Q&A With INSEAD MBA Programme’s Assistant Director Of Marketing

INSEAD, was kind enough to take time to answer my questions about the MBA Program. Our interview was conducted both by telephone and email. By the way, Deborah will attending the World MBA Tour this September (Tokyo, Seoul, Shanghai, and Taipei). While these fairs can get crowded, this is really a good chance to ask her questions.

ADAM: How important are the application essays in identifying who to acknowledge? DEBORAH: All the components of the application are similarly important and offer the admissions committee with valuable information. I would say that candidates need to take great treatment when writing their essays, choosing their recommenders, and finding your way through our two interviews.

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From the essays we have to learn what is unique about you as an individual. Please tell us what experiences and accomplishments you experienced so far and where you would like to see the MBA take you. Spend some time clearly determining goals and articulating why you feel INSEAD is the area for you and be sure your essays are an authentic manifestation of who you are.

One suggestion is to have your family and friends read your essays to evaluate if they appear genuine. The people who write your suggestion words should be people who know you very well in a professional context. We’d preferably like to listen to from your present supervisor. Lastly, while preparing for your interview just relax and become yourself! ADAM: Why does INSEAD require two interviews with alumni? DEBORAH: The alumni help the admission committee determine if you are a good fit for the program.

Two is an excellent way to see if views about you are aligned. We expect our alumni interviewers to help us see whether applicants are deciding on our program for the right reasons. ADAM: Sometimes when I read or listen to about INSEAD interviews, it almost seems like one interviewer is being intentionally aggressive and the other much less so.

Sometimes I believe this is probably simply a kind of post-facto understanding, but is some real difference between your two interviewers there? DEBORAH: The interviewers are given the same instructions. We don’t inform one to become more aggressive than the other. However, when possible, we do try to have candidates interview with one old alum and one more junior alum.

We expect the greater senior alum to have a stronger perspective on the overall management potential of the applicant and the future efforts one might make as part of the alumni community. We would expect a junior alum to evaluate the candidate from the perspective of the peer. Will this applicant be happy in the INSEAD program? ADAM: How important are campus trips? Do you retain track of who visits? Can it impact their chances for admission? DEBORAH: Campus trips don’t influence admissions decisions. From our perspective, the visits are important for the candidates to allow themselves the time to better understand the programme.

I encourage all students that are thinking about applying to the school to visit the campus, get a feel for the surroundings and understand if the programme is an excellent fit on their behalf. ADAM: How often will INSEAD waitlist applicants? Can you provide some given information about that? DEBORAH: INSEAD runs a brief waitlist that is reviewed continually to monitor diversity of class.

The potential for being admitted from the waitlist varies by consumption, but we certainly confess some of those placed on the waitlist. ADAM: Can you provide my readers with some notion of how difficult it is to get into INSEAD? DEBORAH: While I cannot provide information about acceptance rates, I could say that we experienced a 20% application increase from last year. Keep in mind that INSEAD attracts a highly self-selecting pool of applicants.