SBC’s Insider Intel on INSEAD Admissions

INSEAD admissionsLately, we’ve seen growing interest in top-ranked European business school INSEAD—and not just among international applicants. The school has raised its profile among U.S. applicants, too. Just this week, INSEAD opened its San Francisco campus, the school’s first permanent facility in North America. Today we’re welcoming Lucy, a new member to the SBC consulting team, with a Q&A to help applicants better understand the INSEAD admissions process.  Lucy served as an MBA Admissions Officer at INSEAD’s Europe Campus in Fontainebleau, France.

During her tenure, she was the primary contact for MBA candidates based in Latin America and Singapore. Lucy advised applicants daily throughout the admissions process, from submission to final decision.

She was also in charge of INSEAD’s alumni interviewers in those regions to successfully pair them with applicants at the interview stage. Lucy later joined the Alumni teams as well as the Student Office to prepare visa applications for newly admitted MBA participants, giving her a good grasp of a student’s journey at INSEAD.

INSEAD admissionsLucy truly enjoyed her time helping MBA candidates and remains an enthusiastic ambassador for what is known as The Business School for the World.

Q: What are the qualities of INSEAD’s program that applicants appreciated the most? 

A: The INSEAD MBA is an appealing program for several reasons. Professionals value the accelerated 10-month curriculum. It offers a truly international experience with participants from all over the world. Then, there’s the exceptional quality of the faculty.

Students in the January intake have the option to do an internship. INSEAD also offers the possibility to study on 2 different campuses (Europe and Asia). Finally, the reputation of the school is outstanding and consistently top-ranked in the Financial Times Global MBA Ranking.

Q: Tell us, what did you love about INSEAD?

A: The work environment mainly, which is fantastic. So are the staff and facilities. In Europe, the campus is on the edge of the Fontainebleau forest and provides many advantages.

For example, there are many outdoor activities available, especially in the spring/summer. Also, the campus has an indoor gym; a hotel; a mail service; a great library, and other study areas.

Not to mention, the cafeteria provides meals as diverse as the student body! There are also many on-campus events and conferences with various speakers for all members of the INSEAD community staff, students and faculty.

Q: Turning to the INSEAD admissions process, were there any common mistakes you saw in the applications?

A: Commons mistakes are applying with a GMAT or a TOEFL that is too low; putting English as a native language when it clearly isn’t; sending an incomplete application; and applying without a clear goal in mind.

Applicants often don’t read communications and requirements properly—or they read them too rapidly. It’s important to carefully take into consideration the information that is given by the admissions team directly or on the INSEAD website.

Q: Finally, what is the one thing you would recommend for applicants to INSEAD to communicate in their application essays? 

A: To truly be themselves, clearly explain their story, what their goal is and how can the INSEAD MBA help them achieve it. And to mention what they can bring to the program and the INSEAD community.


Thanks for sharing those insider tidbits with our readers, Lucy! If you would like a leg up with the INSEAD admissions process, contact us today to set up a complimentary analysis of your MBA candidacy.


Let us help you achieve your MBA dreams. Contact us for a free consultation to request time with an SBC Principal.

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