Business School Video Essays

The video question isn’t only a challenge – it’s a valuable opportunity to bring your application to life.Because programs are looking for fit, this is just another way for admissions to get to know you.Consider playing your responses to a friend or an admissions coach and solicit their candid input on your overall performance as well as specific responses. As you prepare, it’s easy to forget this is just one facet of the overall picture you’re conveying to the Admissions Committee about your candidacy.

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Of course, different programmes choose how much emphasis they want to put on this component so it is best to get familiarised with the approach of the institution you plan to apply to.

Here is a list of several well-known programmes that have incorporated the video essay element into their admissions procedure.

While programs have different time limits and questions, all are seeking an authentic and unscripted of your poise, character, motivations and ambitions.

Since it’s practically impossible to avoid a camera these days, it’s common to get complacent or imagine the video questions are an easy win. Fortuna’s Cassandra Pittman, an MBA alumna of Columbia who worked in admissions at LBS and INSEAD, offers her insights on how to tackle your MBA video questions.

“The video component is a newer trend for business schools that combines the most challenging aspects of written essays and live interviews with the added pressures of technology concerns, time limits and camera,” says Pittman.

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“Perhaps most challenging of all is the lack of real-time feedback that you would get from a face-to-face discussion.” My main advice is to be yourself (clichéd as it sounds).

“Some worthy candidates aren’t brilliant at expressing themselves on paper, but can do a spectacularly better job verbally,” says Fortuna’s Caroline Diarte Edwards, former INSEAD Director of Admissions. As Cassandra mentions, unlike a real conversation, you don’t get the benefit of seeing your interviewer’s eyes drift when you’ve lost their attention, or light up as you wax.

“So the video component is a really positive evolution in terms of giving candidates more scope to express themselves in the application process.” The most important thing to do now for success in the video component? As such, video questions are more like your written essays than an interview, because you have to put yourself out there without knowing how you’ll be received by your audience.

Video essays are not a substitute for the face-to-face admissions interview conducted by business school representatives or for the written application essay. Leading business schools such as INSEAD (France) and Kellogg School of Management (US) have incorporated it into their admissions procedure because they believe the format brings out a different and more authentic side of students compared to what can be read on paper.

Video essays are also a good opportunity for students to stand out in ways that they could not communicate very well in writing.


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