Round 1: 1 February 2019

Round 2: 1 May 2019

Round 3: 1 August 2019

Round 4: 1 October 2019


One of the most unique MBA programs, IMD Business School utilizes intakes of 90 students to create a truly customized experience and close-knit environment. Also, known for its capacity to transform careers, in a recent statistic, a whopping 97% of IMD’s class has gone on to change function, industry or geography post-MBA.

With such a small class size and some of the strongest outcomes globally, the application process for this 1-year IMD is highly competitive. Therefore, if you’re looking to maximize your chances to be accepted by this business school, make sure to take the time to learn as much as possible about its resources and to connect with its community.

If you’re searching for the best ways in which to differentiate your IMD application, be sure to contact us.

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

Many leaders achieve their positions, in part, because of their ability to adapt following a failure. And it is that evolutionary managerial mindset that IMD is searching for in its applicants.

There is a wide range of failures that you can choose to write about: everything from being unable to resolve conflicts as a team leads to problems restructuring a division. However, selecting something that is a success cloaked in the terms of a failure is usually not helpful. For example, IMD would not gain much from learning about a project in which you may have over-chastised an employee who was performing poorly, thereby correcting her behavior.

After choosing a relevant example, you will need to identify what you learned from it. While you can simply explain what mistakes were made and how you’re attempting to avoid them, it’s better to illustrate how you were able to use what you learned from the failure to succeed in a later situation.


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)

For this question, you are only provided space with which to explain any extenuating circumstance concerning parts of your profile that may stand out negatively or reasons for reapplication.

As you’re left with only 50 words, it’s important to be direct, and, if possible, to illustrate how the particular issue has been completely and permanently resolved. If you’re a reapplicant, you should utilize this question to illustrate either how your profile has evolved professionally, how you’ve improved or corrected for weaknesses in your application, or how your goals have changed.

It’s important to note that you should not use this question to discuss any other topics. Of course, there’s a great deal more than you may wish to write about, such as your future goals or previous successes. However, such answers would be poorly received, as they’re not at all relevant to the question.

How do you intend to finance your MBA at IMD? How much of your total budget estimate will you be able to provide without loans or scholarships? (Word limit 50)

Here, you should answer honestly and directly. IMD simply wants to understand how you will be able to afford the MBA program. Despite appearances, your reply to this question will not impact IMD’s decision on whether to extend an offer.

What other programs are you considering? Of the programs you are considering, what can IMD bring to you as a differentiator? (Word limit 100)

Admittedly, this topic places you in a bit of an uncomfortable situation; begging the question, how honest should you be? In general, the best approach is to show that, if you’re considering other programs, you have conducted your due diligence and clearly arrived at the conclusion that IMD bears a significant competitive advantage for you and your plans. With only 100 words, you need to be very specific and concise in your reasons for choosing IMD.


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)

What IMD is trying to understand is how studied and realistic are your post-MBA objectives. IMD’s MBA is known for having a transformative impact on its students’ careers in function, industry, and location; so, you shouldn’t be afraid to show that you’re interested in transforming your career. However, it’s important that you show that you completely understand the skill set that your target role requires and how your abilities from previous positions make you especially attractive (i.e., how you plan to sell yourself to possible future employers). If you’re unsure about how to exactly answer this question, it would be in your best interest to identify someone already working in your target position through your network who can give you insider details on what the position includes and what it takes to get hired into it.

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

In this question, you want to illustrate that you have researched a role that you’re more likely to get than that which you most prefer, in the case that you fail to hit your original target. This back-up job might not be as interesting for you but it still should represent an improvement over your current employment. It’s important that you treat this question seriously, as IMD wants its applicants to be circumspect and not put all their eggs into one basket.

Published On: January 14th, 2019 / Categories: Essay, IMD, MBA / Tags: , , , /