Why Not INSEAD!

It was sometime around July 2015 when I once again decided to apply for MBA courses after a gap of almost three years. I had tried applying to a few schools in 2012 but it didn’t really work out because of two main reasons. First, I hardly had any idea of how to represent myself. Secondly, I hadn’t challenged myself enough at work to set me apart from the pool of engineers applying to business schools. Oh and thirdly, I didn’t know and still don’t know how objectively any application process works.

So, after completing the first hurdle of appearing for GMAT again, I began shortlisting the business schools I wanted apply to. For me, applying to INSEAD was equivalent to aiming for the moon. My father, who did an executive management course at CEDEP-INSEAD, suggested otherwise. My mother and wife also chimed in with similar opinions and kept at it like a constant ringing in my ear so much so that one fine day I found myself going into the details of the MBA programme at INSEAD.

It all reads fantastically well. The course structure is great. The clubs and student activities are enriching. The diversity in class is top-notch. This course will help me gain the skills I need to grow further in my career. The job prospects INSEAD opens one up to are exemplary. I could really connect with what I was finding out about INSEAD. But the turning point for me was November 12, 2015 when I visited the INSEAD Singapore Campus. Talking to the Marketing team, getting a tour of the campus, discussing my profile and getting positive feedback from them encouraged me even more to consider applying to INSEAD. As I walked out of the main door after my appointment, a switch flicked and I went from ‘WHY INSEAD?’ to ‘WHY NOT INSEAD!’

Over the next three months, I worked on my application every day. The application is quite long and descriptive. I feel that this makes the application as personal as it can be. There are so many opportunities for applicants to write their hearts out and express themselves in the truest way. Sure, it takes a lot of time but once the application is complete, there is a sense of satisfaction that your life couldn’t be any more accurately represented with your personal and professional journeys and goals. That being said, I wouldn’t deny that I struggled. I struggled to revise my essays and to represent my unique point of view.

Two days before the Round 1 deadline, I had to travel on a business trip. The biggest challenge at that point was to give my application a final read through and submit - all this outside the comfort of my home. Crammed up in a hotel room with poor internet connection and with a couple of hours to go for the deadline, I had almost given up on making the deadline. Once I managed to submit the application, I knew that now there was no turning back. More than getting the final call from INSEAD confirming that “I’m IN!”, I always maintain that getting the email that I have been shortlisted for the interviews was the most exhilarating moment yet for me. The interviews were a lot less nerve-wrecking but exciting nonetheless. Today, the reality that I made it to INSEAD MBA Class of 17D is still sinking in.

Now looking back, this process was absolutely worth it. What started out as a thought 18 months back has now become a reality. Everyone who has been through this must agree that the sense of accomplishment of getting into INSEAD is immense.

To sum up the admission process experience, I'd like to use a line translated from a popular Bollywood movie: “This was just the trailer; the movie is yet to begin!”