Overcoming our new normal: How INSEAD is able to stay open during COVID-19

INSEAD MIM Students in class

Meet Florence Bares France flag – INSEAD

Florence Bares is a student at INSEAD’s Master in Management (MIM). Among other things, she told MASTERGRADSCHOOLS how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting her studies and why INSEAD is one of the only schools able to stay open during this difficult time.

Going “online” has become the new normal as a result of this global pandemic. As we mentioned in a previous article, universities are now faced with a new set of challenges: While a unique, dynamic campus life was once a key selling point for prospective students, the pandemic has forced schools to shift their focus to their digital infrastructure and how to keep their physical spaces safe for everyone.

With this in mind, it is impressive that INSEAD is managing to continue physical campus life.


2020 in a nutshell: Testing, contact tracing & social distancing

It’s hard to walk into any establishment these days without being prompted to use hand sanitizer and maintain social distance.

INSEAD is going the extra mile. “INSEAD is one of the only schools that is still open because they put so much effort into keeping our campus safe,” Florence says. This includes weekly PCR testing on campus – and same-day results! PCR tests are used to directly detect the presence of an antigen, indicating whether or not someone has (or has had) the virus.

INSEAD MIM students

Besides the ubiquitous hand gel, face masks, and social distancing rules, students at INSEAD are also taking on contact tracing. “We’ve gotten used to keeping track of our contacts,” Florence explains. “We’ve had a few cases so obviously as soon as someone is positive, we have a list of contact cases. I’ve been one of those people, and you just stay home for two weeks. It’s strict but it’s the only way to have physical classes on campus.”


The importance of IT

Florence also credits the “massive IT support” behind INSEAD’s efforts: “We can follow all of our classes on Zoom,” she says. “In every class, there’s always someone following the Zoom chat and telling the professor if there are questions or doing a recap of what’s been said if you couldn’t hear some of the questions or comments.”

In a world where students are primarily learning through screens, it’s incredibly important that there are the right support systems and structures in place to safeguard the student experience.

Florence puts it best: “We can really see the investments the school has made into keeping the campus safe and also ensuring that either on Zoom or physically, we still have a top-quality education and a great experience.”

Keen to learn more about studying the MIM degree at INSEAD? Reach out to Florence directly and ask her anything:

Florence Bares, INSEAD MIM student


by Sophie Poulsen

The INSEAD MIM: 3 Top Application Tips

INSEAD’s Master in Management-MIM

In September 2020 students from more than 20 different countries arrived at the prestigious INSEAD business school with the distinct honor of being the first ever Master in Management (MIM) cohort. The program was first announced in May 2019 with the promise that the MIM ‘will make the INSEAD educational offering complete’.

How? Well, although the school currently offers an MBA, Executive MBA and other business degrees targeted at experienced professionals, the MIM is the first instance of a post-graduate, pre-experience program at INSEAD. The average age of the inaugural class is 22 and the candidates have an average 0-2 years of work experience, compared to an average age of 29 and average work experience of 5.6 years in the current MBA class.

So, whether you’re thinking of applying yourself or just intrigued at what admissions teams are on the lookout for, here are INSEAD’s top 3 application tips for their new MIM program.

1. Academic Performance

In order to be accepted onto the INSEAD MIM you’re going to have to take either the GMAT or GRE, the two internationally-recognized tests that form part of MBA and MIM applications. Although INSEAD does not have a minimum score in either test, the admissions team do like to see a score above 65% in the Verbal and Quantitative sections and above five for the Integrated Reasoning section of the GMAT. In the GRE, you are expected to score above 80% in the Verbal and Quantitative sections.

Along with your GMAT/GRE score, you will need to hold a bachelor’s degree from a recognized college/university or proof that you have completed 180 ECTS in any field of studies. If English isn’t your first language, and your university degree was not taught exclusively in English, you will also need to take an English language test to prove your proficiency level.

2. Ability to Contribute

An oft-overlooked part of the admissions process for MIMs and MBAs is recognition of your ability to contribute to class discussions and to the program as a whole. Whilst putting together a diverse, international and multicultural class of students is often a priority for admissions teams, that means nothing if the individuals do not contribute to the program.

Whilst the written questions and video interviews give you the opportunity to show you can contribute, you can also display your willingness to go above and beyond through evidence of extracurricular activities, volunteering or internships. They can all indicate you are a motivated, energetic and well-rounded individual – three key ingredients for any successful INSEAD MIM applicant.

INSEAD Business School

3. International Outlook

Whether you studied your bachelor’s degree abroad, mastered a foreign language or have travelled extensively, the INSEAD MIM admissions team value candidates with an international outlook on life. They want to see that you have the adaptability to thrive in multicultural environments, which is a key skill of any global business leader and especially important in the 21st century.

Besides a strong command of English, INSEAD also expects you to demonstrate working knowledge of a second language as soon as possible and basic knowledge of a third before you graduate. Your aspirations of an international career in business start right here at INSEAD.

Keen to learn more about studying the MIM degree at INSEAD

School profile

by Nick Harland

ESMT Berlin offers a home to those who never felt at home

ESMT Berlin students

Meet Michela Andreolli ESMT Berlin

Michela Andreolli always knew she would end up moving abroad. Born in Italy, she attended an international high school in Milan which opened her mind to what the world has to offer. During her final year of engineering studies, she did an internship with Amazon where the international environment made her desire to explore new territories even stronger. It was therefore a natural choice to look for Master programs abroad.  She found her niche at ESMT in Berlin – a city she calls the “home for all of those people who never feel at home.”

Here she tells us why it was quite easy for her to move and begin her new life there.

Why the MIM Program?

I decided to go for an MIM Program because I am still relatively young and do not have a lot of work experience. I still wanted to gain some academic experience before starting my career. I was deciding between a Masters in Entrepreneurship and a Masters in Management but I realized that the MIM will give me a chance to learn more diverse things. I have the opportunity to explore different environments and topics which is why I chose the MIM and so far, I think it has been the right choice for me.

You seem to love Berlin

When I had to decide where to go for my Masters, Germany and in particular Berlin caught my attentions since I am very interested in Entrepreneurship. In Berlin there are a lot of startups which would give me opportunities to learn about the startup environment. It is also a very international city where you are surrounded by people from all over the world. There is a place for everyone here and everyone can find their space. It is hard to describe the Berlin culture because there is a little bit of everything. You can really be yourself and find yourself in the city. Everyone is just being whoever they want to be. 

What made you choose ESMT?

The thing that really made me decide to go to ESMT is the curriculum. It is a two-year program but you only have thirteen months of presence in class. We have a six-month internship in the first year and in the second year we have the chance to do a one-month social impact project. This gives us the chance to apply what we learnt in the classroom to a very different environment, so you have to really step out of your comfort zone. During the second year we also have three months to write our thesis and opt for another internship if we wish to. The highlight of this program is the fact that it is really practical – you have as much time in class as in a proper working environment.

What is the ESMT student body like?

We are a very diverse group, both in terms of nationalities and in terms of backgrounds. We have a lot of group projects to do and for the first six months the teams are made by the professors, so you get a chance to talk to and work with everyone. It is really nice and interesting. You get to work on a marketing project, for example, with someone who studied philosophy or psychology in Asia and I studied engineering in Europe. It brings different approaches to problems and so many different ways of working. It might sound like a standard answer, but I am learning so much from my colleagues in the classroom. We work together and it is so diverse, it is really beautiful. 



What has been your best experience so far?

It was during my first course named Judgement and Decision Making. At the end of the course the professor gave us an exercise to do where we had to create a decision tree for a real-life situation. I did my best, of course, and by the end of the exercise the professor shared that the situation was one he had encountered in his own life. This showed me that what he was teaching me was not only a matter of academics or for exam purposes but could be used in real life. Not only for business decisions but also for life decisions. In engineering I had to always follow a mathematical and scientific approach but when I saw this exercise really had an impact in his life, I really felt that I am studying something that matters. Something that could change not only my career but the way I live my life.

Michela has found her global home at ESMT Berlin. As she so aptly concludes: “I am in the right place, I am studying something that can really help me but also help others. ESMT is giving me the technical instruments to make an impact in the world.”

Keen to learn more about studying the MIM degree at ESMT Berlin? Reach out to Michela directly and ask her anything:


Michela Andreolli MIM

by Maryke Luijendijk-Steenkamp