Why am I writing?
Very recently, a friend’s distant relative (referred to as ROCKSTAR in this note) sent me his essays for review after getting a DING from his dream business school, INSEAD.
Candidate Background: Indian, Male, GMAT 750 + 5 Years of work experience.
As I started picking holes in his MBA application, I realized that his style of expression was representative of many ROCKSTARS with high GMAT Scores and high expectations. They write BELOW AVERAGE RESPONSES FOR “Why Duke”?, “Why Wharton?”, “Why Columbia?”, “Why Stanford?”, “Why INSEAD?” And “Why ANY School?
And When INSEAD Dump a “GMAT 750 + 5 Years +ROCKSTAR”, the ROCKSTAR wonders what went wrong when the facts are “INSEAD’s Average GMAT Score is 703 and majority of the MBA applicants had 3-7 years of work experience”
Intention of this note: To allow you to create a very powerful and meaningful response to the question “How will a particular business school help you in accomplishing your goals?”
Let us help the ROCKSTAR in constructing a thoughtful response for INSEAD Essay 5b( See below)
Fig 1: What they expect from you(ALL THE SCHOOLS)
YOUR PRESENT PROGRESSION AND ACCOMPLISHMENTS +
Key UNIQUE POINTS OF INSEAD( OR ANY SCHOOL) THAT ARE IMPORTANT FOR YOUR DEVELOPMENT =
YOUR FUTURE POST MBA (Specific Short term and long term goals)
Fig 2: Delivered Response by Mediocre Applications
YOUR PRESENT + HOW INSEAD( OR ANY SCHOOL) IS A GREAT SCHOOL btw…… = YOUR FUTURE WILL BE CREATED AND IT WILL BE GREAT
Now back to the INSEAD Case Study……..
While you are building your applications for INSEAD, think about Why INSEAD is the right place for you? Think about it this way: Most of the factors you mentioned in essay 5B apply to a lot of business schools and not only INSEAD. So, that personal touch does not exist and INSEAD( and other business schools) can see through that. You bring up a list of courses that are omnipresent. You bring up the names of the clubs that are there in every business schools.
Mentioning the coursework is fine and we suggest it in the “business schools Research framework” but you pick up the courses that all the MBA programs( including the correspondence MBA programs) have in their repository. So, that will not add a lot of value. Why do you have to pay a FORTUNE to a business school?
In order to make the essay personal, start the research with the following:
All in all, they want to see an essay that has an amazing personal Touch. You should not generate an essay that will be merely lost in transition. They will not be able to differentiate you from anyone else unless you tell them why they are important for you. Write a great story and make them feel that you are taking INSEAD very seriously.
Good luck with your applications !
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