What the Schools Say

Interview with INSEAD MFin Assoc. Director Anne Bresman

By 22nd June 2015 February 3rd, 2018 One Comment

Anne Bresman is Associate Director of the Executive Master in Finance Programme at INSEAD. Based on the Singapore campus, she oversees the overall management of the programme.

Admissions.SG: What would you like candidates to know about INSEAD?

Anne Bresman: Ranked #1 Global MBA Programme by the Financial Times in 2016, what makes INSEAD unique is our cultural diversity and global perspective that are reflected in all aspects of our research and teaching. We have campuses across the globe in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, where our 148 renowned faculty members inspire more than 10,000 students in all our programmes each year.

Admissions.SG: Who is the INSEAD EMFin for?

Anne Bresman: The EMFin is for experienced finance working professionals who wish to study without leaving their jobs. The modular format of the programme allows professionals to apply what they have learnt immediately at work after each module.

Admissions.SG: Candidates often ask whether business school is a worthwhile investment. What would you say with respect to the ROI of an INSEAD EMFin?

Anne Bresman: The INSEAD EMFin facilitates career development within the financial sector whereas the INSEAD MBA enables complete career changes (industry, function, and geography). Do contact mfin.info@insead.edu for more information and we will be happy to share more on the career developments that EMFin alumni achieved in the past years.

Admissions.SG: There is some ambiguity with respect to programs called “MFin” – some are for fresh graduates, others for candidates with significant finance sector experience, and yet others for working finance professionals. In your assessment, is the marketplace mature enough that prospective employers and other corporations understand exactly what the INSEAD EMFin offers?

Anne Bresman: INSEAD Executive Masters in Finance (EMFin) is designed for experienced finance professionals with eight years of experience on average. Our EMFin reputation in the financial industry and among corporations has rapidly been increasing thanks to our growing alumni base.

Admissions.SG: You offer multiple rounds of applications. Are there any advantages to applying in particular rounds compared to others?

Anne Bresman: No. Applications submitted at different rounds receive equal treatment.

Admissions.SG: What happens to an application once the applicant hits the Submit button? Walk us through your evaluation process. How many people read each application?

Anne Bresman: Once an application is submitted and considered complete with two letters of recommendation and a valid GMAT score, the MFin Admission Committee and the Programme Director will review the entire application by evaluating the strength of the candidate’s work profile, his/her motivation in pursuing the MFin, quantitative ability and potential. Once the application has been approved by the Committee, the candidate will be invited to an in-person or telephone interview with the Programme Director. An admission outcome will be made approximately three to four weeks after the application submission.

Admissions.SG: What are you really looking for in an ideal candidate/ What makes a strong Executive Master in Finance (EMFin) profile? How can candidates stand out?

Anne Bresman: Based on what I’ve seen from previous intakes, I think the critical factors which constitute a strong MFin profile centre first and foremost, on the strength of an applicant’s quantitative skills, given the technical rigour of our programme. By this, I mean demonstrated capabilities and experience in a finance-related background, as well as an exceptional academic record.

The next component we consider is an applicant’s motivation in pursuing an MFin. Here, we look at what drives an applicant, and this would translate to an applicant’s keenness for future development in the financial sector. It is essential that an applicant show his/her commitment towards professional advancement and it must be clearly defined in the application. A typical example of this may include a desire to round up on his/her current skill set by identifying areas for further development such as focus on particular areas such as leadership, negotiation and strategy during the course of study.

Then, there is that one unique element, which goes back to what encapsulates the entire INSEAD experience – diversity. Needless to say, that because our programmes have an unparalleled diversity of nationalities and backgrounds across the board, this naturally makes for an environment that is both dynamic, engaging and filled with a multitude of perspectives.

[pullquote cite=”Anne Bresman” type=”left”]the critical factors which constitute a strong MFin profile centre first and foremost, on the strength of an applicant’s quantitative skills, given the technical rigour of our programme. [/pullquote]In that regard, we value an applicant’s cross-cultural sensitivity and international outlook such as time spent abroad (either for work or study) or work experience in a multicultural or international organisation. All these elements determine an applicant’s potential to be a successful leader in a competitive and global business environment.

Finally, what I’d say would be the cherry on top, is an applicant’s ability to give back to the INSEAD community. In the applications that I’ve come across, we like to see applicants who display a clear desire for intellectual growth and stimulation, both individually and collectively in the classroom. This again, goes back to the highly engaging nature of all our programmes, the MFin included. So, an applicant who comes into the programme, ready to impart his/her vast knowledge and exposure to peers, would most definitely be deemed a valuable contributor to INSEAD.

In particular, we look for candidates with the following profiles:

  • A Bachelor degree in any discipline
  • 4 years of work experience in finance-related roles
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Great potential for leadership roles in the financial industry

Candidates who score high on the quantitative part of the GMAT and demonstrate a clear career ambition in the application essays often stand out from other candidates.

Admissions.SG: How important is the GMAT in your decisions? What, if any, roles do the AWA and IR sections of the GMAT play in your decisions?

Anne Bresman: A competitive GMAT score is essential for admission into EMFin. A strong quant score in the 75 percentile ranking or higher is required. We don’t use the AWA and IR sections.

Admissions.SG: What percentage of the pool do you interview? What does your interview process look like? What percent of the interviewees are offered admission?

Anne Bresman: We have a dedicated Client Manager for the EMFIN programme and many applicant profiles and CV’s are reviewed before they submit applications. As such it is difficult to pinpoint a percentage from the pool in general.

Admissions.SG: How have your application numbers, acceptance rates, and yield changed over the past few years?

Anne Bresman: Specialised degrees are becoming increasingly more popular and will continue to trend with the millennial generation. We are seeing this being reflected in an increase in application numbers from previous years.

Admissions.SG: What percentage of last year’s incoming class found jobs within 3 months of graduation? What jobs did they find? With which companies? In which locations?

Anne Bresman: Two-thirds of our latest graduate class either changed jobs or got promoted after graduation. For more information, do contact mfin.info@insead.edu and we will be happy to share more details on our graduates’ jobs, companies and locations.

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