Getting In: The Best of Jon Fuller (The Sequel)



How Do Adcoms View Engineers?

“…Engineering-types are generally thought to be smart with solid technical and quantitative skills so make sure you’re reinforcing those positive stereotypes and keep track of your quantifiable accomplishments/successes so you can reference those on your resume and elsewhere in your application. On the flip side, engineers can often come across as not really being professionally well rounded, and application readers often assume that you’ll have limited soft skills, lack leadership ability/experience and an unwillingness to develop “soft” skills. Make sure you’re not that engineer, so do what you can to take on/seek out leadership roles, try new things when given the opportunity, and refine your teamwork and interpersonal skills.”

Would Schools Favor Candidates Who Were Successful in One of Their Other Graduate Programs?

“. . . I see it as having a marginal benefit since they’d have more confidence in the quality/rigor of a program at their university than somewhere else and/or at a lesser-known program. But the other, more traditional assessment factors – academics more broadly, work experience, extracurriculars/hobbies, etc. – are definitely going to trump.”

Applying to INSEAD

“. . . INSEAD is a bit of a different animal from other top MBA programs given its duration, geography, general management focus but with less opportunity to pursue elective interests, etc. Some of the things I’d recommend that you focus on as you prepare to apply are reflections of these elements.

For one, you’ll want to be able to fully leverage the extent and strength of your various international experiences in India, Lithuania, and Malta. Also, you should know how to clearly articulate your strong fit to their program – from a social perspective, the dynamics/general management focus of their one-year program, the fact that you’ll be spending time in Europe and Asia for your studies, etc. You should also spend a good amount of time reflecting on your own personality and being in touch with what makes you tick . . . I say this in regards to pretty much every program out there, but do not try to make yourself conform to a particular applicant formula. INSEAD isn’t looking for a generalized, formulaic candidate.

One other nuance to note is that INSEAD’s admissions team consists of faculty and alumni, so know your audience and be aware of the relevant buttons to push. It’s important to nod to the academics by speaking to your intellectual curiosity, how you’ll participate in class, your dedication to learning. Given the volume of students INSEAD graduates each year, they have a pretty formidable alumni population, so you’ll want to be able to show how you’ll be a valuable member of alumni network and school.”