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INSEAD

INSEAD

FINAL DECISION
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Debrief posted on  Jul 18 2019 [#permalink] INSEAD, January Intake Class of
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Jul 17 2019 Final Decision: Admitted

"My first interview was yesterday and it lasted for about 30 min. The interviewer was from the class of 2003, so I think he has experience doing these interviews and he knew exactly what he was going to ask. I sent my application and my CV to him early, but it was a good thing that I brought a printed version for the interview. He used both in the conversation and asked me to keep the printouts. We chatted a little bit about how loudly the place it was and then we got down to business. He asked me to walk him through my CV since college to my current job. He stopped me several times to understand all my experience in more detail. Then he asked a couple of questions: • Why I decide to the major I did? • Tell me about an important project that you did since you started working in US? (I’m Brazilian and I was transferred to US in 2018) • What do you want to do after business school? – (I also used this space to answer why INSEAD). • Why fonty over singy? In the end we chatted a little bit about his experience after INSEAD and I asked him a couple of questions."

MAPP from United States GMAT 700;
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Debrief posted on  Apr 03 2019 [#permalink] INSEAD, January Intake Class of
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Apr 03 2019 Final Decision: Admitted

"Finished both my interviews. First interview was two weeks ago and was incredibly chilled out and conversational. We started by me talking about my current job and from there we kind of backtracked to what got me where I am today. The interviewer also really dug into how I think I will fit into the INSEAD culture and what will I focus on while there. Really, it felt like a conversation with an acquaintance. He continually followed up with questions to get a better understanding of why I want to do this. We concluded with him telling me about his own experience at INSEAD. Overall, a very positive experience. It lasted 1.5 hours. Second interview felt more formal. It started with a "tell me about yourself starting from your childhood", followed by Why MBA, Why INSEAD, how will I manage my time at INSEAD etc. It was also conversational but felt less casual than the first one. It lasted about an hour. I couldn't judge if the interviewer liked chatting with me or not, but I tried my best to answer all their questions."

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Debrief posted on  Mar 28 2019 [#permalink] INSEAD, January Intake Class of
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Mar 26 2019 Final Decision: Matriculating

"My second interview was with a 2002 alumni. He was super friendly and at all times it felt like a casual conversation more than an interview. He asked about my work, and what I did, sounding more interested and curious rather than "testing me". He asked why MBA, why now, where do you see yourself 5 years after the MBA, what is your plan if you don't get in. I think it was smooth and friendly. it lasted an hour"

juralvesf from Argentina GMAT 680; WE: 58 months;
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Debrief posted on  Mar 25 2019 [#permalink] INSEAD, January Intake Class of
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Mar 24 2019 Final Decision: Interviewed

"My first interview was pretty relaxed in a Starbucks. I guess there are not many alumni in my country so we didn't share any kind of background. Interviewer was serious at first - she had read my resume and application so she had specific questions about my stories, mainly asking me to add more details to things that had caught her attention. She asked about my job experience, my goal, about a challenging story and about my failure. She asked me why an MBA, why INSEAD. She asked me how I pictured myself in the first 5 years after INSEAD and given all countries I traveled to and lived in, what could I contribute to INSEAD's diversity. We then had a chat in English (my resume said I have learned French by myself so she asked me more detailed about that) and then it was my turn asking questions. We ended up chatting for a while afterwards and she gave me some tips for the program. It lasted around 75 minutes."

juralvesf from Argentina GMAT 680; WE: 58 months;
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Debrief posted on  Feb 12 2019 [#permalink] INSEAD, September Intake Class of
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Feb 11 2019 Final Decision: Admitted

"Just had my first alumni interview with alum from 2004, and was quite tonally different to other school interviews. He definitely grilled me on all my answers and seemed like he really wanted to understand my reasoning rather than just accept the answers I had. It was a great learning experience for sure. It was quite conversational, with questions building on my previous answers, but the rough topics covered were: He'd also really done his research on my background so lots of questions were company specific. 1. Tell me about yourself/run me through your resume 2. Why MBA, why now 3. What drew you to INSEAD 4. Explain your day to day -> it was a bit muddled but he basically covered: - teamwork - leadership - how do you normally take charge, what are some examples. went back to college days and asked about teamwork from the engineering perspective. - conflict resolution (do you get pushback when you take charge, vertically or laterally in the company) followed by do you think this is the best way to resolve conflicts 5. What are the pros and cons of working in a small company (I work in a company of 14 people)? 6. if the MBA doesn't work out, then what? Why do you feel like you need an MBA when marketing consultancy or other jobs dont require them. 7. Why not a US 2 year program? 8. Why Fonty over Singapore? Overall, it was an interesting experience. His background was totally different to mine (finance vs media), and he kept quite a poker face. His love of INSEAD definitely came through though, and we spent 20 minutes talking through my questions I had prepared for him. He was quite transparent about the process requiring quite a lengthy report and he took lots of notes. Lasted about 50 mins. Will be interesting to see what the second one is like, as it is more of a similar background to me."

stetarbe from Hong Kong GMAT 720; Internet and New Media
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Debrief posted on  Dec 18 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Skype Interviewed on: Dec 18 2018 Final Decision: Admitted

"Hi everyone, I just had my first interview. Alumni from 2006 batch, with a background different from mine. The interview was in the Alumni work office and lasted 90 minutes. The conversation was a bit on the tough side on the beginning, with the interviewer challenging my answers constantly, so preparation was key. Besides the usual questions (why MBA, why INSEAD, which other schools, CV questions), I was asked about my leadership style, how would my colleagues describe me, what is my plan without an MBA, which would be the bigger challenge in pursuing my career goals post-MBA, which was my favorite project at work or university, how do I deal with different negotiation styles.... Overall, it felt closer to a job interview than a relaxed conversation. However, when it came to the part where I was asking questions, the vibe became much more relaxed and we actually laughed a lot. I actually confirmed that there is no indication from the school regarding the good cop/bad cop attitude, it's just the interviewer style. I guess it makes sense that they try to grill us a bit, just to check if we can handle hot water ;) As long as you were authentic in everything you mentioned in your application and your CV, you'll be just fine :) I'll come back after my second interview to give you feedback. Best of luck to all of us!"

greenfield from Portugal GMAT 670;
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Debrief posted on  Jan 01 2019 [#permalink] INSEAD, September Intake Class of
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Dec 17 2018 Final Decision: Interviewed

"My first interview was during working hours at a coffee shop with an alum who had graduated in 2010. The discussion was very casual right from the start, and I felt completely at ease. I come from a non-traditional sector, so my interviewer asked me a few questions regarding my motivation for applying to an MBA, what I planned to do afterwards, and why I thought an MBA would be a necessary next step. The rest of the discussion revolved around why I chose INSEAD, what I hoped to gain from my time there, why a one year program in Europe, and which other schools I had applied to. We discovered we had a mutual interest in photography so ended up talking about that for a bit! Overall, it was a very relaxed process and lasted about 45 minutes. The questions were straightforward and nothing out of the ordinary. We spend the last ten minutes talking about my interviewer's experiences at INSEAD and he had nothing but glowing reviews. If you have a logical reason for getting an MBA at INSEAD and can articulate that well, you'll be fine."

ayersrock from United Arab Emirates
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Debrief posted on  Dec 11 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Nov 09 2018 Final Decision: Matriculating

"Alum was a graduate from the 2006 batch. She started off with an introduction about her background, her journey after INSEAD and what she does currently. I followed with my introduction. She asked me to explain my career trajectory a bit in detail. Asked me to talk an interesting project I did and what I learnt from it. Moved on to the usual suspects - why MBA, why INSEAD, what other schools did you apply to and what's the order of preference. Had a fairly long discussion on conflict resolution - she laid out the context that in INSEAD you'll work a lot in groups and people will have different opinions. How will you work through that? What role do you play in groups? Are you active or passive? What approach will you take to resolve a conflict with another group member? What will you do if there's a conflict between two other group members? Moved on what I do for fun and a bit of probing into that. Concluded with me asking her a bunch of questions for about 10-15 minutes. Lasted about 45 mins. A pretty casual and chilled out conversation."

nishantd88 from Malaysia GMAT 750; WE: 62 months; Consulting
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Debrief posted on  Dec 11 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Oct 31 2018 Final Decision: Matriculating

"Interviewer was an alum from the batch of 2007. Was a very relaxed and chilled out person. He said upfront that the interview isn't a big hurdle and is just to gauge fit. If you have been shortlisted then you tick all the boxes and this is just sort of a sanity check. It started off a bit unexpectedly. He said "Lets do it the other way round. What questions do you have for me?" Discussed in detail about his experience and memories, his learning from INSEAD and about the alumni network. Then went on to discuss about my career to date and my current role. Went through the usual questions - why MBA, why INSEAD, what other schools did you apply to and what's the order of preference. Asked two scenario based questions - a time when you had to overcome language barrier to communicate and areas of weakness you are currently working on. Overall a very relaxed and comfortable conversation."

nishantd88 from Malaysia GMAT 750; WE: 62 months; Consulting
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Debrief posted on  Feb 02 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Nov 13 2017 Final Decision: Admitted from WL

"Both the interviews done a few days ago. I was lucky to schedule both my interviews on the same day and both took place in coffee shop in London. Both alums did their MBA more than 10 years ago but were still able to recall their memories. Interview 1: The alumni is working in Ecom - the same sector where I am from. It was nice conversation mostly around walk me through your resume, why MBA, Why INSEAD and why now? Then she asked me about a time when I worked in multi-cultural team, how I resolve a conflict, a project where I succeeded, team I led etc. She also asked what I fear the most about studying at INSEAD. What other schools I applied to and how will I take the final decision if selected in all. I felt I could have done much better by being more structured but what's done is done. Interview 2: The venue was 45 minutes away from 1st interview place and I was scared to be late- even though I had good one and a half hour to cover that distance. Luckily I reached before time :). The interviewer was prepared and I could feel that he studied my application before meeting. He created a timeline of my entire professional career and switches that I made and asked specific questions to me why I did what I did. This was followed by usual Why MBA, why INSEAD and why now. What is my goal post MBA goal and if I'll chose to start my own venture instead of going to my dream job post MBA. Surprisingly, he asked me to tell about my family, where I come from to understand me better, if my husband will quit his job to join me at INSEAD. Once the interview was over, we had a conversation for more than 15 minutes about his country and his first international experience etc. Overall, both the interviews were good and conversational. My advice will be to be yourself and enjoy the conversation. Moreover, try to be short, concise and structured. Now waiting impatiently for the results - fingers crossed. Best wishes to everyone who's in the same boat as me."

sharpr05 from United Kingdom GMAT 710;
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Debrief posted on  Feb 02 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Nov 13 2017 Final Decision: Matriculating

"Less than 2 weeks before the decisions come out. As per my interviews, both were held at the alumni's office and I would say they were quite relaxed. First one was with a Japanese alumna who is a bit on the older side. She asked me the usual why INSEAD, why now, and which other schools was I applying for. She also probed my goals a bit, asking me why I need to transition to consulting in the short-term post-MBA instead of going straight to pursuing my real passion, social entrepreneurship. I just answered honestly and cited financial reasons, to which she laughed because she apparently did the same! Overall, it was a very fruitful experience. She was just checking my fit in the program. At the end of the interview, she told me that my personality and goals are a perfect fit for INSEAD. :D PS: It seems that INSEAD used to have this creative question, "Would you want to sit beside this person for 2 hours on a plane?", but she told me they scratched it out this year. The second one was with a Singaporean alumnus living in Tokyo and a fairly recent graduate. He came prepared with notes about my resume and job description essay. He was asking a lot of questions about the achievements I wrote on my resume, specifically on the scope of my contribution. I made the rookie mistake of not reviewing one tiny detail of my resume: I have close to zero recollection of a paper I published 10 years ago for an NGO I volunteered with for 4 months. Well, it was just 1 question and I think I did well on others so I'm hoping for the best. He also asked the usual why INSEAD. At the end of the interview, I asked him some questions about his INSEAD experience and recommendations on classes/professors to take. That's it for me. I wish everyone the best of luck!"

crza from Philippines GMAT 760; Manufacturing
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Debrief posted on  Feb 02 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Nov 10 2017 Final Decision: Admitted

"Interview one done. Went pretty well. Was with an Alumni who works in the O&G sector. * Asked me to take him through my CV and my life story. Asked a few questions about details of projects highlighted on the CV. Dug a bit deeper to see how I had coped with some difficult situations, etc. * Got the 3 classic questions; why an MBA, why now, why INSEAD. * What do you wanna do, what's your plan after the MBA; why do you think you need an MBA to get there. After that, it was pretty much conversational; me asking him several questions, etc. Quite an interesting and insightful experience. Now unto the second one coming up tomorrow. EDIT: So I had my second interview on Friday. It went OK in my opinion. The alumni graduated in 2013 and was very chilled. He actually send me a mail the day before confirming the venue saying "See you tomorrow. And relax, no #pressure..". So I traded my suit for a more laid back chinos and shirt with a tie. He had prepared the interview quite well. We went through my CV and I presented myself and he inquired about the different career choices I made, the motivations, etc. He asked the classic Why MBA, Why now and Why INSEAD. We spoke about my career objectives post MBA. All this lastest for 45 mins. Then I asked him quite a few questions about the INSEAD experience, what he does now, etc. All in all, we spoke for 1h45 mins. It was a very interesting exchange. Now fingers crossed while I wait for the call. Cheers and goodluck to everyone."

nche from Nigeria GMAT 670;
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Debrief posted on  Feb 02 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Oct 22 2017

"Had my interviews. Generally pretty traditional interview. First one was with a consultant, so I was asked tougher and more specific questions. It was in the office. I was asked about my career progression and talked about my work experience. There were definitely questions on cultural sensitivity and awareness as well. I was asked about what other paths I considered and why an MBA. Typical interview questions. Second one was at a cafe near the office with someone in my profession. It focused more on my past experience and what I want to take away from the school. Had very traditional interview questions. All in all, pretty positive experiences."

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Debrief posted on  Feb 02 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
On Campus Interviewed on: Oct 21 2017 Final Decision: Admitted

"Completed my interviews recently. Both interviews were pretty normal and outgoing conversations, myself doing a lot of the talking and walking my interviewers through my resume. The usual stuff was present (why an MBA; why INSEAD; why now). I have a pretty compelling story (I want to move into management consulting) so these answers are all pretty straightforward and consistent in my case My first interviewer did make some tricky questions about when did I believe the EURO currency was going to collapse (¿?), probably to test my knowledge of Europe and its current political/economical situation. Even though my answer to this particular question was not very solid I believe I had in overall two very good interviews and I am definitely looking forward to decision day. My story made sense to both of them and the fact that I've worked abroad for some time definitely helps a lot."

XTsarg from Chile GMAT 700;
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Debrief posted on  Feb 02 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Oct 21 2017 Final Decision: Admitted

"I will also share my interview experience from yesterday. The alumni invited me to his office for a 30 minute chat and it was very informal and conversational. He didn't ask any trick questions--he asked why INSEAD, why MBA, why now and what I wanted to do after. We spent most of the time chatting about his experience at INSEAD, some of the traveling he did and how he stays involved with the school today. It was super relaxed and he mostly just wanted to understand what my motivations were and whether I had done enough research on the school. I'm looking forward to getting the next interview out of the way and hearing back on November 20th!"

hermes04 from Canada GMAT 720;
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Debrief posted on  Feb 02 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Jun 26 2017 Final Decision: Matriculating

"The interviews are done! Both were positive experiences but very different type of interviews. I never had the impression that I was being grilled or that they were playing a "bad cop". 1) First was 100% in the local language, the alum has been doing interviews for some time so he was straight to the point: I want to hear about your story, career path leading to an MBA and career goals, and see that everything makes sense. After that, he asked a few questions because he needed to fill the form. Those were about culture shock, extracurricular activities, etc. After that, he said my story was coherent and that now he was there for any questions and to help me make this very important decision that is doing an MBA. He said the his career would be very different had he not gone to INSEAD. We spent some time on that and he offered some good advice. Total duration: 90 minutes 2) Second was half in English and half in the local language. The alum asked many more questions this time. As I was explaining my trajectory from university until my current job, he stopped to ask questions and really understand my motivations. Lots of questions on soft skills, I think he covered everything: leadership story and style, culture shock, weaknesses, etc. During the interview we would go back and forth between these questions and him telling about his experience. He always had a smile when talking about his time at INSEAD and you could tell that he enjoyed it. He said my story made perfect sense and that he was in a very similar place when he did his MBA. Total duration: almost 2 hours Last comment to those who are still going to pass their interviews: times goes by super fast! Do not be scared of interviews that are very long, trust me, I would have stayed longer talking had I not been on a tight schedule."

private from Brazil
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Debrief posted on  Jan 31 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Apr 22 2017 Final Decision: Admitted

"So yesterday I had my second interview... so let's see how it goes :) Both interviewers graduated quite a long time ago, though maintain the network through the Alumni club. First interview took 45 minutes, was rather conversational without an intention to challenge my aims. The person had the same background (incl. company) as I do and my arguments were extremely clear for him. He was interested in my 3rd essay and the way I spend time out of office. Second interview took almost 2.5 hours. We met on a weekend for a cup of coffee and ended up chatting for quite a long time. I noticed, the interviewer was not keeping track of time and something like after 2 hours found that it is already quite late and asked me if I have any questions. I take it as a good sign, as seems I managed to capture his attention with our discussion. He is an entrepreneur and was interested in my opinion on this or that business idea, basing on my previous experience. Tried to challenge me a bit on not doing MBA, but going into consulting firm. Standard questions are why MBA, why now, why INSEAD. Be ready to provide an answer, that fits your story. Anyway, this was discussed several times on the pages of this forum :) Have my fingers crossed..."

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Debrief posted on  Jan 31 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Apr 22 2017 Final Decision: Admitted

"Completed both my interviews last week. Interview 1 was an awesome interview, we took an hour than went to get lunch together to continue our conversation. Interviewer stopped short of literally saying he would recommend me but he said my story was very strong and that I had great leadership potential. Some questions I remember: Why INSEAD? Why an MBA? What other schools have you applied to? He asked specifically about my industry experience and how I had progressed in my career (I have a lot of micro-promotions over 5 years) He asked about a time I had failed and how I overcame my struggle What are your weaknesses? All in all, this was a great 1.5-2 hour conversation. I really enjoyed the experience and we had a very organic conversation, made me very excited to go to INSEAD! Interview 2 was equally awesome, but in a different way. My interviewer was significantly more senior (SVP at a public company) and appeared to play more of a bad cop role and was less responsive to my answers (didn't show as much emotion). Definitely a more challenging exercise but I believe I did pretty well - he was almost 16 years out of his INSEAD experience and was definitely reminiscing his experience a lot. He also asked some more odd-ball questions that I had a tougher time with: What book are you currently reading (coincidentally I am reading an INSEAD-book right now :-D ) What blogs do you read? How does your company help other companies and how could you help mine? How do you learn from your mistakes, what process do you follow? In addition to these questions there were some of the standard Why INSEAD, Why MBA, Where else are you applying type questions. Overall, I think my interviews went better than I had expected although I probably could have done better on my second interview. Excited to hear back from INSEAD in 2-3 weeks!!"

ddb1990 GMAT 760;
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Debrief posted on  Jan 31 2018 [#permalink] INSEAD
Off Campus with Alumni Interviewed on: Apr 22 2017 Final Decision: Matriculating

"Hi guys, I just had my first interview. And Pierre it was indeed in French, with just a small section in English. She is a 2008 alum doing innovation strategy for a tech company: My feeling about the interview is mixed. She was nice and she said she liked my profile. Yet I felt she really grilled me on future goal questions. First she asked me to describe my company, what we do, clients and so on, as she is from a completely different industry. The classic walk me through résumé and the trinity questions, all the while stopping me on the way to get more detail. We then spent a significant amount of time on my future goals (aka why don't I just go for them without an MBA, why this particular country, why that business, which segment I am interested in and why, and it went on and on and I provided tones of examples and personal anecdotes that landed me to wanting that particular line of business ). Other questions were: - Did you get in touch with people from the industry you are targeting? What did you learn from them? - How are you going to contribute at Insead - What are your plans B and C and so on (in terms of both region and jobs). Did you apply to others schools and why?. - What does your company (boss) think about you applying, how will he take the announcement, will you consider going back after the MBA, why? - Why do you choose Fonty over Singy? - What makes you stand out on your current job Then we talked about her career journey since INSEAD and spent some time on her previous job (until 4 months ago she worked for the same company as my partner so that helped). We then started talking in "future mode" and she gave me some pieces of advice to fully enjoy the best year of my life :) :ie. to do as many things as you can before school starts: a. Get rid of the third language requirement before september (not even sure I need that 3rd language, have to check), b. Waive the finance core courses of P1 and P2, so that I can take electives during this period and ultimately have time to travel when in Singy. c. Stay in fonty on weekends (and not go back to Paris) so as not to miss out on social events. d. Get my résumé ready to shoot before I start the programme Waiting for interview two! EDIT: Here is the debrief of 2nd Interview: Interviewer: 2003 alum, Managing Director of a Subsidiary of Real Estate company. It lasted two hours, he was actually nice, but clearly challenged my short term goal. To him, Consulting just didn’t make sense. He said that I would waste my time there, that it wouldn’t get me closer to my future goal that he actually liked. All the questions were around the countries in Africa in which BCG and McKinsey are based, who the heads of offices are, the types of projects they work on, who I talked to… Then he added that his friends in Consulting in Africa don’t get so many interesting projects other than with the governments, because African companies can’t afford MBB and that multinationals signed contracts with Europe or the US. So clearly going for Africa wouldn’t help, I’d rather work from a European office, I would get more African projects that way. Then questions on my long term goal, why Kinshasa and not another city, how I would get financing, which organisms do finance projects in Congo, we talked of the World Bank, the IMF, the UN, infrastructure projects in the country, the mining industry in the east, political uncertainties, the war, my family members’ projects and it went on and on. (thank you Jeune Afrique for keeping me informed). He then said that I would be better off working in PE or for the World Bank or UNDP, and that if there are no offices in Kinshasa I could build one. He actually had a point, but I had to defend my consulting position no matter what. That was hard :lol: :lol: He said that he got it that when people had no idea what they wanted they would go to consulting, but that I have a great project and he just doesn’t believe consulting is the way. I then asked him what he said he wanted to do when he applied to INSEAD, he answered CONSULTING :). No comment. All in all other than the job part that lasted almost an hour and a half, we only spent a couple of minutes on a couple of other questions: the 3 whys, a cultural choc, and ultimately how I would qualify my personality. And that was it. On the positive side, an hour before the interview I received an email from INSEAD informing me that I was awarded a merit based scholarship, the “INSEAD’s women” one. €15k, should I be admitted of course. So I mentioned it, he laughed and said, “Why didn’t you tell me earlier? I wouldn’t have spent so much time writing”… I just don’t know what he meant by that!!! :shock: :) Now the long wait! Good luck everyone!!!"

Icecream87 from France GMAT 700; Mutual Funds and Brokerage
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