Saturday, March 28, 2009

The 6 month plan

The INSEAD Career services team has been super supportive through the career search process. They organize a large number of events, do some good business development etc to get a lot of companies in the pipeline. Still, these are exceptional times & there's only that much Career Services can do. And the few companies (you would've never heard of them) that are hiring are so lame, that I'd rather be unemployed and wait for something good.

So, realistically, I'm seeing a 6 month window of lag to find something concrete. What are the things I can do? If you have any ideas do let me know..

This is what I'm thinking

1. Entrepreneurial pursuit
2. Some sort of certification
3. a) Paid Internship (but that's been pretty screwed too)
b) Unpaid Internship (work for food..)
c) Social/Non Profit
4. Take up lame ass job (if I get one)
5. Fart around at home with the parents
6. Join another education program (would need a scholarship to make this happen and its such a waste of time)

Many lame options :-)


anil said...

Hi InseadApplicant,
Your blogs have been useful. I am trying for INSEAD for 2010. I've 10 years of experience in Information Technology (from India). I want to do General Management. I am looking to get into Consulting. Please bear with me but I've a few queries:
Does INSEAD have good faculty in (1) a. Strategy b. Operations c. Influencing/Negotiation/Assertive communication?
(2) Do they have a Case study based approach? Or is it majorly academic?
(3) What are the choice of foreign language? How many do we have to study?

InseadApplicant said...

Hi Anil,

1) INSEAD has exceptional faculty in Finance. Operations & Organizational Behavior is good. Strategy faculty could use some improvement. Entrepreneurship is being heavily invested in but there's some more to go.
2) INSEAD does follow a case based approach. In fact, I have to say that it's not academic at all. All application based.
3) You can choose any major world language as your exit language. Most Indians have English + 1 Indian language already, so you just need to find one more. A lot of people don't take this very seriously, but I believe its very important to be strategic about the choice of language. I strongly believe that either Arabic or Mandarin are excellent strategic choices for a language.

Also, I must mention that if you're interested in doing consulting in India, you're better of going to ISB. Major consulting companies don't hire from INSEAD for India. And this year, they've hardly shortlisted any desis for international offices.

Anonymous said...

Hi InseadApplicant,

First, thanks a lot for your very informative blog! I am sorry to hear you didn't go through the shortlist. This is kind of annoying as I got admitted to INSEAD for the class of J'10. How is the job market in the industry? are you planning to apply there as well?

anil said...

Dear InseadApplicant,
I am into Information Technology (work ex: 10 years). I want to switch to Consultancy- first choice: Energy/Oil (target destination: Middle East); 2nd choice: Finance (destination: India). Please help me with my queries:
1. What are my chances of making this cross over (IT to Energy/Finance)?
2. Could you please recommend a few schools that are good for Consulting (with decent placements in Energy)? I did look up on the net for data ... couldn't infer something decent. INSEAD, for e.g. reported 19 out of 179 placements in Energy/Petroleum (2007 placement stats) but I can't make out of any of these candidates made a cross over fo the kind I am looking to make.
3. My GMAT score is 650. Any idea if I've a fighting chance in INSEAD?

Thank you for your advice on ISB. I looked up in their web site: they've put up tentative dates for the next application cycle.

InseadApplicant said...


I think the dings are a reflection of the economy and not the school. It's still a great place to be in. And when you graduate you'll have plenty of options. Industry recruiting, fortunately is in progress and folks are getting interviews. Finance and Consulting are slow as expected.

I am considering applying to industry now, although, it's a pretty huge change of plan.. but that's that.

InseadApplicant said...


Career switches are quite hard at INSEAD. You will definitely need to do an internship so go for the January entry. Lots of folks have successfully made the transition in previous intakes. But as you can imagine, this year its been hard. The hardest transition is to finance. Consulting/Energy is reasonable.

As far as schools that are good for consulting. I have to say that INSEAD is one of the best. It's just that the market is such a bitch right now. If consulting is your main choice, there's no better school in Europe. And the US has serious visa issues, so I would highly discourage.

650 is a low score for INSEAD, esp if you're a desi. I don't see too many desi's with less than 700. I would suggest retaking GMAT.

Anonymous said...

Thanks InseadApplicant! I am thinking positively and looking forward to my experience at INSEAD while expecting the economy to be a little better by next year. I wish you all the best in your job hunting!

gsb said...

Hi InseadApplicant,

Nice post...wanted to check something..i am planning to apply for Jan10..GMAT is 710 and AWA 6.0. 1) Does AWA score help in any way 2) I am planning to apply for R2. Any negative points about applying in R2?


InseadApplicant said...


AWA does not help much. Nothing negative about apping in R2.

Good luck

gsb said...

Thanks for the reply InseadApplicant.. one more thing..about the essays strictly are you supposed to follow the word limits?? for a 250 word essay limit, can it be stretched to 280~290..thanks..

InseadApplicant said...

@gsb: I think the tool might force you to stick to the word limit. It does some auto-clipping so be careful.

In general, if you're exceeding the word limit, make sure that the extra bit you are writing is indeed critical/important to the reader. Usually, 250 words is more than enough to answer most of these qn's and you can actually trim it down with some useful vocab substitution and grammatical structure.

gsb said...

Thanks for a quick reply and inputs InseadApplicant.. i was just checking Insead website to check on TOEFL requirment..i am an indian and all my school and university education was in english... so do i need to write TOEFL??

InseadApplicant said...

@gsb: I think you'll need to take it. I had a US education so I got exempted.

Anonymous said...

so, given how low the opportunity costs are, coupled with the fact that there ARE no paid internships, the option 1 is the only one that makes sense.

this is your chance to do something kickass instead of selling your soul to consulting.

though, from this post, you could really start a consulting firm for desis looking to get into INSEAD. start charging fees for this advice.

Singularity said...

Nice blog. Felt great reading it through the timeline till the end.

Out of curiosity, want to know where u are working as of now??

Creative said...

I returned to my pre-MBA company in my pre-MBA role.