How To Get Into


INSEAD Program Overview

INSEAD, boasting two intakes and a three-language entry requirement, has consistently been one of the top business schools in the world, ranking #1 globally in the Financial Times MBA Rankings in 2016 and 2017.

What sets INSEAD apart from other business schools is the ability to move between three campuses allowing for a truly global experience. With campuses in Europe, Asia and Middle East, as well as a partnership exchange program with Wharton, Kellogg and CEIBS, candidates can cover all parts of the globe. All in a 1-year program!

With over 90 different nationalities in the classroom and an average intake of 500 students, no single nationality dominates. Classroom discussions offer a rich cultural learning experience. Be prepared to discover different traditions and ways to do business with people from around the globe, such as understanding the communication and cultural barriers related to doing business in China or Brazil.

Though a shorter program compared to the traditional 2-year US MBA, you will experience the full learning content. Courses are intense as INSEAD’s curriculum is regarded as 80% of a typical 2-year MBA crammed into 1 year.

With alumni around the world, there are opportunities to work with businesses on intense independent projects, solving real world business issues and presenting to senior management. INSEAD is not just about technical learning, but also applying the learning to real world problems.


 Important Insights about INSEAD


Depending on which intake you join, you start in September or January. The January intake provides an opportunity for an internship mid-way through the program. Both intakes are broken down into 5 periods (P1-P5), each running for 2 months. P1 and P2 focus on core courses which bring everyone up to speed with business terminology. You can take exemption exams to place out of certain core courses allowing you to take additional electives.

Starting with P3 candidates can pick electives, offering a range of topics from Entrepreneurship and Organizational Behavior to Private Equity and Technology & Innovation Strategy. Private Equity/Finance and soft skills such as Negotiations and Psychological Issues in Management are popular courses to take.

For some electives students are placed in real businesses solving real cases and present findings and analysis to senior management. Other electives that have country specific modules, such as doing business in China or the Middle-East.  In these courses, students travel to the country and visit local businesses with the goal of understanding the local culture.


Career clubs host many company-sponsored events. Every month there is also a cultural week, where students from a specific cultural background organize a whole week of themed events.

Every weekend, many students organize trips across Europe or Asia. These trips are a great way to get to know people from other sections.

Career clubs are not exclusive. All students are invited to attend visits from high visibility speakers from companies such as LVMH, Marvel, World Health Organization and Google. Clubs also put together industry specific CV books that are shared with human resources contracts from a range of companies. Career clubs also arrange career treks for which only the most motivated participants are selected.

Consulting is probably the only industry for which students do not need to make a conscious effort to recruit, as there are more than enough consulting firms coming to campus to actively recruit candidates. INSEAD is typically regarded as a main recruitment channel for McKinsey, BCG and Bain.

Sample Counselors with INSEAD Experience


U of Maryland BA & BS

More About Temi


Johnson MBA
HKUST MBA Exchange

More About Uvika


Wharton MBA
Harvard AB

More About Rachel

 Important Facts about INSEAD


Round 1

Deadline: Sep.20, 2017
Decision Release: Nov. 24, 2017

Round 2

Deadline: Nov. 29, 2017
Decision Release: Feb. 16, 2018

Round 3

Deadline: Jan. 24, 2018
Decision Release: Apr. 6, 2018

Round 4

Deadline: Mar. 7, 2018
Decision Release: May 18, 2018

Class Profile

Class size: 999 (both intakes)

Average Age: 29

Average Work Experience: 5.7 years

Women: 34%

Average GMAT: 707

Nationalities: 93

Career Placement

By Industry:

  • Consulting: 46%
  • Financial Services: 14%
  • Health Care: 4%
  • Manufacturing: 5%
  • Retail/Luxury Goods: 6%
  • TMT: 19%
  • Other: 6%

By Geography:

  • North America: 8%
  • Western/Northern EU: 36%
  • Central/Eastern EU: 3%
  • Asia Pacific: 29%
  • Africa/Middle East: 10%
  • Southern EU: 7%
  • Latin America: 7%

INSEAD Resources

Admissions Tips & Advice for Getting Accepted

Essay Questions

Essay 1:

  • Briefly summarise your current (or most recent) job, including the nature of work, major responsibilities, and where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients/products and results achieved. (short answer)

Essay 2:

  • What would be your next step in terms of position if you were to remain in the same company? (short answer)

Essay 3: 

  • Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale behind your choices. (short answer)

Essay 4:

  • Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with or without an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer)

Optional Essay:

  • If you are currently not working or if you plan to leave your current employer more than 2 months before the programme starts, please explain your activities and occupations between leaving your job and the start of the programme.

Motivation Essays

Essay 1: 

  • Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (500 words max.)

Essay 2:

  • Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (400 words max.)

Essay 3: 

  • Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.)

Essay 4:

  • Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, politics, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (300 words max.)

Optional Essay:

  •  Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (300 words max.)

Articles from the Experts

Five Tips to Nail Your INSEAD Essays

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.

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Meet the INSEAD MBA Class of 2017 (Poets & Quants)

Do you aspire to someday be CEO? A generation ago, the road to the c-suite ran through a core discipline such as finance or engineering. Now, organizations have added a new demand: overseas business experience.

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INSEAD MBA Experience Blog

Our MBA Blog: Real Experiences from Real People.

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  Talk with an admissions specialist right away: (212) 307-1788