Five Tips to Nail Your INSEAD Essays

(Updated for 2018-2019)

With three motivational essays and four short answer questions, INSEAD has one of the longer business school applications. So give yourself plenty of time think about the story you want to tell and the message you want to convey.

Here are 5 tips to prepare to help you nail your INSEAD Essays:

1. Pace yourself, give yourself enough time to reflect and plan.

There are multiple rounds to enter the MBA class and, in the case of INSEAD, all are equally weighted. This isn’t a race to apply in the first or second round – so give yourself ample time to do the best application you can.

2. Short, succinct and concrete.

You aren’t given a lot of words to provide answers in detail, so it’s crucial that you keep examples short and succinct. Keep your main focus on what you did and the results, only briefly mention the context and situation. You want to make sure the admissions team reads about your impact and how you contributed.

3. Show that you’re global.

Whether it’s a global collaboration with cross functional teams, or being open to new insights and thoughts from your recent travels to Indonesia, INSEAD loves being diverse and international. It’s embedded in their culture, so share your own global experiences.

4. Show that you’re diverse in experiences.

Most students entering INSEAD have had a multitude of experiences throughout their career and this is reflected by the older average age of their students. Demonstrate that you have had multiple experiences with different businesses or functions.

5. Demonstrate the ability to adapt to situations.

When admissions looks at candidates, one quality they are looking for is adaptability. Demonstrate how you may have changed your approach based on the audience involved. This can be examples of dealing with difficult challenges or when you are able to identify and correct your weaknesses. Don’t be afraid to list a true weakness, especially when you have been addressing it – it shows the ability to adapt, be self-aware and proactive.

Keep these tips in mind when filling out the INSEAD application in a hope of gaining a spot in the self-described Business School for the World.