The global network effect
The school made a bold move in growing the student body to over 1000. The rationale behind the growth was that the school did not want to be a small, elite club for a few privileged westerners, but truly the “Business School for the World” – a transformative training ground for the next generation of business leaders from all continents. The size of the program is now paying dividends, as the school’s alumni network has grown to over 50,000 from 157 nationalities, living in 174 countries. In 2005, McKinsey noted that there were 23 countries in which more than 100 INSEAD MBA alumni lived and worked; its closest competitor at the time, HBS, had such alumni presence in just 12. Since then, the breadth and depth of INSEAD’s network has grown dramatically, and INSEAD today can point to 45 countries in which it has more than 100 alumni. This network is an immense asset in creating a positive cycle of attracting more great MBA applicants and recruiters, as well as being a tremendous resource for the alumni as they progress in their careers.
The killer ROI of the one-year program
INSEAD invented the one-year MBA format over 50 years ago, and this has proven to be a highly successful model. Students appreciate the opportunity to gain their MBA degree (in which they cover 80% of the material you would cover in a top two-year program) in half the time, meaning a much lower overall cost and less foregone salary. The Forbes MBA ranking shows the program has the highest five-year ROI of any school in the world. Recruiters also comment that the intensity of the INSEAD program more closely mirrors the reality of professional life in a post MBA career, and better prepares students to hit the ground running when they start their new job.
INSEAD’s winning formula has firmly cemented its position among the world’s leading business schools. In the last four years at Fortuna Admissions we have certainly seen increasing volumes of applicants from the US and around the globe targeting INSEAD as their first choice, and the number one spot in the FT will likely drive more applications to the school. In the volatile world of MBA rankings, the school should enjoy this moment in the sun. And regardless of rankings, under the strong leadership of the school’s dynamic young Dean, Ilian Mihov, INSEAD promises to continue to go from strength to strength.
Caroline Diarte Edwards is a director of Fortuna Admissions, a prominent MBA admissions consulting firm. An INSEAD MBA graduate, she was previously the school’s director of admissions, marketing and external relations from 2005 to 2012.