An increasing number of MBA applications now include the use of online video platforms where you record responses to one or more short-answer prompts, before your application is considered complete. The goal of using a video essay from an admission standpoint is to assess a candidate’s communication skills, and the ability to think on his/her feet.
Of course, different programs choose how much emphasis they want to put on this component so it is best to get familiarized with the approach of the institution you plan to apply to. Universities that have incorporated the video essay in their applications include:
INSEAD calls this component of the application package a video interview, which needs to be completed after submitting the online application form. There are four questions in total and they always vary from one applicant to another. Once they begin the recording process, applicants have 45 seconds to prepare each answer and one minute to record it. INSEAD also offers unlimited practice sessions with sample questions that encourage candidates to warm up until they feel comfortable with the online setting. Your answers to the practice questions are not recorded or reviewed by the school. For INSEAD’s MBA program, you need to complete the video interview no later than 48 hours after the deadline to which you are applying.
The Kellogg Full-time MBA program is also well-known for including the video essay requirement in their application process. Although they do not reveal the exact number of questions that applicants can expect, it is explained that the first question is an “icebreaker” addressing your profile while the second one prompts you to talk about your plans for the future and how Kellogg will help you on that journey. The rest of the questions are randomly generated. Candidates have 20 seconds to think about the question and up to one minute to give their response. According to the school, recording the video essays takes about 20-25 minutes, which includes time for set-up as well as answering all the practice questions provided for your convenience.
The video essay required by Georgetown McDonough School of Business is slightly different in format from the ones explained so far. When applying to their MBA program, you need to record a one-minute video in which you introduce yourself to your future Georgetown MBA cohort. The video should be uploaded on one of the easily accessible platforms such as YouTube or Vimeo. Once it is uploaded, candidates simply need to include its URL address in the designated field as part of the overall online application. As you can tell, this is a slightly more creative opportunity to convince the admissions committee that you are the right person to join their program.
The Rotman School of Management introduced the video essay component to their application process in 2013. It consists of two questions, which allow the admissions committee to get to know the personality and uniqueness of each candidate. In 2016, the program presented another new element to the package – the timed written response question. After completing their video questions, candidates will receive one written response question. The question will begin by providing some context to help explain why it is relevant for a Rotman student, and our applicants will have a total of 10 minutes to read and reply to the question. This is not videotaped but is delivered ‘live’ with one opportunity to write/edit/submit.
The school uses it as an opportunity to see the more casual style that students adopt most frequently, when writing emails to their peers, for example.
MIT Sloan also requires a video statement as part of the MBA application package. Candidates need to record a one-minute unedited video in which they introduce themselves to their future classmates. However, instead of uploading the end result on a publicly available video platform, the submission is done directly within the online application form of the school.
The St.Gallen Masters in Strategy and International Management is the top ranked Masters in Management program internationally. Each applicant is invited to take a timed video assessment. Within five days after applying successfully online, you will receive an email from the SIM Management Unit, inviting you to record your video interview. The link provided enables you to register online and gives you access to detailed instructions on how to proceed with the recording of the interview. You can also create mock interviews before providing us with your final video interview.
In conclusion, the integration of the video essay component can definitely be useful for both the sides. MBA applicants get to show their passion and interest in the program in a much more expressive format while admission directors can process the communication skills and authenticity of the candidates through a different lens.
To prepare for your video essays – connect with IMS’ Center for International Education!