Tag Archives: INSEAD

Dealing with Impostor Syndrome at B-School

When you have your sights set on one of the top business schools in the world, you probably feel rather confident that your skills and experiences will sufficiently sway the admissions committee to take a …

When you have your sights set on one of the top business schools in the world, you probably feel rather confident that your skills and experiences will sufficiently sway the admissions committee to take a closer look at your application.

However, despite that confidence, many accepted candidates go through a period of self-doubt once they start learning more about all of the amazing people they will be working alongside in class.

If you take a look at Poets & Quants‘s terrific series highlighting noteworthy members of the Class of 2018, you’ll see that the elite programs worldwide have admitted candidates from all walks of life, from skydivers, former White House employees, chess champions, Navy Seals and rocket scientists, to opera singers, cheese experts, and professional dancers.

With all of these impressive backgrounds, anyone might feel intimidated or experience self-doubt about whether you’re acceptance was…maybe…a mistake? That’s why we think this post from the INSEAD MBA Experience blog is an important read for both applicants and the newly admitted.

Everywhere I turn at INSEAD, I see bright, talented, young people, with rich life experiences, careers spanning several countries and incredible stories. And when I hear all that, I quietly think to myself: “What am I doing here? These people are so amazing, have such incredible career successes, they sound extraordinary compared to my puny engineering background… how did I ever get in?”

Yann Parer, MBA ’17D, writes frankly about impostor syndrome: “A psychological condition in which the subject, usually a high achiever, is convinced that they are not deserving of their success.”

When you’re used to being the smartest person in the room, it’s very unnerving to suddenly find yourself completely surrounded by gifted individuals.  “In the face of such talent and success you feel like your own personal achievements are trivial,” he explains.

Take a look at Parer’s post and see what conclusions he has arrived at regarding impostor syndrome now that he’s six weeks into the INSEAD program. We promise, you’ll feel much better about your own possible affliction!

You may also be interested in:

CBS Professor Offers 5 Tips to Boost Your Self-Confidence
4 Bad Reasons to Skip Applying for B-School 
Don’t Let Fear Derail Your MBA Dreams

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Financial Times 2017 Global MBA Ranking

The Financial Times has once again crowned INSEAD—with campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi—as the world’s best business school. This year’s Global MBA Ranking saw strong performances from many European schools, and a surprising …

INSEAD ranked first global MBAThe Financial Times has once again crowned INSEAD—with campuses in France, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi—as the world’s best business school. This year’s Global MBA Ranking saw strong performances from many European schools, and a surprising dip from elite US MBA programs.

Harvard Business School did not crack the top-three for the first time in nine years, and MIT Sloan School of Management fell out of the top ten for the first time in a decade. Perennial favorite London Business School fell three places to sixth—its lowest position in 14 years—giving Judge Business School in 5th place the title of top-ranked UK school for the first time ever.

This year the United States is home to five of the world’s top 10 business schools, but when the Financial Times introduced the global MBA ranking in 1999, only one non-US university, London Business School, made it into the top tier.

The Top Ten in FT’s 2017 Global MBA Ranking

  1. INSEAD
  2. Stanford Graduate School of Business
  3. University of Pennsylvania Wharton School
  4. Harvard Business School
  5. Cambridge University Judge Business School
  6. London Business School
  7. Columbia Business School
  8. IE Business School
  9. Chicago Booth School of Business
  10. IESE Business School

The FT’s ranking is based on surveys of business schools and their 2013 graduates. MBA programs are assessed according to the career progression of their alumni, the school’s idea generation, and the diversity of students and faculty.

A likely explanation for the surge of European schools’ popularity has to do with the growing appeal of one-year degree programs which are more common outside of the United States. Since the FT ranking is based in part on career progression, shorter programs and lower tuition get graduates back in the workplace sooner and can be viewed as a better value for the money.

Top-ranked INSEAD receives high marks for its strong international culture and extensive and diverse alumni; about 95% of its faculty and students are international.  “Insead enormously boosted our intercultural experience,” said one alumni survey respondent from Switzerland. “It is a place to learn global culture better than anywhere else.”

The wealth and depth of knowledge from around the world adds tremendous value to the course, wrote another graduate from the US, adding that “with so many cultures and experiences represented, a classroom ethics discussion about bribery is not your typical boring USA version.”

One-year MBA programs are still a growing option in the United States, but already a few top schools—Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Cornell’s SC Johnson College of Business, Emory’s Goizueta Business School—have introduced the format to attract candidates put off by the two-year time commitment and forgone salary.

Meanwhile, this year’s ranking reveals that graduates of second-place Stanford Graduate School of Business have the highest salary on average at $195,000, as well as the best career progression. Roughly 42%  of alumni hold positions at director level or above three years after graduation, compared with 22% on average for ranked programs, the FT has found.

“Stanford GSB is both a long-term investment and a personal self-investment,” said one graduate from the class of 2013. “The results put me on a path to achieve full career satisfaction.”

While we don’t like to encourage clients to focus too heavily on rankings when they’re making their MBA program selections, we also know those headed for b-school really can’t help themselves. But placing too heavy an emphasis on rankings can actually become a distraction for some applicants, so be sure to consider multiple factors when making your final school selection.

Conrad Chua, MBA admissions director at the 5th place Judge Business School, had this to say when the 2017 Global MBA Rankings results came in. “We know that rankings are naturally volatile, as you can see from the number of schools that have double digit changes in their rankings every year.

“It is impossible to reduce an MBA experience in whatever school to just a number. Don’t ignore the rankings but make your own judgement of a school from speaking to its staff, its alums and students and make your own decision whether that is the right school for you,” Chua writes.

So remember, keep things in perspective and make sure you’re looking at the data points that are important to your own career path when determining the value of a particular ranking.

You may also be interested in:

The Truth Behind 3 Common MBA Ranking Myths

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Upcoming Video Interview? Add Lots of Practice to Your “To Do” List

If you have an upcoming video interview for schools including INSEAD, Yale SOM, Michigan Ross or Wharton, PRACTICE is essential to success. This awkward format requires you to think on your feet and record your …

video interview prep

If you have an upcoming video interview for schools including INSEAD, Yale SOM, Michigan Ross or Wharton, PRACTICE is essential to success. This awkward format requires you to think on your feet and record your answer to a question (or questions) while speaking into your computer screen. It’s a new format for many and one that requires some rehearsal in order to become comfortable conversing with a computer screen!

Stacy Blackman Consulting has an online video platform that grants you unlimited practice doing exactly this. You can answer from a wide menu of questions, record yourself, watch and assess, tweak and try again. Invest 30 minutes a night and reap the benefits of increased comfort level and more articulate answers when you have your live interview. You can even choose an interview to submit to the SBC team for review and professional written feedback.

Set yourself up for success with this small investment and rock your video interviews! Purchase your package here today.

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Ask the AdCom: Who are Some Famous Graduates of Your Program?

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips, trivia, and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, …

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips, trivia, and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!

Blake Mycoskie, founder and Chief Shoe Giver of TOMS Shoes

Today’s question is: Who are your famous alums?

John Roeder, Assistant Dean of Graduate Admissions at SMU Cox School of Business:

  •  Lamar Hunt, founder of the American Football League and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs
  • Gerald J. Ford, Dallas-based billionaire
  • Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS Shoes
  • Ray Hunt, founder and CEO of Hunt Oil Company
  • Thomas Horton, Chairman of AMR and American Airlines

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Georgetown McDonough School of Business:

  • Guy Adami (B ’86), original member of CNBC’s “Fast Money” team
  • Michael Chasen (MBA ’95), president and CEO of Social Radar, cofounder and former CEO of Blackboard (and a member of Georgetown’s Board of Directors)
  • Jim Gaffigan (B ’88), stand-up comedian and actor
  • Ted Leonsis (C ’77), chairman and CEO of Monumental Sports and Entertainment (owner of the Washington Wizards, Capitals, Mystics and the Verizon Center) and vice chairman emeritus of AOL (and chair of the board for Georgetown’s Entrepreneurship Initiative)
  • Ann Sarnoff (B ’83), president of BBC Worldwide North America (and vice chair of the McDonough School of Business Board of Advisors).
  • Maria Shriver (C ’77), NBC News anchor, former first lady of California.
  • Laurence Tosi (B ’90, L/MBA ’94), CFO of Airbnb, former CFO of The Blackstone Group (and a member of Georgetown’s Board of Directors)

 Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business:

  • David Tepper, Appaloosa Management
  • James Swartz, Accel Partners
  • Eric Butler, Union Pacific
  • David Coulter, Warburg Pincus
  • Brian Olsavsky, Amazon
  • Cindy Padnos, Illuminate Ventures
  • Keith Law, ESPN
  • … and don’t forget famous Carnegie Mellon University alums such as artist Andy Warhol, actor Holly Hunter, “Last Lecture” author Randy Pausch, the late astronaut Judith Resnik and director George Romero.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business:

  • Paul Otellini, MBA 84, former CEO of Intel
  • Shantanu Narayen, MBA 93, CEO of Adobe
  • Barbara Desoer, MBA 77, CEO of Citibank
  • Don Fisher, BS 51, founder of The Gap

Alex Lawrence, Assistant Dean of MBA Admissions at UCLA Anderson School of Management:

  • Susan Wojcicki, MBA 98, CEO of YouTube
  • Larry Fink, MBA 74, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Blackrock
  • Bill Gross MBA 71, co-founder PIMCO

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management:

  • Ken Derr MBA ’60, retired Chairman and CEO, Chevron Corporation
  • Michael Chen, MBA ’85, CEO, Chen & Associates. Former President, Strategic Initiatives Group, NBC
  • Daniel Hesse, MBA ’77, former President & CEO, Sprint
  • Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’54, United States Supreme Court Justice
  • Abby Joseph Cohen ’73, President of the Global Markets Institute, Goldman Sachs & Co.

Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions  at INSEAD:

  •  Tidjane Thiam, MBA ’88J, CEO Credit Suisse
  • Barbara Kux, MBA ’84J, Board member of Total and Henkel and one of Fortune’s “most powerful women in business”
  • Henry Engelhardt, MBA ’88J Admiral Insurance co-founder
  • Grita Loebsack, MBA ’95D,  CEO of Kering Luxury – Couture & Leather Goods
  • Carole Ramella, MBA ’06D, Founder & Managing Director, GFA Consulting Ltd, a company based in Ghana that helps African businesses raise funds.
  • Philippe Houzé, MBA ’74, President of Galeries Lafayette

Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll keep you posted when we check in again to Ask the AdCom about even more interesting, unusual and inspiring happenings at their MBA programs.

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Make 2017 the year you achieve your most ambitious professional goals! Take the first step by signing up for a completely free consultation with one of our all-star advisors. We can answer questions, provide advice and help set you up to make your MBA dreams come true in 2017. Sign up today at: www.stacyblackman.com/contact

Image via Flickr user Andy Sternberg, (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)

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Ask the AdCom: Share a Cool Company Born of Your MBA Program

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we …

Hey everybody! We’re back with another installment of “Ask the AdCom,” where we share a wide range of tips and advice from admissions team members from a dozen top business schools. Since AdCom members are human, too, we know our readers will enjoy seeing  a different side of what makes these guys tick.

This fun space is not really about the application process but more about real-life topics, like what’s a good book to readbest place to study, where you can find a killer meal near campus, and all the fun stuff happening at b-school that creates those lifelong, cherished memories for MBA students.

We hope you become inspired, too!

Today’s Question is: What’s a cool entrepreneurship project or company born out of your MBA program?

entrepreneurship at bschool

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions at CMU Tepper School of Business, says that ModCloth – a vintage clothing, ecommerce business with hundreds of millions in annual revenue – sprang from the Tepper School MBA program.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management, asked second-year MBA student Najeen Riazi for feedback, and she gave a shout-out for Big Red Bullet: Another bridge to NYC! and Nutribridge: an international effort to solve child nutrition and women’s financial independence at the same time.

Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says recent examples include Blablacar, a ridesharing service with the concept of connecting people who need to travel with drivers who have empty seats (Founder and CEO Frederic Mazzella, INSEAD MBA’07D). Or, Michel et Augustin, a French food brand, started by Michel de Rovira, MBA’04D but there are many others.

 Rodrigo Malta, Director of Admissions at UT McCombs School of Business, says that theTexas MBA powered start-up Beatbox Beverages struck a deal with business mogul Mark Cuban on the hit ABC show Shark Tank in October. For a one-third stake in the company, Cuban invested one million dollars. The three Texas MBA alums impressed the panel of judges with their entrepreneurial know-how and their clear strategy for the future of their company to ensure continued success. Beatbox has definitely been “booming” since the show aired, Malta says.

Morgan Bernstein, Executive Director of Full-Time MBA Admissions at UC Berkeley-Haas School of Business, shares many successful student startups: Revolution Foods, founded by ’06 MBA grads Kristin Groos Richmond and Kirsten Saenz Tobey, provides healthy meals for kids; Ashesi University in Ghana, a non-profit, private university, was founded by Patrick Awuah, MBA ’99; crowdfunding website Indiegogo was founded by Danae Ringelmann and Eric Schell, both MBA ’08; and Back to the Roots, purveyor of ready-to-grow and ready-to-eat products, from mushrooms to cereal, was founded by Alejandro Velez and Nikhil Arora, both BS ’09.

Shari Hubert, Associate Dean of MBA Admissions at Georgetown McDonough School of Business, points to alumni Michael Chasen of Blackboard; Egon Durban of Silver Lake, Jason McCarthy of GORuck; and Logan Soya of Aquicore.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean of Graduate Admissions at SMU Cox School of Business, points to Gabriella Draney Zielke, who is co-founder and CEO of Tech Wildcatters – a Top 10 seed accelerator for technology startups, and who recently launched Health Wildcatters, a healthcare-based seed accelerator.  Gabriella worked with the Caruth Center for Entrepreneurship at Cox while she pursued her MBA at Cox with a Strategy and Entrepreneurship concentration, Roeder says.

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The variety and success of these b-school bred companies is really inspiring, right? Look out for the #AskAdCom in our social media channels, and we’ll see you again next week when we check in to Ask the AdCom about some of the little-known fun facts about their schools!

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LBS is Businessweek’s Top-Ranked International Business School

A few weeks ago, Bloomberg Businessweek crowned Harvard Business School as the best MBA program in the United States. This week, Bloomberg has released its 2016 ranking of the best international business schools based on data …

lbs_campus-wiki-commonsA few weeks ago, Bloomberg Businessweek crowned Harvard Business School as the best MBA program in the United States. This week, Bloomberg has released its 2016 ranking of the best international business schools based on data compiled from more than 1,000 recruiters, 15,000 alumni, and 9,000 recent graduates.

Out of 31 International MBA programs, London Business School ranks first, INSEAD is number two and Oxford’s Saïd Business School is number three. The 2015 #1-ranked program, Western-Ivey Business School, fell to tenth place this year.

This year, the United Kingdom—well known for having one of the world’s most desirable MBA markets—dominated the ranking: in addition to LBS grabbing the No. 1 spot, Cambridge and Oxford both ranked in the top five.

Top Ten Best International MBA Programs

  1. London Business School
  2. INSEAD
  3. Oxford’s Said Business School
  4. Cambridge Judge Business School
  5. IESE Business School
  6. IE Business School
  7. IMD
  8. SDA Bocconi
  9. Melbourne Business School
  10. Western Ivey Business School

So what sets apart an international MBA? Student body diversity is one. European business schools, for example, boast a roughly 80 percent non-national ratio, compared to 30 percent at their U.S. counterparts. Whether these programs include class trips to work in emerging economies or offer a cohort with students from numerous different countries, they compete on equal footing with the best North American schools.

Ultimately, you have to choose a program you genuinely connect with. Evaluate qualities like the school fit, culture, location, class size and teaching methodology. Don’t worry about whether you’ll get into “the best MBA program of all.” Just figure out which business school is the best one for you.

You may also be interested in:

London Business School Tops FT’s 2016 European B-School Ranking

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