Essay Tips: IMD


1) Position sought after graduation

Please give us your short term career goal post MBA (up to 5 years). Describe how the IMD MBA will help you achieve this goal and how you will approach your job search. (maximum 2000 characters)

Forward-looking, connect-the-dots MBA goals question with a twist. To answer this question, you need to know what you want to do after you complete IMD’s short, intense programs, and you also need to relate how that program will help you achieve your MBA goal. Finally, you have to show that you have a plan for your job search. That’s the twist.  It also implies that you know what IMD career services offers and how you will use and supplement those services.

2) Most important achievement

What do you consider to be your single most important achievement and why? (maximum 1230 characters)

Your single most important achievement should ideally show impact, leadership, and cross-cultural and cross-functional savvy. If you can’t have all the above, make sure you have at least two.

You have room here for a story. Don’t think for an instant that IMD wants the great American novel for this essay. Keep it succinct, but this essay should engage the reader.  You may want to review a few of these resources before writing:

Finally, realize that the “why” is as important as the “what.” Convey those reasons in your response.


Essay 1: Two situations of importance to you

Situation 1 (maximum 1230 characters)

Situation 2 (maximum 1230 characters)

Before responding to any of IMD’s questions, review its criteria for admissions, which are posted on its website and in a video on YouTube.

Then choose two experiences that demonstrate the qualities IMD seeks and that complement each other, the other essays, and the other elements in your application.

Realize that you can translate that character limit to approximately 200 words — not a lot to work with.  Be succinct, and include both the challenge and why you think it is worth including in your IMD application. Why do you care about it?


Essay 2: Failure to reach objective

Please comment on a situation where you failed to reach an objective and what you learned from it. (maximum 1230 characters)

Briefly describe the failure — and make it a real one — a time when you blew it. Take responsibility for your actions and show self-awareness. Discuss lessons learned and how you implemented those lessons successfully in similar, more recent situations. 

Essay 3: Leadership

Describe a situation where you had to demonstrate strong leadership skills. Explain how effective you were and what you learned. (maximum 1230 characters)

Leadership takes many forms, but it usually involves persuasion and motivation of others. What did you do? What was the impact? And what did you learn — what worked and why? Have you had occasional to repeat the experiment subsequently with similar or even better results? 

Essay 4: Describe yourself

How do you imagine your superior would describe your strengths and weaknesses to someone who does not know you. (maximum 1230 characters)

Take a look at a recent review from your manager. You will probably find good material there. You may also want to review:

Essay 5: International Exposure

Describe a situation where you successfully worked across cultures and/or nations. (maximum 1230 characters)

This is a very important essay for IMD, a school that values its global culture and cross-cultural experience. Describe the situation briefly, a challenge unique to international work environments, and how you met it. If you have room, lessons learned are always good to include. 

Essay 6: Differentiators

IMD receives numerous applications per year. Give us four bullet points that clearly differentiate you from this applicant pool. (maximum 1230 characters)

Your MBA essays up to this point are probably very professionally focused. Several of the bullet points could be personal. IMD wants to know about you as a person, as well as you as a professional. This may be a great place to inform the reader of distinctive features in your background or personal life. Your resume and the other essays will have already told them about unusual aspects of your professional life. 

Essay 7: Alternatives

If you are not admitted, what alternatives will you consider? (maximum 1230 characters)

How will you achieve your professional goals discussed earlier in the IMD application if you are not admitted to an MBA program? How else could you learn what you want to learn?

Essay 8: Finance

Please explain how you intend to finance your studies at IMD. What would be your budget? (maximum 1230 characters)

Just answer it. Are you going to take out loans, use your own money, turn to your parents? Remember to include a succinct budget.

Essay 9: Disability / illness

Do you have a disability or illness that could affect your performance at IMD? If so, please explain. (maximum 1230 characters)

If necessary, describe the disability and how you intend to compensate for it. Also show that you have compensated successfully for this illness or disability in the past.

Essay 10: Additional Information

Optional question: Is there any additional information that is critical for the Admissions Committee to know which has not been covered elsewhere in this application? (maximum 1230 characters)

Between IMD’s nine essays and two questions preceding the “real” essays, this may be the one application where the optional essay is really unnecessary. Nonetheless, if you have something to explain — a low GPA, a gap in employment, etc. — or something to add, this is the place to do it. 


Round 1 February 1, 2012
Round 2 April 1, 2012
Round 3 June 1, 2012
Round 4 August 1, 2012
Round 5 September 1, 2012

Speak Your Mind


Store | Follow us!
© 2018 MBA Podcaster. All Rights Reserved • Terms of ServiceContact