INSEAD Essays for September 2015 Intake

For the September 2015 intake, INSEAD asks applicants to answer the following job description and motivation essays. Job Description Essays Essay 1 Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, …

For the September 2015 intake, INSEAD asks applicants to answer the following job description and motivation essays.

Job Description Essays

Essay 1
Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant employees under your supervision, size of budget clients/products and results achieved. What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (350 words max.)

Essay 2
Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking to someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations. (350 words max.)

Essay 3 (Optional)
If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme.

Motivation Essays

Essay 1
Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), 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. (600 words max.)

Essay 2
Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (400 words max.)

Essay 3
Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.)

Essay 4
Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (300 words max.)

Essay 5 (Optional)
Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (300 words max.)

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INSEAD Deadlines for January, September Intakes

INSEAD Admitted Student Profile

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Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz

Welcome to the latest edition of Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz, our periodic check-in with some of the MBA blogosphere’s applicant and student contributors. This week, MBA bloggers share their school selection criteria, reasons for applying, …

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Welcome to the latest edition of Stacy Blackman’s B-School Buzz, our periodic check-in with some of the MBA blogosphere’s applicant and student contributors. This week, MBA bloggers share their school selection criteria, reasons for applying, and tips for keep your recommenders on task.

Advice for international students—Recent Tepper MBA grad CCatcher shares important advice for other international students considering an MBA in the United States. Some industries are more prone than others to facilitate work authorization after graduation, so she urges candidates to thoroughly research job placement before embarking on the arduous b-school journey.

Funemployment, not all it’s cracked up to be—The summer before an MBA program is a hectic one, even if you’re not still slogging away at the office ’til August to save every last penny to finance the endeavor. Hamm0 points out that the long academic to-do list from Cornell’s Johnson School and myriad other pre-MBA tasks have encroached on his “funemployment.”

Exploring the “Why’s”TexasWannaBeCali shares a random list of reasons why she wants to pursue an MBA that goes beyond the customary goals of making more money or transitioning to another industry. Her personal story is compelling, and if she can firmly connect those dots with her future career goals, the admissions committee is sure to be wowed.

Recommender reminders—MBA applicant Scott Duncan offers five reminders that prospective b-school candidates should keep in mind since the letters of recommendation are an aspect of the application over which you have so little control.

The science of school selection—Seeing the data for each program on an Excel spreadsheet helps inform Pulling that MBA Trigger‘s school selection process, putting Yale SOM at the very top due to its brand prestige in India and what she calls a beautiful mix of the old and the new.

Do you have an MBA-centric blog? Want it featured in an upcoming B-School Buzz post? If so, email me at buzz@StacyBlackman.com.

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B-School Researchers Find Link Between Reflection and Learning

Researchers from Harvard Business School, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, and HEC Paris have found that developing a daily writing habit of just 15 minutes a day could pay off in spades when it comes to …

Researchers from Harvard Business School, UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School, and HEC Paris have found that developing a daily writing habit of just 15 minutes a day could pay off in spades when it comes to improving job performance and advancing your career.

The study’s authors hypothesized  that when individuals reflect on their task performance and share their insights with others, they perform better on subsequent tasks as compared to individuals who do not reflect, even when they have had more time to practice on the first task.

Participants who were tasked with doing a daily written reflection did 22.8 percent better on an assessment than the control group. The physical act of writing things down is more beneficial than simply reflecting on the day’s events, says paper co-author Bradley Staats, an associate professor of operations at Kenan-Flagler, because the act of writing imposes a discipline to stay focused.

These findings are a departure from previous work, which equates direct learning with learning-by-doing. Researchers found that “learning-by-thinking” makes experiences more productive.

Interestingly, researchers did not find an additional boost in performance when individuals shared the insights from their reflection efforts with others.

“I thought reflection might help a bit, but I didn’t expect it to make such a meaningful impact on performance,” Staats says. “These people weren’t spending extra time at work — they were spending 15 minutes less on training each day so they could reflect, however by reallocating their time in such a small way we see a significant, positive impact on performance.”

Reflection is a powerful mechanism behind learning, and these researchers believe their findings give further weight to the statement made by American philosopher, psychologist, and educational reformer John Dewey: “We do not learn from experience…we learn from reflecting on experience.”

The hurdle for many, though, will be summoning the discipline to maintain this daily writing habit—no small task in our hectic, over-crammed lives.

For more details about this study, read Learning by Thinking: How Reflection Aids Performance.

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Don’t Make These 4 Common Video Interview Mistakes

A skyrocketing number of business schools and employers have integrated a video interview platform such as Skype into their screening process, which means applicants need to adapt to make sure they present themselves with the …

A skyrocketing number of business schools and employers have integrated a video interview platform such as Skype into their screening process, which means applicants need to adapt to make sure they present themselves with the same poise, charisma and class as during a traditional in-person interview.

BusinessWeek published a really useful article with input from various MBA admissions directors offering do’s and dont’s for anyone preparing for a virtual interview. Here are four common mistakes they’ve encountered, and how to avoid them.

Dressing Inappropriately—Most applicants have a clear grasp of the meaning of professional dress, but a number of admissions officers report that the standard seems to slide when the interview is conducted over Skype, particularly when it comes to the apparel below the desk. If you need to stand up for any reason during the interview and have nothing but boxers on, rest assured that is an impression the interviewer won’t soon forget.

Losing Your Cool with Tech Glitches—Technological glitches such as dropped audio or a frozen feed are almost par for the course, but admissions staff say how you react to the situation is what really counts. Maintaining poise and keeping your frustration in check will leave a positive impression on your interviewer. Swearing at your speakers, on the other hand, will not.

Being Careless About Your Background—Not your personal background, mind you, but that which literally appears behind you as you participate in the video chat. As with clothing choices, the backdrop you choose can make a negative impression if the interviewer is distracted by the messy bookcase or illuminated TV screen over your shoulder. Clean, clear, and well-lit is the way to go here.

Not Practicing Beforehand—Video interviewing is both convenient and efficient, but takes some time to get used to in order to come across in a natural way. Some people are distracted by their appearance, others find themselves talking in a tone that’s altogether different from a face-to-face conversation. Make sure you conduct various practice chats and seek feedback on your performance until you’re satisfied that you’re conversing with ease.

Randy Bitting, founder of InterviewStream, which sells interview preparation systems to schools including nearly two dozen top B-schools, says, “Business schools are finding that there’s an enormous gap between how students view themselves as prepared compared to how employers view them in interviews.” Keep these four aspects in mind and make sure you’re doing all that you can to close that gap.

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Get Ready for MBA Application Videos

Kellogg Adds Video Essay Component

 

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Kellogg MBA Program’s Fall 2015 Essay Questions

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has posted the MBA essay questions for the upcoming admissions season. For 2014-2015, the following two essays are required of all applicants: Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you …

Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management has posted the MBA essay questions for the upcoming admissions season.

For 2014-2015, the following two essays are required of all applicants:

  1. Resilience. Perseverance. Grit. Call it what you will…. Challenges can build character. Describe a challenging experience you’ve had. How were you tested? What did you learn? (450 words)
  2. Leadership requires an ability to collaborate with and motivate others. Describe a professional experience that required you to influence people. What did this experience teach you about working with others, and how will it make you a better leader? (450 words)

Certain applicants will respond to additional questions:

  • Dual-degree applicants: For applicants to the MMM or JD-MBA dual degree programs, please explain why that program is right for you. (250 words)
  • Re-applicants: Since your previous application, what steps have you taken to strengthen your candidacy? (250 word limit)

All applicants have the opportunity to provide explanations or clarification in Additional Information:

  • If needed, use this section to briefly describe any extenuating circumstances (e.g. unexplained gaps in work experience, choice of recommenders, inconsistent or questionable academic performance, etc.) (no word count)

The Kellogg MBA application will be live soon, so stay tuned!

You may also be interested in:

Kellogg School of Management 2014-2015 Deadlines

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Tuesday Tips: 2014 Chicago Booth MBA Essay Tips

Chicago Booth is consistently rated in the top echelon of MBA programs in the United States and is known for a strong intellectual community. This application is designed to evaluate candidates on their ability to …

Chicago Booth is consistently rated in the top echelon of MBA programs in the United States and is known for a strong intellectual community. This application is designed to evaluate candidates on their ability to handle the Chicago curriculum, contribute to the community, and grow in their careers. This year Chicago has eliminated most of the essays in favor of the creative and popular PowerPoint presentation question.

Academic ability will largely be communicated through your GPA/GMAT, transcripts and other fixed data points, though intellectual curiosity can be demonstrated in the essays and the interview. Chicago will be looking for demonstrated leadership, team building skills and community involvement, as well as your fit with Chicago Booth and the perspective you will share with your classmates. All MBA candidates are ultimately looking for a degree that will enhance their career. Chicago Booth wants to know about your track record of success, expectations for the MBA, and plans for the future.

Chicago Booth’s open-ended creative presentation or essay confounds many candidates. Whether you choose to write an essay or prepare a presentation, take a step back from the unique format and think about the question strategically. The PowerPoint format simply gives you the freedom to express who you are in words, images, graphics or some combination. The best presentations will be simple, evocative and expressive. Remember, content is far more important than visual drama of presentation. Stacy Blackman Consulting has significant experience coaching applicants through the Chicago creative essay. Contact us to learn more about our strategic approach.

Presentation/Essay: Chicago Booth values adventurous inquiry, diverse perspectives, and a collaborative exchange of ideas. This is us. Who are you?

This creative essay offers you a blank slate to express yourself with any content you choose. When approaching the question focus first on content, and then on delivery.

As your one opportunity to showcase why Chicago Booth is the right place for you to pursue an MBA, think about how you want to present aspects of leadership, teamwork and intellectual curiosity. Perhaps there is a formative work project you would like to highlight. If there wasn’t enough opportunity to outline your core career passions in your resume or through recommendations, this could be a place to illuminate that detail. This is also the ideal opportunity to bring in any aspect of your overall story that may feel personal.

Keep in mind what Chicago Booth represents. Booth is a school with a tradition of intellectual rigor, non-conformity, and innovation. When you introduce yourself to Chicago Booth you can share anything from any context, from work to home to extracurricular activities. Think outside basic essay parameters to aspects like travel experiences or the unique relationships in your life.

If you decide to write an essay response, you have enough space to tell a story that describes something new about yourself. If you decide to prepare a PowerPoint in response to this essay question, refine your story to its key elements. While this year Chicago Booth permits any length of essay or presentation, in prior years the limit has been four slides. To keep a presentation visual and interesting, consider how you will format. Can you use photos? Drawings? If you use words, keep them clear and focused. Take every point up a level, so you are communicating a vision rather than a thesis.

Reapplicant Question: Upon reflection, how has your perspective regarding your future, Chicago Booth, and/or getting an MBA changed since the time of your last application? (300 words maximum)

This reapplication essay question gives you the opportunity to focus on your thinking and development rather than any tangible changes you have made since you last applied. Of course, if you do have new accomplishments like a promotion or higher GMAT score that will be of significant value to your re-application. If you do not have any new, hard changes to your profile, this essay is an opportunity to show that you have done the work to evaluate your candidacy and have made changes this time around. The word reflection is explicit in the question, and the admissions committee will be looking for your thoughtful consideration of Chicago Booth, your future and your MBA plans.

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