Scott Edinburgh
May 10, 2023

INSEAD MBA Essays and Application Deadlines: 2023-2024

INSEAD - The Business School for the World - MBA

The INSEAD MBA deadlines have been confirmed for the 2023–2024 application cycle.

For candidates considering INSEAD, the program is best known for its international student body, hence the school’s tagline of “The Business School for the World.”

A typical class profile includes more than 75 different nationalities and over 65 business or home countries. This global cohort renders the INSEAD MBA program a diverse and inclusive experience.

If you are considering applying for 2024 intake, please see below for the upcoming INSEAD MBA deadlines as well as Personal MBA Coach’s guidance on how to answer the INSEAD MBA essay questions, based on the 2022-2023 MBA application essay questions. The full-time MBA programs offers four application rounds for August 2024 intake, the second falling in November (earlier than most Round 2 deadlines).

The INSEAD MBA Deadlines Are:

Round 1: September 12, 2023

Round 2: November 7, 2023

Round 3: January 16, 2024

Round 4: March 5, 2024

Based on our 16 years of experience, we do not expect the INSEAD MBA application essay questions to change next year.

Personal MBA Coach’s Tips for Tackling the INSEAD MBA Essay Questions (based on the 2022-2023 essay questions):

Essay 1: Give a candid description of yourself (who are you as a person), stressing the personal characteristics you feel to be your strengths and weaknesses and the main factors which have influenced your personal development, giving examples when necessary. (500 words maximum)

This is your chance to show INSEAD how you will add uniquely to school’s diverse and international student body.

With such a broad question, it is tempting to tell your life story: we recommend not doing so. Instead, think about your personal story and which elements of your profile truly make you unique and focus only on those characteristics. As with all strong MBA application, show, do not tell. Instead of listing your characteristics, let the reader see how you have demonstrated them in action. A strong essay will then take this a step further, letting the reader know why these characteristics are important to you.

While most applicants will focus on their strengths, do not forget to candidly discuss your weaknesses. MBA applicants have plenty to learn so this is your chance to show your humility. Avoid false weaknesses such as “I work too much” or “I am a perfectionist.”

Essay 2: Describe the achievement of which you are most proud and explain why. In addition, describe a situation where you failed. How did these experiences impact your relationships with others? Comment on what you learned. (400 words maximum)

Describe the success or failure concisely and clearly, think through the reason you are proud (or regretful in the case of the failure), and immediately follow through with the effect this had on your relationships with others and what you learned. Particularly for the failure, the learning part is essential: show your ability to draw improvement from a situation. But the learning part can be equally important for the success if, for example, you helped your team win by sharing the spotlight with someone else.

The most important part: pick a success and a failure that offer rich takeaways.

Essay 3: Describe all types of extra-professional activities in which you have been or are still involved for a significant amount of time (clubs, sports, music, arts, etc). How are you enriched by these activities? (300 words maximum) 

Here, like for INSEAD Essay 1, we suggest you whittle your list down to the activities that have been or are most important to you for some reason.

Explain your involvement, then delve quickly into how the activity shaped you or enlightened you or made you learn something that contributes to who you are. If this determined or shaped your MBA goals, then say that. With 300 words, less is more.

Optional Essay: Is there anything else that was not covered in your application that you would like to share with the Admissions Committee? (300 words maximum)

The optional INSEAD essay should only be answered by those with extenuating circumstances. Read more on our approach to optional essays here.

If you are applying to INSEAD, visit our INSEAD school page for more program-specific information. If you are looking to maximize your chances of success, Personal MBA Coach is here to guide you through our comprehensive packages.

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