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IMD Switzerland winning sample essays

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IMD Switzerland MBA Application Essays 2023-24

  1. What is the most difficult decision you have had to make as a leader? (Word limit 300) 
  2. How much of your total budget do you estimate you will be able to provide without loans or scholarships? (Word limit 50)
  3. 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)
  4. 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)
  5. 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)
  6. 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)

IMD Switzerland Winning Sample Essays – 1

IMD Switzerland Essay 1: Describe a situation in which you failed as a leader. What did you learn from it? (Word limit 300)

I believe one of the biggest failures of my professional career happened when COVID-19 forced the world into lockdowns and I as a founder and leader of “Waste No More” failed to effectively steer through the challenges of COVID-19.

Waste No More is a volunteer-driven organization that collects surplus food from restaurants, grocery chains and re-distributes it to the less privileged homeless people. We currently distribute more than 1500 meals every week across Jakarta and Bali. During COVID-19, when Jakarta first went into lockdown, our donors like caterers, and restaurants closed down and simultaneously, our volunteers’ were not able to step out to collect and distribute. I spent months building an initiative and everything came crashing down in a few days. All the homeless people and underprivileged communities that came to depend on our meals distribution were once again left supportless fending for themselves. 

It took me 2 months to restart our operations, but In hindsight, there was no reason why I could not have pivoted our operating model faster and better. 

With deep introspection, I gained two key learnings: First was the importance of anticipating risks and being agile. Most organizations who came out strong of this global crisis were the ones who adapted at a rapid pace. Second, I learnt the value of building a diversified supplier and distributor base in the supply chain to reduce risk. We should have expanded our partnerships out of restaurants and cafes to grocery chains which are critical business and will always remain open. AT the same time we should have expanded the volunteer base outside of college students to more self dependent working class individuals. 

These experiences helped me evolve as I better understand my responsibilities as a leader in times of growth and in times of crisis. 

IMD Switzerland Essay 2: How much of your total budget do you estimate you will be able to provide without loans or scholarships? (Word limit 50)

I believe an IMD MBA would cost me approximately CHF 130,000. I would be able to fund CHF 60,000 my savings. For the rest, I plan to take an education loan, support from my family and a paid internship to further help me cover my living expenses. 

IMD Switzerland Essay 3: 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)

I am applying to the following full-time MBA programs:
HEC, Paris

NUS, Singapore

Saïd Business School, Oxford

After due research, I believe, IMD’s key differentiator for me would be the ‘elea Center for Social Innovation’ and ‘Entrepreneurship Stream’, both of which can help me develop skills to achieve my long term goal of starting a social enterprise. Second, given IMD’s 7 years of average experience and a small class size of 90 would allow me to be in a peer group of my age and experience while  ensuring tailored support from the program office and career services. 

IMD Switzerland Essay 4: 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)

With more than 6 years of experience in the social impact domain, post MBA, I aspire to leverage my existing network and the business knowledge to join as a program manager with social foundations like Gates foundation or corporate social responsibility foundations like Shell Foundation or Michelin foundation.

IMD Switzerland Essay 5: 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)

In the last 6 years, I have used my technical skills to launch a Remote Accelerator Program to help more than 400 NPOs scale and increase the reach of their respective social causes. I have founded “Waste No More”, an NPO working to solve the hunger problem in indonesia. 

These experiences have also helped me to sharpen my problem-solving skills and grow as an empathic leader. I am confident that by leveraging my network and hands-on experience at grass root levels, I will be able to stand out in front of potential employers.

IMD Switzerland Essay 6: 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)

Waste No More is a purely volunteer-driven movement. We do not take any monetary donations, and we do not have official employees. Hence, I have not taken any salary in the last 1.5 years and simply focused on giving back to the community.

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IMD Switzerland Winning Sample Essays – 2

IMD Switzerland Essay 1: Describe a situation in which you failed as a leader. What did you learn from it? (Word limit 300)

In 2018, I was recognized as an Economic Times young leaders by Economic times (largest business new paper in India). I was also nominated for emerging leader program at my organization to groom next generation of leaders. 

It was in the midst of these recognitions, I also embraced one of the biggest failure of my professional career. In 2018, I was given the responsibility to lead sales of commercial vehicles for the entire state of Gujrat (largest market for commercial vehicles in India). Within a few months of assuming my responsibility, Government of India raised a request for proposal to buy more than 2000 mini garbage trucks worth a total order value of $13 million. 

It would have been a great opportunity for me to make a big splash in my new role if I won the order request. I led the entire exercise right from product demos to bid submissions. My team member and I worked day and night to organize product demos and bid submission. Post a thorough analysis of the competitors and initial feedback on product quality I was confident that our product was superior and we should win. However, when the results came out, we couldn’t even manage to win a single order. We lost all $13 million to our largest competitor. 

This was a soul crushing failure and post thorough situation analysis, I realized I should have prioritized lobbying and stakeholder influencing in a sales role rather than relying only on technical product superiority. I also realized I should have researched and asked for guidance on my first big project in a new state to better understand the lay of the land. Going forward, during my MBA, I aspire to learn how to build networks and relationship while seeking mentoring from the great alumni network. 

IMD Switzerland Essay 2: 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)

Due to the current situation in lieu of COVID 19 my GMAT plans have been affected. In line with the steps, which IMD is also taking in the scenario, I will be submitting my GMAT scores later on.

IMD Switzerland Essay 3: 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)

I have more than 8 years of experience in manufacturing industry and post MBA I plan to continue in manufacturing Industry. I would like to target companies like Honeywell/Hilti for a role in business development or product management. I look forward to leverage the IMD Alumni network to help me achieve my goals.

IMD Switzerland Essay 4: 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)

I believe, one of my strengths which have helped me succeed in my career has been my capability to adapt to different cultures. I have worked and led teams in 5 roles/locations in 7 years in of my career. I have been able to appreciate cultural difference and capitalize cross cultural diversity to deliver results while leading big team.

As a experience sale professional, I believe that I also have strong presentation and communication skills which have been honed by working in different customer facing roles in sales which makes me standout in my peers group and helped me win the young leader award by economic times.

IMD Switzerland Essay 5: 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)

Apart from IMD, I am applying to HEC Paris and Cornell Johnson’s 1-year MBA program. My primary criteria for selecting B-schools were short duration of MBA and the average experience of the class. 

I think the factors where IMD is a clear differentiator for me are first the small and highly diverse class where the average experience is similar to mine. Second, I am attracted by IMD’s leadership stream that runs with the program. IMD’s focus on Innovation and digital separates it from any other B school along with the unique ICP which would give a different tangent to my learning.

IMD Switzerland Essay 6: What is your plan B if you are not able to secure your ideal job post MBA? (Word limit 50)

My plan B is to explore senior strategy roles in the Automotive Industry itself back in India. Since I have a strong network in India along with a good leadership career trajectory, the roles will either be with my current organization or with other leading OEMs in similar space.

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