December 17, 2006

The first INSEAD interview

So, last week I finally had my first interview with an INSEAD alumni (one more to go). The interview was in the evening and nice enough for me, it was just a 15 minute drive from home.

The interviewer works for a large corporation. I was on time to the interview (just managed to escape a freeway traffic jam), and he came down to meet me within minutes after being called from security. The introduction was pleasant, and he seemed pretty friendly.

The standard questions were, of course, "why INSEAD?" and "why MBA"? and surprisingly, no "why now" (I'm 30+ so I'm not exactly in their age range). For both questions, I think I had clear answers because I do know precisely why INSEAD and why I need an MBA now.Once we got past that, it was really free wheeling discussions for nearly an hour on a variety of topics on my industry, his experiences in INSEAD, what MBA did to him, his own career moves post INSEAD etc. Post INSEAD, he had switched career thrice - one a major pharma, then one of the world's largest consumer product companies and now where is currently. The point that the degree opened diverse doors was evident from the range.

What I really liked about it all was that firstly, he did not treat me like an imbecile who has no clue why I need an MBA now. So there no unnecessary probing and cross questioning there. Secondly - he was very positive about his experience and impact on his life because of INSEAD. This is important - because when you talk to an alumni, you want to come out with a good feeling about the school you want to join. You want to know, from their own expeirence, that it did good to them.

The interview lasted about an hour and 15 minutes and he did spend quite a bit of that time talking about his experience - which, as I mentioned, was something I appreciated. Once the interview was over, I came home and sent a thank you note.

Only time will tell if it made a difference. It was a good step, and of course - it doesn't mean much if I get dinged. But at least it wasn't a disaster and it definitely made me think I was making the right choice as far the school was concerned. The next interview is the coming week, with a pretty senior person - a partner in his firm. I'll update the blog once that is done.

1 comment:

Nitin said...


I am seriously considering INSEAD as well for next year. I would love to get in touch.

Let me know if interested nmadan-at-ieee-dot-org.

Good Luck,