Employment Opportunities with an INSEAD MBA

At Menlo Coaching, we’re fans of INSEAD, one of the top European MBA programs. In this article, we will focus on career exits and recruitment opportunities during INSEAD’s one year MBA program. 

We sat down with Virginie Fougea, INSEAD’s global director of admissions and financial aid, to talk about the INSEAD employment report and what an MBA graduate might expect after getting their business degree.

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INSEAD September vs. January Intake

As you begin the INSEAD application process, it is important to note that there are two different intakes for INSEAD MBA admissions: one in September and one in January. The January intake attracts two kinds of students:

The September intake has more varied student applicants, but tends to favor students who are attempting to decide between multiple schools as the INSEAD MBA deadline for September is more in line with typical MBA intake periods. While the two intakes offer some differences in scheduling, there is no difference in the quality of applicant.

INSEAD’s Talent Management Forum

There are a large number of fields that people go into from INSEAD. As you can see from our guide to the INSEAD MBA program which discusses the INSEAD employment report, the INSEAD Consulting profile is very strong, with 51% of graduates going into the field. Ms. Fougea says that there is a diverse set of post-MBA positions that INSEAD MBAs go into: TMT (telecom, media, technology), finance, NGOs, entrepreneurship. In addition to diverse sectors of the business world, Virginie also reports that there is a great deal of movement between industries post-MBA, and the INSEAD recruitment process attempts to account for those possibilities.

One way in which it does this is through the Talent Management Forum. Every year, the INSEAD recruitment team holds one of these forums in Paris, Singapore, and Dubai (mapping on to the three INSEAD campuses in Fontainebleau, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi). These are networking forums where INSEAD invites companies to come and participate with students from both intakes, across the three campuses. Fougea says that the process is more informal than other recruitment events, which allows INSEAD MBA students to get to know several companies in the span of a single day and become better informed about company practices, preferred recruitment profiles, and opportunities available through INSEAD. 

Despite the informality, people do also sometimes bring resumes to this career forum and occasionally have gotten interviews right there—nevertheless, Ms. Fougea touts the main advantages of the Talent Management Forum as being about greater understanding of potential employers in an environment that encourages conversation rather than an interview process.

INSEAD Recruitment

Given that INSEAD is a one year MBA that is spread out across three different campuses on three different continents, it is natural to assume that recruitment must be a little different than at other top-tier institutions. The easy solution in many cases is to make sure that companies know ahead of time what they are getting into. So, while many companies will make campus visits to Fontainebleau, Singapore, and Abu Dhabi, they are aware that they will be having both in-person interviews and interviews via Vizio conference. INSEAD hands in CVs without disclosing the current location of the MBA in order to keep companies from being initially biased by the distance. 

Because of INSEAD’s recruitment diversity, however, the multiple campuses can be an advantage in getting in with companies that might not be typical on-campus recruiters. For example, if you are considering going out for a job with a company that has a single position in Kenya, you might study at the Abu Dhabi campus under a January intake and spend the summer internship period in Nairobi. From there, you can do interviews with an INSEAD alum or a company based in the area. INSEAD is interested in facilitating those kinds of small scale recruitment efforts, rather than simply attracting the major firms and companies.

INSEAD’s Career Team

Recruitment begins before the program starts. The INSEAD career development team will reach out to recently admitted MBAs online. Webinars will be set up on how to prepare your CV and organize your ideas. Meanwhile, the career center will learn about your post-MBA goals and your background. 

Once in the program, you are assigned a career coach who will meet with you several times during the program and help you design your story pitch for a more convincing interview. There are also mock interviews, CV prep sessions, and special events to help you transition from one industry to another if you are looking to make a change. Throughout the entire process, the career team organizes company treks that might take a group of Finance students to London, New York or Hong Kong. The career team also utilizes experts in the field to make sure alums and staff with firsthand knowledge of the industry are able to give you the help you need.

Also from this interview: INSEAD’s Application and Admissions Process, How INSEAD Builds a Class + Application Tips, and The INSEAD One-Year MBA and Multiple Campuses