In reality, the skills that really matter to enter INSEAD are writing and telling a story. Entering a top business school involves a lot of writing. Really a lot, like 7 essays along with the application, 5 to 8 essays to apply for a scholarship (before you even know if you are accepted or not) and then, of course, a letter to thank for the scholarship (yes, the effort is well worth it). Sounds like a lot of paperwork, doesn’t it. It certainly is. But that’s not the trick.
The trick is what you fill all these essays with. Here comes a story, and the story is yours. It’s a part of the application package, your chance to score points. I gave it a thought and decided that the best story is an authentic one. I wrote about my goals, my achievements and failures, my aspirations and disappointments, about what worked in my life and what didn’t. In essence, what made me the person I am today. Then I wrote about my dreams: doing a job I love, every day, five days a week. Living in any country of the world, regardless of the color of my passport. Waking up with a smile and positive anticipation of a great day ahead of me, full of mental challenges, small achievements and – once in a while – big victories. With nine years of work experience (four of them running my own business), a specialist degree in Law and Master of Science in International Business I didn’t need an MBA to be in business. Or to make money. I needed it to bring my life to a different level, to be able to use and develop as many of my talents as I could. To make a difference where I could. That’s what I wrote in those essays. That’s what I talked about during the interviews: one friendly and encouraging, one cold and examining. My life, my dreams, my whys.
We’ll see in one year where they take me.