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2008-2009 INSEAD Essay Questions and Analysis
2009-2010 INSEAD Essay Questions and Analysis
2011-2012 INSEAD Essay Questions and Analysis
2012-2013 INSEAD Essay Questions and Analysis
2013-2014 INSEAD Essay Questions and Analysis
2014-2015 INSEAD Essay Questions and Analysis
|Q1.||Job responsibilities (250 words)|
|Please give a detailed description of your job, including nature of work, major responsibilities; and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, number of clients/products and results achieved.|
|R)||This question asks for numbers and data so be as specific as possible. Take an overall view of your job avoiding the details about individual projects. Write about broad skills or functional competencies that you have developed, e.g. planning and budgeting skills, and then justify this with relevant data/ numbers. To respond to the part on employees under your supervision, don't just mention a certain number but also add in what capacity you supervised them, bringing out the extent of managerial responsibility you held.|
|Q2.||Career description (250 words)|
|Please give us a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position?|
|R)||Share your unique growth story. If you have been through several role changes and level changes, you can showcase your accomplishments and hence growth. Without repeating the job responsibilities, talk about how you have been vested with increasing levels of responsibility or how have you broadened your exposure to different areas/industries through your role changes. As far as your next position with your employer goes, you can sneak in a bit about your special accomplishments that propel you towards the next level of responsibility/seniority. You can also touch upon what opportunities you will forego in order to pursue an MBA at INSEAD.|
|Q3.||Description of yourself (400 words)|
|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.|
|R)||This seems like the easiest question, because it talks about the person most familiar to yourself - you. However, resist the temptation to make it a set of adjectives for a matrimonial posting. Rather, dig into your experiences and find qualities which will help you stand out at INSEAD ? like show your academic promise or leadership potential. Do not be shy while talking about your weakness/es ? this shows your self-awareness and maturity. Be honest and select weaknesses which are mild and workable. Divide your write-up among 2-3 strengths and 1-2 weaknesses, giving example of each.|
|Q4.||Most substantial accomplishments (400 words)|
|Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such.|
|R)||A good approach is to select two accomplishments from two different realms - one professional and another to do with a hobby/ an academic achievement. Why these achievements were substantial - because of the results you achieved or the exceptional effort you put in or the challenges you overcame to succeed? Paint a broad picture of the landscape against which you achieved the results, such as the extent of competition, the scarce resources that you had to work with or the punishing deadline you met. At INSEAD, show strengths like ability to contribute to the class, cultural acclimatization, maturity and leadership.|
|Q5.||Personal objectives (250 words)|
|Describe a situation taken from school, business, civil or military life, where you did not meet your personal objectives, and discuss briefly the effect.|
Can you analyze a situation where you failed and draw lessons from it?
It is important that you cite the objectives, your role, failure statement, analysis of what went wrong and your learning. Therefore, the failure itself is not as important as how you viewed it, how you introspected and improved for similar future assignments. Thus, devote good words to explain how you were affected by the failure and what did you learnt from the whole incident.
|Q6.||Career goals (500 words)|
|Discuss your career goals. What skills do you expect to gain from studying at INSEAD and how will they contribute to your professional career.|
Get to the goals straight and do not talk about career summary or progression.
Think hard about the career choice you wish to make post MBA. Again, it is not so important that you have the next twenty years of your career path neatly charted out but it is important that you understand your personal aspirations and the impact of an MBA, an INSEAD MBA on your future.
Get to learn more about academics, experiences and opportunities at INSEAD (read http://mba.insead.edu/academics/ and http://knowledge.insead.edu/home.cfm) and attend information sessions, meet current students or alums, research INSEAD?s online resources and visit the campus, if possible.
|Q7.||Culture shock (250 words)|
|Have you ever experienced culture shock? What did it mean to you?|
The intention here is to find out if an applicant can acclimatize in an alien environment.
INSEAD is acclaimed for diversified cultural interactions and it is very important for a new student to feel comfortable. Talk about incident/s when you experienced a new culture, found something out of your perceived notions and were in for a shock! Now, talk about how you coped with the frustrations, adjusted to the surroundings and came out as a winner. This experience could make you learn something about yourself, help you look at things from a different perspective, give you a new professional direction or gradually appreciate the goodness in that new setting.
|Q8.||Foreigner (250 words)|
|What would you say to a foreigner moving to your home country?|
|R)||Are you knowledgeable about your country and can you help others to enjoy their stay? Keep the tone of this answer even and balanced. You neither have to sing paeans in praise of your country or its culture, and nor should your answer read like a list of do's and don?ts for a foreign immigrant. The question has to be answered more in abstract and general terms and you should not unnecessarily get into factual details about your country. Informative advice can be the main theme. For example you can write about common social and cultural etiquette followed in your country that can help an immigrant acculturate himself in dealing with your country's people. You could also point out some interesting pursuits or activities or suggest groups which he could associate himself with in order to learn more about and establish a social network in your country.|
Please Note: We try to ensure that the essay questions are updated, however, we strongly suggest that you check school's website for the most authentic information.