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Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15)

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Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jan 2016, 09:10
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Hi guys,

I have just graduated from INSEAD (class of December 2015).
When I was preparing for my GMAT and then when I was drafting my application, I spent quite some time on this forum, so I feel pretty loyal to it and would like to pay forward to the community.

So if you have some non-personal questions on the application and the MBA program itself, please post them on this thread, I'll try to take them if I can.

P.S. I suggest you don't PM me, so that the knowledge is shared with the rest of you.

Last edited by merryweather on 07 Apr 2016, 01:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2016, 04:21
Hi merryweather! Thanks a lot for this initiative!
What would be your recomendation for INSEAD preparation (for those already admited)? Should we do some pre-read (e.g. recomended on mbaconnect) for instance? Any other preparation activities?
Thanks!

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2016, 06:33
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StudentFromMoscow wrote:
Hi merryweather! Thanks a lot for this initiative!
What would be your recomendation for INSEAD preparation (for those already admited)? Should we do some pre-read (e.g. recomended on mbaconnect) for instance? Any other preparation activities?
Thanks!


Hi there.
The schedule is intense, so covering the basics makes total sense.
Depending on your undergrad you might want to go through the quant stuff. Being a poet, I personally found the accounting book very useful.
On the other hand, very few students actually read recommended books.

Business foundations is another very good way to prepare. It will also give you an impression of the atmosphere in class and will help you to connect to your future peers.
Totally recommended (if you can afford paying a bit extra).

Last edited by merryweather on 11 Jan 2016, 19:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2016, 14:35
Hi, thanks for that!

I have a question. Regarding career change, do you think a 10 month program is sufficient? Have you seen many people changing industries and location together?

I understand it depends on what industries you are changing to, but I just want to know your insights.

Thanks!!

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 11 Jan 2016, 18:58
ubii88 wrote:
Hi, thanks for that!

I have a question. Regarding career change, do you think a 10 month program is sufficient? Have you seen many people changing industries and location together?

I understand it depends on what industries you are changing to, but I just want to know your insights.

Thanks!!


Hi, yes, 10 months is enough for that. Most of the people come to INSEAD for the change and practically everyone is able to achieve it. Changing 1 of the 3 aspects (function, industry, geography) is easy, 2 out 3 is realistic, 3 out of 3 is a stretch, but still doable (especially for consulting).

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2016, 14:34
I have another question for you!

Since it is a 10 month program, can you comment on your studies routine? Do you really studied late nights every day as we heard from some students? How was your life balance?

Thank you!

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jan 2016, 18:55
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ubii88 wrote:
I have another question for you!

Since it is a 10 month program, can you comment on your studies routine? Do you really studied late nights every day as we heard from some students? How was your life balance?

Thank you!


Yes, students do study a lot and late.
Generally people's schedule is approximately the following:
- 3-4 classes between 8.30 and 15.30 (can be later, of course)
- group work until 19.00
- 19.00-21.00 career events
- 21.00 onwards - self-study (2-3 hours a day on average)
If you want to squeeze in social life, sport or personal life, you have to either be VERY efficient, or deprioritize something else. There is no other choice.
So prioritization is the first thing you learn at INSEAD. You have to make your choices.
It doesn't get any better with time, you just get used to it.
And believe me, it's so much worth it.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2016, 00:10
merryweather, thanks so much for answering! Let me pls add to the topic rised by ubii88. If student doesn't want to study till midnight, what are the risks (s)he takes? I mean if there were cases of expeling students from INSEAD during your studies? Or even if you decide to never study after 8PM you have 99%+ chances to graduate?

Just to explain why I'm asking. During three trainings (one week each) in consulting I saw that some people just make a ground rule not to do anything training related after 7PM, for example. Other people study till 1-2 AM. Both groups succesfully finish the training :) Is it the same in INSEAD? Because from your previous message I see that people study till midnight on average... this is even harder than actual work in consulting (we usually work 9AM till 9PM with one day per week 9AM-7PM).

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2016, 01:11
StudentFromMoscow wrote:
merryweather, thanks so much for answering! Let me pls add to the topic rised by ubii88. If student doesn't want to study till midnight, what are the risks (s)he takes? I mean if there were cases of expeling students from INSEAD during your studies? Or even if you decide to never study after 8PM you have 99%+ chances to graduate?

Just to explain why I'm asking. During three trainings (one week each) in consulting I saw that some people just make a ground rule not to do anything training related after 7PM, for example. Other people study till 1-2 AM. Both groups succesfully finish the training :) Is it the same in INSEAD? Because from your previous message I see that people study till midnight on average... this is even harder than actual work in consulting (we usually work 9AM till 9PM with one day per week 9AM-7PM).


That was an example of a schedule, which you don't necessarily have to follow. As I said, people make choices, based on their priorities. Coming to class unprepared means that you might get cold-called, and get a lower participation mark, and for sure will not get the maximum value out of class, but that's your choice.
Life at INSEAD is clearly not just about studying, there's a lot of other things going on too. And everybody manages to get what they want.

So if your question is "Is it possible that you fail a subject and will not get a degree?", the answer is "Yes". If your question is "Can you optimize your time so that you don't finish studying at midnight?', the answer will also be "Yes".

I'm sure you'll figure your own ratios by yourself.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2016, 06:20
Hello merryweather,

First, thank you very much for answering our questions.

I'm applying to the Singapore campus, which I quickly visited last October. Did you live on campus, or a little further away? What would you recommend?

My second question is about campus exchanges. Being French, I'm not really considering the Fontainebleau option. However there's an Abu Dhabi module, and exchanges with either Kellogg or Wharton proposed. Did you switch campus at some point? Did some of your friends? Honestly, this looks in one hand very attractive, and on the other hand 10 months seems a very short period to afford switching campus.

Cheers!

EDIT: I just saw your reply regarding exchanges on another thread. It pretty much answered my question. :wink:

Last edited by MichaelPinson on 14 Jan 2016, 07:04, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 14 Jan 2016, 06:25
Hi merry!
I am also looking for Insead.. could you tell me which should be the preferable intake (as there are twice in a year) keeping in mind job opportunities.. which one you suggest?
Is it essential for an applicant to be serving as managerial post prior applying there?
I am having 8 months experience in African continent.. how much Insead welcome or praise working in places where majority of the applicants dont go to work?
Thanks
Celestial

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2016, 00:58
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MichaelPinson wrote:
Hello merryweather,

First, thank you very much for answering our questions.

I'm applying to the Singapore campus, which I quickly visited last October. Did you live on campus, or a little further away? What would you recommend?

My second question is about campus exchanges. Being French, I'm not really considering the Fontainebleau option. However there's an Abu Dhabi module, and exchanges with either Kellogg or Wharton proposed. Did you switch campus at some point? Did some of your friends? Honestly, this looks in one hand very attractive, and on the other hand 10 months seems a very short period to afford switching campus.

Cheers!

EDIT: I just saw your reply regarding exchanges on another thread. It pretty much answered my question. :wink:


On the housing options: majority stays in either Heritage or Dover condominiums, which are within 10-15 minutes walk. Living there makes it feel a bit more like a "bubble" or university dorms. But because of high demand from INSEAD students and shorter term of lease, prices there are higher than they should be.
Families tend to stay a bit further away, and get better deals for the same amount of money.

On the campus exchange, I'd like to add here: although there are plenty of "lifers" on both campuses (including myself, a lifer in Singapore), I'd say that majority still travels between campuses. Campus exchange is something that makes the program truly dynamic and global: you get exposed to different parts of the world and very different mentalities and lifestyles. So if I were you, I'd consider the full experience (2 campuses), even though you're from France.
But of course, it's up to you.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 15 Jan 2016, 01:15
Celestial09 wrote:
Hi merry!
I am also looking for Insead.. could you tell me which should be the preferable intake (as there are twice in a year) keeping in mind job opportunities.. which one you suggest?
Is it essential for an applicant to be serving as managerial post prior applying there?
I am having 8 months experience in African continent.. how much Insead welcome or praise working in places where majority of the applicants dont go to work?
Thanks
Celestial


The school really makes an effort so that there is no "better" intake in terms of the job opportunities (and similarly, no "better" campus). Each has its upsides.
- January intake gives you an option to do a summer internship, which is something to consider if you want an easier switch into a new industry.
- September intake provides a chance to spend a few weeks in the Middle East, and also has more options for Investment Banking: IB hiring cycle, as far as I know, is concentrated around November-December for summer jobs / internships, so by the time January students come to school, they are already late for it. And it seems like an internship is the best way to get into IB.

I personally liked to be part of January intake for 2 reasons: first, because it gave me a great learning experience of hunting after an internship (which prepared me for the real job search). And second, because it gave us a few weeks break from the really intense schedule to take care of personal matters and travel, and then a great feeling of "back to school" reunion.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2016, 15:03
Hello and thanks for doing this.

Why did you decide to stay in Singapore?

Did you have any concerns over the quality of the professors in Singy vs Fonty?

What was your favorite class & prof and why?

Based on what did you schedule your electives and were you able to secure a spot for all?

If you were (and if you had the energy :P) to do this again, what would you do differently?

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2016, 22:11
Hi Merry,
Can you provide some insight on scholarship opportunities at INSEAD. I have my interviews for the January intake in a few weeks and I am completing my scholarship essays now.

Being American, will it be difficult for me to win a good scholarship?

Also, are you aware of any external scholarships that you or your classmates where able to receive?

I have been backpacking around the world for the last two years and can really use any financial assistance I can get, but I worry that I'll be disadvantaged as an American male. Thanks for any advice!

Justin

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 05 Apr 2016, 22:27
merryweather wrote:

The school really makes an effort so that there is no "better" intake in terms of the job opportunities (and similarly, no "better" campus). Each has its upsides.
- January intake gives you an option to do a summer internship, which is something to consider if you want an easier switch into a new industry.
- September intake provides a chance to spend a few weeks in the Middle East, and also has more options for Investment Banking: IB hiring cycle, as far as I know, is concentrated around November-December for summer jobs / internships, so by the time January students come to school, they are already late for it. And it seems like an internship is the best way to get into IB.

I personally liked to be part of January intake for 2 reasons: first, because it gave me a great learning experience of hunting after an internship (which prepared me for the real job search). And second, because it gave us a few weeks break from the really intense schedule to take care of personal matters and travel, and then a great feeling of "back to school" reunion.


Hello, Thanks for doing this.

Can you please just give a rough idea about timeline of campus hiring cycle for different sectors, i.e. IB, Consult, TMT etc. When do different companes visit for PPT/ job offers.

Thanks in advance.

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Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2016, 02:31
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farrous13 wrote:
Hello and thanks for doing this.

Why did you decide to stay in Singapore?


For personal reasons - I brought my husband and my daughter with me. He started working here, and she went to school. Moving back and forth between countries, or separating for a few months wasn't really an option for all of us.

farrous13 wrote:
Did you have any concerns over the quality of the professors in Singy vs Fonty?


Not at all. There's a very good balance. And a plethora of very good professors teach in Singapore.

farrous13 wrote:
What was your favorite class & prof and why?


Oh, there's a few. Each professor has a different style, but all are charismatic, highly interactive and manage to the make their classes fun and engaging:
- Pushan Dutt, Prices & Markets (Microeconomics)
- Anil Gaba, UDJ (Statistics)
- Horacio Falcao, Negotiations (a true star of INSEAD)
- Michael Witt, International Political Analysis / Strategies for Asia Pacific - just my type of professor, structured, knowledgeable, a great storyteller
- Pierre Hillion, Corporate Finance
- Claudia Zeisberger, Private Equity - a superpractical class with participation of some of the greatest industry experts
- Neil Bearden, Management Decision Making: This course makes you uncover your true self. It's mindblowing and lifechanging. An absolute must.

farrous13 wrote:
Based on what did you schedule your electives and were you able to secure a spot for all?


Main criteria for the choice are:
a. your area of interest,
b. rating of the course (it's a representation of the value you will get from the course).
There are enough options to cover everything you want to know: from Big Data to Private Equity and Creative Strategies.
You can bid for the electives with the points that you get at the beginning of the year. Since I didn't have to spend my "points" on the campus exchange, I could get everything I wanted. If you move back and forth between Singapore and Fontainebleau, which eats a lot of points (especially in "hot" seasons), you will have to sacrifice something or wait in the waiting list.

farrous13 wrote:
If you were (and if you had the energy :P) to do this again, what would you do differently?


Oh, I would love to do this again!
I think I would be even more social (not only with other students but also with the professors, EMBA etc.). Skills can be learnt, careers can be built, but your social capital, bonds that you create is something that money can't buy.
I think I would also try to work on my start up idea while I am in this safe environment.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2016, 02:34
barbasmonas wrote:
Hi Merry,
Can you provide some insight on scholarship opportunities at INSEAD. I have my interviews for the January intake in a few weeks and I am completing my scholarship essays now.

Being American, will it be difficult for me to win a good scholarship?

Also, are you aware of any external scholarships that you or your classmates where able to receive?

I have been backpacking around the world for the last two years and can really use any financial assistance I can get, but I worry that I'll be disadvantaged as an American male. Thanks for any advice!

Justin

Posted from my mobile device


Hi,

I don't think your nationality will be a disadvantage. While there are some scholarships for students from less developed countries, you will have plenty of other options. Just make sure you make it clear why you specifically deserve it.
Definitely give it a try, it's well worth it.
Not sure about external scholarships, but there is quite a substantial list of INSEAD-specific scholarships.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2016, 02:41
Quote:
Hello, Thanks for doing this.

Can you please just give a rough idea about timeline of campus hiring cycle for different sectors, i.e. IB, Consult, TMT etc. When do different companes visit for PPT/ job offers.

Thanks in advance.


Talking about industries, IB is the only industry whose hiring period falls off-cycle for INSEAD. Some MBA leadership programs also start in July-August rather than Jan-Feb (I guess their hiring process is aligned to the US academic calendar). But generally companies come on campus throughout the year, there is very little difference.

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15) [#permalink]

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New post 07 Apr 2016, 02:54
Hi Merryweather!

I'll just echo everyone's appreciation for your time and effort in doing this! Truly insightful stuff :)

I'm an applicant for the class starting in Jan '17 and currently preparing for my alumni interviews. I've done a fair bit of reading on this forum and other place on the internet already - but I'm curious to hear about your own interview experiences and if there are any specific 'pro tips' or watch out's you'd like to highlight.

Thanks a bunch again!

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Re: Ask a fresh alum (Class of December 15)   [#permalink] 07 Apr 2016, 02:54

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