How to get into INSEAD?

How to get into Insead ?

INSEAD MBA program is ranked #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.

WHAT ARE THE INSEAD MBA REQUIREMENTS?

DIVERSITY: 

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.

INTERNATIONAL MOTIVATION: A CRITICAL INSEAD MBA REQUIREMENT

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 post-graduation and this international motivation should be brought in your application. 

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

ACADEMIC REQUIREMENTS FOR INSEAD MBA:

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 requirement to judge for your 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 Admission, it will simply ask you for another attempt. So, the program motivates everyone to apply and not restrict themselves because of their scores. But being a primary requirement, you do need to exhibit your academic prowess.

AGE AND WORK EXPERIENCE: 

Age is not a requirement in INSEAD. The program does not specify a minimum or maximum age. Still, age and work experience are considered by the 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.

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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 application is to connect each experiential dot logically and bring “collinearity” in your application.

Class Profile of INSEAD

ARE YOU A GOOD FIT FOR INSEAD MBA?

For every business school that you’re applying to, the foundation of a good the 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 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 program? Based on our experience, we have collated a few factors that will help you determine if you’re a good fit for the program or not. And how can you communicate your fit to INSEAD business school in the applications?

ABILITY TO ADAPT TO A FAST-PACED ENVIRONMENT: ADAPTING THE PACE OF THE PROGRAM

INSEAD MBA program moves at a breakneck pace. Therefore, before anything, you should first decide if you want to go for the program. If yes, then you should have the ability to be a quick-decision maker! While the 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 program looks for is the feasibility of the plans, and this you can consider as one of the very important requirements!

GLOBAL OUTLOOK TO YOUR CAREER

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.

SHOW YOUR FIT FOR THE POST-MBA CAREER YOU MAY GO FOR AFTER INSEAD MBA

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

ABILITY TO CONTRIBUTE TO INSEAD’S BUSINESS SCHOOL COMMUNITY

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:

  1. How will your ideas and culture fit in and contribute to INSEAD business school’s international community?
  2. How are your ECs going to contribute to the clubs and organizations in the INSEAD MBA Program?
  3. How is your professional background going to contribute to the INSEAD MBA program?
  4. What do you seek to gain from all of the INSEAD MBA community regarding career, skills, and personality?

HOW TO GET INTO INSEAD?

Your Personal Story:

When applying to the program, you should know that the school is very interested in your personal story. When you ask the question, what does INSEAD look for? It’s your story! Your Personal story is apparent through many essay prompts, which ask applicants to be candid and personal in discussing their interests in the business during the 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 the application

INSEAD 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. 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 this 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 application! There will always be someone more accomplished in number than you. You’re giving the 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 program!

In your application, highlight a major life event that significantly impacted your personality. Your resume for the application has spoken enough about your career. In this section of the 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 application. And it’s all right!

In your application, discuss your life beyond work without needing NGO experience. Share your interests and passions or a meditative activity you enjoy in this section of the application.

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

6 TYPICAL PROFILES & TIPS TO POSITION YOUR UNIQUENESS IN YOUR APPLICATION TO GET INTO INSEAD:

INSEAD business school, in its two intakes, every year receives all different kinds of profiles. We’ve categorized profiles into six types, offering advice to create standout applications for the program for each. 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.
To stand out in the competitive applicant pool, emphasize your uniqueness in your application. If your background lacks diversity for the program, showcase it through your 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. Aspirants from non-traditional backgrounds often worry about lacking a business degree or a linear career path in their applications.
If your rationale for an MBA at INSEAD is clear, your diverse background aligns with what the program values and emphasizes. Connect your experiences to narrate a journey from your current role to your post-MBA goals, highlighting MBA’s crucial role in this transition.

3. Career Changers


If you’re seeking a change in industry, country, or function, target INSEAD’s MBA program, designed to help you find the right fit. About 80% of 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 the 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 advises aiming for the 75th percentile in Verbal and Quant, prioritizing these over the overall score. Scoring below the 70th percentile requires a strong academic record or proof of intellectual ability to support your application. Since it’s a fast-track 10-month program, INSEAD does need assurance that you can thrive in the environment of the curriculum. Consider a quant-based course in accounting, statistics, or finance to offset a low GMAT, ensuring you meet its critical academic requirements.

5. Low Work Experience

Often, aspirants wonder if they can get into INSEAD business school with low work experience. Students typically have 2-10 years of work experience, averaged at 5-6 years, assessed at enrollment time. Suppose you have 2-3 years of experience by enrollment. Prove your professional achievements and ability to contribute alongside more experienced peers in the class.

6. Limited International Experience

The 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.

Demonstrating adaptability and contribution to diverse communities meets this requirement. Also, while you look for international experience, make sure you have an international outlook in your career to bring in your 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 INSEAD alumnus now to know your chances to INSEAD.

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