INSEAD is constantly ranked among the BEST Business Schools in the world. The journey at INSEAD transforms an individual to the finest degree to be a TOP leader in any given organisation. With 60 years of excellence in their DNA, Insead never fails to provide any student, his/her’s lives some of the most reminiscing moments.
ScoreLeap invited Rashmi Vittal , INSEAD MBA’ 08 to be our esteemed Speaker for the webinar. Scoreleap Admissions Services helped her in the journey of the application process to INSEAD. She is currently a Start-Up Growth Strategist having founded 2 Start-ups of her own. Rashmi has been interviewing aspiring INSEAD MBA candidates for the MBA program for the last 10 years and is a mentor at INSEAD -Women in Business. From a student to interviewing applicants at Insead today she has overcome almost milestones efficiently yet keeping her charm by her side.
ScoreLeap is delighted to have her as our mentor as well for our MBA Admissions students. Here’s the narrative below
Rashmi shares: It goes back to the question why do you need an MBA, for your career or exploring different fields, it's extremely important to figure out that ‘why?’ Accordingly, choose your college that suits that specific need. Choosing according to what situation demands is very important as when you go to a party you will prefer to follow the given dresscode and not some other style of clothes. MBA is optional education and if you’re investing your time and money you better be clear why you are doing it . Think about what you are going to do after an MBA for instance its finance then you pick the best college for finance likewise for all other fields. It's like a marriage, pick up the person that will be best for you and think about the future and everything around them.
Rashmi says: The story of Insead how it happened to me is not a conventional story.I was working at Noble at file systems, engineering work and it was a fantastic experience and there came a point where my manager had to promote people to manager positions. He picked me to do an assignment in which I had success with one project and managed 130 people and I liked the job hence I wanted to do something better. I was also interested in sustainability, at that time in my spare time I used to read a lot about sustainability. I used to think it's not something that one man should get a prize for, it should be a collective initiative. So I had all these questions in mind and a friend of mine at that time recommended me to take an MBA. That's where Insead came when I started preparing for it and finally appeared from GMAT in 6 weeks. Post that, writing essays was the most difficult part for her. It took her 2 months to do that to compile a draft. I got an admit and left my house with 2 suitcases but a mind full of dreams looking forward to an extraordinary learning experience in Insead.
Each campus had different characteristics and during a year students could shift to any campus any number of times according to the availability of seats and other logistics. There was no morning & night concept because you’re trying to do 2 years of MBA course in one year. Along with that a lot of partying that happened too and you wouldn't want to miss it because that's where you grow your network. So every pit that Insead designs when you’re going through the year goes through very quick but even after a decade I remember some teachings and go like ‘oooh’ it meant this. In the talks that I give now, I tell the students to go with the flow and they will find their rhythm.
Rashmi advises : I have been interviewing candidates for Insead for 10 years now, we are looking for people like ourselves there are no rigid checklist boxes to tick. Genuine candidates who have global experience are generally preferred but there was this one applicant who was in the junior team of football. He was an excellent player but he wanted to shift towards equity, he did not particularly have any global experience but what I saw in him was an honest story - ‘ A person who has excelled at something , a person who knows what his wants and his dream was big.’ He wanted to use his private equity to help small businesses in his neighbourhood where he grew this isn’t something that he mentioned in his essay but it came up during the interviews and also how he has worked fund managers from different countries. He knows exactly how those people interact and behave. This is what we are looking for ‘having experience of working with other people’.
In Fact the people who are looking to make their portfolios, do something that people do not usually opt for, write big goals that are achievable and language experience Insead asks for three languages - English, Mother Tongue ( Hindi, tamil , punjabi etc) and a third language as well, two at minimum.
Rashmi shares : During covid I got to attend a lot of programs and sessions conducted specifically for women to provide them training in specific and small fields, it had a very diverse array of ranges that encouraged women to learn and seek more. Being in the interviewing panel for applicants I have never discriminated between men and women and have rejected both if they are not fit. Being a woman does not give you a pass into Insead, you have to be as equally qualified and capable of clearing the interview what I see is women have experience but they lack confidence. We had this applicant this year, she is a lawyer working in one of the best firms but her heart lies in sustainable fashion, law is a sought after job in Luxembourg and hence she pursues that. Now she missed something in life and that was sustainable fashion, recently she had helped in a merger and acquisition of a very large brand she was working on that case through her firm. She thought she had no experience but as she spoke she was working on the dream of building her own brand since teenage and that caught my attention and I gave her the admit card.
We are looking for people who are driven with the passion of giving their best to everything they do. The people who interviewed me went deep into my story, I had started reading business books and was trying to understand how business conducted. I had happened to read the book ‘Business as Unusual’ by Anita Roddick and coincidentally my interviewer was reading that book too and we had a long conversation on it in the rest of the interview. So my point is that every interview is different depending on your caliber and how you take it ahead.Your only focus should be being genuine and honest , portraying your story in the best way possible by practicing it and removing points that do not make sense. We are looking for people who can have fun and be serious and have serious fun.
Scoreleap Test Prep would be grateful to Rashmi Vittal for sparing her invaluable time and sharing some very incisive details for aspiring MBA applicants for Insead.
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