First and second important steps to becoming an INSEADer

Hello to all the readers,

I’m Pongpunt Tantijunykul from Bangkok, Thailand. Before I came to INSEAD, I worked in marketing for automotive lubricants for the Chinese market at PTT (formerly known as the Petroleum Authority of Thailand). As this is my first post in this blog, I’d like to take this opportunity to go through the INSEAD admissions process.

The application is quite straight forward. Don’t worry too much about your GMAT score because it’s not the only factor that INSEAD evaluates. One thing that is different from other business schools is that INSEAD values “international exposure” of prospective students so if you have lived, studied and/or worked abroad, make sure to highlight this in your application because this part can make you stand out from other candidates and shows your fit with INSEAD. There are main and optional essay questions that each applicant has to answer. My tips that I think prospective students can apply: Try to have several hooks along with ups and downs in your stories to keep the readers interested in your essays. Also, you’d better have your friends or family members read your essays and ask for their feedback, because they will provide you with an outsider view that might surprise you.

By the time you have interview invitations from INSEAD, please be well prepared. Two alumni who will interview you will study your application and resume very well so you should go through your application again before the interview, just in case you have forgotten some details (interviews take place 1-2 months after you have submitted your application). Generally, the interview is more like a conversation, asking about your daily and professional life and your perspective of a specific industry. I was asked to assess the growth and sustainability of the fortune telling business, even though I have no experience in this field! For me, this was quite an unexpected question, but in my opinion it really showed how INSEAD really cares about cutting-edge ideas and thinking. This interview round is very important because the alumni will select the best fit for the school, so you will score well if you can demonstrate how you are a right match for INSEAD.

I hope that my experience sharing is helpful for those who are now planning to apply to INSEAD. I wish you all the best in your application and interview process.