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INSEAD Essay Tips 2015-2016

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INSEAD Essay Tips 2015-2016  [#permalink]

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New post 10 Apr 2015, 21:47
Essays are a boon when you are trying to differentiate yourself from other highly qualified candidates and you are in luck that INSEAD gives you that opportunity! Through its essays, INSEAD wants to know what makes you tick, what makes you the person you are today and how you see yourself, so make sure to take a personal bent on your stories. Whether you are writing about your reasons for your career choices, or what you consider your proudest achievement or how your activities outside of work have enriched you, try to show a connect with your deeper self. Also if at multiple points in your past, the reasons for your INSEAD MBA motivation become apparent, even better!

Job Essays

1. Briefly summarise 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. What would be your next step in terms of position If you were to remain in the same company?(350 words max.)

You must clearly address all SEVEN parts of this question, but give special attention and space to your accomplishments. What you do is only one aspect of your profile, INSEAD is interested in knowing what you are capable of achieving. INSEAD also wants to know your exact level in your organization, your managerial experience and thus your leadership potential, so make sure you capture all this information clearly.

The added aspect of where you could be with the company is to know your longer term career vision and also possibly see how that relates to your MBA goal.

2. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations. (350 words max.)

When talking about your career path, show clearly why you decided on that path and what influenced you to make those career choices. Ideally all the turns on the road would fit nicely into a logical theme. Try to dig deeper and show them your true motivations. As much as possible, show that you chose your career proactively, not passively. If you have taken unexpected career moves then put more emphasis on those choice to give clarity to the reader.

While you are writing, note that question asks you to talk to someone at a social gathering so your tone should be more like how you speak than how you write. You could try to speak your answer into a voice recorder and transcribe that to capture a more spontaneous and natural flow in your tone. Also avoid all technical jargon, and use simple short sentences if possible. If you are comfortable, a dash of humor won't hurt- it will show your true personality if it comes naturally to you.

(Optional) 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.

A straightforward question expecting a simple answer. If you are not employed you could be still engaged in productive pursuits. You could be taking extra courses, perhaps giving your time to volunteering, taking a long due vacation with friends and family or simply taking time off to introspect and contemplate about your post MBA plans. Use this space to not only show the activities and occupations but also through these show what motivates you on a personal level and present them such that they will make you an attractive candidate for INSEAD.

Personal Essays

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. (600 words max.)

To summarize and synthesize your personal development till date, while selling yourself to the adcom all in 600 words! Not an easy feat!

One way to approach this question is to look at themes and patterns in your life and the choices you have made. Avoid talking about yourself in terms of your job title and the activities your pursue. Rather use this space to talk about your passions, desires, dreams, wishes and life experiences that have left deep impact on you. How have you become the way you are today. Are you a survivor? An explorer? A cautious optimist? What events and influences have shaped you, have built your strengths and weaknesses. It is interesting that often a strength can be also a weakness and vice versa depending on the context, so think deeply and write a thoughtful introspective answer.

When stressing your strengths pick areas that you want the INSEAD admissions committee to notice you for and definite weakness areas that, while not debilitating, are not superfluous either. Generally stick to weaknesses you can eradicate or improve upon - after all the purpose of mentioning weaknesses is not to convince the INSEAD admissions committee that you are thoroughly unfit to be a part of the institution!

An example is like a picture- if you can paint a vivid imagery with details, your reader will see and feel your strengths very clearly. So use examples generously. Maybe you can start the essay with an anecdote!

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. (400 words max.)
Last year INSEAD asked these questions separately:
2013-2014 Essay: Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date (if possible specify one personal and one professional), explaining why you view them as such. (400 words maximum)
2013-2014 Essay: Describe a situation taken from your personal or professional life where you failed. Discuss what you learned. (400 words maximum)

This year they have been combined into this 2-in-1 essay making it much harder to clearly show conflicting themes. It is not mentioned if INSEAD wants a personal or professional story so you have the liberty to pick whichever you want. Your choice should be based on what is most meaningful to you, where you had most contribution (success or failure) and the impact of your learning.

When deciding on the stories, a general rule is to pick something which happened in your recent past- preferably within last 2-4 years. If you can’t think of an impactful event in this time period, pick an example which has had lasting influence on you and has shaped you the way you are today. If possible, try to effectively leverage the previous essay to reinforce your strengths and address your weaknesses.

Read rest of the essays and their tips here ... g-tips.htm
INSEAD Essay Tips 2015-2016 &nbs [#permalink] 10 Apr 2015, 21:47
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INSEAD Essay Tips 2015-2016

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