Insead Essay Culture Shock

INSEAD : offers a unique highly-accelerated 10-month MBA program. With three fully-integrated campuses in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, and students coming from over 80 different countries, INSEAD provides one of the most multicultural MBA experience. As a non-US Top 10 ranking international Business School, INSEAD has little serious competition in its niche. The short length of the course is extremely attractive to many career-centric applicants who want to quickly move up the value chain in their career and add a solid business school brand to their credit.

Class Profile: The total class size of INSEAD MBA program is about 1000 students (twice yearly intake). The average INSEAD student is 29 years old and has a GMAT score of 701. Females form 32% of the class and rest 68% of the class is males.

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Jan 2018 intake

Round 1: 15 Mar 2017

Round 2: 03 May 2017

Round 3: 14 Jun 2017

Round 4: 26 Jul 2017

Sep 2018 intake

Round 1: 20 Sep 2017

Round 2: 29 Nov 2017

Round 3: 24 Jan 2018

Round 4: 07 Mar 2018

Jan 2019 intake

Round 1: 14 Mar 2018

Round 2: 02 May 2018

Round 3: 20 Jun 2018

Round 4: 01 Aug 2018

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) is required essay tips

Essay 2

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

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) is required essay tips

Essay 4

Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (short answer) is required essay tips

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. (optional) essay tips

Personal 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 (approximately 500 words). essay tips

Personal 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 (approximately 400 words). essay tips

Personal Essay 3

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? (approximately 300 words) essay tips

Optional Essay

   

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

INSEAD Essays 2016-2017

Job 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. What would be your next step in terms of position If you were to remain in the same company?(350 words max.)

Job Essay 2: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations. (350 words max.)

Job 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.

Personal Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself (who you are 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. (600 words max.)

Personal 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.)

Personal Essay 3: Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.)

Personal Essay 4: Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time

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 maximum)

Reapplicant Essay: In case of reapplication, please provide an update on any new aspects of your professional, international, academic or personal profile that would not have been included in your previous application. Please also explain your motivation for re-applying to INSEAD. (400 words maximum)

INSEAD Essays 2014-2015

Job 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. What would be your next step in terms of position If you were to remain in the same company?(350 words max.)

Job Essay 2: Please give a full description of your career since graduating from university. It should be written as if you were talking someone at a social gathering detailing your career path with the rationale behind your choices. Discuss your short and long term career aspirations. (350 words max.)

Job 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.

Personal Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself (who you are 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. (600 words max.)

Personal 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.)

Personal Essay 3: Tell us about an experience where you were significantly impacted by cultural diversity, in a positive or negative way. (300 words max.)

Personal Essay 4: Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time

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 maximum)

Reapplicant Essay: In case of reapplication, please provide an update on any new aspects of your professional, international, academic or personal profile that would not have been included in your previous application. Please also explain your motivation for re-applying to INSEAD. (400 words maximum)

INSEAD Essays 2013-2014

Job 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. (250 words maximum)

Job 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 maximum)

Job Essay 3: 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 maximum)

Personal Essay 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 maximum)

Personal Essay 2: 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 maximum)

Personal Essay 3: Describe a situation taken from your personal or professional life where you failed. Discuss what you learned. (400 words maximum)

Personal Essay 4: 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 maximum)

Personal Essay 5: Please choose one of the following two essay topics:

a) Discuss your short and long term career goals. (300 words maximum)

b) How will studying at INSEAD help you achieve your vision? (250 words maximum)

Optional Essay: Is there anything that you have not mentioned in your application that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (350 words maximum)

Reapplicant Essay: In case of reapplication, please provide an update on any new aspects of your professional, international, academic or personal profile that would not have been included in your previous application. Please also explain your motivation for re-applying to INSEAD. (400 words maximum)

INSEAD Essays 2011-2012

Job 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. (250 words maximum)

Job 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 maximum)

Job Essay 3: 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 maximum)

Personal Essay 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 maximum)

Personal Essay 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 maximum)

Personal Essay 3: Describe a situation taken from your personal or professional life where you failed. Discuss what you learned. (400 words maximum)

Personal Essay 4:

a) Discuss your short and long term career goals. (300 words maximum)

b) How will studying at INSEAD help you achieve your vision? (250 words maximum)

Personal Essay 5: 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 maximum)

Optional Essay: Is there anything that you have not mentioned in your application that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (350 words maximum)

Reapplicant Essay: In case of reapplication, please provide an update on any new aspects of your professional, international, academic or personal profile that would not have been included in your previous application. Please also explain your motivation for re-applying to INSEAD. (400 words maximum)

INSEAD Essays 2010-2011

Job Essay 1: (Required) 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)

Job Essay 2: (Required) 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)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 2: Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such. (400 words approx.)

Personal 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

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

Optional Essay: Is there anything that you have not mentioned in the above essays that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (200 words approx.)

Reapplicant Essay: 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. This essay should not exceed 400 words.

INSEAD Essays 2009-2010

Job Essay 1: (Required) 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)

Job Essay 2: (Required) 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)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 2: Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such. (400 words approx.)

Personal 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

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

Optional Essay: Is there anything that you have not mentioned in the above essays that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (200 words approx.)

Reapplicant Essay: 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)

INSEAD Essays 2008-2009

Job Essay 1: (Required) 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)

Job Essay 2: (Required) 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)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 2: Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such. (400 words approx.)

Personal 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

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

Optional Essay: Is there anything that you have not mentioned in the above essays that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (200 words approx.)

Reapplicant Essay: 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)

INSEAD Essays 2007-2008

Job Essay 1: (Required) 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)

Job Essay 2: (Required) 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)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 2: Describe what you believe to be your two most substantial accomplishments to date, explaining why you view them as such. (400 words approx.)

Personal 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

Personal Essay 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 approx.)

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

Optional Essay: Is there anything that you have not mentioned in the above essays that you would like the Admissions Committee to know? (200 words approx.)

Reapplicant Essay: 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)



Analysis of INSEAD Personal Essay 5: a) Have you ever experienced culture shock? What insights did you gain? OR b) Describe the ways in which a foreigner in your country might experience culture shock.

Please choose one of the following two essay topics:
a) Have you ever experienced culture shock? What insights did you gain? (250 words maximum) or
b) Describe the ways in which a foreigner in your country might experience culture shock. (250 words maximum)

This sort of question is designed to gauge an applicant’s cultural sensitivity and ability to conduct business in an international setting, and probably comes as no surprise to applicants who are familiar with INSEAD’s reputation as a highly international program. The first option asks applicants to recount a trying experience in another country or environment, and to explain the resulting personal growth and process of adjustment. Meanwhile, the second asks candidates to reflect on the unique characteristics of his or her own culture and anticipate the issues that a visitor might encounter. In both responses, one has an opportunity to demonstrate cultural flexibility, offering evidence for his or her ability to operate as a global citizen and work in diverse teams. Of course, many of the best essays will manage to incorporate a healthy dose of lessons learned, indicating that cultural adjustment can be fraught with trial and error rather than sugar-coating a response and failing to outline the struggles or periods of adjustment.

To read our analysis of all of INSEAD’s essay questions, click here.

Posted in: Essay Topics

Schools: INSEAD

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