Each year INSEAD selects a limited number of seasoned professionals who are looking for new ways to make an impact on their organisation by starting their journey of change with the Executive Master of Change (EMC) programme.

Selection is based on a combination of your potential to be a change agent, interest in psychological approaches to management and self-development and your ability to contribute to the INSEAD experience.

The admissions procedure aims to identify evidence of these qualities and to select classes with an overall balance of diversity, experience, personal characteristics and above all, mutual fit with the individual and the programme.

What is the EMC admissions procedure?

Once you have pressed the 'Submit' button, a team of dedicated personnel is responsible for progressing your application through the pipeline promptly.

The first step in any application review is to ensure that all required essay questions are complete and within the appropriate word limit, and the two recommendations letters are attached.

Once the application is deemed complete, it is reviewed by dedicated Application File Readers. Each File Reader is trained in the field of psychology and is solely responsible for reviewing your application. The File Readers assess whether your ambitions mirror the objectives of the EMC programme and ultimately that you have a strong understanding of the nature of the programme. Some of the most common traits shared by the EMC community are open-mindedness, self-awareness and a willingness to reflect continually on their experiences.

These traits can come across in many ways. Whether you display these traits through your background, interests or experiences, the File Reader reviews your application for emerging themes and to gain a sense of why you want to do the programme.

EMC essay question #7

Describe the sort of person you are (please be frank in elaborating on your strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes, skills/limitations, interests/values).

The final stage in your application review is a follow-up discussion between the admissions team and your dedicated File Reader to discuss your unique fit in further detail. There are individual cases where further communication with you may be required. An example of this would be an applicant's desire to 'be a coach'. As the INSEAD EMC programme is not a pure coaching programme, the admissions team would reach out to understand more about the individual's motivations and ensure they align with the programme objectives.

If the team agrees on your profile, your application moves to the next stage where you will be asked to attend an interview with one of our EMC Programme Directors.

Meeting the programme directors

Your interview should last for one hour and allow you to discuss the programme in depth with those responsible for delivering the EMC programme. It's also an opportunity for the Directors to understand you, the person behind the application, and determine your mutual fit with the programme.

Once you complete your interview, you can expect a decision on your admission into the EMC programme within five working days.

What makes a good essay?

The most important aspect of a good EMC application essay is to be yourself. The admissions team wants to see your unique motivation and engagement in the application. There is no right answer as topics like 'risk' and 'personal growth' can mean so many different things to different people. The act of writing down your motivations and thoughts can be an exciting experience in itself and is very much in sync with the programme.

“Be true to yourself, say what you want to say. Don’t say what you think people want to hear.”

Carol Therese – EMC Programme Admissions

It can be helpful to have someone you know, and more importantly trust, review your application and give constructive feedback before you submit.

Above all, the essay questions within the application give you a sense of the EMC. If you're not sure about the programme, check out the essay questions and start your journey of change.

EMC essay question #10

If you could imagine an entirely different life from the one you have, what would you want to be or do?


EMC Application - Essay questions

Please note: The essays will have to be filled in on the online application form

To give you an idea of what to expect, you can review the questions below. Each answer should be around 300-500 words. 

  1. Describe briefly all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been involved (associations, sports, arts, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (around 300 words)
  2. Describe briefly any significant international exposure you have had (long/short-term residence including childhood, professional assignments, etc). (around 300 words)
  3. Describe your current responsibilities. What do you like / dislike about your current position? (around 500 words)
  4. Why are you applying to this programme? How will this programme contribute to the achievement of your professional objectives? (around 500 words)
  5. What achievement are you most proud of? (around 500 words)
  6. Describe a failure that you have experienced and comment on it. (around 500 words)
  7. Describe the sort of person you are (please be frank in elaborating on your strengths/weaknesses, likes/dislikes, skills/limitations, interests/values). (around 500 words)
  8. What do you like best/least about your life? (around 500 words)
  9. What are some of the more risky things you have done in your life? (around 500 words)
  10. If you could imagine an entirely different life from the one you have, what would you want to be or do? (around 500 words)
  11. Is there anyone who has especially influenced your choices in life? Is there anyone who you believe you have influenced? (around 500 words)
  12. Have you had some experience in the area of personal growth? Have you had a role in helping others to grow?  (around 500 words)
  13. How do you see your future (your fantasies, dreams, goals, hopes, fears, as well as specific commitments and responsibilities you have undertaken)? (around 500 words)
  14. Why would you say that you are a good candidate for this programme? (around 500 words)
  15. Complete the below sentences:
  • My parents always told me I should ...
  • The best measure of personal success is ...
  • The main driving force in my life is...
  • I know that I will be successful if I ...
  • I am happiest and most satisfied when I ...
  • If I could magically choose any career, I would become a ... because ...
  • When I’m under pressure, I ...
  • What gets me into trouble is ...


If you would like to discuss your fit for the EMC with a programme advisor, please contact us

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