Tips for INSEAD career writing prompts

Growth is everything at INSEAD. The “Business School for the World” is specifically looking for students who can demonstrate a fearless nature to overcome challenges and who have a solid understanding of how they will achieve their goals.

To find these students, INSEAD’s 2021-2022 MBA application asks applicants to answer not one or two essay questions, but seven short answer questions in total designed to act the same as the descriptions. From post. The seven essays collectively have a limit of 2,000 words and are divided into two sections: career questions and motivation questions.


The first essay prompt in the Careers section asks applicants the following:

Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) position, including the nature of the job, main responsibilities and, if applicable, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients / products and results achieved. (200 words maximum)

Experts say this first question should give admissions officials a sense of where you are in your career right now.

“In this question, be sure to mention your title, organization, location and main responsibilities,” writes Cassandra Pittman, MBA admissions coach at Fortuna Admissions and former member of the admissions teams at London Business School and at INSEAD. “Feel free to list a few accomplishments if space permits, but don’t repeat the achievement you use in your achievement test later in the app.” Where applicable, also include leadership and teamwork, as well as any international project or work with international reach. Quantify as much as possible throughout.


The second career writing prompt asks applicants:

What would be your next step in terms of the job if you were to stay with the same company? (200 words maximum)

In this essay, Pittman recommends that applicants make it clear where they are currently within their company and industry, and where they envision their career path from then on.

“It’s best to be as straightforward as possible with your response,” Pittman writes. “Say what your next promotion or title would look like and list any new responsibilities you may have and / or the management of others in this new role. “


The third career writing prompt asks applicants:

Please provide a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale for your choices. (300 words maximum)

The best way to approach the third career attempt is to think of it as a deepening exercise that is summarized in your CV.

“This is an essential part of your overall narrative as a candidate, so make sure you give it the attention it deserves,” Pittman writes. “A wonderful feature of this essay is that it allows you to explain the added value of career choices that may not be obvious from reading your resume.”

The goal is to get readers from where you started to where you are now.

“Approach this essay in chronological order, starting with your first role after college through to the present day,” Pittman writes. “Remember that you will have space to detail your accomplishments in your CV and in a later essay.”


The final required career essay requires applicants to do the following:

Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (100 words maximum)

With the strictest word limit among career writing prompts, the fourth career writing focuses on clarity and brevity. Pittman recommends that applicants outline their immediate career goal after the MBA and their goals 10 to 15 years from now.

“Try to be as specific as possible (although it’s hard to know) with examples of company names and ideas for certain job titles you are looking for,” Pittman writes. “You can even include geographic location. Ideally, try to include a sentence or two explaining why you are passionate about this career path.

Read the INSEAD Motivational Essay Tips here.

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, Fortuna Admissions, P&Q

Next page: Wall Street increases the starting salary.

In recent years, Wall Street has seemed to lose its appeal with MBA graduates.

Ten years ago, nearly 20% of MBAs at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania went to banking. In 2020, only 12% of Wharton’s MBAs were in full-time positions in investment banking. What’s more, data shows that in 2020, only 7% of graduates of the top five B-schools in the United States held full-time positions in investment banking, a decline of about two points from previous graduates. 9% of 2016.

Many MBAs highlight long hours and poor work-life balance as the main reasons for staying away from the investment banking industry. Now banks such as JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs are offering salary increases to junior bankers, with increases of up to 30%, to attract new graduates.


At JPMorgan, first-year sales, trading and research analysts will be paid $ 100,000, an increase from the previous $ 85,000, Bloomberg reports. The bank will also increase second-year analyst compensation from $ 90,000 to $ 105,000, with third-year analyst compensation increasing from $ 95,000 to $ 110,000.

At Goldman Sachs, first-year analysts will receive a base salary of $ 110,000, an increase of nearly 30% from the initial starting salary of $ 85,000, according to MarketWatch.

“There’s a lot of bank poaching going on right now,” said Jason Kennedy, CEO of the Kennedy Group recruiting firm. Bloomberg. “Some of the better banks are losing staff on the buyer side. So they go to their competitors and poach them. It becomes a vicious cycle.

Earlier this summer, a number of banking companies, including Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc, Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG, raised the first-year salary to $ 100,000 – a number that experts say will likely be further increased thanks to bonuses as a way to remain attractive to new graduates, according to Bloomberg.

Still, many MBAs say the long hours that come with investing in banking just aren’t worth it.

“You don’t have control over your lifestyle and you work even when you don’t want to,” Ben Chon, a 27-year-old entrepreneur who quit his job as a health banker in San Francisco from JPMorgan Chase. office, tell The New York Times.

Sources: Bloomberg, Financial News, The New York Times, MarketWatch

Next page: MBA internships

Internships are one of the primary ways that MBAs land jobs after graduation.

At New York University’s Stern School of Business, nearly 60% of the 2020 class have secured employment opportunities as a result of summer internships. For many MBAs, internships can provide an opportunity to explore a career and help lay the groundwork for postgraduate success. Fortune recently spoke to experts about what MBAs need to know about the internship during B-school.


Where you decide to do your internship depends a lot on what you want to do after your studies. Experts say a big differentiator of the MBA internship experience is whether you choose to intern with a large company versus a small startup. Large organizations will tend to have formal recruitment processes for internships with responsibilities and deadlines set in stone.

“Often, [smaller] companies don’t have these great programs, ”said Emily Anderson, senior director of the Career Management Center at Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management. Fortune. “It would take more networking on the part of the student to discover some of them. “

While Big Four internships are traditionally common for MBAs, recent years have shown the rise of technology and its popularity among students of B schools. At the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington, the rate technology placement in 2020 was 53%, an increase of 9% over the previous year. At Michigan State’s Eli Broad College of Business, tech hires were 37.7% in 2020, a whopping 18.4% increase from 2019.


Once you’ve established what kind of internship experience you want, experts recommend familiarizing yourself with the industry and company you’re applying to.

“Research what the job is all about,” said Jamie Mathews-Mead, senior director of graduate career management at Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. US News. “Know what employers are looking for and how you can add value. “

Also, remember that there is always more than one path to success.

“People think that if Goldman Sachs is their long-term goal, they have to intern at Goldman to get there, but there are 100 different ways to get there,” Toni Rhorer, associate director of career and coaching coaching. programming at Arizona State University WP. Carey School of Business, tells US News. “It could be a lot of experience working at a company that doesn’t have a big name.”

Sources: Fortune, NYU Stern, P&Q, US News

INSEAD’s publication Tips for Career Writing Prompts appeared first on Poets & Quants.

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