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So I heard from INSEAD. And I’m in (!!!).

Of course, I almost didn’t (literally). INSEAD took people by surprise this year by starting to call up admitted students a day before the scheduled decision (5th July June 09′) date. I have a sneaky suspicion they did this since LBS was due to release their WL status on 4th July June 09′. INSEAD started calling their successful admits before London business timings started. Brilliant! Exactly what I expect from a B-school.

Let me explain. LBS has been keeping potential students on their WL forever now (for the record, I was not on the LBS WL). Probably they were trying to choose the best from their WL. One of my friends has been on it for the last 3 months; and he’s pissed off! So here’s the brilliance of INSEAD’s move: INSEAD upstaged LBS by calling up beforehand and earning the eternal gratitude of the LBS waitlisters who got into INSEAD and stimulating more anti-LBS feelings in their heads.

Imagine you’re my friend who’s been on LBS’s WL for 3 months, tearing your hair out since you have almost no time to resign from your job and apply for a student visa (assuming you get in) since the program starts in September 09′, and generally worrying yourself silly about what you’re going to do in case you don’t get through. And then you get the magic call (number starting with +33). Your first reaction (as was my friend’s) would be to give the finger to LBS and curse them in the choiciest words possible. The timing and execution of INSEAD’s strategy was perfect!

Coming back to me, I started seeing all these forums buzzing with people saying they got the call. I didn’t get it. I went to sleep on the 4th thinking the worst. Afternoon of the 5th and still no call. Couldn’t take it anymore, said HEY to the wind and sent my admissions coordinator a short and desperate mail. She writes back immediately, saying she’s been trying me since yesterday on my dad’s mobile number (WTF?!). I send her MY mobile number and start a frantic SMS session with my wife demanding to know from her if they will ding/ WL me on the mobile (how cruel can they get?). My poor (but smart) wife refused to reply to me. And then the +33 number flashed and I hazily recollect something along the lines of a “Congratulations” whispered to me.

I had replayed this moment a million times in my head (warily though, not wanting to jinx it or anything) and in my replays, I remember changing into a blue suit with a red cape the moment “Congratulations” is said. Anticlimax – nothing of that sort happened. I said thanks, cut the call, went back to work and sat smirking the whole day.

It’s been a week now and it’s still not sunk in that I’m going to INSEAD. What I’ve realized is that there is still a lot of stuff to do. Pay the deposit, learn some French, apply for a loan, sell all my household stuff, apply for the visa, figure out where I’m staying in Fontainebleau, read all that pre-reading material, and resign (woohoo!). I’m sure I’ve missed a ton other important stuff to do.

INSEAD has set the deposit payment date as 24th June 09′. Surprising since they usually gave ~4 weeks in the past. I have come to respect INSEAD’s strategy skills now. It was once more a calculated move; my friend heard from LBS much later on the 4th. They waitlisted everyone again and the next decision date is sometime in the 1st week of July.

P.s. I checked my application and found that I had indeed put my dad’s mobile number as my contact number. I still don’t know why I did that. As luck would have it, my dad was out of town that week and his mobile was unreachable. Lose-lose situation.


4 Responses

  1. Enjoyed both your posts…thanks for sharing your experience.

    The dates you listed seem a bit off? Is July 5th typo?

    Also, it sounds like you’re joining the Sept 09 intake – were you an R4 applicant?

    Hope to meet you at Fonty this fall. Cheers.

    • Hi Brioche,

      You’re right, it’s a typo! Thanks for catching that. I meant to say June 5th. I’m actually joining the Jan 10′ intake and was a R1 applicant. I guess we’ll still be able to meet up at Fonty :-).


  2. Thanks for the posts, and for taking the time to share your interview experiences, it was very helpful. And it’s really funny you put your father’s phone number.. weird what our mind does to us when we’re under stress.
    I recently got my round 2 interview notification. Let’s hope for the best. BTW thank you for sharing the notes about the purpose of the interviews. I was under the impression that the decision would have already been made before the interviews, and that they only serve as a final check. This adds a little bit more pressure, but it’s good in a way, helps be better prepared.
    Thank you again, and congratulations on your admission.

    • You’re welcome. And congrats on getting to the interview stage! Its an achievement in itself considering the rise in applications and the brutal first cut. If you’ve made it to this stage, trust yourself. Rest is “luck” ;p.

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