Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Insead Criteria

This is the first time I am writing a blog. The past couple of days I've read through thousands of blogs trying to find some hint that I will be admitted to Insead. I submitted the application (R2) last week and still can't stop obsessing over my Gmat score. The problem is I got a low quant score, and I mean pretty low in the 50th! Still my overall score was 660, which is in the range, although not great.

I only realized 3 weeks before the deadline that both scores needed to be in the 70-75% percentile. But I took my chances and applied anyway. Why? Because other than that I think my story is pretty unique. Let me share it with you and I'd love to get your feedback.

Insead says they want academic excellence. I got a 3.74 GPA from Emory with double major in finance and accounting. That plus an overall decent GMAT of 660, should prove my ability to complete the coursework.

Insead says they want Professional Experience and Managerial Potential. I did 2 years of I-banking with Houlihan in Atlanta and then two years of private equity with JPMorgan Partners in Mexico City. The experience has been great and I'm sure I got good recommendations. I'm also hoping that my analytical, quant experience will help mitigate my low quant score on the gmat. Any idea how b-schools look at private equity experience?

Insead says they want International Outlook and Language Skills. I've lived in 6 countries (brazil, argentina, USA, mexico, Turkey, and colombia), speak 3 languages fluently (english, spanish and portuguese). I think thats pretty international... also I think Latin America is underrepresented in their classroom, any comment?

Insead says they want Ability to Contribute to the INSEAD Experience. Hopefully here is where my unique profile will help me out. I don't think there are that many Latin American women with private equity experience applying. I know there are no other women in PE in Mexico, so no competition there. And in the rest of latam, I'm not sure, but I've never met another woman.

Insead says they look at the whole picture and that the gmat is just one element to complete a picture, that there is no minimum gmat, but is that really true? I don't know, there have been people who got in with 600 gmats, which probably do have percentiles below 70%, so my chances are shot but who knows.

Insead says they want to recruit qualified women, I know I am qualified.

Anyway now starts the countdown to July 8 by when I will know if I made the first cut. I don't know how I am going to keep from obsessing about this and running through the criteria in my head.

Is anybody else applying to Insead?