Gunner get my MBA

Friday, March 17, 2006

Insead Interview No. 2

This has been long overdue, but I can honestly say that things have been very hectic at work (and also with life in general) that I haven't managed to blog for almost a month. In any case I have a lot of catching up to do but first and foremost I owe fellow blog readers an update on my second INSEAD interview.

Like I said earlier, I was a bit more nervous for this interview as I haven't spoken to the interviewer before but only to his secretary. It became worse when she (the secretary) called to postpone the 11.30 monday morning interview (at 9.30am - which screwed up my plans for the day) and I had no choice but to accept a 4.30pm slot the next day (which was the 28th February - hence the last day to conduct the interview). Luckily for me I managed to finish all my work early and get to the meeting point on time.

The interviewer came down (about 15 mins late) to his office reception area and suggested that we go to a coffee shop at a nearby mall. As it was an order/pay first system, I faced a conundrum whether to offer to pay. I knew that for sure he would pick up the tab (it's only coffee and he's a high ranking executive) but I wasn't sure whether I should at least make the offer (or whether that would seem too over-eager), so in my hesitation he promptly paid which left me no option but to offer a sheepish "thanks".

We then moved to a crowded sitting area and it made me a bit uncomfortable initially. However like the first interview, our discussion went well. It was almost like a casual chat but more detailed as he had not read my essays (my first interviewer specifically asked for them). It started off with questions about my career so far, and where I see it headed. He seemed to want to find out more detail on my work ("describe how your typical work day is like" and "how have you progressed in terms of work over the past few years" or something along those lines). I guess he wanted confirmation that what I put down on my resume was true and not just some fabrication. One tough question he asked which I didn't expect was "how do you make money in your business?". I think I gave a fairly good answer which he seemed satisfied with.

He then went on to Why INSEAD type questions and also "Why Now" but thankfully the first interview prepared me for these and I think I gave out genuine reasons based on my personal circumstances. He mainly agreed that I had made the right choice and that my reasons were well based. He then asked about which other schools I'd apply to so I told him about the Harvard & Wharton dings (which I know was a bit risky - as I had applied to them first, but I had to show him that right now INSEAD was my number one choice). I Also told him that I initially had doubts about a 1 year program but upon further research and speaking to alumni I found out that INSEAD's program just crammed it all within a year and you don't miss out on much. In the end I think we finished off in a good note with him giving an account of his experiences in INSEAD. He graduated in 97 so his experiences were not too recent but nevertheless it again cemented my belief that the school is right for me.

Overall, it was a bit more formal than the first Interview (which was more like a casual chat about my life and also my goals). However it still had a very casual feel which I really liked, and it was over within an hour. I think I did an ok job connecting with both interviewers. Perhaps the first one was easier as we got along better being in a similar age group. I also left both interviews thinking that INSEAD graduates quite "cool" MBA grads. I really hope to be able to join their ranks. Decisions are due next Friday so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Finally - for those who caught the Arsenal v Real Madrid match last week, I'm sure you'd all agree with me when I say that it was a smashing game, probably the best 0-0 game ever. What I took from the game was the bright future of our team (which I've been harping on about for a while now), and I really can't wait to see the Gunners take on mighty Juve in the Quarters. Things are looking good this year, and hopefully it's a start of many good things to come.


  • good luck with the decision. and yes, even us non-arsenal fans have to start supporting them a little now!

    By Blogger Alex, at 6:31 PM  

  • Have my fingers crossed for you. It's gonna be a long wait till next friday!

    By Blogger sghama, at 11:38 PM  

  • Wow I have my fingers crossed too! Will wait for you post on friday.

    By Blogger MGalBlue, at 12:58 PM  

  • thanks guys. It will be a long wait, but I'm sure time will fly as I'm in Dubai now on the way to Azerbaijan. Be back on Friday just in time for the news. cheers.

    By Blogger gunnermba, at 6:14 PM  

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