two months working on my INSEAD application which was quite demanding tbh, below is a list of things I focused on and my strategy:

  • Strategically exposed my career choices and my current job responsabilities showing how they built my skills and personality
  • Described the rationale behind my career path (they like to see that you are well thought and know what you want rather than just picking random positions)
  • Showed that my I have a specific career aspiration after MBA and a goal that fits the school (research about the sectors where most alumni are employed in, it is fine if you are not sure about your future plans (I'm still not) but show that you have thought about a goal)
  • Made sure to show that i speak 3 languages (French is a plus for INSEAD)
  • Recommendation letters are VERY IMPORTANT (much more than the GMAT trust me). Choose people who were your direct supervisors (attach the organizational charts of your project/company and show how relevant the recommender is) and make sure they provide enough details about your skills and leadership. Have a meeting with them before submitting the letter to make clear what skills you want them to focus on. Recommenders just want to submit the letter and move on with their day, so make sure the letter is on point!
  • I worked extremely hard on the 4 essays (I litterally was selling myself and using every experience in my career to reflect a personal trait MBA looks for: leadership, enthusiasm, problem solving, communication skills, collaboration etc). Advice: support every characteristic you use to describe urself with an experience and achievement (make a list of those before starting ur essays). I talked about the drama clubs I led in undergraduate years, my passion for acting (what I learnt from it on a personal level), my volunteering experience in the far east. BE INTERESTING, remember that the essay should reflect you not generic information found on the Internet. They want to see that nobody else can be YOU.
  • I FOCUSED ON MY STRENGTH: INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE. Know yours and brag about it, they want to see that you are passionate. I lived in three countries, worked in many diverse environements, created an international association in my city during my undergraduate years, traveled to many cities in Europe for leadership conferences, represented my country for the first time in those conferences where I exposed my achievements in the association I have created from scratch.
  • I got an additional recommendation letter from the association I have founded proving my achievements and participation in international conferences. I knew this was the thing that might set my apart from other candidates so I focused on showing it!

Advice for Future Applicants


GMAT is a tiny section of your whole application. If you are able to get a very high score, then Amazing you are safe! But if you are one of those who cannot ace a standardized exam even though you have studied hard enough (like me), then OWN IT and don't kill yourself for a 700. Believe that you have lots of other things you can show in your application that will make up for your lower score. KNOW YOUR STRENGTH AND WHAT SETS YOU APART AND HIGHLIGHT IT.

Passing the application stage for INSEAD is really 80% of the path. Even though, I always kept in mind my lower than the average GMAT score and made the best out of the interviews with the Alumnis. I focused again on showing my strengths and how confident I am that I'm a perfect fit for the program. I focused on showing the international experience I gained and the achievements I'm proud of. I rarely mentioned my job and professional stuff. I talked about my passion for acting, for the assocation I founded, the travels ive done, the leadership skills I learnt through people in diverse environments. I smartly kept little space for the interviewers to ask about the GMAT. Last advice: SELL YOURSELF AND SHOW THAT YOU KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS!

I believe we all go through similar struggles in applying to GMAT and to applications for business schools, so maybe I can inspire someone over here and brighten his/her day!

I hope my story helps, and let me know if you have any questions that I can answer.

Cheers :)

Originally posted by rmsdlebanese on 19 Feb 2018, 00:29.
Last edited by rmsdlebanese on 01 Mar 2018, 00:24, edited 10 times in total.
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Re: Admitted to INSEAD !  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 00:38
2
rmsdlebanese wrote:
Hey Everyone! I used to spend lots of time reading stories about GMAT and MBA during my one year preparation period for business schools (don't we all?), and now that my journey has finally been rewarded, I woke up this morning feeling that I should also share my story, which can be helpful to anybody preparing for his/her MBA journey.

So last week, I was offered a place at INSEAD business school :-) !!!! (Ranked 1st worldwide in 2016 & 2017 by FT)


I started studying for the GMAT in February 2017, and I was very serious about it. I did the exam for the first time in April and I scored 620. I was disapointed but To be honest I underestimated the exam at that time and time stress drastically affected my performance. I knew I had the basic skills but I needed to practise more and work on time strategies. I bought the Magoosh prep which was honestly very helpful in both verbal and maths, and I practised the three books (guide, verbal, quantitative) on GMAT website. I did the exam a second time in June and scored 680. I was a bit disapointed since I was aiming for a 700-710, but at the same I felt that I couldn't be more ready for the exam. I felt that my score was the maximum performance I could do, so I decided to apply to business schools with that score. It takes lots of courage to do that specially reading about other people scoring in the 700s to get to top business schools. I was confident that I have a great profile which would make up for my gmat score.

I spent two months working on my INSEAD application which was quite demanding tbh, below is a list of things I focused on and my strategy:
-strategically exposed my career choices and my current job responsabilities showing how they built my skills and personality
-described the rationale behind my career path (they like to see that you are well thought and know what you want rather than just picking random positions)
-showed that my I have a specific career aspiration and goal that fits the school (research about the sectors where most alumni are employed in, it is fine if you are not sure about your future plans (I'm still not) but show that you have thought about a goal)
-made sure to show that i speak 3 languages (French is a plus for INSEAD)
-recommendation letters are VERY IMPORTANT (much more than the GMAT trust me). Choose people who were your direct supervisors (attach to them the organizational chart of your project/company and show how relevant the recommender is) and make sure they provide enough details about your skills and leadership. Have a meeting with them before submitting the letter to make clear what skills you want them to focus on. Recommenders just want to submit the letter and move on with their day, so make sure they are on point!
-I worked extremely hard on the 4 essays (I litterally was selling myself and using every experience in my career to reflect a personal trait MBA looks for: leadership, enthusiasm, problem solving, communication skills, collaboration etc). Advice: support every characteristic you use to describe urself with a an experience and achievement (make a list of those before starting ur essays). I talked about the drama clubs I led in undergraduate years, my passion for acting (what I learnt from it on a personal level), my volunteering experience in the far east. BE INTERESTING, remember that the essay should reflect you not generic information found on the Internet. They want to see that nobody else can be YOU.
-I FOCUSED ON MY STRENGTH: INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE. Know yours and brag about it, they want to see that you are passionate. I lived in three countries, worked in many diverse environements, created an international association in my city during my undergraduate years, traveled to many cities in Europe for leadership conferences, represented my country for the first time in those conferences where I exposed my achievements in the association I have created from scratch.
-I got an additional recommendation letter from the association I have founded proving my achievements and participation in international conferences. I knew this was the thing that might set my apart from other candidates so I focused on showing it!

My Advice: GMAT is a tiny section of your whole application. If you are able to get a very high score, then Amazing you are safe! But if you are one of those who cannot ace a standardized exam even though you have studied hard enough (like me), then OWN IT and don't kill yourself for a 700. Believe that you have lots of other things you can show in your application that will make up your lower score. KNOW YOUR STRENGTH AND WHAT SETS YOU APART AND HIGHLIGHT IT.

I believe we all go through similar struggles in applying to GMAT and to applications for business schools, so maybe I can inspire someone over here and brighten his/her day!
I hope my story helps, and let me know if you have any questions that I can answer.

Cheers :)

Cheers guys and good luck, remember


I see this is your first post here, Welcome and thank you for making it to one of the Best schools in the world. Good luck :D

Hope this journey of yours inspires others and you have a lot of points to offer, I'll make a note of them :) Thank you

Good luck

Regards,
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Re: Admitted to INSEAD !  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 00:44
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Many congrats for your admission! :thumbup: :thumbup: :-)
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Re: Admitted to INSEAD !  [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2018, 22:51
1
Congrats on admit and thanks very much for writing a well thought out debrief of your MBA application journey along with tips for new applicants. Your story is very inspiring for those applying with sub 700 GMAT score. Also your story reiterates that INSEAD really loves those applicants who have lived/worked in multicultural environments.

Congrats again and wish you great time in INSEAD!
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Re: Admitted to INSEAD !  [#permalink]

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New post 25 Feb 2018, 00:57
2
Hello there,

First of all congratulations on your success :-) and thank you for sharing your experience.

Your experience about the GMAT felt as if I wrote those words myself! I gave my GMAT this week and I am targeting for Insead Jan'19. I tried my best to take some days off from work, gave approximately 8-10 mock exams. During the final exam, I had to rush in the end for Quant section and I felt I messed up my Quant. This affected my verbal performance and I was panicking constantly. :sad: In the end, I got a score of 680 ( Q49, V34, IR6) above 70%ile in all sections. I am very confused about how to proceed.

My brief profile:
o Indian Female, IIT graduate (Bachelors and Masters of Science), GPA 4 (CGPA 8.5/10)
o +5 years in Oil and Gas Technical Consulting (One of the two largest oil and gas services company in the world)
o Travel to Middle East, Africa, South Asia for Projects and work with a multi-cultural/diverse team and clients
o Passionate about my work, hence present/publish for conferences at US, Europe and Asia
o Extra-Acads: In college was into organizing stuff- Placement Committee Member, Cultural Fest; Swimming competitions;
-Also worked with social ventures during my internships
-Currently, Coaching and mentoring (My expertise is niche and valued, hence active in my technical community to develop more resources)

At this stage, I am saturated with my GMAT prep and Insead is the only school I am keen for my MBA. I want to apply for round-1, however I think a low GMAT score would diminish my chances of acceptance. An alternative is to continue to work on my application now and then give GMAT again for round-2, but I am afraid if my score does not improve, I will be at a much more disadvantageous position (Round 2 over Round 1).

I will appreciate all the feedback I can get.

Cheers!
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Re: Admitted to INSEAD !  [#permalink]

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New post 03 Mar 2018, 10:27
Hi,

Can you please share your demographics and profile details.
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Re: Admitted to INSEAD !  [#permalink]

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New post 29 May 2018, 08:16
rmsdlebanese wrote:
Hey Everyone! I used to spend lots of time reading stories about GMAT and MBA during my one year preparation period for business schools (don't we all?), and now that my journey has finally been rewarded, I woke up this morning feeling that I should also share my story, which can be helpful to anybody preparing for his/her MBA journey.

So last week, I was offered a place at INSEAD business school :-) !!!! (Ranked 1st worldwide in 2016 & 2017 by FT)


Application Strategy


I spent two months working on my INSEAD application which was quite demanding tbh, below is a list of things I focused on and my strategy:

  • Strategically exposed my career choices and my current job responsabilities showing how they built my skills and personality
  • Described the rationale behind my career path (they like to see that you are well thought and know what you want rather than just picking random positions)
  • Showed that my I have a specific career aspiration after MBA and a goal that fits the school (research about the sectors where most alumni are employed in, it is fine if you are not sure about your future plans (I'm still not) but show that you have thought about a goal)
  • Made sure to show that i speak 3 languages (French is a plus for INSEAD)
  • Recommendation letters are VERY IMPORTANT (much more than the GMAT trust me). Choose people who were your direct supervisors (attach the organizational charts of your project/company and show how relevant the recommender is) and make sure they provide enough details about your skills and leadership. Have a meeting with them before submitting the letter to make clear what skills you want them to focus on. Recommenders just want to submit the letter and move on with their day, so make sure the letter is on point!
  • I worked extremely hard on the 4 essays (I litterally was selling myself and using every experience in my career to reflect a personal trait MBA looks for: leadership, enthusiasm, problem solving, communication skills, collaboration etc). Advice: support every characteristic you use to describe urself with an experience and achievement (make a list of those before starting ur essays). I talked about the drama clubs I led in undergraduate years, my passion for acting (what I learnt from it on a personal level), my volunteering experience in the far east. BE INTERESTING, remember that the essay should reflect you not generic information found on the Internet. They want to see that nobody else can be YOU.
  • I FOCUSED ON MY STRENGTH: INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE. Know yours and brag about it, they want to see that you are passionate. I lived in three countries, worked in many diverse environements, created an international association in my city during my undergraduate years, traveled to many cities in Europe for leadership conferences, represented my country for the first time in those conferences where I exposed my achievements in the association I have created from scratch.
  • I got an additional recommendation letter from the association I have founded proving my achievements and participation in international conferences. I knew this was the thing that might set my apart from other candidates so I focused on showing it!

Advice for Future Applicants


GMAT is a tiny section of your whole application. If you are able to get a very high score, then Amazing you are safe! But if you are one of those who cannot ace a standardized exam even though you have studied hard enough (like me), then OWN IT and don't kill yourself for a 700. Believe that you have lots of other things you can show in your application that will make up for your lower score. KNOW YOUR STRENGTH AND WHAT SETS YOU APART AND HIGHLIGHT IT.

Passing the application stage for INSEAD is really 80% of the path. Even though, I always kept in mind my lower than the average GMAT score and made the best out of the interviews with the Alumnis. I focused again on showing my strengths and how confident I am that I'm a perfect fit for the program. I focused on showing the international experience I gained and the achievements I'm proud of. I rarely mentioned my job and professional stuff. I talked about my passion for acting, for the assocation I founded, the travels ive done, the leadership skills I learnt through people in diverse environments. I smartly kept little space for the interviewers to ask about the GMAT. Last advice: SELL YOURSELF AND SHOW THAT YOU KNOW YOUR STRENGTHS!

I believe we all go through similar struggles in applying to GMAT and to applications for business schools, so maybe I can inspire someone over here and brighten his/her day!

I hope my story helps, and let me know if you have any questions that I can answer.

Cheers :)


Thank you for sharing
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Re: Admitted to INSEAD ! &nbs [#permalink] 29 May 2018, 08:16
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