I look forward to the one million possibilities that will start to shape my future experience at INSEAD.
Tell us about yourself, where are you from, and where did previously study?
I’m a local Cantonese born and raised in Guangzhou, a southern Chinese city near Hong Kong. Fun fact: I spent my entire 12-year schooling life in one boarding school where 5,000 primary, junior and high school students share the same campus.
Currently, I’m a senior student at Fudan University in Shanghai and I have studied in other places as well. During my freshman year, I once went to Hong Kong and attended the elite programme of AXA; during my junior year, I studied in England as an exchange student at Queen’s University (Bader International Study Centre); I have also studied in South Korea for the winter programme of Yonsei University.
What kind of career are you headed for?
I’m aiming for an international career where I can make the best of my language abilities and managerial expertise. I have always possessed a huge passion for different languages, especially in the diverse cultures behind them. Besides my mother tongues, Cantonese and Mandarin, I can also fluently speak English and Korean.
I’m also trying to pick up French before I go to France. While I gradually developed my interest in business and management through my several internships in consulting, industry funds, accounting and insurance, I aspire to pursue my career in consulting and investment banking industry.
The vibrant and challenging nature of these industries not only strongly resonates with my vision to further explore the world, but also will lay a solid foundation on my further pursuits in either professional advancement or an MBA degree. I still haven't quite decided on the details yet but I will try to better orient myself during my time in INSEAD.
What made you choose INSEAD?
I first found out about INSEAD through the QS rankings. Listed in the second place in the field of management science in 2020, INSEAD boasts its international reputation and attracts the smartest minds throughout the world.
For me, INSEAD was the symbol of excellence and diversity, and I felt a sense of attraction towards its inclusive atmosphere. I dreamt to be a part of INSEAD, and I was inspired to communicate, empathise and connect with the outstanding INSEADers who have distinct perspectives, visions and values.
INSEAD is be the perfect launchpad for exploration and aspiration.
Share your admission journey with us! Where did it start? Did you attend any events online or onsite?
I started really early with my application preparation, in my freshman year actually, inspired by my vision to explore the world. The whole process involved a lot of work, taking a minor and several internships, participating in foreign programmes, preparing for tests (GMAT and IELTS), and doing extracurricular activities such as volunteering and students’ union.
My application started when I coincidentally came across an article introducing INSEAD's pioneering MIM programme on social media back in July, 2019. Right after that, I read through INSEAD's website and created my application profile.
When I was preparing for the application, all the work (the essay, reference letter, Kira interviews, the optional interview, etc.) was really overwhelming. To be honest, I was very confused about lots of things back then.
At the peak of my confusion, I was very luckily offered an opportunity to attend an information session organised by INSEAD's recruitment director, Jennifer Luo, right on my campus. Thanks to her guidance, I became more clear about INSEAD's admission standard and process so that I could structure my essays accordingly and make tailored plans to prepare for the Kira interview. I submitted my application profile in early October, 2019 for the first round, and was admitted to the programme one month later, without taking the optional interview with alumni or admission committee.
Did you meet or speak with alumni?
No, I did not do that during my application process but I strongly recommend you to actively network with INSEAD alumni through LinkedIn or other channels to know more about the programme.
How long did it take you to write your essays?
It took nearly one month to finish my essays, though MIM applicants actually only need to write as many as 350 words in the three compulsory essay questions in total.
In the optional essay questions that does not have word limit, I also provided additional information that highlighted some details of my international experience, mainly on how I have explored the diverse characters, perspectives and lifestyles from other cultures, to showcase my international motivation to join INSEAD.
Was it easy for you to find information and the support you needed along the way?
Yes, it was. I could always reach out to someone when I was in need of any information. I would like to give a huge shout-out to Jennifer Luo and Perrine Chantome here. Through the info session, Jennifer gave very detailed and clear answers on my questions and Perrine, the admission officer assigned to me, helped me a lot throughout the whole application process.
Any tips for future MIM candidates?
- Prepare early. You can never be too early to start preparing since it really involves lots of work, especially the GMAT. You probably need to take those exams more than once.
- Enrich your profile. Internships and international experience are key to the application. You could submit as many as four reference letters, two compulsory via link by e-mail and two optional as attachments. Make sure you submit at last one academic and one professional reference letter. On the attachment page, you could also submit certificates of your scholarship, internship, professional training, volunteering, etc.
- Keep yourself updated by taking part in info sessions and contact admission officers when confused.
- Write the essays and application profile according to your personality and the admission criteria. International motivation and experiences are highly valued by INSEAD, especially those that could show your ability to deal with relationships, resolve conflicts and boost inclusion in a multicultural setting. Provide additional information if you have extra time, while keeping your answer reasonably short and brief.
- The video interviews are very important and require lots of practice. The admissions committee is hoping to see the real you in this part and you need to show your best with a confident smile, posed gestures and expressions, and natural, fluent and positive answers. Time control and basic anticipation to the interview questions are also very important. My strategy was to gather other questions by the Kira system (not necessarily just those of INSEAD’s MIM programme but also those of its MBA programme and other schools), intensively practice 4-7 days before the interview through self-recording and get myself used to naturally but confidently talking to my laptop's camera while keeping my answers right within one minute.
What are you looking most forward to?
INSEAD's MIM programme incorporates way too many things I'm hoping for. I'm really excited to see my future classmates, the faculty and the staff. I'm also thrilled to start my journey in two foreign lands and learn more about their languages and cultures. I look forward to the one million possibilities that will start to shape my future experience at INSEAD.