Source of Information

What other programs are you applying to? Of the programs you are applying to, what can IMD bring to you as a differentiator? (Word limit 100)

With this question, IMD hopes to gain a more thorough understanding of what you are seeking in an MBA program—what you value, whether that is strength in a certain field, the desired location or class size, reputation, ranking, or other such criteria that may be shared by your list of schools. IMD understands what it can provide and whether it is capable of delivering what you are looking for as a candidate, thus this information is unsurprisingly valuable for the admissions committee to have. In general, study into the intricacies of the program is required to back up your answer. 

As a result, make sure you demonstrate to your reader that you understand how IMD is well positioned to assist you to achieve your goals and that you are enthusiastic about their program. You may wish to include details about your visits to the school, interactions with students or alumni, or any noteworthy interactions with the school in this essay.

Career Development

What specific companies do you want to target? What kind of responsibilities you are looking for? Do you already have a network in place? (Word limit 50)

You will respond to this query after selecting your objectives from a drop-down menu. Make sure you have a list of two or three potential employers ready, and state what you hope to accomplish in this position.

As such, you could wish to emphasize how your dream position’s complexity and breadth would grow in contrast to your current function. If you’re changing careers, this will be especially significant since the admissions committee needs to know that you’ve done your research and are confident in your ability to thrive in your new position.

Finally, describe your efforts to expand your network in this field as thoroughly as you can. This can entail talking to current employees at your target firms, or getting in touch with IMD alumni who have worked in these kinds of sectors.

You want to utilize this essay to demonstrate to IMD that you are aware of the requirements for your goal role and have already done the necessary efforts to ensure your success when you subsequently apply for these roles.

What skills and experience do you think you already possess that will help you with your post-MBA career plans and will make you stand out in front of potential employers? (Word limit 100)

IMD wants to know what you already bring to the table to get a sense of your potential in both your declared area of interest and other areas that you may not have thought of but that could be as effective. You may also use this opportunity to show that you have the self-awareness to recognize which of the qualifications for the professional function or sector you are aiming for you may already satisfy. Because the question also mentions experience, be sure to let the admissions committee know if you’ve ever had the chance to do your desired task directly. If there is room, you can also think about noting any life experiences, interests, or other factors that have motivated you to this point and have kept you going ahead on your chosen course.

What is your plan B if you are not able to secure your ideal job post MBA? (Word limit 50)

The school understands that sometimes the best-laid plans do not go as planned or may even have unexpected consequences, and it needs to know that you are willing to change gears and recommit to a new route if necessary—and that you are perfectly capable of doing so. It is essential that your backup aim be just as relevant to your abilities, interests, and goals as your primary one was, and that it not appear arbitrary or ridiculous. 

For example, you would probably have a difficult time convincing the admissions committee that your goal is to work in management consulting while your alternate goal would be to work in operations, because these industries, for the most part, require entirely different skills. Make sure that both the alternative path you provide here and your original path are equally believable and doable.

IMD Required Essay 

Describe a situation in which you failed as a leader. What did you learn from it? (Word limit 300)

The best failure essays usually show rational optimism and great forward motion toward an objective—an objective that is eventually abandoned. Most of the time, you’ll need to demonstrate your emotional commitment to your task or experience so that the admissions reader can empathize with you and share in your disappointment. Walk the admissions committee through your story step-by-step, explaining not just what happened but also your reasons for doing it, your underlying assumptions, and the choices you made.

So, we recommend you think about probable instances when your leadership may have failed as you get ready to write this essay. You should start by recalling instances in which you led a project or endeavor.

Second, choose a failure that you were directly responsible for. The biggest mistake we observe candidates making is selecting an instance when the failure was beyond their control. Or they attribute their failures to the actions of others.

Choosing an example that enables you to address the “what did you learn” component is the final step. You will lose the chance to show the admissions committee that you have gone through an experience that has strengthened you as a leader today if the lesson is something like, “read emails more carefully to prevent typos.” Even if you don’t have to pick a story where you were able to correct your error, be sure to pick one with a valuable lesson to impart.

Give your response a STAR structure since this will help you make the most of the 300 words you have to convey what occurred and what you took away from it.

Your essay would appear more personal and self-aware than many of the others the admissions committee will read if you came up with a truly original statement about your journey and the lessons you’ve learned.

IMD Optional Essay

Is there any additional information that is critical for the Admissions Committee which has not been covered elsewhere in this application? (i.e. re-application, health, grades, etc.) (Word limit 50) (Optional)

IMD has technically left the door open for you to contribute any additional information about your candidacy that you believe is crucial or especially persuasive. Consider if the admissions committee requires any further information to thoroughly and properly examine you. Do not be concerned that failing to respond to this prompt will count against you. Because each additional submission necessitates additional effort on the part of the admissions committee, you must be certain that the extra time is justified. If you feel obligated to include material that you believe would make your application insufficient if left out, keep your statement(s) succinct and to the point.

In general, we think candidates should use a school’s optional essay to clarify murky or troubling aspects of their candidacy. Use this chance, if necessary, to answer any inquiries the admissions committee may have about something in your profile, such as a subpar grade or overall GPA, a low GMAT or GRE score, a gap in your employment history, etc.

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