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Your comments on my personal stories regarding the second INSEADessay

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Manager
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Joined: 16 Mar 2017
Posts: 63
Location: France
Concentration: Marketing, Strategy
GMAT 1: 640 Q38 V40
GMAT 2: 710 Q47 V41
WE: Marketing (Retail)
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New post 19 Nov 2018, 09:02
Hi guys,

I wanted your comment about the "stories" I intend to describe regarding the second INSEAD essay (the two parts below in bold).

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). *

What I feel was the achievement I was the most proud of was my GMAT (710: Q47/V41). I am proud of it because I never thought I could accomplished the 90th percentile. I worked a lot for this grade, putted a lot of efforts into it, had many doubts, but still managed to hit the 700 threshold (here is my debrief ;). However, I fear that admission jurys will look at a GMAT story without great interest ; all in all 710 is not such an impressive score, they receive better GMAT everyday. In addition, for them the GMAT is mainly a requirement, not sure they'll be moved by my story.

Concerning the situation when I failed, the story is quite straightforward but this time I fear that the admission jurys will be a little too concerned by the story.
Back in 2013 I was manager of a small team and my current director was about to leave the company. At that time I had only 3 years of professional experience (I graduated in 2010) and was coveting the director position, since I knew my current director was leaving. Both my director and the CEO didn't shared my POV, and, despite my insistance, appointed another person for the position. I never really accepted this rejection, and so never gave my best to this new director. Within a couple of months things did not got better and the new director shortly got rid of me.
In hindsight, I in fact realized that I was probably not experienced enough, and that not to give my best to the new director once the decision was taken was, childish, counterproductive and led me to my doom.

I'll be happy to have your opinion on these two points.
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New post 19 Nov 2018, 11:06
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Hi loneo3006 ,

I am no expert but here is my grain of sand:

1) I believe you are right about adcom being as impressed. Maybe you could provide reasons to why you thought you wouldn't make it (sorry, I did not go through your debrief). However, I would use that opportunity to highlight one of 4 admissions criteria. Of course the GMAT is part of the academic, but maybe you have something on the leadership side at work? For example, I would say that one of my greatest accomplishment was leaving my parents home at 17 to go leave alone at a different country (and here I am still, over a decade later). I would mention that not only because I am super proud of it but I think it highlights some international motivation that the adcom is after.

2) well, it is a time that you failed! I think the most important thing here is highlight what you learned. I think it would be good if you had an anecdote that could illustrate a time when you were not so childish and didn't let competition ruin your relation with others... I don't thing is reason for concern, and it happened so long ago! The important thing is learning so mistakes are not repeated.

best of luck!

Julia
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New post 20 Nov 2018, 02:53
Hi tsuxinhah,

thanks for your reply.

I may have a second experience from which I am proud and perhaps more in line with what you describe. Right after graduation I was selected (after a thorough application process) for an internship of 6 months in Vietnam, including a professional scholarship. The selection was tough (more than an 100 applications for 15 seats), and the application process very demanding. I ended up with an intern position in Hanoi as a marketing assistant, and six months after the company recruited me as a full-time marketing staff. Later on I ended up brand & Com° Manager there ; I stayed a total of 3 years in this company.

For my failure story, thanks for your feedback. If I understand you correctly, there is no reason for me to worry about the story itself, but I should concentrate on what I learned from it? Correct?

Cheers.
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New post 20 Nov 2018, 05:23
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Hey loneo3006

For the first one, I think it is an excellent example and something that is really worth to be proud about! As you said, everybody needs to take it to join Insead. My recommendation though (since I believe there is still time! what are you aiming for, R3 Sep 19?) is wait a bit for other replies to see what the rest thinks :)

and for the failure, that is exactly what I mean. I don't think they expect an answer such as "oh, I never failed, I'm perfect" or "oh, there was this time that I did badly in an exam". I think it's more about being unable to reach a goal, understand why what you had done has not lead to your goal and what was the lesson learned. That is indeed about learning and showing that you have become a better person!

Cheers!
Julia
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New post 22 Nov 2018, 10:19
Thanks for your reply Julia,

I am not aiming yet ;) I still have to pass my IELTS, and prepare my essays. I think both will be ready by April or may 2019. So plenty of time for me. I'll wait for other comments, but the Vietnam story as a success story does sound good. thanks again.
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New post 22 Dec 2018, 20:03
loneo3006,

INSEAD looks for the following 4 factors in prospective candidates-
1. Ability to Contribute
2. Academic Capability
3. International Motivation
4. Leadership Potential

Keep that in mind while framing your essay answers. Having said that, it is not mandatory to forcefully demonstrate one of the above.

Golden rule that I suggest to all applicants to follow while describing an achievement or failure is to use STAR framework- Situation, Task, Action, Result.
For instance, talking about your GMAT score, what was the situation. If the situation is such that you could not prepare even for a day, 710 would be a brilliant score. Similarly, result/impact is equally important. What impact did your GMAT score create, it could be an impact on you or a greater impact of your action on a group.

On a personal note, I believe you have good starting point. Introspect a little more to come up with more impactful stories. Make sure you outline the STAR.

Read the article below to understand what INSEAD looks for in applicants-
http://aidmit.com/index.php/2018/09/12/ ... xperience/
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Your comments on my personal stories regarding the second INSEADessay   [#permalink] 22 Dec 2018, 20:03
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