INSEAD evaluates candidates holistically and is looking for a wide variety of candidates and backgrounds. If you want to go to INSEAD, take the leap of faith and apply. You never know what may happen.
Julia Linthicum

Julia Linthicum

MBA Julia Linthicum
Nationality/Passport: American Year of graduation: 2023 Current Role: Account Supervisor at AREA23

Tell us a little about yourself, your personal and professional journey so far?

I was born and spent my early years in Paris, France but primarily grew up in America. After graduating from university, I moved to New York City to pursue my passion of global advertising. Over the past five and a half years, I’ve been privileged to work with a variety of healthcare companies, helping to promote lifesaving products around the world. Outside of work, I enjoy dancing, baking, attending live performances (such as ballets and theater shows) and traveling the world.

Can you share a little about why you decided to pursue the MBA, and in particular, the INSEAD MBA? 

I thoroughly enjoyed my past five and a half years in advertising, but I felt like my learning and professional growth was plateauing. I found myself doing the same things over and over and was ready for a new challenge. I thought getting an MBA, and strengthening my business knowledge, would provide stimulating challenges and help me pivot into a new sector.

From the moment I learned about INSEAD, I knew it was the programme for me.

It had all the core elements of an MBA programme that I was looking for. In particular, I was drawn to the diversity of the cohort and the opportunity to study at INSEAD campuses around the world.

Being American, I was also thrilled that INSEAD offered the opportunity to study and live in both Europe and Asia during the one-year programme. I was eager to live with and learn from a variety of people from vastly different backgrounds from my own.

Additionally, every alum I spoke with spoke fondly of their experiences, often saying it was “the best year of their life.” Hearing their experiences made me confident in my decision to pursue my MBA from INSEAD.

What are your thoughts about the class experience, professors, the curriculum so far?

So far, I’ve really enjoyed my classroom experience. I found the variety of topics interesting and appreciate how they complement and build upon each other.

For example, we’ll often learn about a concept in one class and later that day in a different class, the same concept is brought up and built upon in a different way. The shared learnings between subjects are unlike anything I’ve experienced before. It makes the classes and learnings interesting and memorable.

What is the student life like at INSEAD?

The student life at INSEAD is like an all-you-can-eat buffet.

There is so much you can do every single day. From student clubs to networking events to casual dinners with friends and weekend getaways, there is never a shortage of things to do outside of class.

In particular, I’ve really enjoyed being a member of student clubs, such as OUTSEAD, and getting to know my classmates through casual dinners and events. Everyone is so open and friendly that it’s extremely easy to make friends, no matter where you are or what you’re doing.

Are you looking forward to anything in particular during your time on the programme? 

I’m looking forward to participating in INSEAD traditions such as DASH and the Robin Hood Campaign. For DASH, the students and faculty (even the Dean) dress up in costumes for the day and attend classes.

As the Robin Hood Campaign Co-Chair, I’m excited to help lead the fundraising efforts for my class. At INSEAD, each class raises money for a “Robin Hood” scholarship for an incoming student in next year’s class. I think it will be both rewarding and fun to plan and run the campaign. I also think this will be a great way to meet new classmates and make memories.

Could you share a little about your application process, securing financing, and making your way to Singapore/Fontainebleau?

My application process was straightforward. I started researching MBA programmes a few years ago and immediately identified INSEAD as my top choice. After spending some time studying for and taking the GMAT I was finally ready to apply for the INSEAD MBA.

I ended up applying in Round 1 for the class of ‘23J. I did not work with a consultant during the application process. Once I was offered an interview, I applied for five INSEAD scholarships.

After gaining admission, I was fortunate to receive two scholarships through INSEAD: the Reaching Out LGBT MBA Fellowship and the L’Oréal scholarship. The rest of my financing is coming from loans through the United States Federal Government.

Coming to Fontainebleau was easy once I was able to successfully secure my visa. I found accommodation in a shared house for INSEAD students and was able to easily settle into life at INSEAD.

If you could share an admissions or application tip to someone who is considering the programme, what would you say?

I have two pieces of advice for potential applicants.

My first piece of advice is to not self-eliminate during the application process.

I very nearly did not apply because I thought I would not gain admission with my GMAT score. Thankfully, INSEAD evaluates candidates holistically and is looking for a wide variety of candidates and backgrounds. If you want to go to INSEAD, take the leap of faith and apply. You never know what may happen.

My second piece of advice is to be yourself during the application process. Don’t try to write what you think INSEAD wants to hear. Instead, write about who you are as a person and what matters to you, such as your passions, strengths, and weaknesses. INSEAD wants to know, and admit, unique individuals and writing authentically is a great way to stand out.

Parting words of wisdom?

Say “yes” to whenever possible. You only get out what you put into your experience.

Take the risk or chance and yes to as many things as you can. You never know what will happen or where a day will lead.