Financial Times Ranks INSEAD as the #1 MBA Program in the World

INSEADThe Financial Times recently released their Global MBA Rankings for 2016, and this year, INSEAD topped the list. This is the first time a “one-year MBA program” has ranked #1 in the Financial Times‘ rankings.

With this honor, INSEAD also becomes only the fifth school to ever assume the top spot in the Financial Times‘ 18-year history of publishing their rankings – the only schools to reach #1 thus far have been Harvard Business School, the Stanford Graduate School of Business, London Business School, and the Wharton School of Business, all of which occupy the rest of the top five slots for this year’s rankings.

INSEAD prides itself on being the “business school of the world,” and boasts of an international faculty and student body of over 80 different nationalities that enriches classroom discussions and creates life changing experiences for its students through its cultural diversity and views. INSEAD’s campuses in France and Singapore further add to the student experience with opportunities to travel across Europe and Asia with fellow MBA participants during the program.

In his letter to INSEAD alumni, Dean Ilian Mihov attributes the school’s #1 ranking to what INSEAD values: “diversity, academic excellence, entrepreneurial culture and extensive global alumni network.” The school’s international faculty also works together to continuously improve its curriculum and deliver exceptional educational experiences to all its students in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. Mihov also shared that this marked a “triple first” for INSEAD, becoming the first and only school to have all three of its MBA programs ranked #1 by the FT in their respective categories: INSEAD MBA ranked #1 for MBA programs, the Tsinghua INSEAD EMBA ranked #1 for EMBA programs, and the INSEAD Global EMBA was honored as the highest ranked single school program.

In a separate letter, the INSEAD MBA Admissions team shared the profile of its latest intake of 514 students, with 75 nationalities represented – 30% of them women – including students from Indian, American, Chinese, French, British, and Canadian nationalities. The average age of INSEAD’s incoming class is 29 and its average GMAT score is 702.

INSEAD has also continued its “Conditional Acceptance Offer” of offering a place to candidates who have the potential and quality to be admitted, but need one more year of professional experience. Introduced in 2014, the school has found this offer to be a good way to retain young, bright candidates for future MBA classes. 15 students received such an offer for their latest intake.

Surely this remarkable achievement will be something to consider when determining whether INSEAD is the right business school for you.

Applying to business school? Call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today, or take our free MBA Admissions Profile Evaluation for personalized advice for your unique application situation! As always, be sure to find us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Twitter.

Written by Edison Cu, a Veritas Prep Head Consultant for INSEAD.

INSEAD Admissions Essays and Deadlines for 2013-2014

Rounding out our look at applications at the top business schools this year, today we break down INSEAD’s application deadlines and essays for the 2013-2014 admissions season. INSEAD has made only very subtle tweaks to its essays this year, and the school has decided buck the trend and not to go the route of significantly cutting down its number of required essays. When a business school only makes subtle changes to its essays, that usually means that the admissions office likes what it’s been getting from applicants.

Here are INSEAD’s admissions deadlines and essays, followed by our comments in italics:

INSEAD Application Deadlines for September 2014 Intake
Round 1: October 2, 2013
Round 2: November 27, 2013
Round 3: March 5, 2013

We only cover INSEAD’s September 2014 intake deadlines here since the school’s January intake deadlines have already passed for 2013. Note that applying to INSEAD in Round 1 means that you will receive your final decision by December 20, giving you a couple of weeks to get your Round 2 application in order for other schools if you need to do so.

INSEAD Application Essays
Job Description Essays

  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. (250 words)

    This essay carries over unchanged from last year. In a nutshell, the INSEAD admissions team wants to understand exactly what you do on a day-to-day basis. As easy as it is to become consumed with your GMAT score and your extracurricular activities, at the end of the day, the most accurate predictor of your professional potential is what you have done in your career to date. Don’t worry about the fact that INSEAD asks for the number of employees under your supervision and the size of the budget you manage — if you haven’t managed a team or owned a budget yet, that’s okay. The admissions committee just wants to understand exactly what it is you do in your present job. Also, remember that this question is about your present job; your “career progression” story will come in the next essay.
  2. Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position? (250 words)

    This essay is also a repeat from last year. Here is where your career progression comes into the picture. Of course, doing this in 250 words is a tough job, do you will really need to stick to the highlights in terms of what you have achieved and the reasons for the moves you have made. You should plan on skipping most of the flowery prose in favor of clear, easy-to-follow facts. The second part of this question is interesting in that it pretty directly hits on something that INSEAD and any other top business school wants to know — that you’re interested in pursuing an MBA to turbocharge an already successful career, not to bail out of a stagnant one. Painting the picture of a successful young professional (in only 250 words, of course!) will be key here.
  3. (Optional) If you are currently not working, what are you doing and what do you plan to do until you start the MBA programme? (250 words)

    It’s a sign of the times that this essay remains on INSEAD’s application after several years. Really, here the INSEAD admissions committee is saying, “It’s okay if you’re unemployed. We know a lot of terrific young professionals are out of work for reasons beyond their control. But, you had better be doing something productive with all of that free time.” Presumably you’re looking for work, but that is hopefully not all that you’re doing. Are you bettering yourself professionally with some additional training or accreditation? Are you brushing up by taking a college course or two? Have you decided to use some of your spare time to help those around you, perhaps by doing some pro bono work? There’s no right answer here, but a wrong answer would be to say that you haven’t done much of anything besides browsing job listings while you have been unemployed.

Motivation Essays

  1. Give a candid description of yourself, 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. (600 words)

    This essay also carries over unchanged. While the Job Essays above required you to really stick to the facts and simply summarize your resume, here is where you can start to provide more narrative. Many applicants see the word “weaknesses” and tense up, thinking, “I can’t tell them anything bad about myself!” But the admissions committee knows that no one is perfect. INSEAD truly wants to understand what you’re good at and where you need some work. The school wants to see evidence of strong self-awareness and a desire to build on your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. The most obvious place to go from here is to explain how INSEAD can help you with these areas, although note that this is not a pure “Why INSEAD?” essay prompt. Keep the focus mostly on you and what your current strengths and weaknesses are.
  2. Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date (if possible specify one personal and one professional), explaining why you view them as such. (400 words)

    This question has also not changed since last year, although a couple of years ago INSEAD added the “one personal and one professional” part a couple of years ago. This prompt gives you a great opportunity for you to spell out at least two main themes that you want to emphasize in your application. Remember, the “why” in your story is even more important than the accomplishments themselves, so be sure to spell out why these accomplishments are so critical to describing you as an emerging leader. We like that INSEAD asks for one personal and one professional accomplishment, since many applicants tend to be reluctant to write about personal achievements because they seem to be off topic. Nothing could be further from the truth… If a personal accomplishment helps to illustrate the dimensions that admissions officers want to see in your application, it’s very relevant!
  3. Describe a situation taken from your personal or professional life where you failed. Discuss what you learned. (400 words)

    Oh no! First INSEAD asked about your weaknesses, and now you have to answer a failure question! Don’t worry — as we wrote above, INSEAD knows that you’re not perfect. The question is how you are able to overcome your failures and grow as a result of them. We like how short and direct this essay prompt is; what the admissions office really wants to hear is what you learned and how you improved (both as a professional and as a person) as a result. And, ideally, you can even work in an example of how you put what you learned to use when faced with another challenge. Of course, the word count is tight, but being able to work in this example makes your story that much more palpable and believable.
  4. Please choose one of the following two essay topics:
    a. Have you ever experienced culture shock? What insights did you gain? (250 words maximum)
    b. Describe the ways in which a foreigner in your country might experience culture shock. (250 words)

    Clearly INSEAD has culture shock on the brain! This question is a repeat from last year, and its existence helps illustrate how much emphasis INSEAD puts on an applicant’s ability to blend well with people from other walks of life. Both of these essay prompts try to help the admissions committee understand you a little bit better. Really, what the school is trying to gauge is your emotional intelligence and cultural sensitivity. More than perhaps any other MBA program, INSEAD truly is a melting pot of management education. You may be in study teams with people from four other continents — how well will you work with them at 3:00 AM when you have a tough final project due in six hours? A little bit of humor a humility can go a long way in answering these questions. Help the admissions committee be able to envision you sitting in a study group on INSEAD’s campuses in Fountainebleu and Singapore.
  5. a. Discuss your short and long term career goals… (300 words)
    b. … and how studying at INSEAD help you achieve your vision? (250 words)

    Finally! Here are the “Why an MBA?” and “Why this school?” questions that most MBA programs ask. Don’t overlook the fact that INSEAD asks these as two separate questions, with a specific word count for each. As important is it is to make a convincing case about your career goals and your reasons for wanting an MBA, you also really need to spell out why specifically INSEAD can help you achieve your goals. This is where you need to show that you’ve done your homework, and convince the INSEAD admissions team that you’re applying for reasons that run deeper than the fact that ISNEAD is a top-ranked business school.
  6. Is there anything that you have not mentioned in your application that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (350 words)

    INSEAD gives you so many chances to tell your study in the above essays that we wonder what you might have left to tell at this point! Our advice here is what it is for every other school’s optional prompt: Answer this question if you need to explain a low undergraduate GPA or other potential blemish in your background. No need to harp on a minor weakness and sound like you’re making excuses when you don’t need any. If you don’t have anything else you need to tell the admissions office, it is entirely okay to skip this essay.

If you’re ready to start building your own application for INSEAD and other top business schools, get a free profile evaluation from an MBA admissions expert today. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and Google+, and follow us on Twitter!

By Scott Shrum

INSEAD Dean Dipak Jain to Step Down

Dipak Jain
New INSEAD Dean Dipak Jain

Yesterday the Financial Times reported that Dipak Jain will step down as dean of INSEAD effective March 1, ending a two-year tenure as the school’s leader. INSEAD announced that Jain will stay with the school as a marketing professor. This news comes after Jain took an extended medical leave in 2012 to undergo extensive testing after complaining of exhaustion.

Earlier this week the INSEAD board selected two of the school’s current deputy deans to step up and lead: Ilian Mihov, an economic professor, and Peter Zemsky, a professor of strategy. They are expected to co-lead in an interim role until INSEAD is able to find a permanent replacement. Mihov
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INSEAD Is a Good Fit for You If…

We talk to dozens of applicants about INSEAD every year. Our European clients almost always are interested in the program, 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? How do you know if it really is a good fit for you? And how do you know if the INSEAD admissions committee will think you’re a good fit for the program? Today we present six reasons 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:
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Six Common Myths and Misconceptions About INSEAD

Every year countless applicants ask us about INSEAD. Given the school’s high profile around the globe, it’s not surprising that so many applicants think about spending time in Fontainebleau and Singapore. What does surprise us, though, is how common some misconceptions are among even those applicants who have extensively studied the school. We always urge these applicants to go back and do their homework a bit more before they start working on their INSEAD applications.

If you’re considering applying to INSEAD, ask yourself: How do you know if the school really is a good fit for you? And, perhaps more importantly, how do you know if the INSEAD admissions committee will decide that you’re a good fit for the school? Today we look at six things that applicants think they know about INSEAD:
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Dipak Jain Discusses His Plans for INSEAD

Dipak Jain
New INSEAD Dean Dipak Jain
In an interview published by Bloomberg Businessweek yesterday, incoming INSEAD Dean Dipak Jain described his motivations for taking the leadership help at the top-ranked school, and shared some of his plans for INSEAD’s expansion over the next few years.

Jain, who served as dean of the Kellogg School of Management for eight years before stepping down in 2009, says he wasn’t looking to assume a leadership position at another school, but INSEAD insisted on interviewing him for the job. Attracted to Jain for his experience in running Kellogg’s one-year MBA program (which is the only type of MBA that INSEAD offers) and his experience in international management training, the school formally introduced Jain to the the INSEAD community earlier this month.
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INSEAD Application Essays for 2010-2011

Today we take a close look at INSEAD’s admissions essays for the coming application season. You can access these essay topics in INSEAD’s online application.

Note that INSEAD’s essay prompts have not changes for the past several years. When a school doesn’t change its essay topics, that suggests that the admissions committee is pleased with how applicants have been answering the questions. What makes for a good batch of responses? Essays that are clear and revealing, and that help the admissions committee identify who’s a good fit with the school. Pay close attention to what the schools asks in its essay prompts — they ask these things for a reason!

Here are INSEAD’s essays for 2010-2011, followed by our comments in italics:

INSEAD Admissions Essays

Job Essays

  1. Please give a detailed description of your job, including nature of work, major responsibilities; and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, number of clients/products and results achieved. (250 words)
    The goal of this essay is clear: You must succinctly help the admissions office understand exactly what you do on a day-to-day basis. As easy as it is to become consumed with your GMAT score and your extracurricular activities, at the end of the day, the most accurate predictor of your professional potential is what you have done in your career to date. Don’t be spooked by the fact that the school asks for the number of employees under your supervision and the size of the budget you manage — if you haven’t really managed a team or owned a budget yet, that’s okay. The school is just trying to understand exactly what it is you do in your present job. Also, note the emphasis on your PRESENT job. This is not a typical “career progression” essay; stick to what the question asks.
  2. Please give us a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position? (250 words)
    Here is where you can provide some context around your career progression up until now. Of course, doing this in 250 words is a tough job, do you will really need to stick to the highlights in terms of what you have achieved and the reasons for the moves you have made. You will have to ditch most of the flowery prose in favor of clear, easy-to-follow facts. The second part of this question is interesting in that it pretty directly hits on something that INSEAD and any other top business school wants to know — that you’re interested in pursuing an MBA to turbocharge an already successful career, not to bail out of a stagnant one. Painting the picture of a successful young professional (in not many words, of course!) will be key here.

Personal Essays

  1. Give a candid description of yourself, 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. (400 words)
    While the Job Essays above required you to really stick to the facts and simply summarize your resume, here is where you can start to provide more narrative. Many applicants see the word “weaknesses” and tense up, thinking, “Oh no! I need to come up with an innocuous weakness that won’t kill my candidacy!” But the admissions committee knows that no one is perfect. INSEAD truly wants to understand what you’re good at and where you need some work. The school wants to see evidence of strong self-awareness and a desire to build on your strengths and improve on your weaknesses. The seemingly natural place to go from here is to explain how INSEAD can help you with these areas, although note that this is not a “Why INSEAD?” essay prompt. Keep the focus mostly on you and what you have accomplished to date.
  2. Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such. (400 words)
    This is not very different from Harvard’s “three most substantial accomplishments” essay. Accordingly, our advice is pretty much the same: This gives you a great opportunity for you to spell out at least two main themes that you want to emphasize in your application. Remember, the “why” in your story is even more important than the “what,” so be sure to spell out why these accomplishments are so critical to describing you as an emerging leader. Also, don’t feel that both accomplishment need to come from your job. If you have a great achievement from outside of work — such as from your community service efforts or even from a hobby that you’re passionate about — that can also provide great material for this essay.
  3. Describe a situation taken from school, business, civil or military life, where you did not meet your personal objectives, and discuss briefly the effect. (250 words)
    Ack, a failure question! Time to run for the hills! Don’t worry — as stated above, INSEAD knows you’re not perfect. The question is how you are able to overcome your failures and grow as a result of them. INSEAD’s word choice in asking for the “effect” of your failure is odd; what the school really wants to hear is what you learned and how you improved (both as a professional and as a person) as a result. And, ideally, you can even work in an example of how you put what you learned to use when faced with another challenge. Of course, the word count is tight, but being able to work in this example shows that you’re not just talk.
  4. Discuss your career goals. What skills do you expect to gain from studying at INSEAD and how will they contribute to your professional career. (500 words)
    Now we’re really getting into the “Why an MBA?” and “Why this school?” questions. Note that, as important is it is to make a convincing case about your career goals and your reasons for wanting an MBA, you also really need to spell out why specifically INSEAD can help you achieve your goals. This is where you need to show that you’ve done your homework, and convince the school that you’re not only applying because INSEAD is a highly ranked program.
  5. Please choose one of the following two essay topics:
    a) Have you ever experienced culture shock? What did it mean to you? (250 words)
    b) What would you say to a foreigner moving to your home country? (250 words)
    Both of these essay prompts try to help the admissions committee understand you a little bit better. While it’s easy to lump these questions into the “diversity” bucket, really what the school is trying to gauge is your emotional intelligence and cultural sensitivity. More than perhaps any other MBA program INSEAD truly is a melting pot of management education. You may be in study teams with people from four other continents — how well will you work with them at 3:00 AM when you have a tough final project due in six hours? A little bit of humor a humility can go a long way in answering these questions. Help the admissions committee be able to envision you sitting in a study group on INSEAD’s campuses in Fountainebleu and Singapore.

Applying to INSEAD this year? Download our INSEAD Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

INSEAD Admissions Deadlines for 2010-2011

While we most often write about U.S.-based business schools in this space, INSEAD is one of the more popular programs among our clients. That’s why it’s one of the MBA programs we cover in our Annual Reports, our free guides to 15 of the world’s top MBA programs.

Today we take a look at INSEAD’s admissions deadlines for the coming year. You’ll note that INSEAD is one of the few major program that has two distinct start dates (or “intakes”) for its incoming students: one in January and one in September. Here are the deadlines for both intakes, followed by our comments in italics:

INSEAD Application Deadlines
September 2011 Intake
Round 1: September 29, 2010
Round 2: December 1, 2010
Round 3: March 9, 2011

January 2012 Intake
Round 1: March 30, 2011
Round 2: June 15, 2011
Round 3: August 3, 2011

For the September intake, the big change is in Round 3, where INSEAD pushed back its deadline by a month. Like other top MBA programs, INSEAD seems to want to keep the window open a bit longer to attract a few more great applicants, suggesting that Round 3 is not the dead zone that some applicants think it is. For the January intake, INSEAD’s Round 1 deadline is about three weeks earlier than it was last year, although its Round 2 and Round 3 deadlines have barely changed.

Applying to INSEAD this year? Download our INSEAD Annual Report, one of 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. And, as always, be sure to find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter!

Former Kellogg Dean Dipak Jain to Lead INSEAD


On Friday the Financial Times reported that INSEAD is expected to announce that Dipak Jain, former Dean of Northwestern University’s School of Management, will replace Frank Brown as Dean of INSEAD. While it’s not yet official since INSEAD’s board and faculty need to approve the appointment, Jain is widely expected to get the nod later this month.

Jain, who served as Dean at Kellogg from 2001 to 2009 (the FT erroneously reports that Jain assumed the Dean’s job at Kellogg in 1994), worked his way up the ranks after joining Kellogg as an assistant professor in 1987. For much of the 1990s he served as Don Jacobs’ right-hand man, helping to implement Jacob’s vision to build on Kellogg’s strengths as a marketing and teamwork-oriented MBA program. When Jacobs stepped down in 2001, it was only natural that Jain took the reins at Kellogg.

What may have most attracted INSEAD to Dipak Jain is his international experience, and in particular his enthusiasm for building better business education in Asia. INSEAD’s Singapore campus, which opened just ten years ago, reflects the school’s ambitions beyond France. Jain, who strengthened Kellogg’s ties to Asia and was also a key player in getting the Indian School of Business off the ground, seems perfectly suited to the task of continuing to expand INSEAD’s influence in Asia.

Interestingly, the Financial Times also points out that INSEAD’s appointment of Jain may also reflect a trend among Europe-based business schools to get back to having academics, rather than people who come from industry, in the top leadership posts. Recently London Business School and IMD have replaced deans “from industry” with new leaders with more purely academic credentials. We wonder if any other business school leaders will be swept out as the ramifications of 2008’s economic meltdown still ripple through the education field.

If you’re considering applying to INSEAD or Kellogg, be sure to download our free Annual Reports, 15 completely free guides to the world’s top business schools. If you’re ready to start building your own application to a top MBA program, call us at 1-800-925-7737 and speak with an MBA admissions expert today!

INSEAD’s Two-Campus Approach to Business Education


The final deadline for INSEAD’s September, 2010, intake is still is still a month away, and there’s still plenty of time for you to craft a successful INSEAD application. Continuing our series of admissions insights clipped from Veritas Prep’s Annual Reports, our in-depth guides to 15 of the world’s top business schools, this week we take a closer look at life on each of INSEAD’s two main campuses. (Our Annual reports are absolutely free — all you have to do is register to access all of them — but we thought we’d share some snippets here to help get you started in your INSEAD research.)

As part of INSEAD’s commitment to providing an MBA education with a truly international perspective, the 10-month MBA program is run concurrently on two campuses, located in Europe and Asia:

  • European Campus: Fontainebleau. The town of Fontainebleau — referred to by INSEAD students as “Fonty” — has been a fashionable weekend getaway for the French aristocracy since the 16th Century due the town’s location in the middle of one of Western Europe’s largest forests. The forest provides extensive opportunities for walks, running, biking and rock climbing. The INSEAD campus contains 28 lecture halls, two restaurants, a bar, a bookshop, a gym, squash courts and extensive library resources. Additionally, INSEAD is just a ten-minute walk from the center of town. Fontainebleau itself is dominated by the massive Chateau de Fontainebleau, which served as a “hunting lodge” for French rulers from Francois I to Napoleon, who was escorted from the Chateau’s grand horseshoe staircase into exile on Elba (from which he would eventually return).

    MBA students in Fontainebleau must make their own arrangements for accommodation, which range from apartments in the town itself to rented country houses and private chateaux that dot the surrounding countryside. Most INSEAD students rent a car during their stay, which is virtually a necessity. When you tire of French country living, Paris is only 40 miles away to the North and provides everything you would expect from one of the world’s global capitals. If you have never visited, prepare to be dazzled. Given the amount of traffic, the trip typically takes about 90 minutes.

    Paris can be difficult to navigate by car unless you are a native, so don’t forget your GPS. Train service to Paris is available from the neighboring town of Avon. During breaks, MBA participants in Fontainebleau explore France’s wine regions, lay on the beach in St. Tropez, ski at Courchevel or go on shopping trips to Milan, where there are many bargains to be had. Barcelona and London are also popular weekend and holiday destinations.

  • Asian Campus: Singapore. In contrast to INSEAD’s European campus, the Asian campus in Singapore is located in one of the world’s most highly urban settings. The campus accommodates 950 students and includes lecture halls, a library, meeting rooms, extensive workspaces and a fully equipped fitness center. As in Europe, MBA students in Singapore make their own accommodation arrangements, which range from modern condominiums with swimming pools and tennis courts, to government-subsidized apartments. The MBA office has a listing of local real estate agents and landlords who can assist with the housing search.

    Singapore is a bustling, modern city-state that combines Chinese, Indian, Malay and British culture. It is known for its fantastic shopping, a wide array of culinary experiences and an impressive selection of cultural events. Sentosa Island is a popular island resort that includes a dizzying selection of recreational facilities including volleyball, inline skating, cycling, canoeing, miles of tropical beaches, two golf courses, a butterfly park and an oceanarium, to name just a few. After dark, Singapore has a lively nightlife. Fortunately it is all a breeze to explore

INSEAD Names New Dean of MBA Program

Last week INSEAD announced it has named named Professor Jake Cohen as the new Dean of the school’s MBA program, effective September 1. Cohen has been with INSEAD for more than five years as a professor, and has also served as Director of the school’s joint research program with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Cohen currently teaches a variety of finance, accounting, and business law courses at INSEAD’s campuses in France and in Singapore. He founded the Business Foundation program, a pre-matriculation program that prepares the incoming MBA class for INSEAD’s quant-heavy subjects. Before INSEAD, he was a Senior Teching Fellow at Harvard Business School.

Cohen will succeed Professor Antonio Fat

INSEAD Application Essays and Deadlines 2008-2009

INSEAD has released its application for the 2008-2009 season. The following are INSEAD’s deadlines and essays for the coming Sep. 2009 intake, with our italics in comments:

INSEAD Application Deadlines
Round 1: October 1, 2008
Round 2: November 26, 2008
Round 3: February 11, 2009
Round 4: April 1, 2009

INSEAD Application Job Essays

  1. Please give a detailed description of your job, including nature of work, major responsibilities; and, where relevant, employees under your supervision, size of budget, number of clients/products and results achieved. (250 words)
  2. Please give us a full description of your career since graduating from university. If you were to remain with your present employer, what would be your next step in terms of position? (250 words)
  3. (No changes since last year. INSEAD is unusual in that it explicitly separates out applicants’ job-related and personal-themed essays, and this practice remains for 2008-2009. Question #2 is interesting because they really want to see that your career is on an upward trajectory, and that you’re not pursuing an MBA just to bail out of a dead-end job.)

INSEAD Application Personal Essays

  1. Give a candid description of yourself, 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. (400 words)
  2. Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such. (400 words)
  3. Describe a situation taken from school, business, civil or military life, where you did not meet your personal objectives, and discuss briefly the effect. (250 words)
  4. Discuss your career goals. What skills do you expect to gain from studying at INSEAD and how will they contribute to your professional career? (500 words)
  5. Please choose one of the following two essay topics:

    a) Have you ever experienced culture shock? What did it mean to you? (250 words)

    b) What would you say to a foreigner moving to your home country? (250 words)

  6. (Optional)Is there anything that you have not mentioned in the above essays that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (200 words)
  7. (For reapplicants) In case of reapplication, please use this page. Your essay should state any new aspects of professional, international, academic, or personal development since your last application. We would also like you to explain your motivation for re-applying to INSEAD. (400 words)
  8. (Again, no changes since last year, but note INSEAD’s emphasis on cultural awareness and the value of mixing international cultures. More than just about any other business school, INSEAD puts a very deliberate focus on the value of an international perspective.)

For more advice on applying to INSEAD, visit the Veritas Prep INSEAD information page.

Business School in Second Life

Second Life has really taken off as of late, and this new world, complete with its own economy, is of interest to some in the business world. Many businesses make use of Second Life to promote products, and it provides an interesting subject of study for those in business education. But when it comes to Second Life, no business school is making better use of it than INSEAD.

INSEAD is currently developing a virtual school, complete with lecture halls, research labs, and lounge areas, designed to supplement their real-world program. The idea is for students to be able to better interact with instructors, fellow students, and even potential employers.

It’s not clear just how well this will pan out for INSEAD, but it’ll be interesting to see if other schools follow suit, and just how effective it becomes.

Source: Second Life B-School Student.