Is an MBA only for high academic achievers with successful business backgrounds? What if your previous life or work experience doesn’t seem to fit into any of the more traditional pre-MBA profiles you've come across? 

This collection of blogs showcases the inspiring stories of five INSEAD MBA students who came from non-traditional backgrounds and succeeded not only in getting admitted, but also in demonstrating that an MBA can be a transformative and enriching endeavour for anyone willing to embrace the challenge.


Cracking INSEAD MBA admissions despite academic insecurities

Lizette Lee, MBA'23J


Lizette candidly recounts her journey of overcoming deep-seated academic insecurities to secure a spot at INSEAD's competitive MBA programme.

Her initial self-doubt threatened to thwart her aspirations, however, through commitment and determination she discovered the power of resilience and authenticity.

Read Lizette's blog here


From ex-lawyer to full and unique INSEADer

Vincent Boca, MBA'23J


Vincent chronicles the transformative experience of a former lawyer at INSEAD.

He overcame his apprehensions about leaving his first career behind by embracing the opportunities at INSEAD and leveraging his legal expertise to bring a fresh perspective to business challenges.

Read Vincent's blog here



Discovering careers, creativity, and innovation during INSEAD MBA

Julia Linthicum, MBA'23J


With a background in advertising, Julia embarked onto an exhilarating exploration of careers, creativity, and innovation during her time at INSEAD.

Through this journey, she honed her creative problem-solving skills and discovered a passion for entrepreneurship. 

Read Julia's blog here


From confusion to confidence at INSEAD

Heather Chang, MBA'23J


Joining INSEAD from the world of fashion, Heather reflects on her journey of navigating the complexities of business education.

Initially grappling with confusion and doubts about her fit for INSEAD, she came to harness her unique strengths to make a meaningful impact. 

Read Heather's blog here



A former journalist at business school: A non-traditional MBA candidate's experiences

Raisa Bruner, MBA'23J


Raisa's passion for storytelling and curiosity about the business world converged during her MBA journey, opening doors to new career perspectives and opportunities.

Read Raisa's blog here

Admissions advice for non-traditional profiles

What the Admissions Committee looks for in profiles from those with non-traditional backgrounds is the same as what they look for in those from any other background. This is explained fully in the admissions criteria section on the INSEAD MBA website. 

Here are the three tips to help you craft a compelling application:

  • Showcase the elements in your profile that differentiate you from other applicants and how your experiences will enhance the class discussion, while highlighting transferable skills that you can capitalise on at business school and in your future career.
  • Have a well-defined objective for doing the MBA and a clearly articulated vision for what you want to do afterwards, so that the Admissions Committee is assured of your purpose and focus at business school.
  • Spend some time to research career paths and the required skill sets. Speak to alumni or current students with a similar profile to find out what elements of the MBA will be the most useful for the pivot you are looking for, and integrate that knowledge into your application.

If you would like to discuss the programme and your profile in more detail, please don't hesitate get in touch with us.

If you would like to discuss your profile and MBA application in more detail, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

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