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Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs

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Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 11:57
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INSEAD has posted the following job and motivation essays within the Fall 2018 MBA application.
Job Essays
As the applications instructions state: The job questions are not essays. Hence, the number of words is not so important. People need to be comfortable writing 3 lines or 20. Some applicants work for companies that are well known and only 3 lines are sufficient to describe them; others work for small companies where it is more important to give the full picture.

Job Essay 1: Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer)

Job Essay 2: What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

Job Essay 3: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

Job Essay 4: Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

Optional Job Essay: If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme.
Motivation Essays
Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (approximately 500 words)

Essay 2: Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (approx. 400 words)

Essay 3: Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (approx. 300 words)

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (approx. 300 words)
Video Interview Instructions
Shortly after completing your INSEAD MBA online application, you will receive an e-mail notification from Kira Talent with a unique link to complete 4 video interviews. Your link will be also available on your dashboard within the application system.

The video should be seen as a unique opportunity for you to share your passions, your motivations and who you truly are. The Admissions Committee is interested in obtaining an authentic view of you as a person, to see how you think on your feet and how you convey your ideas.

The video interviews do not replace the face-to-face interviews with Alumni.

Your application will be considered as complete and ready to be reviewed only once we have received your answers to the video interviews. Please complete your video interviews at your earliest convenience and no later than 48 hours after the deadline to which you are applying. We strongly recommend however that you complete this step before the final date to allow yourself some time to prepare for this exercise.

The MBA admissions overview link includes detailed advice from INSEAD admissions covering timing, practice, and technical requirements.  Advice direct from INSEAD adcomm:
  • Get ready by practicing. You can practice as much as you want. Practicing will enable you to convey authentic and genuine answers. Practice questions are not shared with the Admissions Committee;
  • Test your camera, your microphone, then forget the technology and look at the camera as if you were talking to the Admissions Committee;
  • Although we ask you to wear business or business casual attire, the Admissions Committee will not judge your look or your background;
  • You may want to prepare a notebook next to you to write down your key ideas; you will have 45 seconds to prepare each answer; you will then have 60 seconds to share each answer with the Admissions Committee.For additional information on applying, please visit the INSEAD admissions website.

For additional information on applying, please visit the INSEAD MBA admissions website.

 
***

If you are looking for guidance on your  INSEAD MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 29 Sep 2017, 11:58
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INSEAD has posted the following job and motivation essays within the Fall 2018 MBA application.
Job Essays
As the applications instructions state: The job questions are not essays. Hence, the number of words is not so important. People need to be comfortable writing 3 lines or 20. Some applicants work for companies that are well known and only 3 lines are sufficient to describe them; others work for small companies where it is more important to give the full picture.

Job Essay 1: Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer)

Job Essay 2: What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

Job Essay 3: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

Job Essay 4: Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

Optional Job Essay: If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme.
Motivation Essays
Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (approximately 500 words)

Essay 2: Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (approx. 400 words)

Essay 3: Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (approx. 300 words)

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (approx. 300 words)
Video Interview Instructions
Shortly after completing your INSEAD MBA online application, you will receive an e-mail notification from Kira Talent with a unique link to complete 4 video interviews. Your link will be also available on your dashboard within the application system.

The video should be seen as a unique opportunity for you to share your passions, your motivations and who you truly are. The Admissions Committee is interested in obtaining an authentic view of you as a person, to see how you think on your feet and how you convey your ideas.

The video interviews do not replace the face-to-face interviews with Alumni.

Your application will be considered as complete and ready to be reviewed only once we have received your answers to the video interviews. Please complete your video interviews at your earliest convenience and no later than 48 hours after the deadline to which you are applying. We strongly recommend however that you complete this step before the final date to allow yourself some time to prepare for this exercise.

The MBA admissions overview link includes detailed advice from INSEAD admissions covering timing, practice, and technical requirements.  Advice direct from INSEAD adcomm:
  • Get ready by practicing. You can practice as much as you want. Practicing will enable you to convey authentic and genuine answers. Practice questions are not shared with the Admissions Committee;
  • Test your camera, your microphone, then forget the technology and look at the camera as if you were talking to the Admissions Committee;
  • Although we ask you to wear business or business casual attire, the Admissions Committee will not judge your look or your background;
  • You may want to prepare a notebook next to you to write down your key ideas; you will have 45 seconds to prepare each answer; you will then have 60 seconds to share each answer with the Admissions Committee.For additional information on applying, please visit the INSEAD admissions website.

For additional information on applying, please visit the INSEAD MBA admissions website.

 
***

If you are looking for guidance on your  INSEAD MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.

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Re: Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Oct 2017, 12:39
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ImageINSEAD, “the business school of the world,” is a dynamic, diverse and highly international MBA option. INSEAD is looking for ability to contribute, academic motivation, leadership potential and international motivation. Along with the basic MBA questions most other schools ask, INSEAD is looking for significant exploration of your career goals and background. Along with career aspirations and leadership experience, an international focus is important to INSEAD.

Along with this set of essays, INSEAD has a required video interview, which has to be completed within 48 hours after your intake deadline. INSEAD admissions tells candidates that “The video should be seen as a unique opportunity for you to share your passions, your motivations and who you truly are. “ Visit the INSEAD admissions overview for detailed instructions on the video essay and other components of the application.
JOB ESSAYS
Job Essay 1: Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer)

INSEAD advises that the job essays are more short answer than full essay, and that candidates should feel comfortable answering in one line or twenty, depending on the depth of background and information needed to answer the question.

This question focuses on your current (or most recent) work situation. Though you may want to provide relevant context for your current role, make sure you are devoting most of the space to describing the details of your day-to-day responsibilities and oversight. If you are lighter on supervising others or managing a budget, you have the opportunity to highlight some key responsibilities and results.

Job Essay 2: What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

Once you have described what you do at work currently, INSEAD asks for you to imagine what you will do in the future. Because you are ambitious enough to be applying to an MBA program like INSEAD, you are likely on a serious career track in your current company. If your boss has already talked to you about the next step this is an easy question to answer.

If you have not explicitly discussed promotion at work, what would be the next role you would ideally pursue? If you are pursuing an MBA because you want to make a career change or because the next step at your current company is undesirable for other reasons, this may be a place to describe what that next step would be and why you do not wish to pursue it (with more context provided in the long term goal section).

Job Essay 3: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

This essay will likely be the longest of the set of job essays. INSEAD is seeking to understand your career trajectory and how you have grown and progressed through your career. Think about the choices you have made in your career, and how your past experiences have combined to provide you with your current skill set.

Even if you have a fairly straightforward career path you can take the opportunity to comment on some of the learnings from each position to create the story of your past, present and future plans and build an overall career narrative.

Job Essay 4: Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

By essay four you have covered your current role at work, your hypothetical next step at your company and how you arrived at this place, now you can bring the story together to explain what you are pursuing an MBA from INSEAD.
While the best candidates for an MBA might be able to succeed without one, typically a top tier MBA like INSEAD is an accelerator for your career – introducing you to a broader network than you would otherwise have, expanding your skillset into new functional areas and exposing you to people from around the world.

Think about how you plan to use your MBA to advance your current career (or change paths entirely). If you did not attend INSEAD, how would you achieve your goals otherwise? Think of this essay as a thought experiment to show that you can plan two routes to one goal, while perhaps demonstrating the superiority of the MBA path.

Optional Job Essay: If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme.

If you are not employed at the moment, you will want to answer this question to show how you are utilizing your time without full time employment. Ideally you are currently involved in an activity that is going to further your career or personal goals at this time. The best answer is one that shows you are self-motivated and do not need paid work to continue developing yourself.

For example, perhaps you are volunteering in a non-profit that is related to your career goals. Maybe you are working with a friend on a start-up. Or you are consulting and building contacts in your industry.

If you are out of work only briefly or planning to take just a few months off before school starts, it’s also perfectly reasonable to be pursuing travel or other activities that develop your international awareness and perspective. However, make sure that your activities can tie back to your long-term goals or other key aspects of your application strategy.
MOTIVATION ESSAYS
Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (approximately 500 words)

Strengths and weaknesses are a common topic for MBA applications and seek to reveal your level of maturity and self-awareness. This is an opportunity to highlight some of your skills and attributes that demonstrate leadership, teamwork or other qualities that will drive your future career success.

Examples aren’t explicitly required, but consider that the admissions committee is reading a number of essays and therefore concrete examples can help you stand out and lead to a memorable essay.

When describing weaknesses, you will want to focus on those weaknesses that you have taken concrete steps to address, or that have been a route to learning more about yourself. Often strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin, in which case you can even tie your key weaknesses to your key strengths.

Because it is often difficult to write about one’s weaknesses without sounding overly humble or even as if you are positioning a weakness as a strength inappropriately, this is an especially important essay to share with others to seek feedback on tone and impact.

Essay 2: Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (approx. 400 words)

This essay is an opportunity to showcase one of your most important achievements. Impressive achievements that stand on their own are great, but you will want to pay equal attention to explaining why these accomplishments are valuable to you. If you concisely explain the accomplishment and how you were able to bring it to fruition, you will have room to provide the context for your personal pride in the accomplishment.

If you don’t have an achievement that you think is incredibly impressive on its face, consider an example that demonstrates the activities you value. Remember, not everyone has sold a company or won an Olympic medal prior to business school!

The flip side of achievement is failure, and INSEAD wants to understand how you view both. When approaching any failure essay it’s important to use a real failure that has emotional resonance for you. An accomplishment framed as a failure will be easy to see through and will not demonstrate anything about your maturity or ability to grow.

Your failure should be real, and also something that led you to grow or learn. If you can describe how you have changed your approach as a result of the failure that is an excellent outcome.

The third part of the essay deals with how these experiences impacted your relationships and what you learned. Whether you were part of a team or the main impact was on a loved one, this part of the essay encourages you to step outside your own narrative of success and failure and think about how other people felt about your actions.

Most obviously a success likely led to happiness from a team or a manager, while a failure was disappointing to those around you. However, your particular achievement or failure could have led to a learning experience for your team, an opportunity for someone else, or a chance for you to be closer to another person through a team challenge. Think creatively about this aspect.

Note that your application to INSEAD ideally covers both the personal and professional. This essay could be an opportunity in this essay set to bring in a new angle on your profile through describing one of your most substantial accomplishments outside of work.

Essay 3: Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (approx. 300 words)

Nothing is more personal than what you choose to do outside of school or work. What are the most meaningful pursuits you have spent your time on? You should both describe the main interests you have outside of your professional pursuits and explain why they are meaningful to you and why you spend time on them.

Ideally you can also explain how you will continue your involvement while at INSEAD and cite some specific clubs or groups where you see your interests contributing to the community.

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (approx. 300 words)

This essay is 300 words you can use for anything you would like to showcase and that you were unable to work into the rest of your application. Because INSEAD’s questions are quite thorough you may have covered all aspects of your candidacy and personal qualities in the other essay questions, in which case you can feel comfortable skipping this question (it IS optional). If you did not have a place for an interesting hobby, new aspect of your background to describe, or key accomplishment, it may be appropriate to use this space to tell that story.

It is far better to fully explain any issues in your application than to leave the admissions committee to guess what happened. If you have any challenging aspects to your candidacy like a low GPA or a failing grade in college, this is the correct place to address those concerns. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue.

For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since rather than focusing on the negative. Avoid blaming anyone else for your issue, and relentlessly show why this one incident is in your past and will stay there.
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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Re: Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Dec 2017, 11:10
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Bloomberg Businessweek has announced its annual ranking of the 31 best international business schools, following up on last month’s release of the top MBA programs in the United States.

The methodology for Bloomberg Businessweek’s ranking places considerable weight on recruiter opinions regarding how well MBA programs prepare their graduates with relevant skills, as well as student feedback on the same.

INSEAD, which has campuses in France, Asia, and the Middle East, unseated London Business School for the top spot, Bloomberg Businessweek reveals, thanks to its strong performance in both alumni and employer surveys, as well as a boost in its recent students’ ability to obtain jobs shortly after graduation.
Top Ten International MBA Program Rankings
  • INSEAD
  • London Business School
  • IESE Business School
  • Oxford’s Said Business School
  • IMD
  • Cambridge Judge Business School
  • SDA Bocconi
  • IE Business School
  • ESADE Business School
  • HEC Paris

The article’s authors also note that graduates of Mannheim Business School in Germany are the most likely to get hired quickly, while graduates of Switzerland’s IMD are the highest-paid.

The Bloomberg ranking methodology includes an employer survey (35% of score), alumni survey (30%), student survey (15%), job placement rate (10%), and starting salary (10%). MBA hopefuls should keep in mind that, because the full-time rankings comprise five elements, it’s possible to rank highly without knocking every category out of the ballpark.

Click on over to Bloomberg Businessweek to see the details for all of the 31 schools ranked in this list. And remember, here at SBC we don’t like to encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections. However, we also know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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Re: Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 26 Apr 2018, 10:35
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Poonam, founder and president of myEssayReview, is publishing interviews of her most recent successful students.  This is the latest in the series. Here is a chat with Mansi, who was accepted into 5 top MBA programs –Kellogg, Wharton, INSEAD, Stanford, and Harvard. Mansi is headed to Harvard, her dream school.

Mansi’s interview is published in 4 parts wherein she shares her background, goals, reasons to pursue MBA, unwavering preference for HBS, application strategy and preparation, her success mantra, advice on video essays, and much more.

Now presenting the concluding part of the interview wherein Mansi shares her success mantra and her personal interests and  hobbies.

Poonam: What is the Mantra of your astounding success? Not many people are able to achieve what you have achieved. That is why I would like to know  about the Mantra of your phenomenal success.

Mansi: That is a tough one. I think everyone will have their own set of ways to achieve their goal. For me, number one mantra is hard work. In life, there is no short cut to success. It is the way you look at things. You have to have sleepless nights, and long days, and give enough time to achieve your goal, sacrifice other things in the life, and still maintain a balance. As you had rightly suggested- start early. The best way is to start early to give ample time to application.

The second Mantra is ‘strategy’. If I had pushed myself to apply to Harvard in Round I and had not listened to you, I am sure I could not have accomplished it. The kind of story that I had in Round I or the kind of confidence I had in my story in Round I was much less compared to what I had in Round II. Again, I came to know myself a lot more in  four five months than the two months I had before Round I deadlines. So you have to  strategize really well because your dream school deserves the best of your time, your strategy, and your hard work.  I would advise applicants to  give it enough time and thought, and strategize well.

The third Mantra is the ‘introspection’. Indian applicants have never gone through such a process; they have only prepared course material and taken exams. But B- school application is entirely a different process. It does have an exam which requires a lot of introspection, and it also has an interview process which truly focuses on your soft skills. Lastly, working on your weaknesses is also very important for which self-reflection is the key because unless you know your worth yourself, you will not know what you are weak at. Especially for the interview processes, you should be confident of handling your weaknesses and what you can do to mitigate them.

Poonam: That is right. It is a process of self-discovery, and by the time you reached Harvard Application, you had already discovered yourself.

Mansi: Absolutely.

Poonam: And I have memorized all your stories by heart.

Mansi: Yes. I know. And sometimes, I was actually amazed, when you would return my essays with comments that  this example does not fit this essay as much as the other example. You remembered all my stories which at times I had forgotten. You rightly said that this is a process of self-discovery. I also remember the 30 minute Harvard interview that happened in Mumbai; those 30 minutes felt like 3 hours, as we had a conversation which I would normally have with somebody in 3 hours. It was short, yet it covered almost every aspect of my life, professional as well as personal. If I had not known about myself that well, I could not have given that 3 hours’ worth of information in thirty minutes.

Poonam: True.  It has truly been a long and arduous journey. You must have made many personal sacrifices as well. Would you like to share those with us?

Mansi: Yes, Poonam. Very rightly said. You have to work hard towards what is really important to you. And in that particular process, you have to sacrifice other things to achieve what you really want to. As you are aware, I am married, and I had sacrificed a lot of my family time. At the same time, I am really thankful to my husband who has been immensely supportive all this while. I had to miss family time, festivals, get -togethers, and weddings. I am blessed to have a supportive family and husband. I will share this one particular incident when we were celebrating Deepawali at my in-laws place in Mumbai. I had gotten my first interview invite from Kellogg which was right after Deepawali, and  my husband prepared for all pooja and stuff while I was preparing for my interview questions. So yes, I had sacrificed a lot of different things- birthdays, family functions,  TV and movies, but I am sure that at the end of day, those are totally worth it.

Poonam: Definitely. They all must be very proud of you for this extraordinary achievement. I am proud of you.

Mansi: Thank you, Poonam. Yes, they are.

Poonam:  Let us talk about something outside of professional area. What are your hobbies, interests? What are your favorite books?

Mansi: As you know very well, I love to dance. Throughout my entire application process, I used to go for my dance class at least once a week to rejuvenate myself. I occasionally read science fiction. I am not a regular reader though.

Poonam: You are a certified Scuba diver as well.

Mansi: Yes. I am a certified scuba diver. I have dived in many countries such as Malaysia, India, Maldives, and Thailand. I can dive up to 18ft. Next month, I and my husband are going to Thailand for another diving trip after a gap of one year.

Poonam: Very good. Mansi, will you like to share anything that I have not asked?

Mansi: I have discussed almost all the aspects of application process. Again, key parts of your application process are- have a strong GMAT score, partner with a good consultant, strategize in which Round and which schools you apply to, start early, give yourself enough time for self-reflection, and definitely work hard. There is no short cut to success. Give your best. I am sure you can achieve what you want.

Poonam: Thank you for sharing your story. Your story will be inspirational for the prospective applicants.

Mansi: Thank you, Poonam. This is not only my story; this is your story as well.

Poonam: It is really nice of you to think that way.

Mansi:  This is a process you can’t do alone. This is a process where you need supportive people around you. So equal amount of thank you to you as well.

Poonam: Thank you so much. It was my privilege. I really enjoyed being part of your MBA journey. And I wish you good luck with Harvard. I hope you will have a wonderful time there. I will like to get in touch with you later.

Mansi: Definitely. I will keep you updated with my case studies at HBS.

Poonam: Wonderful. Thank you. It was a pleasure chatting with you.

Note: 

Part 1- Mansi's Background, Goals, Reasons to do MBA, and Preference for HBS

http://myessayreview.com/student-interviews/indian-engineers-journey-5-top-mba-programs-including-dream-school-harvard/

Part 2- Mansi's' Application Strategy, Planning and Preparation

http://myessayreview.com/student-interviews/indian-engineers-journey-5-top-mba-programs-including-dream-school-harvard-part-2/

Part 3- Mansis’ Most Challenging Part of the Application Process, and her advice on video essays

http://myessayreview.com/student-interviews/indian-engineers-journey-5-tops-mba-programs-including-dream-school-harvard-part-3/

This interview was first published in  myEssayReview blog.

For questions, email Poonam at poonam@myessayreview.com

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Re: Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 30 Apr 2018, 10:59
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The following are the INSEAD MBA application deadlines for the September 2019 intake (Class of July 2020).
ROUND 1
Application due:  September 19, 2018
Decision released: November 23, 2018
ROUND 2
Application due: November 14, 2018
Decision released: January 25, 2019
ROUND 3
Application due: January 9, 2019
Decision released: March 15, 2019
ROUND 4
Application due: March 6, 2019
Decision released: May 10, 2019

Competition for each of the rounds is equal, but the earlier you gain admission, the more time you have to secure financing and arrange logistics. The online application form typically opens two months before each application deadline.

To be included in a specific round, applications must be complete and submitted by 23:59pm French time on the day of the deadline.

For more information, please visit the INSEAD MBA admissions website.

 
***

If you are looking for guidance on your INSEAD MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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Re: Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Jun 2018, 10:46
Hello everyone,

I am an Admissions Interviewer for INSEAD, and I just wanted to share some tips and insights on the interview.
  • INSEAD Interviews are conducted by two alumni, and of course, most are not professionally trained interviewers. Because of this, you might have one interviewer who is very experienced at interviewing and therefore quite structured, or you might have one interviewer who is not so used to interview and is a bit more all over the place.
  • INSEAD Interviews are not stressful. We are not supposed to stress our interviewees or challenge them. Interviews are meant to be more conversational. They should feel more like a conversation between two colleagues.
  • Out of the 4 admissions criteria, INSEAD interviews are meant to address all except your Academic Capacity. We don't ask questions about your GMAT or GPA, or things like "How many tennis balls fit in an airbus?".
  • You can expect the interview to be focused on: (1) Career Progression, (2) Career Goals, (3) Leadership Potential, (4) Why INSEAD, (5) Fit with INSEAD, (6) International Experiences, (7) International Motivation and (7) Soft skills.
  • Read carefully your entire application and always answer in a way that is consistent with what you wrote in your essays. This being said, if the interviewer asks for example for your proudest achievement, he/she might specifically ask for a different one that the one your wrote on your essays, therefore have a couple of stories ready just in case.

Feel free to reach out for any questions you might have. If interested in conducting mock interviews that feel like the real ones, please ask about our Interview Prep Service.

I wish the best of luck to everyone!

Best regards

Alex

 
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Re: Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 31 Jul 2018, 18:30
ImageINSEAD has posted the following job and motivation essays within the Fall 2019 MBA application, which is now live.
Job Essays
As the applications instructions state: The job questions are not essays. Hence, the number of words is not so important. People need to be comfortable writing 3 lines or 20. Some applicants work for companies that are well known and only 3 lines are sufficient to describe them; others work for small companies where it is more important to give the full picture.

Job Essay 1: Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer)

Job Essay 2: What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

Job Essay 3: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

Job Essay 4: Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with or without an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

Optional Job Essay: If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme.
Motivation Essays
Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (approximately 500 words)

Essay 2: Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (approx. 400 words)

Essay 3: Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (approx. 300 words)

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (approx. 300 words)
Video Interview Instructions
Shortly after completing your INSEAD MBA online application, you will receive an e-mail notification from Kira Talent with a unique link to complete 4 video interviews. Your link will be also available on your dashboard within the application system.

The video should be seen as a unique opportunity for you to share your passions, your motivations and who you truly are. The Admissions Committee is interested in obtaining an authentic view of you as a person, to see how you think on your feet and how you convey your ideas.

The video interviews do not replace the face-to-face interviews with Alumni.

Your application will be considered as complete and ready to be reviewed only once we have received your answers to the video interviews. Please complete your video interviews at your earliest convenience and no later than 48 hours after the deadline to which you are applying. We strongly recommend however that you complete this step before the final date to allow yourself some time to prepare for this exercise.

The MBA admissions overview link includes detailed advice from INSEAD admissions covering timing, practice, and technical requirements.  Advice direct from INSEAD adcomm:
  • Get ready by practicing. You can practice as much as you want. Practicing will enable you to convey authentic and genuine answers. Practice questions are not shared with the Admissions Committee;
  • Test your camera, your microphone, then forget the technology and look at the camera as if you were talking to the Admissions Committee;
  • Although we ask you to wear business or business casual attire, the Admissions Committee will not judge your look or your background;
  • You may want to prepare a notebook next to you to write down your key ideas; you will have 45 seconds to prepare each answer; you will then have 60 seconds to share each answer with the Admissions Committee.For additional information on applying, please visit the INSEAD admissions website.

For additional information on applying, please visit the INSEAD MBA admissions website.
***

If you are looking for guidance on your MBA application, Stacy Blackman Consulting can help with hourly and comprehensive consulting services. Contact us to learn more. Visit the website for Stacy Blackman Reviews, and check out the company’s e-publications for more in depth school-by-school guidance.
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Re: Expert advice for INSEAD from Admissions Consultant blogs  [#permalink]

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New post 02 Aug 2018, 05:51
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The MBA application form for the September 2019 intake of INSEAD’s MBA is now live. The essay questions (job description questions & motivation essays) as well as the video essay component remain unchanged.

MBA Application Deadlines for the September 2019 Intake:

Round 1

Application due:               September 19, 2018
Interview notification:     October 19, 2018
Decision released:            November 23, 2018

Round 2

Application due:               November 14, 2018
Interview notification:     December 14, 2018
Decision released:            January 25, 2019

Round 3

Application due:               January 9, 2019
Interview notification:     February 8, 2019
Decision released:            March 15, 2019

Round 4

Application due:               March 6, 2019
Interview notification:     April 5, 2019
Decision released:            May 10, 2019

INSEAD's Admission’s Criteria:
  • Academic capacity
  • Leadership potential
  • International Motivation
  • Ability to contribute
 

For more information on application requirements and advice on video essays, please visit the INSEAD MBA admissions website.

INSEAD’s job description questions and motivation essays allow candidates to discuss a variety of topics related to their interests and experiences, thus providing them ample opportunity to present each aspect of their candidacy. The “job questions” ask for a factual account of one’s current position and career progression, as well as short-term and long-term career goals with an MBA from INSEAD. There is no prescribed word limit for job questions, so you can use 150-200 words. The three “motivation essays” call for short reflections and discussion of a variety of topics e.g. strengths and weaknesses, failures, accomplishments, extra professional activities etc. With careful thought and planning, you can use these essays to present your well-rounded personality.

According to INSEAD Admission Team:

“This is a critical part of our evaluation process. As such, we advise you to spend a significant amount of time on your application essays. Your responses provide the best opportunity to be creative and tell us about yourself. We would like to get to know you and to find out what motivates you. The essay questions are not meant to be academic articles or business memos, but rather your personal stories. You can fill in the essay questions online or copy/paste your answers in the text boxes directly within your application.”

Job description Questions

1.Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer)

This question requests a snapshot of the applicant’s current or most recent job. Keeping in mind that this will be the admission committee's introduction to your candidacy, you should also provide information to help the reader understand your place within the organization and the work that occupies your days. Please stay focused on the details of your present job, nature of work, major responsibilities, supervision, size of budget, number of clients/products, and most importantly, “results achieved”. While detailing out your current job, you should also focus on the impact you have made on your organization. But please avoid elaborating your greatest achievement as you will get an opportunity to do that in the second motivation essay.

[*] What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)[/list]
For this question, you need to show that your next position should be more challenging than your current one. But if MBA at INSEAD is your next step, you probably don’t need your next promotion. Through this question, the admission committee wants to determine whether you have a clear sense of your career trajectory. You may outline a next step that would entail increased responsibility in terms of project size or complexity or number of employees managed. You may also mention an estimated timeline for promotion into this position, if applicable.

[*] Please give us a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)[/list]
This question can be considered as a walkthrough of resume in the essay format. The purpose of this question is to get an understanding of how you have progressed along your career path. Your best bet is to focus on each full-time position you’ve held, the reasons behind each move, increases and changes in responsibility, and the lessons/ skills learned. It is important to show progress at each stage of your career, which is straightforward if you have worked for the same company and received regular promotions. If you have changed companies, make sure to explain the reason how and why you made your career choice.

[*] Discuss your short-term and long-term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)[/list]
This is a fairly straightforward career goals essay asking you to explain your short-term and long-term goals. After detailing out your career history, explain where you stand now why you believe that an MBA is the next logical step in your career path NOW? What are those skills that you still lack which you hope to acquire by an MBA? How an MBA will fill the gaps in your career?

Then explain your short-term (3-5 years after MBA) and long-term goals (5 - 10 years after MBA). Please identify the position that you hope to hold immediately after MBA program, specifying both a job title and 1-2 organizations/companies for which you would like to work. Then you will discuss your long-term 5-10-year plan, explaining not just what role you hope to occupy but also the broader impact you hope to have in this position. Please make sure to demonstrate a logical connection between your short-term and long-term goals. In other words, explain how you will move from step 1 to step 2 and so on. Make sure that your goals are realistic as well as ambitious. That is, if you aim for a technology or a consulting role, you’ll need to demonstrate that you already possess some skills/experience in that area and are now aiming to enhance those skills. Likewise, if you are a career changer, you should provide evidence as to how your current skill set would facilitate this transition. (Approximately 150- 200- words)

[*] If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than two months before the Programme starts, please explain your activities and occupation between leaving your job and the start of the programme. (optional)[/list]
This is the sixth year that INSEAD has included a question providing unemployed applicants the space to explain their situation. This shows that INSEAD is not excluding unemployed candidates from admission, if they are utilizing their time productively. So, it provides them an opportunity to advocate their case and discuss the new skills they are learning, the volunteer work they are involved in, and any conferences and professional development workshops they are attending, and other efforts they are making to secure short-term employment before MBA. This would validate their growth even during the time they are unemployed.

This question also includes applicants who are planning to take a break of more than two months between the time they submit their applications and the time they would join INSEAD’s program. In this case also, they need to evidence how they are actively developing skills, making productive use of their time, and progressing toward their career goals. This essay is also a place for the applicants who are leaving their current employer to join another one, two months before entering the program. They should use this essay to discuss their new employment. This essay is also an opportunity to discuss the actions you plan to take in preparation for MBA such as getting involved in voluntary activities, attending conferences, and engaging in any other activities for professional development before beginning the INSEAD MBA program.

Motivation Essays:

Motivation Essay #1. Give a candid description of yourself (who you are as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (approximately 500 words) is required

Through this open-ended question, the Ad Com wants to gain insights into your personality and values. Therefore, you will need to do lot of self-reflection into your life experience that have shaped your personality and have made you who you are. While it is important to address all parts of the prompt: strengths, weaknesses, and main factors responsible for your personal development, it’s important to focus as much as possible on the positive traits. In view of this, you may want to begin with two or three positive qualities and then comment on one or two weaknesses, and then substantiate your personal traits with real-life examples. This question gives applicants freedom to select examples from your personal, professional or extracurricular life, so try to select your examples with a view to presenting a balanced picture of personality.

What two methods you can use to draft this essay?

You may select either of the following two methods for discussing strengths or weaknesses:
  • a) Make statements about your character and back them up with example as ‘evidences’ of your statements.
  • b) Find a single story (from your personal or professional life) that will illustrate all of your strengths, and, if possible, weaknesses.

When discussing your weaknesses, make sure to explain how they have affected you and what you have done or are doing now to rectify them. If relevant, mention which B-school resources can help you get over these weaknesses.

How you can discuss factors that have influenced your personal development?

Remember that for each personal characteristic introduced, you should reflect on the factors that have influenced your personality. It is up to you if you want to discuss these influential factors while discussing your strengths and weaknesses or after having discussed them.

Roughly, you may aim at allotting 200-250 words to strengths, 100 words to weakness/weaknesses, and 150-200 words to the main factors that have shaped your character/personality.

Motivation Essay #2. Describe the achievement of which you are most proud of and explain why? In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationship with others? Comment on what you learned. (approximately 400 words)

Through this question, INSEAD now expects you to discuss both your accomplishment and failure in one single essay. You need to dig deeper and explain how these experiences have impacted your relationship with others

Since you can use only 400 words, it is in your best interest to allot approximately 200 words to each of your stories.

Also, this accomplishment and failure should tie in to your “strengths and weaknesses” essay. That is, your experiences of achievement and failure should illustrate the “strengths” and “weaknesses” you have already discussed in your first essay.

Your accomplishment story should have the four components: the challenge, the achievement, the outcome/result, and the significance. That is, you should explain why this accomplishment is meaningful to you both in terms of the challenges you overcame, the results you produced, and the lessons you learned.

To explain your failure story, you’ll need to reflect on a life experience when you could not live up to your expectations. You should describe how the situation went wrong and why. Like accomplishment story, your failure story should also have the four components: the challenge, the action, the outcome/result, and the significance or effect. That is, you should explain how that failure taught you important lessons that you later used in your life to better yourself. The failure story may be presented in such a way that it presents you in a positive light, revealing your strengths.

Make sure to clearly address the second part of this question and discuss in what ways these experiences have impacted your relationship with others at work or in community and what learnings you have gleaned from your experiences. Discussing two stories in only 400 words is indeed challenging. (Click here to learn some useful techniques to help you say ‘more’ in ‘less’).

Motivation Essay #3. Describe all types of extra professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc.). How are you enriched by these activities? (approximately 300 words)

The extra-curriculars are an important element of how INSEAD evaluates the candidate on one of its four key admissions criteria: ‘ability to contribute’. They want to know if you are an applicant who will not only contribute to the class room but also to the life of the community outside the classroom as a student, and later, as a member of the alumni network. Candidates who have other interests/hobbies that they are passionate about, and who perhaps have some achievement in sports, music, arts, etc. will go on to become students who will take the lead in student clubs and will be actively involved in the alumni network. When describing your extracurricular activities, please make sure to focus on social or community -based activities instead of solo involvements, such as reading, working out in the gym, or watching movies, as admission committee is seeking applicants who can contribute to the INSEAD community by collaborating and engaging with their peers through various clubs.

Motivation Essay # 4. Is there anything that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (approximately 300 words)

An optional essay is an opportunity for you to give the Ad Com relevant information that you could not give in other essays or other parts of your application. This question is also meant to shine a spotlight on an experience or side of your personality that has not been revealed in the other parts of your application: essays, recommendation letters, and resume.

Even though INSEAD has provided you enough ground to cover about your candidacy, you may still use this essay in a variety of ways to further strengthen your candidacy. More importantly, you should also use optional essay to address a weakness in your profile, such as low GPA or GMAT, a gap in your job history, or your inability to get a recommendation from your current supervisor.

To further help you in developing your application essays, you may review the general Essay Tips.

Since 2011, MER (myEssayReview  ) has helped applicants get accepted into top 20 MBA, programs, including INSEAD.

Want to discuss? Email Poonam at  poonam@myessayreview.com

This post first appeared in myEssayReview blog.

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