IMD, the International Institute for Management Development, in Lausanne, Switzerland, offers a 1-year MBA program focused on global general management and leadership, with a growing emphasis on digital innovation and entrepreneurship. While there are only 90 students in each class, the diversity among that class is wide: students hail from 44 countries: 41% from throughout Europe, 35% from Asia, 6% from the Middle East and Africa, 6% from North America, 10% from Latin America, and 2% from Oceania (Australia/New Zealand and the surrounding islands). Unlike programs in the US, which tend to build the bulk of their classes from students aged 26-28, IMD’s average student age is 31, and most students are in their early 30’s.
IMD has simplified its application significantly this year, requiring only one long essay and brief responses to short additional questions. My guidance is in blue.
Describe two situations, one professional and one personal that had a significant impact on your life and the learning that followed. (500 word maximum)
IMD is looking for students who have made a real difference in a complex and rapidly changing world, so stories in which you navigate that complexity to make an impact will be especially effective here. A professional story that is recent and shows leadership – with or without a leadership title – will fit nicely here. The personal story can be anything outside of work – in a volunteer/community role or even just with friends and family.
500 words total gives you around 250 words for each situation, which is not much, so follow a concise Challenge-Action-Results structure to avoid excessive detail that may distract from the essential elements.
What is your career goal : right after IMD / in 5 years / in 10 years? (Response in bullet point. 100 word maximum)
To answer this question well, you need to look to the future and predict both trends that will be emerging and the roles you hope to play in them. IMD prides itself on its graduates’ ability to transition to new industries, functions, and global locations, so these transitions can certainly be part of your bullet points. However, you must explain how your professional background and expectations for the future of the global markets will ease those transitions: you must demonstrate the logical connection between your past and these future ambitions.
Is there any additional information that is critical for the Admissions Committee to know which has not been covered elsewhere in this application? If you would like to comment on career gaps, education, GMAT/GRE, a disability or illness, please use this space. (50 word maximum)
This is very short, so don’t waste any of this space on material that will be covered by your 2-page CV or the application form. Yes, a short application like this one does require that your CV and application form carry the extra weight!
What other programs are you considering? Of the programs you are considering, what can IMD bring to you as a differentiator? (100 word maximum)
What they really want to know here is whether you realize what makes IMD great. The best way to answer this question after listing the other school names is to share some of the details you revealed through conversations with alumni and students about how IMD best fit your unique needs and ambitions.
Application deadlines are at 23:59 pm CET (Switzerland) time in the following order:
Within a maximum of 3 weeks, you will be informed whether you have been selected to participate in IMD’s exciting Assessment Day or even to be fast-tracked through an online interview.
***Disclaimer: Information is subject to change. Please check with individual programs to verify the essay questions, instructions and deadlines.***
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