How to get into INSEAD?

INSEAD mba program is ranked no.#1 according to Financial Times Global Business School ranking, 2021, and it has one of the most prestigious MBA programs in the world. The reason is its 100% success rate, i.e., so far, not a single student has failed in INSEAD MBAs 22 years-long journeys.

Another reason why the INSEAD mba program is among one of the top MBA programs is, its short duration and record-breaking placements in the leading sectors. In addition, the INSEAD mba program holds a strong track record of placements for its MBA students. For example, out of 1020 students, 985 INSEAD MBA students participated in recruitment activities, and 92% of students got job offers within three months of graduation from the INSEAD mba program.

Getting into the INSEAD MBA program takes a lot of effort and an excellent understanding of this top-notch school and its culture. Therefore, it’s essential to understand what INSEAD MBA requirements are and how you should craft your Insead MBA application essays to mark the adcoms. This article will help you know how to get into the INSEAD MBA program. You will get to see if you have the qualities and fulfill the INSEAD MBA requirements and how you can stand out from the over-represented MBA applicant pool applying to the INSEAD mba program.



INSEAD business school is known as the “Business school of the world,” and it has the reason for this reputation. While building its MBA class, one of the critical INSEAD MBA requirements is diversity. And this Insead MBA requirement is not only about your passport. It’s about the culture you bring in, your language, gender, diversity in professional backgrounds, and the flavor and ideas you bring into the classroom. So, you need to bring this diversity into your INSEAD MBA applications. We often heard INSEAD MBA applicants are concerned about getting into INSEAD MBA if they belong to an over-represented MBA pool which is mostly the case for Indian engineers. But you are over-represented only in terms of your culture and professional background.  You still are a unique person in terms of your thoughts, ideas, perspectives, and contributions to the world. And INSEAD MBA program highly emphasizes your diversity in terms of your contribution to their community.


All the primary Business schools consider the international experience an important parameter, and so does INSEAD business school. Therefore, international experience is one of the most critical INSEAD MBA requirements. Still, instead of looking into the global companies you have worked for or the global travels you have made, the INSEAD MBA program is majorly looking for an applicant’s ability to work with diverse sets of people. The Insead MBA application needs you to exhibit that you can thrive in different cultures and with people who speak various languages and mindsets. 

Moreover, even if you have not worked with different global cultures, you could still score this INSEAD MBA requirement by highlighting the situations where you have worked and grew with other people who may have different thought processes and perspectives.

Also, it’s vital to exhibit international motivation in your career to stand out for the INSEAD MBA application. You should be envisioning yourself working in a global environment after, maybe, five-ten years of INSEAD MBA post-graduation and this international motivation should be brought in your INSEAD MBA application. 

You can sign up for this workshop which extensively discusses how you can show your international experience in the Insead MBA application. 


To showcase your academic potential, you have two significant parameters. First, as one of the critical INSEAD MBA requirements, it looks for candidates from good educational institutions. Because it provides an objective analysis of candidates’ potential to adcoms and helps them make an easy decision if they’re in a conundrum about one’s English abilities and potential. Second, the GMAT is another important INSEAD MBA requirement to judge for your INSEAD MBA application. If your undergrad GPA is good, you might get excused for a low GMAT and vice-versa. But if you have both these scores at the lower end, you may still apply, and if your overall profile is strong and a good fit for INSEAD MBA Admission, it will simply ask you for another attempt. So, the INSEAD MBA program motivates everyone to apply and not restrict themselves because of their scores. But being a primary INSEAD MBA requirement, you do need to exhibit your academic prowess.


Age is not an INSEAD MBA requirement. INSEAD MBA program does not specify a minimum or maximum age. Still, age and work experience are considered by the INSEAD MBA admissions committee of a business school to see and evaluate the impact you have created in the company and the professional qualities you possess. It does not matter if you have two years of experience or ten years of experience; what matters the most is what positive impact you have created in the company and work community so far.

B-schools look for work experience to know your worth, to see that you are a leader who has the potential to contribute to yourself, your team, and your organization. Thus, to get into INSEAD, one of the key aspects of an INSEAD MBA application is to connect each experiential dot logically and bring “collinearity” in your application.

Class Profile of INSEAD


For every business school that you’re applying to, the foundation of a good INSEAD MBA application is to determine your fitness to a school and communicate it in your applications. Unless you do not know what the school looks for and how you can contribute to its community, you are making no case of your candidature! So why should business schools select you? How are they benefitting by selecting you over others? And you are gaining from their MBA program?

This is why it is essential to understand what INSEAD MBA admission looks for and if you are bringing precisely the qualities it needs in you- once you crack this, you will get the answer to your question- how to get into the INSEAD MBA program?. Based on our experience, we have collated a few factors that will help you determine if you’re a good fit for the INSEAD MBA program or not. And how can you communicate your fit to INSEAD business school in the INSEAD MBA applications?


INSEAD MBA program moves at a breakneck pace. Therefore, before anything, you should first decide if you want to go for the INSEAD  MBA program. If yes, then you should have the ability to be a quick-decision maker! While the INSEAD MBA program is a perfect fit for career switchers (as reported in the employment report), you should be able to explore quickly and decide quickly as to which path you want to tread post-MBA. Therefore when it comes to career goals, what the INSEAD MBA program looks for is the feasibility of the plans, and this you can consider as one of the very important Insead mba requirements!


Since INSEAD business school is one of the few schools that is global in its most authentic sense and has its students placed in almost every part of the world, you should have the potential to have a global impact through your endeavors and it should be shown in your Insead MBA application. To communicate the same in your essays for the INSEAD MBA application, give a global outlook to your long-term goals- how, through your efforts, are you going to make an impact in the industry you’re going to post-MBA? Trust us, if you bring this INSEAD MBA requirement in your application- you already are making a strong case for your candidature.


If you already have a good idea of where you wish to go post-MBA after the INSEAD MBA  (which you should have!), it is essential to communicate that you have the skills and traits to thrive in that field with flying colors in your INSEAD MBA application. Your Insead MBA application should reflect how feasible your goals and employability are for the career mentioned in your INSEAD MBA essays. Once again, we would highlight a workable career plan as one of the critical Insead mba requirements. In addition, every business school wants each of its students to be employable and placed at a reputable company. So, if you can exhibit that you’re a candidate a company intends to take in, this makes a strong case for your admissions to the INSEAD MBA program. 

To give you more perspective, if you wish to pursue a career in the tech industry, one of the essential qualities is tolerance for ambiguity and the ability to thrive in an uncertain world. Technology is one of the most dynamic industries which has a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty lay ahead. Similarly, you need to communicate the qualities that finance or consulting, or entrepreneurship requires in your INSEAD MBA application.

Read more about the Insead MBA employment report, its analysis, and how to explain your career choices in Insead MBA essays


Again,this is the foundation of your applications.  Now that you have a pretty good idea of what INSEAD MBA admission is about and what the INSEAD MBA program looks for, you should be able to know how you’re going to contribute to it. In every aspect of your INSEAD MBA application, you must be talking about your fit to the school! 

Here are some questions for you to introspect. How will your ideas and culture fit in and contribute to INSEAD business school’s international community? How are your ECs going to contribute to the clubs and organizations in the INSEAD MBA Program? How is your professional background going to contribute to the INSEAD MBA program? And what do you seek to gain from all of the INSEAD MBA community regarding career, skills, and personality?


Your Personal Story: When applying to the INSEAD MBA program, you should know that the school is very interested in your personal story. When you ask the question, what does Insead MBA look for? It’s your story! Your Personal story is apparent through many INSEAD MBA essay prompts, which ask applicants to be candid and personal in discussing their interests in the business during the INSEAD MBA admission. Now is a great time to remind them of your international outlook by discussing your experiences living abroad, your multicultural family, or your experience with a significant global issue.

Clear Communication of your Career goals in Insead MBA application- INSEAD MBA program is interested in seeing its applicants create a realistic career plan that is executable within the one-year MBA format. You must think through the short-term strategy and how you will achieve it from the given format at INSEAD MBA. If you feel you need an internship to reach your post-MBA goals, apply in the January intake at INSEAD business school. But your career goals should be feasible to achieve through an INSEAD MBA program.

Extracurriculars and Achievements: Let’s understand each of them separately. For Accomplishments, do not speak about your career achievements in terms of the number in your Insead MBA application! There will always be someone more accomplished in number than you. You’re giving the INSEAD MBA admission committee an objective parameter from which it can very easily compare you with other applicants. If it finds someone who has achieved more than you, then a high possibility of you getting dinged from the INSEAD mba program! Here is the time to give your INSEAD MBA application a taste of your personality. Talk about your life’s major event, which has brought drastic changes or impacts on you as a person. Your resume for the INSEAD MBA application has spoken enough about your career. In this section of the Insead MBA application, delve deep, look into your characteristics and values, and bring them on paper.

For ECs, most people are concerned that they do not have many extracurriculars for the INSEAD MBA application. And it’s all right! You do not need to always work in an NGO to speak about in this section of your INSEAD mba application. You have a life beyond work, and you only have to talk about that life. So bring your interests in this section of the INSEAD MBA application, how you’re passionate about something or simply something you enjoy doing, and meditative activity for you!

You can learn more about explaining your ECs and achievements in your INSEAD MBA application by signing up for this session with our founder.


INSEAD business school, in its two intakes, every year receives all different kinds of profiles. So we have divided all these kinds of profiles into six types, and here is our advice for positioning a stand-out application to get into the Insead MBA program for the six profiles. We hope you can relate to one of them!

1. Indian Engineers/IIT Professionals: These are some of the over-represented MBA applicants from which INSEAD business school receives numerous applications every year. Therefore to survive the cut-throat competition in this pool and to get into Insead MBA, you need to bring out the uniqueness in your INSEAD MBA application. INSEAD MBA program looks for diversity and if you don’t have the privilege of variety in terms of background, bring it in terms of personality and ideas. Try to weave a story that leaves an impact on the reader. You can look into the essays of one of the IIT professionals here.

2. Non-Traditional Background:  If you have a non-traditional background, say, doctor, artist, scientist, etc., you are advantageous. We have seen INSEAD MBA aspirants from these non-traditional backgrounds fret over not having a business degree or a steady career path to join dots in their INSEAD MBA application. But as long as you’re rationale for pursuing an MBA at INSEAD Business School, you have the advantage of diversity which the INSEAD MBA program looks for and highly emphasizes! All you need to do is connect the experiential dots and weave a story that can connect the dots from point A in your role career to point D in your career (chosen goals of your post-MBA) and in which the INSEAD MBA plays a crucial part.

3. Career changers: If you are someone who is not satisfied with the industry you are in, the country you work in, or the function you are performing, you must target INSEAD business school since its MBA program is designed in such a manner that It will help you find the right industry, country, and function. About 80% of INSEAD MBA students make a change in one of these dimensions, and about 25% make a change on all three dimensions. If you think you’ll benefit from an internship during your MBA, you are well-advised to go for INSEAD MBA’s January intake. But make sure that the career you wish to pivot to is possible through the 10-month program at the INSEAD business school.

4. Low GMAT score: The average GMAT of INSEAD stands at 709, while the range is typically around 600 to 800. INSEAD MBA program recommends you to target the 75th percentile on both Verbal and Quant, and it gives more weightage to this breakdown than the overall score. If you score less than the 70th percentile, you better have a solid academic track record or other evidence of your intellectual prowess to bring academic potential in your INSEAD MBA application. Since it’s a fast-track 10-month program, INSEAD MBA does need assurance that you can thrive in the environment of the curriculum. You can take some quant-based course in case of low GMAT in accounting, statistics, or finance, but make sure you fulfill the academic requirements as it’s one of the most critical INSEAD MBA requirements.

5. Low Work experience: Often, INSEAD MBA aspirants wonder if they can get into Insead business school with low work experience. On average, INSEAD MBA students have five to six years of work experience, and the range is about two years to ten years. Your work experience is measured by the time you enroll. Suppose you have 2-3 years of experience by enrollment (when you will start your INSEAD MBA program). In that case, you need to prove that you have professional accomplishments and the ability to contribute to the class and teammates who are ahead in their careers than you in the INSEAD MBA class.

6. Limited International Experience: INSEAD MBA admissions committees look for international experience and have a separate space. But the international experience, contrary to popular opinion, does not only travel across borders. So if you can demonstrate your ability to adapt and contribute to diverse communities, you very much fulfill this INSEAD mba requirement! Also, while you look for international experience, make sure you have an international outlook in your career (that you need global exposure to pursue your professional and personal goals) to bring in your INSEAD MBA application.

Look at one of the candidates who had minimal international experience but is now pursuing his MBA from INSEAD business school.

If INSEAD business school is one of your target schools and you are worried about your chances because of some gaps in your profile, we want to assure you everyone has holes in their profile! You are not alone. All you need is the right direction! We are here for you. Connect to an INSEADer now to know your chances to INSEAD.

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