INSEAD 2006 MBA Admissions Chat with Clio Fullam

INSEAD 2006 MBA Admissions Chat with Clio Fullam

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Normally chats start with an introduction of school representatives, however the INSEAD representatives arrived early and immediately started responding to questions. Since the pre-chat material is excellent, we have decided to leave it in the transcript and have it precede the formal introduction and remainder of the chat.

Rhoda (Sep 7, 2005 9:39:51 AM)
I would like to know if most of you pay for your own tuition fee.

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:40:49 AM)
Rhoda: currently about 20% of INSEAD MBAs get scholarships. The average amount was 10,000 EURO this year, but the range is 1,000 to full fees. So the vast majority will pay themselves, only 6% came in with full company support.

DanieleDeWinterINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:42:29 AM)
I paid for all of mine. Scholarships are available for INSEAD but only under special circumstances, so you would need to inquire with admissions. Many students from certain consulting companies had a significant portion of their fees covered by their employer under the condition they return after the MBA. Check out - we have several for women.

Rhoda (Sep 7, 2005 9:45:39 AM)
I am a Human Resources Specialist in AE Bank. I would like to know if there is any MBA programme specialized in HR.

carole (Sep 7, 2005 9:45:45 AM)
How can one manage to keep up with INSEAD's intense pace while raising a family?

evelyn (Sep 7, 2005 9:45:59 AM)
I saw on the internet that the January intake offers intern opportunity but the September intake doesn't. Is it possible for students of the September intake to take their internship after graduation?

jennieherlihyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:47:13 AM)
Evelyn - The September intake students can take internships when they graduate, but most accept full time offers.

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:48:03 AM)
Rhoda: We have the MBA, it is general management, but you can focus on areas that interest you most. We have a very broad selection of electives, one of the advantages of the size of the school, but we focus more on organizational behavior than HR specifically.

evelyn (Sep 7, 2005 9:48:48 AM)
Jennie-thanks for your answer. I'm wondering if the internship experience will affect the result of finding jobs after graduation. What do you think?

judyli (Sep 7, 2005 9:49:00 AM)
Is any difference between joining the program in September then joining in January, except for the opportunity to do an internship?

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:49:07 AM)
First I want to welcome you all to's and Forte's INSEAD Admissions Chat.

GaellePivinINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:49:12 AM)
I came to INSEAD with two children (1 and 4) and took them to Singapore while my husband stayed in France. It is certainly not easy but remains manageable, especially if you go to the Singapore campus where childcare is easy to organize. On the other hand, I recognize that I did not have great academic ambition nor wonderful social life. Still it is feasible.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:50:30 AM)
Chief Executive Officer, DANIELE de WINTER Skin Care, Monte Carlo Daniele started her career as a graphic designer at Jo Badian Design in Vienna Austria and Gio' Rossi in Milan. After completing her MBA in 1993 she worked for French petroleum consultant Sodeteca, later moving to AgipPetroli in Milan. In 1999 Daniele accepted an offer to join internet startup ECURA in Germany as their CEO. Following the Internet crash, Daniele wrote the business plan for DANIELE de WINTER Skin Care and moved to Monte Carlo. In December 2002 her plan won the Monte Carlo business plan competition. DANIELE de WINTER now has an international presence and is recognized as Monte Carlo's new luxury skin care brand.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:50:43 AM)
Carrie Cook, MBA 06J, Forte Scholar, American. Carrie is American and has 6 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry. She has worked in market research, strategy, and business development in Germany and Switzerland. Carrie has just begun her MBA studies at INSEAD. She plans to return to the pharmaceutical industry following her MBA.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:51:08 AM)
Wendy Nunnelley INSEAD MBA 05J, American. Wendy will soon join The Boston Consulting Group in Houston. Before INSEAD, Wendy earned degrees in math and economics at Rice University in the US, and she worked in strategy and marketing at Hewlett Packard.

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:51:10 AM)
Judy: There are no major differences, it depends on your preferences. Starting in January means that you have a longer break in the middle than if you start in September. I  am Irish so I would prefer to finish when the weather is sunny rather than in the midst of winter for example. An Asian or Australian may say the opposite...

jennieherlihyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:51:19 AM)
Evelyn, I don't think the internship experience hinders your ability to find a job, but it might help you focus on an area that you really want to target. Moreover, some January intake students (like me) choose not to work over the summer.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:51:45 AM)
Gaelle Pivin, also MBA 05D. Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:51:57 AM)
Evelyn - I did not do an internship and had no problem with job search and I enjoyed finishing in the sunshine.

Julia P (Sep 7, 2005 9:52:31 AM)
Will an MBA from INSEAD help a career shift in to the non-profit sector? Are the careers services comprehensive?

Leticia (Sep 7, 2005 9:52:40 AM)
Clio: How much work experience would you recommend prior to applying for INSEAD?

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:53:24 AM)
Leticia: we recommend about 3 years as a benchmark. The average is just short of 6 years but the range is 2.5 up to 11 years. It really depends on your profile, motivations, study, etc. You must remember that we are looking for great people so there are no hard and fast rules.

GaellePivinINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:53:42 AM)
Hi, I am French and I am 32. I was trained as a statistician economist and worked 8 years in Mergers and acquisitions and plan to go back to investment banking afterwards.

carole (Sep 7, 2005 9:53:44 AM)
I saw that there is a Women's Club at INSEAD. Which kind of events does this club organize? Is it possible to be involved in the club considering the intensity of the program?

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:53:54 AM)
Thanks Gaelle.

jennieherlihyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:54:26 AM)
Julia - a number of our colleagues came from the non profit sector and are planning to go back, while others are targeting it for the first time. I think an MBA could definitely be worth while to a non-profit.

judyli (Sep 7, 2005 9:55:40 AM)
What is the difference between starting off on the Singapore campus then on the France campus?

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:55:45 AM)
Daniele, Wendy, Carrie, and Jennie: Why did you choose INSEAD?

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:56:29 AM)
Judy: once again it depends on your motivations. An exchange between the two campuses is guaranteed for everyone.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 9:57:07 AM)
Clio, could you indicate who would be better suited for either campus?

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:57:33 AM)
It is the same school, you may decide to experience different cultural backgrounds. If you have worked all your life in Europe, then why not try something different and start in Singapore!

Sarah (Sep 7, 2005 9:57:53 AM)
Clio: How important are GMAT scores. While 700 + seems to be the average at INSEAD, with strong international work experience, are students accepted with scores closer to 650?

GaellePivinINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:57:56 AM)
INSEAD Women's club is called INSEAD Women in Business. Our main objectives are I. organize events with companies that have women specific focus; II. organize regular social events; III. improve the number of women applying to INSEAD and facilitate their integration once they are here; IV. more generally have an interest in all women's issues at INSEAD, in social life, in the programme, in recruitment. We also try to organize workshops or discussions on specific issues faced by women in their career or job search.

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:58:06 AM)
Linda - I chose INSEAD because I could get international experience plus the MBA.

CarrieCookINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:58:26 AM)
Linda, to continue my career in international business, I was mainly interested in an international MBA program. The student body, course content, and cross campus opportunity was a great way to achieve that.

jennieherlihyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:58:51 AM)
I chose INSEAD for the following reasons: First, I was working in London and wanted to get some more international experience. Second, the intensive, ten month program made sense - I did not want to stay out of my industry too long.

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:59:33 AM)
Sarah: the range on campus is 610 - 790. The most important thing is to have a relative min balance between the verbal and the math. GMAT is just one of the many factors we consider, but you should nevertheless ensure that you take the time to prepare properly.

DanieleDeWinterINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 9:59:35 AM)
I wanted an European MBA and INSEAD had the best image at the time(1993) among the people I knew. Their consensus was that the academic education is very high quality at several European schools but that you meet the most interesting, international people at INSEAD. I met a ton of fantastic people during my MBA, and while the academic knowledge fades, the network remains...

GaellePivinINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:00:01 AM)
Judy, just to add something, a large part of the students are switching campuses during the year, so you'll get to meet almost everybody anyway, plus many teachers are switching as well.

judyli (Sep 7, 2005 10:00:37 AM)
I see, thanks.

CarrieCookINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:00:59 AM)
Linda, I have been here a little over one week. I am amazed by the diverse cultures and backgrounds represented in my classes.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:01:41 AM)
To follow up on my earlier question and Carrie's last post, did your program match your expectations? If not, how so?

judyli (Sep 7, 2005 10:01:52 AM)
Clio: What kind of international experience is INSEAD looking for?

jennieherlihyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:02:01 AM)
The INSEAD experience has been amazing; I have learned more about business, other cultures (and more about myself) since January than ever before. The program is intense, but the people are wonderful and classes and faculty are exceptional.

DanieleDeWinterINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:02:11 AM)
Yes, it lived up to my expectations. The INSEAD MBA was one of the most fun years I had had up until then. I gained an excellent qualification and more self-confidence as well.

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:02:11 AM)
Linda - the career options available to me after the MBA greatly exceeded my expectations. I with the program had been a couple of months longer!

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:02:14 AM)
Judy: it is international motivation that is key. International experience does demonstrate an open mind and natural curiosity so is always a good thing.

Carole (Sep 7, 2005 10:02:39 AM)
Alumni: What about the alumni organization? It seems that IAA is particularly active in France and the UK. Is it the same in other locations as far as you know?

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:04:13 AM)
Carole: We have the most international alumni group of all schools, based in 152 countries with more than 100 alumni in 24 countries. Before choosing your school you need to ensure that you speak to lots of alumni and see where they are and what they are doing.

fortuna (Sep 7, 2005 10:04:35 AM)
Can I specialize my MBA at INSEAD?

DanieleDeWinterINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:05:04 AM)
To answer the question about Singapore vs Fontainebleau, Singapore came after my time, but the students I have spoken to who did Singapore first say they felt like part of a family of pioneers, very close-knit and enthusiastic. Fontainebleau is much bigger and less personal.

CarrieCookINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:05:10 AM)
Fortuna, students do not have majors at INSEAD.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:06:08 AM)
Wendy, Carrie, and Jennie, do you want to return to the US? If you do, do you feel that studying at INSEAD has made that more difficult or that the int'l exposure has added to your marketability?

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:06:11 AM)
Carole: Check out the alumni web pages to see a little of the activities that they run:

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:06:13 AM)
Carole - the INSEAD alumni I spoke with during the application process were extremely helpful. They would spend an hour or more on the phone with me answering questions. That gave me a really positive impression!

carole (Sep 7, 2005 10:06:57 AM)
Thanks a lot. I am also interested in business in emerging countries (especially Africa). Is there a specific focus on this at INSEAD?

CarrieCookINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:08:43 AM)
Linda, I plan to return to Switzerland following my MBA. I think international exposure is very important for those interested in working at international companies.

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:08:46 AM)
Carole: In the US, the alumni group in NYC and San Fran are particularly active. INSEAD have a research satellite in Silicon Valley.

memsy (Sep 7, 2005 10:08:58 AM)
How easy is it to switch from Engineering to Finance after an MBA. At what level would I expect to enter the Finance industry after 8 years of IT engineering?

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:09:18 AM)
Linda - I am back in the US after graduating this July. I accepted a consulting position, and INSEAD is very well-known among those firms. I think INSEAD made me stand out, and interviewers really wanted to talk about it. They emphasized the international opportunities available (temporary assignments, permanent transfers, cross-office projects, etc.). I can't speak for other industries, but for consulting INSEAD was a great MBA to have.

GaellePivinINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:09:30 AM)
Carole, of course, you also have courses on Latin America, on economics and management in developing countries. You can check on the website to look for the complete list of course.

judyli (Sep 7, 2005 10:10:03 AM)
As a prospective that have been brought up, studied and worked in only one city, but has experiences in working with other nations, is that enough international experience?

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:10:08 AM)
memsy: It really depends on who you wish to work for and what they are looking for, they will not ignore your CV, and as an engineer you will be pretty numerate. We have a rate of about 50% switchers currently, 50% function and 50% sector, so it is possible, you need to focus yourself while here to ensure you open all the doors you can through your careers and for yourself. You could also consider joining for the January intake where you would have the opportunity to intern over the summer. This would be a good way to gain some experience in finance.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:10:59 AM)
With application deadlines on the horizon, do any of you have advice for INSEAD applicants?

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:11:51 AM)
Linda: come and meet us in person!!! We will be at all the Forte events worldwide except for Chicago, but our alumnae will be there. All our events are listed at Take the time necessary to ensure that you do yourself full justice in your application. Don't rush for the early deadlines if you're not ready. Financial aid is open to rounds 1-2-3 regardless of when you apply.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:13:05 AM)
Participants and alumni, do you have an application advice?

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:13:38 AM)
Thanks Clio. That is great advice.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:14:21 AM)
Carrie, how did you become a Forte scholar and what does it mean?

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:14:31 AM)
Linda - I think it helps to really organize your story before you start writing the essays. Think about who you are, what you might want to do in the future, why an MBA will get you there. Then make your essays fit your story.

CarrieCookINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:14:56 AM)
Linda, I would advise focusing particularly on the essay section as this will help you reflect on why you would like to get an MBA and can also help you stand out.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:15:18 AM)
Also wonderful advice.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:15:51 AM)
Clio, if you are looking at an application and the numbers and basic profile is in the ballpark for an INSEAD student, what distinguishes an application that is accepted from one that is rejected?

memsy (Sep 7, 2005 10:16:21 AM)
Thanks Clio. Will you be in West Africa? I work in the Oil & Gas industry in Nigeria and have limited international exposure - courses and a few business trips - how will this affect my application?

CarrieCookINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:17:31 AM)
Linda, I was selected by INSEAD. The Forte Foundation was formed to help encourage more women to attend business school and to help promote women in business. The Foundation offers mentoring and other development opportunities to its Scholars.

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:17:46 AM)
Linda: as I have said before, it is all about the people. With 73 nationalities, so many different backgrounds and so on there are no hard rules. we read each application for its merits. we have a rigorous process so applicants should differentiate themselves with their motivations and show us who they are

carole (Sep 7, 2005 10:17:59 AM)
How hard is it to change both sector and country after the INSEAD MBA? Does this require to search for a job by yourself, through alumni for example? What kind of help does the Career Service provide in this respect?

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:18:21 AM)
memsy: I am not coming to West Africa before Christmas, there are tentative plans for March as well so keep an eye on our website for more info in the coming months.

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:19:58 AM)
Carole - it depends on which sector and which country. What is your interest?

carole (Sep 7, 2005 10:20:19 AM)
It would be private equity in South Africa.

kaz (Sep 7, 2005 10:20:37 AM)
Clio: Do B-Schools look for leadership qualities in a prospective candidate or is it generally accepted that the skill may be acquired during and POST MBA experience? I.e. if the leadership skills of candidates are weak, will this affect their acceptance?

GaellePivinINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:20:45 AM)
Carole, changing countries is really an easy task and it is the case of over 70% of the participants. As for the sector I guess it really depends on your background and the kind of job you are looking for. Of course it might be easier if you want to go to banking or consulting.

carole (Sep 7, 2005 10:21:34 AM)
Sure. I guess I will have to anticipate!

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:21:36 AM)
kaz: leadership is something we look for as part of your management potential. In particular, your recommenders may bring this up.

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:21:52 AM)
Carole - I don't know much about South Africa career search, but I know that private equity in any country takes a lot of focus from day 1. It's definitely possible (recruiters at INSEAD tend to expect a lot of country switching!) but you will need to leverage the alumni network right away.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:21:54 AM)
Thank you again all for participating this evening. Special thanks to Cliodhna, Daniele, Carrie, Wendy, and Jennie for participating.

carole (Sep 7, 2005 10:22:11 AM)
Thank you all for your help!

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:22:13 AM)
We look forward to seeing you at future chats. If you would like to be notified of future MBA admissions events, please subscribe at .

GaellePivinINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:22:36 AM)
Carole, however just to add something, INSEAD has a great alumni network everywhere in the world and that's a very powerful tool for the job search.

CarrieCookINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:22:46 AM)
Good luck with your applications!

ClioFullamINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:22:48 AM)
Many thanks to you all for taking part!

WendyNunnelleyINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:22:55 AM)
Good luck to all the applicants!

GaellePivinINSEAD (Sep 7, 2005 10:23:02 AM)
Good luck.

Linda Abraham (Sep 7, 2005 10:23:03 AM)
Special thanks to Forte for co-hosting this event and of course to Clio, Daniele, Carrie, Wendy, and Gaelle.

carole (Sep 7, 2005 10:23:07 AM)
Thanks again Gaelle!

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