Tag Archives: INSEAD

Why U.S. Applicants Should Consider MBA Programs Abroad

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News. As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, tomorrow’s business professionals will need to develop an adaptive mindset that allows them to successfully navigate a …

international MBA programs

This post originally appeared on Stacy’s “Strictly Business” MBA Blog on U.S.News.

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, tomorrow’s business professionals will need to develop an adaptive mindset that allows them to successfully navigate a variety of markets, languages and cultures.

We’ve seen a lot of growth lately in the range of international full-time, part-time and executive MBA courses aimed at U.S. students looking for a global business school experience, and there’s no better way to expand your horizons than by studying in another country.

While top U.S. business schools continue to dominate many rankings, programs at global universities hold their own when it comes to prestige and quality. Of the top MBA programs in the world, there are typically high-ranking programs outside of the U.S., including the University of Navarra’s IESE Business School in Spain, the Hautes Etudes Commerciales (HEC) Paris and the University of Queensland Business School in Australia.

But 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.

Another attractive characteristic for U.S. students is that many of the highly ranked business programs in Europe are just one year. Though the shorter MBA program means a more grueling schedule, many feel it’s worth the trade-off because it translates into just one year of foregone salary and the possibility of students getting their educational investment back in less than three years.

You’ll always have the highest exposure to jobs in your geographic area, so keep that top of mind as you think about your career goals and fields of interest. If you already know that you want to work in Asia, Europe, the Middle East or Latin America, you’d be better off choosing a local school where you can network directly with employers.

Many international MBA programs are offered in English, though fluency in the local language greatly enhances your candidacy when applying. English-language MBA programs at IESE Business School and HEC Paris, for example, offer students a chance to strengthen their Spanish or French while learning how commerce works in the host countries.

In general, though, overseas MBA programs prefer applicants who can point to previous professional or study abroad experience, since this demonstrates that you already know how to work with different cultures and are more likely to enrich the experience of others in the cohort.

INSEAD Business School in France opened a second campus in Singapore in 2000, clearly a shift to specifically target Asia and the Pacific Rim. Asian universities in turn have stepped up their game when it comes to competing for students.

Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, one of the region’s highly recognized graduate schools of business, has joined forces with China Europe International Business School in Shanghai and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore to raise their visibility in North America and Europe and interest more Western candidates to Asia to earn MBA degrees. Lower program costs and Asia’s ever-increasing economic relevance, plus the use of English as the language of instruction, makes this trio particularly appealing to students in the West.

Latin America, meanwhile, is a relatively young MBA market that offers substantial growth opportunities and an affordable management education compared to its North American counterparts. According to the most recent QS Top MBA Report on the global job market, hiring is particularly insular in Latin America, and the percentage of employers who look for talent within their own region is second only to the U.S. and Canada.

The region’s rapidly growing economy – notably in Mexico, Brazil and Peru – means increased opportunities for business and trade, and MBAs who are comfortable with the local language as well as with the region’s social and cultural norms will thrive.

Some of the schools recognized throughout the world are the EGADE Business School and IPADE Business School in Mexico, the CENTRUM Católica Business School in Peru and FGV’s São Paulo School of Business Administration in Brazil.

Whether your goal is to establish yourself ahead of U.S. candidates for international jobs or simply to have a degree that carries the cachet of regional knowledge, choosing to pursue an MBA overseas give you the opportunity for a truly transformational experience, leading to a greater understanding of yourself and how business operates around the world.

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Ask the AdCom: What’s a Can’t-Miss Course?

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!

class at INSEAD

Today’s question is: Name a must-take course.

Virginie Fougea, Associate Director of Admissions at INSEAD, says:  The MBA’16 J class has just elected Pr. Henning Piezunka (teaching New Business Ventures) and Pr. Peter Joos (teaching Financial Accounting) for the “Best Teacher” awards. ‘The First Hundred Days’ is also very popular.

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

  • Start-Up Factory with Eric Koester
  • Understanding Entrepreneurship with Professor Jeff Reid
  • 1st-Year Core Finance with Professor Lee Pinkowitz
  • Social Enterprise with Melissa Bradley
  • Firm Analysis and Strategy with Professor Jeff Macher

Kelly R. Wilson, Executive Director of Admissions  at CMU Tepper School of Business, recommends Corporate Restructuring, taught by Dean Bob Dammon.

John Roeder, Assistant Dean Graduate Admissions  at SMU Cox School of Business, recommends Master Negotiation with Robin Pinkley.  Everyone should take a Negotiations course in their MBA as the skills and tactics are useful in business, buying a car, dealing with a spouse…Robin wrote THE book on Salary Negotiations (Get Paid What You’re Worth).  This may be why our students are so successful in their average post-MBA salaries.

Melissa Fogerty, Director of Admissions at Yale School of Management, notes: About 65% of our students at SOM take at least one elective course outside of the School of Management at other Yale schools, and the most popular non-SOM course this academic year was Renewable Energy Project Finance at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

If you are interested in sustainability and the environment, this practicum exposes students to real-world tools of the trade and the theory underlying them, exploring what one would encounter if working for a utility project developer, project finance lender or infrastructure equity investment firm.

Judi Byers, Executive Director of Admissions and Financial Aid at Cornell’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, shared these student recommendations:

  • Peter Su, MBA ’17: Critical and Strategical Thinking
  • Sydney Chernish, MBA ’16: The most helpful and enjoyable class was Oral Communications. It’s a small, hands-on class where you present speeches and receive professor and peer feedback in a constructive and positive way.
  • Najeen Riazi, MBA ’17: Management Cases or Macroeconomics.
  • Daniel Greenhaw, MBA ’16: Negotiations.
******

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 some fun student clubs.

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Tuesday Tips: INSEAD 2017 Intake MBA Essay Tips

INSEAD, “the business school of the world,” is a dynamic, diverse and highly international MBA option. Along with the basic MBA questions most other schools ask, INSEAD is looking for significant exploration of your career …

INSEAD mba essay tipsINSEAD, “the business school of the world,” is a dynamic, diverse and highly international MBA option. Along with the basic MBA questions most other schools ask, INSEAD is looking for significant exploration of your career goals and background. Along with career aspirations and leadership experience, an international focus is important to INSEAD.

This year INSEAD has added a required video interview component to the application process, which will be completed shortly after you submit your application. The video interview has become more common in MBA applications, and Stacy Blackman Consulting has extensive experience prepping candidates for video interviews. Contact us to learn more.

JOB DESCRIPTION ESSAYS
Job 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. (short answer)

This question should focus entirely on your current (or most recent) work situation. Though you will want to provide relevant context for your current role, make sure you are devoting most of the essay to describing the details of your day-to-day responsibilities and oversight. If you are lighter on supervising others or managing a budget, you have the opportunity to highlight some key responsibilities and results.

When you are composing this essay make sure you focus on what you uniquely have contributed to the role, rather than reciting the job description. What have you done that is above and beyond?

Job Essay 2: What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

Once you have described what you do at work currently, INSEAD asks for you to imagine what you will do in the future. Because you are ambitious enough to be applying to an MBA program like INSEAD, you are likely on a serious career track in your current company. If your boss has already talked to you about the next step this is an easy question to answer.

If you have not explicitly discussed promotion at work, what would be the next role you would ideally pursue? If you are pursuing an MBA because you want to make a career change or because the next step at your current company is undesirable for other reasons, this may be a place to describe what that next step would be and why you do not wish to pursue it (with more context provided in the long term goal section).

Job Essay 3: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

With this essay INSEAD is seeking to understand your career trajectory and how you have grown and progressed through your career. Think about the choices you have made in your career, and how your past experiences have combined to provide you with your current skill set.

If you have a fairly straightforward career path you can take this opportunity to comment on some of the learnings from each position to create the story of your past, present and future plans.

Job Essay 4: Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with or without an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

Since you have covered your current role at work, your hypothetical next step at your company and how you arrived at this place, now you can bring the story together to explain what you are pursuing an MBA from INSEAD.

While the best candidates for an MBA might be able to succeed without one, typically a top tier MBA like INSEAD is an accelerator for your career – introducing you to a broader network than you would otherwise have, expanding your skillset into new functional areas and exposing you to people from around the world.

Think about how you plan to use your MBA to accelerate your career (or change paths entirely). If you did not attend INSEAD, how would you achieve your goals otherwise? Think of this essay as a thought experiment to show that you can plan two routes to one goal, while perhaps demonstrating the superiority of the MBA path.

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.

If you are not employed at the moment, you will want to answer this question to show how you are utilizing your time without full time employment. Ideally you are currently involved in an activity that is going to further your career or personal goals at this time. The best answer is one that shows you are self-motivated and do not need paid work to continue developing yourself.

For example, perhaps you are volunteering in a non-profit that is related to your career goals. Maybe you are working with a friend on a start-up. Or you are consulting and building contacts in your industry.

If you are out of work only briefly, it’s also perfectly reasonable to be pursuing travel or other activities that develop your international awareness and perspective. However, make sure that your activities can tie back to your long-term goals or other key aspects of your application strategy.

MOTIVATION ESSAYS
Motivation 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 (approximately 500 words).

Strengths and weaknesses are a common topic for MBA applications and seek to understand your level of maturity and self-awareness. This is a great opportunity to highlight some of your skills and attributes that demonstrate leadership, teamwork or other qualities that will drive your future career success.

Examples aren’t explicitly required, but consider that the admissions committee is reading a vast number of essays and concrete examples are both easy to understand and can help you stand out.

When describing weaknesses you will want to focus on those weaknesses that you have taken concrete steps to address, or that have been a route to learning more about yourself. Often strengths and weaknesses are two sides of the same coin, in which case you can even tie your key weaknesses to your key strengths.

Because it is often difficult to write about one’s weaknesses this is an especially important essay to share with others to seek feedback on tone and impact.

Motivation 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 (approximately 400 words).

This essay is an opportunity to showcase one of your most important achievements. Impressive achievements that stand on their own are great, but you will want to pay equal attention to explaining why these accomplishments are valuable to you. If you concisely explain the accomplishment and how you were able to bring it to fruition, you will have room to provide the context for your personal pride in the accomplishment.

If you don’t have an achievement that you think is incredibly impressive on its face, consider an example that demonstrates the activities you value. Remember, not everyone has sold a company or won an Olympic medal prior to business school!

The flip side of achievement is failure, and INSEAD wants to understand how you view both. When approaching any failure essay it’s important to use a real failure that has emotional resonance for you. An accomplishment framed as a failure will be easy to see through and will not demonstrate anything about your maturity or ability to grow.

Your failure should be real, and also something that led you to grow or learn. If you can describe how you have changed your approach as a result of the failure that is an excellent outcome.

The third part of the essay deals with how these experiences impacted the others around you and what you learned. Whether you were part of a team or the main impact was on a loved one, this part of the essay encourages you to step outside your own narrative of success and failure and think about how you have impacted other people through your actions.

Most obviously a success led to happiness from a team or a manager, while a failure was disappointing to those around you. However, your particular achievement or failure could have led to a learning experience for your team, an opportunity for someone else, or a chance for you to be closer to another person through a team challenge. Think creatively about this aspect.

Note that your application to INSEAD ideally covers both the personal and professional. This essay could be an opportunity in this essay set to bring in a new angle on your profile through describing one of your most substantial accomplishments outside of work.

Motivation Essay 3: 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? (approximately 300 words)

Nothing is more personal than what you choose to do outside of school or work. What are the most meaningful pursuits you have spent your time on? You should both describe the main interests you have outside of your professional pursuits and explain why they are meaningful to you and why you spend time on them.

Ideally you can also explain how you will continue your involvement while at INSEAD and cite some specific clubs or groups where you see your interests contributing to the community.

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

This essay is 300 words you can use for anything you would like to showcase and that you were unable to work into the rest of your application. Because INSEAD’s questions are quite thorough you may have covered all aspects of your candidacy and personal qualities in the other five essay questions, in which case you can feel comfortable skipping this question (it IS optional). If you did not have a place for an interesting hobby, new aspect of your background to describe, or key accomplishment, it may be appropriate to use this space to tell that story.

It is far better to fully explain any issues in your application than to leave the admissions committee to guess what happened. If you have any challenging aspects to your candidacy like a low GPA or a failing grade in college, this is the correct place to address those concerns. Explain your issue clearly and focus most of the essay on the correction for the issue.

For example, if you had a disciplinary issue in college, spend most of the essay demonstrating that you learned from the experience and have been an ideal citizen ever since rather than focusing on the negative. Avoid blaming anyone else for your issue, and relentlessly show why this one incident is in your past and will stay there.

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INSEAD Fall 2017 MBA Essay Questions

The INSEAD MBA application for the September 2017 intake is now open, which means we can preview this season’s essay questions for you here. This year, the number of motivation essays has been reduced from four to …

INSEAD mba application essaysThe INSEAD MBA application for the September 2017 intake is now open, which means we can preview this season’s essay questions for you here. This year, the number of motivation essays has been reduced from four to three, and INSEAD has also introduced a video component in this application cycle.

Once submitting their application, applicants will receive a link to a video interview. This video component is required to start the evaluation of your application. You will have until a week after the application deadline you are applying for to complete the video interview.

The INSEAD AdCom states: “We are keen on getting to know you better and believe that through a video you can come to life, so be spontaneous, be creative and be yourself! We look forward to virtually meeting you!”

Job Description Essays

Job 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. (short answer)

Job Essay 2: What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

Job Essay 3: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

Job Essay 4: Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with or without an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

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

Motivation 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 (approximately 500 words).

Motivation 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(approximately 400 words).

Motivation Essay 3: 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? (approximately 300 words)

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

For more information, please visit the INSEAD Full-Time MBA admissions website. 

You may also be interested in:

INSEAD Deadlines for September 2017, January 2018 Intakes

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INSEAD Deadlines for September 2017, January 2018 Intakes

INSEAD has posted the MBA application deadlines for the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes. They are as follows: September 2017 Intake (Class of July 2018) Round 1 Deadline: September 21, 2016 Interview Decision Notification: …

INSEAD mba application deadlines

INSEAD has posted the MBA application deadlines for the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes. They are as follows:

September 2017 Intake (Class of July 2018)

Round 1

Deadline: September 21, 2016
Interview Decision Notification: October 21, 2016
Final Decision Notification: November 25, 2016

Round 2

Deadline: November 30, 2016
Interview Decision Notification: January 13, 2017
Final Decision Notification: February 17, 2017

Round 3

Deadline: January 25, 2017
Interview Decision Notification: February 24, 2017
Final Decision Notification: March 31, 2017

Round 4

Deadline: March 1, 2017
Interview Decision Notification: April 7, 2017
Final Decision Notification: May 12, 2017

January 2018 Intake (Class of December 2018)

Round 1

Deadline: March 15, 2017
Interview Decision Notification: April 21, 2017
Final Decision Notification: May 24, 2017

Round 2

Deadline: May 3, 2017
Interview Decision Notification: June 2, 2017
Final Decision Notification: July 7, 2017

Round 3

Deadline: June 14, 2017
Interview Decision Notification: July 13, 2017
Final Decision Notification: September 8, 2017

Round 4

Deadline: July 26, 2017
Interview Decision Notification: August 26, 2017
Final Decision Notification: September 25, 2017

Applications must be completed and submitted by midnight French Time on the day of the deadline. For more information, please visit INSEAD’s admissions website.

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Multinational Cases Dominated in B-School ‘Oscars’

INSEAD and Harvard Business School were the top performers at the 2016 annual Case Centre Awards, a celebration of excellence in case writing and teaching from across the globe that are now considered the case …

Red Carpet

INSEAD and Harvard Business School were the top performers at the 2016 annual Case Centre Awards, a celebration of excellence in case writing and teaching from across the globe that are now considered the case method community’s annual ‘Oscars.’

Awards for cases are presented for nine management categories plus an Overall Winner Award. Each year, an award is made to recognize an individual who has made an Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method.

The Overall Winning Case, L’Oréal in China: Marketing Strategies for Turning Around Chinese Luxury Cosmetic Brand Yue Sai, was authored at Johns Hopkins Carey Business School by Haiyang Yang and at INSEAD by Pierre Chandon.

The case addresses an important business issue—marketing in emerging markets—and illustrates how even proven strategies need to be fundamentally reshaped to achieve success.

Case Centre AwardsChandon also won the Outstanding Contribution to the Case Method Award. According to the awards committee, Chandon  has elevated case teaching to another level at INSEAD and his many achievements include being the first to use online case surveys systematically in his teaching at INSEAD.

“To me, great cases are like reality TV: they are about real people and real companies, they have a story and a problem to be solved, and we desperately want to know what happens next – but they are not reality and nor should they be,” says Chandon.

“They are a simplified, stylised, version of reality, which allows us to understand the fundamental business issue at hand, while being embedded in an exciting context full of suspense.”

A new award debuted in 2015 for Outstanding Case Teacher, which recognizes an excellent practitioner in the case classroom. This year, the Outstanding Case Teacher competition was won by Harvard Business School’s Anita Elberse. This is the first year that students have been invited to provide nominations.

Elberse is one of the youngest female professors to have been promoted to full professor with tenure in Harvard Business School’s history. She develops and teaches an MBA course covering entertainment, media, and sports, called Strategic Marketing in Creative Industries, which is among the most sought-after courses in Harvard’s curriculum.

For a second consecutive year, winning cases showed a focus on multinational companies (eg GE, IKEA, L’Oréal), especially on those with a new media and technology basis (eg Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Uber).

Companies pioneering new and alternative approaches to technology and business leadership were strongly represented (eg AirThread, International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), New York Times, Semco Partners, Tesla Motors).

“The results of The Case Centre Awards and Competitions 2016 reflect the diversity of faculty providing topical and relevant materials to the next generation of business people currently learning across the globe,” says Richard McCracken, Director of The Case Centre. “

“Top performers in 2016, INSEAD and Harvard Business School, are adding to their recent business school rankings successes, both demonstrable pedagogical excellence on their own campuses, and the impact of their original teaching materials in classrooms worldwide.”

The Case Centre is a non-profit organization that advances the case method worldwide, sharing knowledge, wisdom and experience to inspire and transform business education across the globe. The Case Centre Awards are in their 26th year and have been awarded on a global basis since 2011.

Image credit: phototaku (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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