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Insead Application-Dare I hope?

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Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2015, 14:56
Hello everyone,
I'm a 25 year old Indian with a mechanical engineering undergrad from a reputed institute in India. I did my schooling in Dubai and came back to this city after undergrad. I switched paths right after college and have since worked at a boutique investment bank in corporate finance. I have progressed quite quickly and have quite a few accomplishments currently.
My selling points would be that I have a 730 on my Gmat, my resume consists of plenty (almost exclusively) of leadership roles, Cfa level 3, I speak three languages fluently (Including French and English) and my essays are pretty solid.

BUT..my undergrad gpa is pathetic, I have a 2.2. This was due to my extracurriculars. I was involved in a lot of activities in college, I was the youth head of an anti slavery foundation and made significant changes in the city I lived in. Besides social work, I won plenty of national level debates, attended conferences around the world and played violin too, I'm now a semi-profesional player. Also I passed my level 1 cfa exam during my final year of undergrad.

Insead has been my dream for years..I feel I'm right for this programme. But is my gpa too much of a handicap to succeed?

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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2015, 15:04
No it is not. Go for it.
Your profile seems good. Just be wary of applying in round 4. I think Round 3 would be a gamble. Instead save your efforts for first 2 rounds.

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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2015, 15:05
My $0.02 here. It seems you have a lot of great things, one not so good, and one bad.

I believe the age might be a factor, INSEAD is a school that values the experience, not only professional but in life. Could you elaborate on your leadership roles? Any other thing on the "life" aspect worth noting? In sum, it is not a NO, but is something you might want to outweight.

On the GPA matter, you should really get your story straight and explain all you can why you had a 2.2. It is bad, but it is one part of a whole story, with many possitive things, and even better, it apparently has a valid explanation.

On the whole, if you evaluated why making an MBA at 25 and not wait a bit, I think that if your explanation for the GPA is solid, you'll do fine.

Best of lucks!

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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2015, 15:16
HI Arjun. I personally think you have an excellent shot. Your GMAT already proves your academic capabilities and should make up for that low GPA. Also, you should definitely use the optional essay to highlight why you received a GPA by mentioning all the extra-curriculars you've done as they are definitely quite impressive. I would say you should perhaps apply for the Sept 2016 or Jan 2017 so you have a bit more work experience. I echo Bexpat's suggestion to apply in Rounds 1 and 2. Note also that most scholarships are not available in Rounds 3 and 4, if that is important to you.

Best of Luck.

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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2015, 16:05
I disagree about the age thing. 25 is still okay provided you have enough work ex to back it up. There are already a couple people in 2016 class who are 25-26.

I agree with the other comments - use the optional essay to talk about your GPA and sell the rest of your story and accomplishments.

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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2015, 21:29
It's a big relief to be encouraged like this. Thanks a lot everyone.

Just wanted to know few things though.
How much does the CFA help in offsetting my gpa and does knowing french help complement my application? If so, how much guys?
(I want to know the importance I should give to these two in my application)

Although Insead is where I want to be, I think I should apply for other colleges as well. With this GPA, should I bother looking at the top U.S schools (Harvard, Stanford, Booth etc)?

You guys have been great, thanks again.

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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 04 Jul 2015, 22:52
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No problem. But my advice to you is not to overthink this and just be confident in yourself and to apply.

CFA will definitely help. But your GPA will always be there - so you will need to address it in the essay.

French - yes it's good to know a language. How important is it? Depends on how much you emphasize it in your essays. Has French empowered you? Changed your life in a significant way? Yes? Then talk about it. No? Then just list it in the language section and be happy you've met the language criteria.

As for applying to other schools. That's up to you. Decide where you really want to go to school. Ppl generally know if they want Insead vs something else. A LOT of people just apply to INSEAD. A lot of ppl have rejected other schools for INSEAD. This is your own preference depending on your circumstances. No one else can tell you what to do here.

I think now that you know what we think - you're all set to sit down and apply. Good luck!

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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 06 Jul 2015, 10:28
Bexpat wrote:
No problem. But my advice to you is not to overthink this and just be confident in yourself and to apply.

CFA will definitely help. But your GPA will always be there - so you will need to address it in the essay.

French - yes it's good to know a language. How important is it? Depends on how much you emphasize it in your essays. Has French empowered you? Changed your life in a significant way? Yes? Then talk about it. No? Then just list it in the language section and be happy you've met the language criteria.

As for applying to other schools. That's up to you. Decide where you really want to go to school. Ppl generally know if they want Insead vs something else. A LOT of people just apply to INSEAD. A lot of ppl have rejected other schools for INSEAD. This is your own preference depending on your circumstances. No one else can tell you what to do here.

I think now that you know what we think - you're all set to sit down and apply. Good luck!


Agree 100%. I think you should always have a backup plan, but always on schools you think you'll love. INSEAD is very unique, and it's true that the yield is about 80% according to reports, comparable to H/S/W. If you're possitive you want to go to INSEAD, then apply there and keep a second option in case you get dinged.

Good luck!

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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope? [#permalink]

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New post 19 Feb 2016, 16:12
If INSEAD is your dream school, you should definitely give it a shot. Your international exposure and CFA does help. If you could clearly demonstrate your leadership experiences and show how INSEAD fits your post MBA goals, it would help boost your chances.

You would need to address your low GPA and convince them that you will be able to keep pace and benefit from the program.

Wish you all the best!
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Re: Insead Application-Dare I hope?   [#permalink] 19 Feb 2016, 16:12
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