INSEAD Essay Questions and Tips INSEAD Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself, 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. (400 words approx.) This essay is about you. Grab this opportunity to differentiate yourself among the applicant pool. However, be mindful about not expressing opinions. Use specific instances to signal your strengths and weaknesses. Use instances from your personal life, extra-curricular, social responsibility activities, or any special experiences that bring out factors that you think had a defining impact on you. With a tight word limit, a good structure is very important in this essay. Besides, focusing on any two strengths and one weakness should do well here. However, think about your weakness a lot and don’t fake it. It’s not very difficult for seasoned adcom members to make out when the candidate is faking a weakness. Further, a real weakness demonstrates a self awareness which is an important characteristic of a leader. A real characteristic also brings out the unique in you. The content in the file is copyright of the author and Apphelp. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
INSEAD Essay Questions and Tips INSEAD Essay 2: Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such. (400 words approx.) Consistency in your application is important. Choose different examples for this and the previous essay but maintain consistency in what personal characteristics you indicate. The accomplishments may come from any sphere – personal, extra-curricular or professional, but try to balance examples from every sphere across different essays and give the adcom a holistic insight into you. Remember INSEAD’s focus on international motivation, managerial potential, academic performance and diversity of background mentioned in its note at the beginning of the application document. Accordingly, an evidence of leadership and international perspective in your chosen accomplishments would be a big plus. Also understand that purely subjective statements hold little weight as accomplishments because it’s tough to verify them. Therefore, best accomplishments for this essay would be complemented by numbers. You response to why you view them as such can be used to indicate to the adcom what kind of things matter to you. Also, try not to choose a very old example, e.g., from school, etc., unless that brings out something really extraordinary in you. The content in the file is copyright of the author and Apphelp. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
INSEAD Essay Questions and Tips INSEAD Essay 3: Describe a situation taken from school, business, civil or military life, where you did not meet your personal objectives, and discuss briefly the effect. (250 words approx.) This is another form of the failure essay but the word limit restricts you from beating about the bush here. Be concise in describing the situation. Give relatively more weight to what your personal objectives were and how you failed to meet them, and the maximum weight to your introspection later and its effect on you. If possible, end your essay with a very short mention of another situation at a later time where you did meet the same personal objectives as a result of the change in you after the previous failure. Keep in mind that the failure is necessarily only on your own expectations even though you may have succeeded on others’. You should try to show to the adcom how you actively process feedback from situations, weight it on your own high standards, and change wherever needed. The content in the file is copyright of the author and Apphelp. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
INSEAD Essay Questions and Tips INSEAD Essay4: Discuss your career goals. What skills do you expect to gain from studying at INSEAD and how will they contribute to your professional career. (500 words approx.) One way to write about career goals is to divide them into short term, medium term, and long term goals. It demonstrates clarity of thought and helps you in laying out a well thought out career path with clear transition plans across different temporal bands. It also gives an easily understandable structure to your essay in minimum words. Although the question asks only about your future career goals, it’s better to add credibility by briefly relating your career choices so far to your future plans. Tell the adcom how your choice of academic, extra-curricular or professional experiences puts you in a position to pursue the career you want to. Once you have this structure laid out, explain how INSEAD’s diverse class, strong alumni body, strong international focus, and a general management program would help you move on this path to your medium term goals. If you intend to switch industry or function, explain how these resources would help you make this transition. This portion of your essay also gives you an opportunity to demonstrate to the adcom that you have researched on the school and given an offer, you are serious about joining the school. The content in the file is copyright of the author and Apphelp. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
INSEAD Essay 5: Please choose one of the following two essay topics:
Have you ever experienced culture shock? What did it mean to you? (250 words approx.), or
b) What would you say to a foreigner moving to your home country? (250 words approx.)
With a class comprising of more than 70 nationalities, INSEAD creates a multicultural environment to bring in different perspectives in student interactions. Over the years, it has trained globetrotting managers and its graduates have joined organizations in over 50 countries. Therefore, it becomes important for you to show leadership skills and cultural sensitivity relevant to an increasingly connected world.
Use this essay to show your experience with cross cultural environments and your sensitivity towards different cultures. Particularly show how you have used such an experience to your advantage and have grown with it.
It’s best to use the first essay if you have an international experience to show and the second essay if you don’t.
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INSEAD Essay Questions and Tips INSEAD Essay 6: Is there anything that you have not mentioned in the above essays that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (200 words approx.) This essay is optional. The stringent word limits of all the required essays indicate that INSEAD would like a crisp and to-the-point application. Hence, write this optional essay only if it makes your candidature outstanding However, this essay can be effectively used to give explanations for any specific weaknesses in your profile, like a gap in work experience, a low undergraduate GPA, an absence of recommendation from your current employer, etc. But rather than seeking excuses for any such weakness, try to demonstrate a strength that explains and makes up for that weakness. Also if a weakness can also potentially show up during your MBA at INSEAD, give convincing reasons to the adcom how you will not let it show up there. The content in the file is copyright of the author and Apphelp. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
INSEAD Essay Questions and Tips INSEAD Essay 7: In case of reapplication, please use this page. Your essay should state any new aspects of professional, international, academic, or personal development since your last application. We would also like you to explain your motivation for re-applying to INSEAD. This essay should not exceed 400 words. This essay is only for reapplicants. The word limit is tight. So, touch briefly on your improvements in all the areas mentioned in the question, but specifically focus on the weakness that held you back last time. If you received any feedback from the adcom last time on any specific weakness, show how you analyzed and introspected on it, what corrective actions you took and how you have successfully eliminated it or better still, made it your strength. You should also use the second part of this essay to make a strong case about your belief that the unique 1 year INSEAD program is really the ideal one for you to get the tools you need to succeed on your medium and long term goals. The content in the file is copyright of the author and Apphelp. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved.
Related Useful Links The content in the file is copyright of the author and Apphelp. Copyright 2006. All rights reserved. INSEAD Interview experiences: http://blog.apphelp.co.in/2010/11/14/insead-interview-experiencequestions-2010-for-class-of-2012/ INSEAD interview questions: http://apphelp.co.in/INSEAD-Interview-Questions-Tips.htm
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