I get many mails that roughly follow the template below
I am <name> and am currently doing <profession>. I am from <place>. I have a GMAT score of <score>. Should I give my GMAT again? Do you think I can get into INSEAD?
What should I focus on my essays?
May questions center around campus choice, school choice etc.
While I don't have a problem replying to most of these mails - unfortunately what I respond is often repetitive because there is only so much I can say from the detail. If you are planning to apply to INSEAD, here are a few steps to an effective decision making.
- Go to the INSEAD web site (yes, many do not) and explore it. Go through the admissions pages, career statistics to get an idea of the place and opportunities. If you need to compare INSEAD metrics with others, you could look up this comparison post I wrote long ago (2007), I think this would still be quite relevant even to latest statistics.
- Do a reality check on what schools you want to apply to, it never hurts to know ones current situation and work on areas that need improvement, or at the worst, not waste time and money on useless applications.
- Download the application PDF from the web site, go through it, get a feel of what you need to do to fill it well before you start the process.
- If you have not written GMAT yet, or did not do well, or want to read more about GMAT, you could read the debrief I wrote, and if you want to avoid some traps in GMAT, you could read the post on GMAT tricks and traps for the quantitative section. Unless you have an exception application, you would be wise to target to 700+ in GMAT. While high GMAT scores may not guarantee you an admission, a low one will quite certainly keep you out.
- You will need a lot of time on essays. There are many resources on essays. My post on brevity and precision is here and on being yourself may help a little. INSEAD essays are short and to-the-point. You cannot write rambling stories - so understand the need to write short, crisp paragraphs.
- Keep in mind that when it comes to choosing a campus, your chance of getting the campus you want may be higher if you apply in the earlier rounds. Having said that, this posts was meant to dispel wrong information on the Singapore campus (INSEAD Singapore FAQ).
- For those from India who are curious about placements in international b-schools (including INSEAD) compared to local IIM / ISB, this post gives further information
- Be yourself in the interviews. Really. Know why you want INSEAD. Read many other INSEAD blogs (see to the link bars to the left of this blog) to get a picture of what it is all about
- If you are on of those "LBS or INSEAD" applicants, I plan to write a post on that soon.