While ISB seems to be influenced a lot by US Business Schools and tries to emulate a similar processes in it own way (importance of holistic / uniqueness in your profile etc), I do not have enough exposure on IIM's(esp IIM-A PGPX and IIM-B EPGP). What are the factors that are important for them? Given the average work experience of the batch lies between 8-9 years how do they view someone with 4.5-6 years of experience. Certainly the later category will have less managerial experience and also lesser impact. Is that a disadvantage? I recently e-mailed IIM A admissions team and they responded that 10% of their current batch has 4-5 years of experience which seems pretty low considering the batch size was 80.
Of the past successful candidates who had <6 years of experience what was the differentiating factor in their profile? I came to know that V.K.Menon, who was ex-ISB admission director(or of some similar post), has now joined IIM-B and handling marketing of EPGP Program. He is trying to change a lot in terms of admission process and wants to emulate ISB's processes. However the minimum experience bar is still kept at 5 years and batch size is still around 100-120. Can experts share more insights? It will be great for all applicants focusing on Indian B Schools! Thanks a lot! Hoping to get good discussion around this.
MBADecoder, ABatExpertsGlobal, EduSimplified, Apphelp, strategy4gmat1, ISBeacon
(Looking fwd to your expert opinions)
Thanks for looping us in the conversation.
So while we are talking about ISB, I'd just add one thing which really strikes me about it- thanks to their affiliations at the time of founding the b-school, they get faculty from the best business schools in the world to teach the class. That's an unparalleled advantage for Indian students. Every time I talk to students, this emerges as a key benefit of their experience.
Of all the IIMS, IIMA PGPX has students with highest work experience. Things may shake up a little at IIMA as they are doubling their class size this year. IIMB put a cap last year, discouraging applicants with 12 + years experience to apply and that continues this year. So these factors may govern your decision to apply to these colleges.
As to your question of applying with lesser experience- I think its a subjective thing. You may have built real quality experience within your 5-6 years, as compared to a guy you has about 8. Think in terms of your leadership potential, career progress and the ability to make an impact (with solid examples to back this up). So it really depends on how strong can you make your application. That said, if you think you should wait 1-2 years before you apply, that approach is also ok. I can have a look at your profile in more detail to help you make that decision.
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ISB Essays and Application Deadlines
|ISB Interview Preparation|
|Average GMAT Score|
Average GRE Score
|600 – 780|
303 – 335
|Total Applicants||Acceptance Rate|
|Class Size||879 (Hyderabad: 604 and|
|Average Work Experience||60 Months|
|Applicant Deadlines for ISB||R1: 15-Oct-2017|
|Decision Dates||R1: 05-Dec-2017|
|Length of Program||12 Months||Placement Information|
|Fees, Scholarship & Financial Aid Information for ISB|
If you are seeking for Indian School of Business admission for the year 2017-18, do not forget to take note of ISB 2018 deadlines that are listed in this page. Make sure that you have your application processed in time so that you do not miss the ISB 2017-18 deadlines for your Indian School of Business admission.
Note: ISB Essays 2017-18 remains the same as previous year and there’s no additional essay required for the re-applicants.
ISB Essays Questions 2017-18 (For Class of 2018):
Essay Question – 1:
If we were to admit just One more candidate to the Postgraduate Programme (PGP) at the ISB, why should it be you? (400 words max)
The objective of this essay is to gauge the value-add the candidate will do to the classroom, peer group and enhance the value of ISB community at large. The candidate must showcase his/her individuality demonstrating how it stands out and differentiated from the rest by highlighting one’s accomplishments, which reflect qualities of leadership potential, problem solving skill, perseverance etc. A direct link between the qualities one choose and ISB’s academic or non-academic resources elaborating how exactly he/she will contribute to experiences of the student body has to be substantiated. For instance,
- An HR professional can help CAS (Placement committee) in organizing Pre-placement talks and campus interviews for the school in a smooth manner.
- An Economics or Finance major can take part in leading Finance club and driving its activities
This is the platform for the applicants to best persuade the admissions committee of their worthiness from their personal/professional experiences. Key qualities/traits looked at are penchant to learn, management ability, leadership quality, initiative, collaborative mindset, and achievement orientation.
Other points to be considered for this essay
- Given that it’s a 400 word limit essay, one can articulate 2-3 attributes with examples.
- The experiences should focus be more on impact, challenges, learnings, showcasing drive – pushing the limits and challenging the norm with determination.
- Can write about something significant/ consistent extracurricular (Quizzing, Social Work, Sports) which one is truly passionate about and can speak volumes about and how he/she can contribute to the various professional and social clubs of ISB.
- Good if there is a demonstrated consistent upward trajectory of the aspect being mentioned.
- Not to repeat the mere facts which are covered in other part of the application unless there is a need to elaborate in this essay.
Essay Question – 2
Describe your your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those? (300 words max)
The purpose of this essay is gauge the clarity of goals and purpose of an MBA. The applicant has to weave a compelling theme that suits his/her career vision with gaps identified between one’s previous professional experiences and future goals and it should all be knit very logically with an MBA from ISB serving as a bridge. While articulating how ISB fits the whole scheme of things, he/she has to be specific about the industry and type of role looking forward to immediately after graduation from ISB. It is very important from perspective of both the Admission & Career advancement councils of ISB, as they bear big onus of placing 900+ students.
Key things evaluated are
- How the candidate has developed this goal?
- Why it appeals to him/her?
- How ISB PGP will contribute to achieve the stated goals?
- Is the applicant prepared well enough?
Other points to be considered for this essay
- Can mention some of the unique offerings of ISB that would be relevant to his/her aspiration.
- How ‘One year MBA’ suits your career (Stating its benefits)
- Extensive ISB Networking opportunities
- Faculty model, academic services
- Professional and Social Clubs – Picking one or two clubs
- Specific electives, ELP and FIRP
- Industry Specialization – Healthcare/Manufacturing/Public Policy
- Mention of personal interaction with the school’s alumni, ISB’s Information sessions, do highlight – Has to be justified if asked during interview
- Avoidance of general mention of great faculty, interactive classes, good peer group, etc
- Particularly applicants with 8+ years of work-ex has to justify a clear career path with methodical explanation of career progression from the present to the planned future
Essay Question – 3 (Optional)
Please use this space to provide any other information not covered elsewhere in the application that could significantly impact your candidature at ISB.
Note: It is not necessary for you to write this essay. Please use this space only if there is something really significant that you would like us to know. (200 words max)
ISB Essays Questions 2015-16 (For Class of 2016):
ISB Essay 1 Topic: If we were to admit just one more student, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you by describing a (only one) challenging experience you’ve had in your personal / professional life. How were you tested? What did you do that sets you apart from others? What did you learn? (up to 400 words)
Analysis: Think about your strength(s) . Where did you exhibit this strength(s). What were the challenges and how overcoming this enhanced your soft skills and/or hard skills. How having this skill makes you stand out from rest of applicants. How does your experiences add to the culture at ISB and enriches the incoming class.
ISB Essay 2 Topic: Describe a (only one) defining moment in your personal / professional life when you had to make a risky decision, and explain what you did and why? (up to 300 words)
Analysis: What was the importance of this task to you/company/your team. What were the consequences of failure. Talk about thought process (Collaborative/alone) to manage risks. Actions taken and result. In the end sum up learnings.
ISB Essay 3 Topic: What are your post-MBA career plans and how will your past experiences and the Indian School of Business programme contribute to taking you there? (up to 300 words)
Analysis: An essay like this wants you to be discreet . Mention about functions and/or sector you will be targeting. What key skills gained at pre-MBA affect your choice. How will academic and non-academic life at ISB help you achieve your post-MBA career plan.
ISB Optional Essay 4: Please use this space to: Explain any career breaks / provide any other information not covered elsewhere in the application that could significantly impact your candidature at ISB. Note: It is not necessary to write this essay. Please use this space only if there is something really significant that you would like us to know. (up to 200 words)
Analysis: Reapplicant : If you had asked for feedback after the reject last time try and talk about how you have overcome the weaknesses. How your profile has changed since last time and how you are a strong contender for the seat.
If applying for first time : If you have very high academic qualifications, extra-curricular activities , entrepreneurship experiences as this add weightage to the application.
However if you have covered all the attributes you wanted to highlight in your other ISB essays, it is not necessary to attempt this just for the sake of attempting.
ISB Essays Questions 2014-15 (For Class of 2015):
Essay 1: Innovation or doing things differently it is said is a key to future success. Could you substantiate or negate this idea based on your experience. Please provide examples from your own experience – either examples of your own innovation or examples of others whom you have worked with. (300 words max)
This essay gives the candidate the opportunity to showcase his/her ‘Out-of-the-box’ thinking and ability to go against the tide when required. This essay holds the key to differentiate yourself from the peer group in terms of creative problem-solving abilities. A key point to highlight in this essay is your ability to get buy-in from other stakeholders, as innovative ideas usually face some criticism/opposition from various quarters (since they are ‘different’ by their very nature). Bringing forth this point would further highlight your convincing capabilities.
Essay 2: Applying to and enrolling in a Business School is an important career decision. Critically look at your career to date, the choices you have made, the key influences behind those choices, your goals for the future and how you expect to benefit from the ISB experience in achieving your goals. (300 words max)
This essay is important to showcase that the candidate has charted out his/her career goals and is clear about what s/he is looking to achieve professionally and how ISB features in this journey. Use this essay to highlight your long-term planning abilities and demonstrate to the ISB admissions committee how you would achieve your career goals. This is also an opportunity to showcase how ISB would play a critical role in helping you achieve your professional goals. We suggest that you highlight your career goals immediately after MBA and weave them into your long-term goals to demonstrate how you are a long-term thinker.
Essay 3 One of the following:
A) This experience completely changed my way of thinking.
Here you may choose to write about an achievement, a failure or just an experience which has led you to change your way of thinking and the manner in which you approach life (personal or professional). While describing the situation is important, detailing your learning from the experience will help the admissions committee understand the significance of your achievement. Here’s your chance to project your depth of learning basis the experiences you have been exposed to.
B) An instance when you went out of the ordinary to achieve something significant, but in hind sight feel you could have done better.
This essay will help the admissions committee understand your maturity of thought and your ability to objectively appraise yourself. While writing this essay, please focus on describing the achievement, the challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Mention gaps in your approach and how plugging those gaps would have helped you improve results.
C) Tell us about your role in a team that made a significant contribution to the organization
Here’s your chance to showcase a situation when you contributed significantly to an organisation as part of a team. While it is important to show how you as a team succeeded, don’t forget to highlight the innovations/ solutions you suggested and quantify their results.
D) Contribution to peer learning and engagement with the ISB student body are important aspects of the ISB experience. What contribution do you expect to make in this direction during the one year at ISB. (200 words max)
Choose a passion, hobby, skill or just your unique personal/ professional experience to talk about here. Read about the project work and clubs at the ISB and clear mention how you will be able to contribute to these activities because of your unique background.
Essay 4 (Optional) Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (200 words max)
If you do attempt to write this essay, then please choose at most 2 pieces of additional information not highlighted in any application essay. The additional information could relate to your family background, personal experiences, professional experiences or hobbies. While writing this essay, please be sure to detail how your skills, background or experiences will help you contribute to the ISB.
ISB Admission Help, Guides and ISB MBA Essays
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Importance of Extracurricular In ISB Application
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Successfully admitted in ISB (2014-2015) so far…
Under Graduation GPA 8.35 Work experience 1 year 8 months GMAT Score 720 Industry/Sector Indian Auto Major
"Hi GenEdMBA team,
Thank you so much for your support guys! You made all the difference. I was concerned of my chances as I had average GMAT Score. It was only through your counseling sessions and essay reviews that I was able to highlight my profile, achievements and objectives in the best manner possible leading to my selection. My admission to ISB Early Entry Option wouldn't have been possible without your support and guidance.
Sameer Ahuja | Admitted in ISB (2014-2015) MBA Aspirant from Delhi
Under Graduation GPA 8.1 Work Experience 4 years GMAT Score 720 Industry/Sector Major Manufacturing and Supply Chain Co.
I have read through a couple of times the latest version we have. Please look into it one more time before we can wrap this up.
As a next step, I am planning to jot down pointers for my recommendation. Once I have it, I will get your thoughts also before asking the the team members to write the recommendation. Once the recommendation is ready, we can look into it before submitting.
In parallel, I am also going to fill up the application details, I will reach out to you at regular intervals with specific queries.
Let me know if you have any thoughts/ suggestions around this.
I am very happy with the way essays have shaped up and looking forward to building a solid application as well.
N Chandra | Assisted for ISB Essays 2014-15 ISB Aspirant seeking help for ISB MBA programme.
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