Example essay

Tips for INSEAD career writing prompts

Growth is essential at INSEAD. The “Business School for the World” is specifically looking for students who can demonstrate a fearless nature to overcome challenges and who have a solid understanding of how they will achieve their goals.

To find these students, INSEAD 2021-2022 The MBA app asks applicants to answer not one or two essay questions, but seven short answer questions in total that are designed to act similarly to job descriptions. The seven essays collectively have a limit of 2,000 words and are divided into two sections: career questions and motivation questions.


The first essay prompt in the Careers section asks applicants the following:

Briefly summarize your current (or most recent) position, including the nature of the job, main responsibilities and, if applicable, employees under your supervision, size of budget, clients / products and results achieved. (200 words maximum)

Experts say this first question should give admissions officials a sense of where you are in your career right now.

“In this question, be sure to mention your title, organization, location, and main responsibilities,” Cassandra Pittman, MBA Admission Coach at Fortuna Admissions and a former member of the London Business School and INSEAD admissions teams, writes. “Feel free to list a few accomplishments if space permits, but don’t repeat the achievement you use in your achievement essay later in the app.” Where applicable, also include leadership and teamwork, as well as any international project or work with international reach. Quantify as much as possible throughout.


The second career writing prompt asks applicants:

What would be your next step in terms of the job if you were to stay with the same company? (200 words maximum)

In this essay, Pittman recommends that applicants make it clear where they are currently within their company and industry, and where they envision their career path from then on.

“It’s best to be as straightforward as possible with your response,” Pittman writes. “Say what your next promotion or title would look like and list any new responsibilities you may have and / or the management of others in this new role. “


The third career writing prompt asks applicants:

Please provide a full description of your career since graduating from university. Describe your career path with the rationale for your choices. (300 words maximum)

The best way to approach the third career attempt is to think of it as a deepening exercise that is summarized in your CV.

“It’s an essential part of your overall narrative as a candidate, so make sure you give it the attention it deserves,” Pittman writes. “A wonderful feature of this essay is that it allows you to explain the added value of career choices that may not be obvious from reading your resume.”

The goal is to get readers from where you started to where you are now.

“Approach this essay chronologically, starting with your first role after college through to the present day,” Pittman writes. “Remember that you will have space to detail your accomplishments in your CV and in a later essay.”


The final required career essay requires applicants to do the following:

Discuss your short and long term career aspirations with an MBA from INSEAD. (100 words maximum)

With the strictest word limit among career essay prompts, the fourth career essay focuses on clarity and brevity. Pittman recommends that applicants outline their immediate career goal after the MBA and their goals 10 to 15 years from now.

“Try to be as specific as possible (although it’s hard to know) with examples of company names and ideas for some job titles you are looking for,” Pittman writes. “You can even include geographic location. Ideally, try to include a sentence or two explaining why you are passionate about this career path.

Read INSEAD Motivational Testing Tips here.

Sources: Stacy Blackman Consulting, Fortuna Admissions, P&Q

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