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INSEAD MBA - David '17 (USA, LGBT+)


Name: David
Nationality: American
Pre-MBA Education: Top US public school
Work Before MBA: Finance at a Fortune 100 company in the U.S.
Work After MBA / Post MBA Goals: Consulting/International development

Why did I pick Insead?

  1. I wanted to move to Asia.
  2. I wanted a different experience for graduate school after having been educated/living in the U.S. It came down to INSEAD vs LBS. I chose INSEAD because it’s a larger school, with campus rotations, and opportunity to learn a new language/culture.
  3. INSEAD is known as a party school, it has so far proven to be very true.

Best part of program?

  1. Ability to live in/exchange to France, Singapore, Abu Dhabi, and US (Wharton/Kellogg) for 1-3 periods out of 5 total.
  2. People are genuine, nice, and humble at INSEAD.
  3. One of the best schools to land a job in Asia and Europe.
  4. Laid back atmosphere.
  5. It’s only 1 year.

Not so best part of the program

  1. Name recognition is weaker than US schools.
  2. The campus in France is in a small town called Fontainebleau 1.5hr drive south of Paris. Life in Fontainebleau can feel isolated, especially during winter. It’s difficult to get access to top notch speakers and conferences as a result of the location. This is where most of the top U.S. schools and LBS have advantage (silverlining being it’s much easier to make friends due to its geographical isolation). Singapore campus may not have this issue.
  3. The caliber of the students can vary widely.
  4. Student clubs are poorly run and non-engaging due to duration of program and split campuses.
  5. It’s only 1 year.

What were you most surprised to learn about Insead after starting the program?

  1. Everyone at INSEAD is super international. Most people have dual citizenship, have lived/worked in multiple countries, and are fluent in at least two languages. Very different from U.S. schools.
  2. That it’s very intensive. An usual day runs from 8:30-8pm. On weekends, most people travel around Europe/Asia.
  3. INSEAD is a consulting school. This is very clear from the first day I stepped on campus. The school has a lot of sponsored students, and a lot people end up with a job in consulting.
  4. More than half of the students have engineering backgrounds.
  5. The way the school is run feels very entrepreneurial and lean, opposite of HBS.

Is it difficult for foreigner students to find jobs in Singapore / France?
This is what the school is built for, so it is very easy. It’s hard for INSEAD students to land jobs in the U.S., however.

In your opinion, Insead provides the most opportunities for MBAs entering which industries/functions/geographies?

  1. Consulting. Most people go to London, Singapore, or Dubai/Adu Dhabi.
  2. Entrepreneurship

What should more applicants know about Insead?
INSEAD students are very friendly and know how to have fun. There are multiple parties and trips every week.

Bottom-line: If you are slightly older and looking for a job in consulting/industry in Asia/Western Europe, enjoy parties/travelling, wish to be exposed to diverse cultures and learn a new language, INSEAD is the school for you. However, if you want to work in the U.S. in Finance, care about prestige of school brand and network, elective courses, student clubs, or need more time to figure out what you want to pursue, go to a 2 year US school that has an undergraduate program.

Feel free to ask me about:
LGBT at INSEAD vs LBS vs US schools
Why I chose Insead
My experience during the admissions journey
Global exposure and international travel
Campus life and residences on campus
Student Associations and activities
Life in Singapore / Fontainebleau

Complete List of Touch MBA Ambassadors / Business Schools

Hi David,

Your insights were brilliant and I really hope you’re still active on here :yum:
Had few quick questions:

  1. In your opinion, do the chances of landing a job in the US increase for a student if they did an exchange at Wharton or Kellog?

  2. One of my friends also went to INSEAD and loveeeed it. But she said the campus rotation doesn’t take place every year and that it’s pretty competitive (not all students get to move around). Could you share your personal experience regarding this?

  3. What did you think of the classes and professors?



Hey @SarahChenLin, please see below.

  1. Insead isnt the school if you want a job in the US, as the recruiting period is after US schools, and companies come here to recruit for Intl positions. It might be better if you’re American, nearly impossible if you’re not. In terms of exchanges, Wharton and Kellogg are for the summe rintake only I believe, but by the time you get to the us the recruiting cycle would have already passed, so I can’t say it would do much for landing a job in the us.

  2. If you want to exchange, it’s totally possible. You just have to plan it well. Those who didn’t get to go simply didn’t prepare.

  3. Classes and professors are mostly great, they get better as you go thru later periods/ electives. Most of the material is still us-centric, and lots of them are us-trained.

On the experience itself, the starting campus choice matters a ton, as most people hang out with people they meet during the first two periods.



Hi @InseaderDavid ,

Thanks for sharing your insights. I am sharing a quick gist of my profile, before I ask you my questions.

Intake Year: 2018
Pre-MBA Career: Part of a leadership programme in a large MNC, Senior Manager in Finance and Planning
Post-MBA Career: Consulting Companies: Accenture, Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey & Company
GMAT: 740 GPA: 3.7 Years of Work Experience: 4
Location: Mumbai, India
Notes: Part of a spinoff startup business in a large MNC. My long term goal is entrepreneurship in health tech with a short term goal of management consulting or brand management in the healthcare practice to get more exposure to business practices and frameworks

My questions:

  1. What resources does the school offer MBA students for entrepreneurship? How effective are these?

  2. How competitive do you feel the MBA environment is here? How collaborative is it?

  3. Can you share your experience during the admissions journey? What is your best advice about applying to INSEAD?

Thank you!