Get to Know: INSEAD

Competitive European MBA applicants almost always are interested in INSEAD, and among U.S.-based applicants, INSEAD is almost always their first or second choice if they’re interested in earning an MBA abroad. This makes sense given the terrific international exposure that INSEAD students get at the school’s two campuses. What frequently surprises us, though, is how little applicants really know about the school, beyond that fact that it’s a highly-ranked program with a high profile around the world.

Are you thinking about applying to INSEAD? Here are five why INSEAD may be the perfect school for you to target for your MBA experience. While not all six of these need to describe you, the more these descriptions sound like you, the more likely you are to thrive at INSEAD:

You want to take advantage of multiple programs and opportunities in multiple countries
With INSEAD’s close partnership with Wharton and Kellogg and affiliations with major business schools in Asia and elsewhere, students are able to study at multiple premier graduate schools all while pursuing their INSEAD degree.

You want to work in a multinational company or you want to work overseas
This is a common profile for an INSEAD candidate and its unique program offers obvious advantages to candidates with goals in an international context. It can be somewhat more challenging for graduates to find jobs in the U.S. when coming out of INSEAD, although they can leverage the recruiting resources available at INSEAD’s partner schools like Wharton and Kellogg to gain a “home field advantage” in the job search process.

You have clear goals
With the need to hit the ground running on Day One at INSEAD, students don’t have much time to figure out what to do next. They should have career goals well defined in advance. If changing careers, then the January intake might be a more suitable option, and students need to be prepared to put in extra effort to secure the right internship to enable their transition.

You are headed to work in a family business
Only a few schools have resources devoted to the challenge faced by those taking over a family legacy (ESADE is another). INSEAD has a specialized Family Enterprise Challenge executive education program and faculty such as Christine Blondel have focused their research on multi-generational family business and the successor’s dilemma.

You are flexible and are comfortable with ambiguity
When applicants don’t even know where they’ll literally be going to school if accepted — Europe or Asia — they need to bring with them a resilience and a willingness to adapt, just to survive the admissions process. One sign of the maturity that INSEAD values in candidates is the ability to roll with the punches and be agile to change. The INSEAD program is so fast-paced and hectic that it might be a burden to someone who is ill prepared.

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