It is currently 15 Dec 2017, 21:36

Close

GMAT Club Daily Prep

Thank you for using the timer - this advanced tool can estimate your performance and suggest more practice questions. We have subscribed you to Daily Prep Questions via email.

Customized
for You

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Track
Your Progress

every week, we’ll send you an estimated GMAT score based on your performance

Practice
Pays

we will pick new questions that match your level based on your Timer History

Not interested in getting valuable practice questions and articles delivered to your email? No problem, unsubscribe here.

Close

Request Expert Reply

Confirm Cancel

Events & Promotions

Events & Promotions in June
Open Detailed Calendar

INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

  new topic post reply Update application status  
Author Message
Expert Post
MBA Admissions Consultant
User avatar
B
Joined: 20 Apr 2003
Posts: 5814

Kudos [?]: 584 [0], given: 74

Location: Los Angeles CA
INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 23 Oct 2017, 16:40
Expert's post
1
This post was
BOOKMARKED
Image


Communication is key for INSEAD – in part because it is a key factor that their recruiters look for. Hence the INSEAD application elicits your communication effectiveness. First, INSEAD asks you to write reflective essays – and to do so succinctly. Balancing this emphasis on written communication is a video component -– the adcom wants to see you articulate your thoughts in a spoken, interpersonal setup as well. Ultimately, verbal acuity really matters in the INSEAD program because the ability to comprehend, synthesize, communicate, and act on complex ideas across cultures is central to global leadership.

Motivation is the second driving interest of the INSEAD adcom. The application form terms its three essays “Motivation Essays.” Keep that word “motivation” in clear focus as you draft those essays; it indicates that you should express not just what you’ve done but why – what drives you; what propels your choices, decisions, and actions. These written essays are the first “getting to know you” element. Taken together in both form and content, the written and video components should portray both sophisticated communication abilities and self-awareness of who you are and what inspires you, moves you, propels you forward.


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)

This question gets to a key point: how well do you know yourself, and are you able to openly acknowledge your motivations and shortcomings? (Perhaps one could interpret it as “Are you mature?”) Note that “strengths” and “weaknesses” are plural – and they should be personal, not professional, characteristics. A personal weakness such as “impatience with detail” could certainly have professional impact, but don’t cite a weakness that is purely work-related.

I suggest 2-3 strengths and 1-2 weaknesses. Provide examples for all of them – these examples can vary in length – sometimes a sentence will suffice. Also, try to bring in anecdotes/examples from outside work and from work. Sometimes, one anecdote can cover both a strength and a weakness, and, also, sometimes, a strength, taken to excess, can turn into a weakness – just possibilities to keep in mind when deciding on content for the essay.

The main formative factors you choose to cite may be related to and integrated with the strengths/weaknesses; in addition, you can discuss key elements of your background that differentiate or distinguish you and are truly key to your personal development.

(NOTE: There is potential for some overlap in this essay with Essay 2, so look at both questions together and organize content before writing them.)


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. (Approximately 400 words)

With only 400 words to describe 2 significant experiences, and the specified discussion points, use stories that can be told without a lot of background information. And keep in mind Essay 1 – don’t use stories that reflect exactly the same messages.

“Achievement of which you are most proud“ is a high bar, and it can be from either work or outside of work. It also should be something that reveals qualities or attributes about you that are positive and relevant. I suggest using something from the last two to three years. Luckily you don’t have to write about the failure about which you are most ashamed… ? Discuss a failure that is specific, fairly recent, and meaty enough to have rattled you a bit. Again, work or non-work topic is fine.

In discussing what you learned from the experiences and how they impacted your relationships, either identify one specific thing each for each story, or integrate “impact relationship” and “what you learned” into one point – avoid broad learnings, as targeted, specific insights will be more thoughtful and illuminating.


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? (Approximately 300 words)

Simply discuss the range of activities you participate (or have participated) in – those that are major passions, and those that are “just fun” – clarifying their relative role and importance in your life. Be straightforward in how they enriched you – insight is what’s important. Imagine you are meeting with clients or superiors – between the business dealings (and perhaps over a drink), you and they chat about non-work interests – approach this essay like such a conversation. Not quite as casual as with a peer, but still conversational, straightforward, and connecting on a person-to-person level.

Optional Essay.

Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the admissions committee? (Approximately 300 words)

Use the optional essay to explain anything that needs explaining and/or to give them one more reason to accept you. DON’T use it for a superficial summary, a restatement of your other essays, or anything similarly boring and trite. If you choose to write it, produce a tight, focused essay revealing something you haven’t yet discussed.

Video Component.

After you hit the “submit” button on the application, you will receive on your dashboard 4 questions (a link will also be emailed to you). Your application will be deemed completed only after you submit your video interviews. The questions will likely further explore your motivations and perspective. Finally, presentation matters. If they only wanted the content, presumably they would have had written questions. Find that perfect balance – be yourself, but be professional. Polished, but not slick or contrived. This “perfect balance” will be different for different people, depending on their culture, their personality, their profession. To prepare, if you haven’t had formal training in presentations or communication, it would be a good idea to try some self-videos with random questions and analyze them, looking as well as listening.

If you would like professional guidance with your INSEAD application, check out Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our MBA Application Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the INSEAD application.

INSEAD Application Deadlines for Sept 2018 Intake:

Image


INSEAD Application Deadlines for Jan 2019 Intake:

Image


***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***

Image


Image


Cindy Tokumitsu has advised hundreds of successful applicants, helping them gain acceptance to top MBA and EMBA programs in her 15+ years with Accepted. She would love to help you too. Want Cindy to help you get Accepted to INSEAD? Click here to get in touch!

Related Resources:

Answering INSEAD’s MBA Application Essay Question #1 [Short Video]
What INSEAD is Looking For
Get Into INSEAD, the International Business School, a podcast episode

This article originally appeared on blog.accepted.com.

Applying to a top b-school? The talented folks at Accepted have helped hundreds of applicants get accepted to their dream programs. Whether you are figuring out where to apply, writing your application essays, or prepping for your interviews, we are just a call (or click) away.

Contact us, and get matched up with the consultant who will help you get accepted!
_________________

Linda Abraham
Accepted ~ The Premier Admissions Consultancy
310-815-9553

Co-Author of: MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools

Follow Accepted on Twitter
Friend Accepted on Facebook
Subscribe to Accepted's Blog

Kudos [?]: 584 [0], given: 74

Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 08 Jul 2015
Posts: 3

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Re: INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Nov 2017, 18:44
Thank you for these tips. I'm struggling to find content for the optional essay.

Should I use this space to justify my relatively weak GMAT and emphasize my value in multiple years of international exposure in an unique industry?

I doubt it would be a disadvantage to leave it blank. On the other hand, it might even be a disadvantage to force something in there, am I correct?

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 0

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 24 Aug 2014
Posts: 25

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 9

Location: United States
Concentration: Healthcare, Strategy
GMAT 1: 760 Q50 V44
GPA: 3.6
Re: INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Nov 2017, 19:28
mcschan86 wrote:
Thank you for these tips. I'm struggling to find content for the optional essay.

Should I use this space to justify my relatively weak GMAT and emphasize my value in multiple years of international exposure in an unique industry?

I doubt it would be a disadvantage to leave it blank. On the other hand, it might even be a disadvantage to force something in there, am I correct?


Yes, definitely don't force something in there - that can really work to your disadvantage. If you are not able to fit that info in other essays, you can use the optional essay space [I used it to explain my unusual recommender selections]. Your experience can be emphasized in the job descriptions essay, right?

For GMAT, INSEAD has a low average. Unless it's much lower than your 'demographic' average, I don't think you need to explain that. I am not sure about this portion - will let other experts comment.

Kudos [?]: 7 [0], given: 9

INSEAD Thread Master
User avatar
B
Joined: 02 Aug 2017
Posts: 125

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 5

Location: India
Concentration: General Management, Social Entrepreneurship
GMAT 1: 730 Q49 V40
GPA: 4
WE: General Management (Education)
Re: INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Nov 2017, 22:04
ad1234 wrote:
mcschan86 wrote:
Thank you for these tips. I'm struggling to find content for the optional essay.

Should I use this space to justify my relatively weak GMAT and emphasize my value in multiple years of international exposure in an unique industry?

I doubt it would be a disadvantage to leave it blank. On the other hand, it might even be a disadvantage to force something in there, am I correct?


Yes, definitely don't force something in there - that can really work to your disadvantage. If you are not able to fit that info in other essays, you can use the optional essay space [I used it to explain my unusual recommender selections]. Your experience can be emphasized in the job descriptions essay, right?

For GMAT, INSEAD has a low average. Unless it's much lower than your 'demographic' average, I don't think you need to explain that. I am not sure about this portion - will let other experts comment.


I agree that the optional essay should be used to talk about something which will address any gaps in the other parts of the application, namely

1. Recommenders
2. Low score / GPA etc
3. For INSEAD specifically - international or diverse cultural experience which you couldn't fit anywhere else.

But if you talk about low GMAT score, you need to mention 3 things
1. Why low score - maybe external, maybe not your best performance
2. Why do you think low score is a concern - and I don't think to say that I won't get admitted will help. You can talk about how it might make adcom member unsure
3. What other evidence you have to show that this low score is a one-off case.

Hope it helps
_________________

One day, all kids will have access to an excellent education

Kudos [?]: 6 [0], given: 5

Intern
Intern
avatar
B
Joined: 07 Sep 2016
Posts: 25

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

Location: United Arab Emirates
GMAT 1: 710 Q48 V39
GPA: 4
INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 25 Nov 2017, 23:33
mcschan86 wrote:
Thank you for these tips. I'm struggling to find content for the optional essay.

Should I use this space to justify my relatively weak GMAT and emphasize my value in multiple years of international exposure in an unique industry?

I doubt it would be a disadvantage to leave it blank. On the other hand, it might even be a disadvantage to force something in there, am I correct?



mcschan86 What I do know for sure is that, leaving an optional essay blank will NOT harm you. I left mine blank (despite not exactly covering myself in glory with an incredibly high GMAT score that is "expected" from Indian applicants) and it worked out pretty well.

Honestly, justifying a low GMAT score is unfortunately seen as "justifying" and when you do that you risk the adcom wondering "why not re-take the GMAT if the applicant himself/herself is not convinced that the GMAT score isn't the best reflection of his/her abilities?" If you are trying to use the optional essay to justify your GMAT, remember, its not just about "why you slipped in the previous attempt" but you also need to succinctly find the right tone to subtly justify "why you can't retake the GMAT in the future to substantiate your claim, especially when you are allowed to re-take in a couple of weeks?" (trust me, the sweet spot for the right tone to justify this is incredibly minuscule). In my experience, I have found the latter to be the more difficult point to justify, unless you have a genuinely extenuating circumstance that doesn't allow you to re-take. Keep in mind INSEAD doesn't encourage re-applicants. Therefore, they expect you to apply to INSEAD when you are convinced and confident about putting your best foot forward.

On the upside, INSEAD is one of the very few top business schools that do not overtly obsess about GMAT more than the other data points, such as GPA, work ex - quality and quantity, international exposure, essays, interviews, etc. Infact, it would be safer for you to use the optional essay to justify a relatively low GPA or a gap inbetween professional switchovers (if you have any) because, unlike the GMAT, you can not control the outcomes of any of these data points anymore and justifying them honestly will help you present the complete picture to the adcom. My advice to you would be to take a step back, and assess (don't fret) your GMAT score. If you feel you are within the +/- 20 points of the school average (and if you are convinced you can't/don't want to retake the GMAT), then your time would be better spent in orchestrating an irresistible application with articulate essays and compelling narratives that would offset your GMAT deficit and draw the adcom towards your strengths rather than dishing them out a whole optional essay to justify the low GMAT score. So I implore you to re-think your strategy about your optional essay. The more information you give the adcom, the more scrutiny you invite on your application which in turn creates more doubts about your candidacy.

As Polonius in Shakespeare's Halet once said "Brevity is the soul of wit" - sometimes Less is More. So be Concise Confident and Convincing - in my opinion, that is what the adcom would like to see more than a guy fretting to justify a low GMAT score.

Hope this helps.

Kudos [?]: 1 [0], given: 1

Expert Post
Director
Director
User avatar
G
Status: MBA Admissions Consultant
Affiliations: MBA Prep Coach
Joined: 24 Mar 2015
Posts: 964

Kudos [?]: 207 [0], given: 77

Farrell D Hehn: MBA
INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 26 Nov 2017, 01:42
mcschan86 wrote:
Thank you for these tips. I'm struggling to find content for the optional essay.

Should I use this space to justify my relatively weak GMAT and emphasize my value in multiple years of international exposure in an unique industry?

I doubt it would be a disadvantage to leave it blank. On the other hand, it might even be a disadvantage to force something in there, am I correct?


First of all - for others to know this - no reason to "find content" for the optional. It's completely optional and only clarification and explanation info should go there.

"emphasize my value in multiple years of international exposure in an unique industry" - this is a perfect example of what not to put in there. It would really piss them off because you are given a whole set of job essays, 3 letters of recommendation and your CV to get this across.

While INSEAD doesn't really obsess about the GMAT in that the average is a bit low vis a vis US schools I have heard them say that the GMAT can always be retaken and so, they are a little less forgiving for this reason.

Also, they are extremely concerned about making sure you can "hit the ground running" as it is a one-year program and you must have the quant abilities to keep up with the breakneck speed of things. So if the GMAT is low, you need to use the optional essay to assure them you got this.

One of my current client has a poor test score however he is a CFA - doing MBAMath as well - and we are going to use the optional essay to address the test score and call attention to his good math grades in a sea of otherwise not awesome grades.
_________________

Farrell Dyan
http://MBAPrepCoach.com
http://PoetsandQuants.com/Consultants/Farrell-Dyan
"You don't often come across people so perceptive and empathetic." - EM, NYC

Kudos [?]: 207 [0], given: 77

1 KUDOS received
Intern
Intern
avatar
Joined: 08 Jul 2015
Posts: 3

Kudos [?]: 1 [1], given: 0

INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines [#permalink]

Show Tags

New post 28 Nov 2017, 19:48
1
This post received
KUDOS
Thanks a lot for all the input. I have sent in the application and have been preparing for the video virtual interview.

Found the great post that MBAPrepCoach has posted!

Curious - once I start the real 4 question video section, will I get breaks in between each question?

Do I only get one shot to film each question?

Kudos [?]: 1 [1], given: 0

INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines   [#permalink] 28 Nov 2017, 19:48
Display posts from previous: Sort by

INSEAD MBA Essay Tips & Deadlines

  new topic post reply Update application status  


GMAT Club MBA Forum Home| About| Terms and Conditions| GMAT Club Rules| Contact| Sitemap

Powered by phpBB © phpBB Group | Emoji artwork provided by EmojiOne

Kindly note that the GMAT® test is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admission Council®, and this site has neither been reviewed nor endorsed by GMAC®.