ISB MBA

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ISB The Indian School of Business, with campuses at Hyderabad and Mohali, has seen exceptional success in a very short time for its flagship Post Graduate Programme (PGP) in Management. Though we had predicted a jump in its ranking, ISB went on to exceed our expectations by leaping into Financial Times top 15 global business school rankings. Given its Indian location and the high number of Indian MBA aspirants, the ISB has an exceptionally low applicant v/s intake ratio - and is extremely competitive.

ISB PGP Class Profile The ISB Post Graduate Programme (PGP) Class of 2015 had 763 students, 75% male and 25% female. The mean age is 27 and the GMAT scores ranges from 680-750. Years of experience remains at an average of 5 with Engineers forming a whopping 75% of the class. See detailed class profile.

ISB PGP Essays ISB has come up with a brand new set of essays this year. Though there are flavors from past years essays, this set expects you to think deep and hard and spend time to develop ISB-specific answers. The second essay is actually a very good template for how to build your MBA goal essays.

ISB PGP Application Deadlines 2014-2015 Domestic applicants: Cycle 1 (15 Sep 2014), Cycle 2 (30 Nov 2014)  International applicants: Rolling until January 15, 2015 Please double check ALL information with school's website

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2014-2015

ISB 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)

ISB Essay 1 Tips

ISB prides itself on developing leaders for tomorrow and one key trait of a leader is the ability to think differently. If you can show with solid examples that you have displayed this trait, you will be able to differentiate yourself from thousands of applicants who aspire to join ISB.

You could approach this essay by first taking a stand on the bigger idea of innovation- that you agree with ISB's assertion or not. Then follow it with what innovation means to you and showing that with examples.

There are many ways in which you can think about innovative thinking. You can talk about the times you contributed towards improving performance, or efficiency of a process, or how you were able to change your team's perceptions with your new thinking, or how you brought in new business because you thought differently and implemented new strategies. In any instance in which you thought differently, stood apart from the conventional wisdom of a time or a group and took initiatives to bring about change and drove success would form a compelling narrative for this essay.

We suggest you talk about your own thinking and experiences, but if there is another individual who has had a powerful influence on you, writing a thoughtful, mature account from their example you could also work. Ideally it should be someone you have observed closely over a period of time: your manager, your colleague, your client, your family member- whose way of thinking inspires respect and admiration in you. But remember, even when you are talking about another individual, the focus must be on YOU, so write with that approach.

ISB 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)

ISB Essay 2 Tips

Through this essay ISB seeks to understand what motivates you, what has driven your career path till now and how that will tie in with ISB PGP program and your future career goals. How you answer this question will also reveal your personality and attitudes.

So, find a quite spot, grab your favorite drink and take a mental walk down memory lane. Think about your journey till date, what paths you chose and why you chose them. As you examine your choices try to find a common theme or a pattern there and see if you can connect the same theme with why you want to pursue an MBA at this time in your life and why you are considering ISB. If you are not yet sure about why ISB, do your due diligence on the school, the PGP program and both short term and long term opportunities you will get with ISB degree. Going to business school is not about an year or two but it will have a lifelong impact on your professional and personal lives, so make sure you take and show that you have thought long and hard that ISB is your next step.

The ‘why ISB’ section of your answer must be very specific to your career goals. For example, when you write about school’s diverse culture, opportunities for global exchange, amazing faculty, tie them in with why they are critical for your context and are better aligned with deeper themes running across your professional journey. Avoid writing generic statements that you could easily write for any other school.

Answer ONE of the following essays

If you are unsure which of these four essays you should attempt, we suggest going with the one for which you have a strong story and which helps present you as a well-rounded candidate.

ISB Essay 3A

This experience completely changed my way of thinking. (200 words)

ISB Essay 3A Tips

The experience you choose could be one dramatic event or a trigger that led to series of events that changed your perceptions. You can decide to make this either a professional or a personal story. Whatever you choose, try to pick an incident or area which has deeper implications on many aspects of your life and possibly relates with your career visions too. If the rest of your essays are becoming heavy on work-focus, choose a non-work anecdote to balance and show them aspects from your personal life.

Approach this essay in three parts: the Before, the Change and the After. You have only 200 words so use this space to very succinctly describe your original thought or belief system. Then talk about what happened and why that was so powerful that you were forced to reconsider your way of thinking. Be sure to show how the change happened inside your mind. Take the reader through your thought process. End the narrative with talking about your changed thought and the learning you have gained, possibly much beyond that specific incident.

ISB Essay 3B

An instance when you went out of the ordinary to achieve something significant, but in hind sight feel you could have done better. (200 words)

ISB Essay 3B Tips

A unique and slightly strangely worded essay. What is ISB aiming to get from this answer?

When ISB evaluates your profile, it one quality it looks for is your ability to stretch yourself. They see it through your academics and your career track record. Another way for them to see is how you look back on your past successes. Do you feel content and complacent or do you aspire to keep working towards making yourself better and pushing yourself to achieve higher goals?

Going back and reflecting on your success and believing you could have done even better, desiring to push yourself to outdo your own accomplishments- that attitude and spirit is what ISB is looking for.

You could pick a time/event where you succeeded because of your efforts but looking back you see few flaws in your thought process, your approach or foresight and you wish you could have done better and perhaps with a different approach. How you evaluate and reflect on your past experiences and how you show your learning from them will also display the strength of your character, your fortitude and the potential for your success in career and beyond.

ISB Essay 3C

Tell us about your role in a team that made a significant contribution to the organization (200 words)

ISB Essay 3C Tips

A huge part of your time in business school will be spent working in teams so ISB wants to know if you are a result-oriented team player.

When you start answering this question think in terms of your accomplishment and the challenges you had to overcome. You could start by explaining the context and give the reader a clear idea of the team – the number, structure, possible organization and YOUR role in the team. Once you have set the context, then talk about the challenges and conflict you had to face and take the adcom through your heroic journey.

Remember this is a teamwork and leadership essay so keep your stories connected with those themes but make sure to keep the focus on YOU, on how you added value to your team and your organization. Perhaps you brought in a diverse viewpoint, you fostered better communication, you helped in conflict resolution, you kept the team focused and on track, you motivated your teammates. Pick one or two of your many strengths and weave your crisp essay around that.

ISB Essay 3D

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)

ISB Essay 3D Tips

You can look at this essay from a several possible perspectives. You could start by demonstrating your strengths as a teacher, sharer and collaborator and giving examples from your past and how you plan on using them to enrich ISB community. You could also highlight how you intend to leverage your vast domain expertise, your unique perspectives, your passions and interests to enhance the experience of your classmates. For example, you can talk about being a finance mentor, starting a new interest club, a new speaker series, organizing a trek!

To emphatically state what specific contributions you will make, you will need to thoroughly understand the ISB program and opportunities it offers. So, do your research, learn about the specific areas you want to get involved in and show adcom how your strengths will make ISB a better community.

ISB Optional Essay

Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (200 words max)

ISB Optional Essay Tips

You have to seriously address this essay even if you don't write it. The main question in optional essays is to decide whether it has to be written at all.

In the ISB application, attempt the optional essay only if you feel that it will improve the factual and material strength of your application. Do not submit your ISB optional essay as an addendum to any of your essays. Do not submit your optional essay because you feel the quality of your earlier essays is improvable in which case redouble your efforts in the earlier essays and leave the optional essay well alone. Since the ISB has just 3 small essays on which your candidature will be judged, contrary to our usual position we actually encourage you to look for truly enhancing perspectives or information that might make a difference to your application.

Use the optional essay to address areas in your ISB application which you feel are detrimental to your candidature. Areas of underperformance (academic or professional or GMAT) or resume areas which stick out (gaps in your employment/academics or earlier MBA) can be commented on if you have an explanation that is intelligent, interesting and credible.

One other situation when the optional essay is acceptable is when you need to describe at length some extraordinarily positive information that CANNOT be accommodated anywhere else in the ISB application. In case you find any of the above applicable, note down the options and then consider again if the optional essay is a strong constructive addition to your candidacy. If yes, then start working on the essay.

ISB Reapplicant Essay

How has your profile changed from the time you last applied to the ISB? (300 words)

ISB Reapplicant Essay Tips

The number of candidates who consider this essay an addendum to the other essays is surprising. So let us say this clearly - if you are a reapplicant this is your most vital essay in the ISB application.

Apart from an extremely low applicants versus accepted ratio, the ISB applicants are almost fully Indian. So the ISB admissions committee is under great pressure to select the best candidates from a limited applicant pool. But there's still a door open for rejected candidates (even more so for waitlisted candidates). If you were rejected (or waitlisted) last time, use these 300 words to tell the ISB Admission Committee that there have been enough changes in your profile to justify a revaluation of your candidature.

Your aim will be to present the professional, academic and personal improvements that make you a stronger candidate for an ISB admission this year. State persuasively why you deserve a second chance.

What steps have you taken to strengthen your ISB application? Stronger work experience, professional achievements, better GMAT, personal achievements, accomplishments on the social front, international exposure or academic accomplishments can all find place in the ISB reapplicant essay. Proactive ISB-specific steps taken by you, perhaps based on direct or indirect feedback from the ISB, might prove a trump card.

Additionally, if required, please use the option of new recommendations and application inputs to support your essays and "bring out different qualities or traits of your personality which may have gone unnoticed earlier".

Go for it!

ISB PGP Recommendation Questions 2014-2015   

Questions

1. Under what circumstances and for how long have you known the applicant? (50 words maximum)

2. Please rate the applicant's achievements when compared to those of his or her peers and mention the reference group with which you are making these comparisons. (100 words maximum)

3. Please describe, in brief, situations where the applicant displayed signs of leadership abilities and team skills. (200 words maximum)

4. Please mention two consistent strengths of the applicant and if possible provide instances where she/he demonstrated these strengths. (200 words maximum)

5. Please indicate two areas where the applicant has shown learning and improvement which would add value to his application to the ISB. (100 words maximum)

6. Please provide any other comments that you consider are relevant to the applicant's admission to the ISB, especially regarding the applicant's career in business/management. (200 words maximum)

Details of Evaluator (to be completed by the evaluator): Evaluator's signature with date, Name, Relationship with the applicant, Position/Designation/Title, Employer, Address, Phone Number, E-mail Address

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ISB PGP Admission details 2014-2015

APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

- A Bachelor’s degree in any discipline.

- Preferably two years of full-time work experience after graduation

- GMAT score

- TOEFL / IELTS / PTE score, only if language of instruction during undergraduate education was not English.

- Three mandatory and One Optional essay

- Names and contact details of two recommenders

- Application Fee: INR 3,371 (approximately equivalent of US $ 50)

ADMISSIONS PROCESS

Step 1: Submit online application and letters of recommendations along with application fee

Step 2: Selected applicants invited for an interview. (ISB representatives conduct personal interviews in Delhi, Kolkata and Hyderabad only. International applicants will have a telephonic interview)

Step 3: Admission offer is extended to candidates selected for the Program

Step 4: Candidates are given 15 days to accept or decline the offer. On acceptance, a non-refundable admission fee of INR 2, 00,000 is due

Step 5: Course for full-time, one-year residential program begins in April each year

ISB SCHOOL CODES

GMAT : N2DJ501

 

TOEFL : 9047

 

IELTS :There is NO Institution code for ISB. Fill in the entire name and address of ISB in the space provided
PGP Admissions Office,
Indian School of Business,
Gachibowli, Hyderabad-500 032, India

WHAT IS ISB LOOKING FOR?

ISB Admissions Committee evaluated your candidature on three parameters

1. Leadership potential: Have you consistently stretched yourself and tried to take initiative to make in impact in your career and your organization? ISB finds this in your career progress as well as what you recommenders say about you

2. Diversity: What diverse background, viewpoints, perspectives, experiences can you bring to ISB that will enrich their community. This is reflected in your professional experience and your essays.

3. Academic ability: One year MBA is a rigorous academic program and ISB needs to know that you will be able to handle the intensity of the program and come out successful. They gauge this though your academic and GMAT scores

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ISB PGP Class Profile  

CLASS COMPOSITION

Class size: 763

Average Age: 27

GMAT Mean: 711

GMAT Mid 80% Range: 680-750

Average Work Experience: 5 Years

Women: 231 (30%)

Engineers: 572 (75%)

Non-engineers: 191 (25%)

 

PRE-MBA BACKGROUND

Function

Sales & Marketing 19%

IT consulting 16%

Finance 14%

Engineering/ Manufacturing 11%

Operations 10%

Consulting 8%

Project Management 8%

Research & Development 5%

Gen. Management/ Strategic planning 5%

Industry

Consulting 19%

Banks/ Financial institutions 14%

Oil/energy/ minerals 9%

Manufacturing 7%

IT/ITES 18%

FMCG/Retail/ consumer durables 5%

Telecom 4%

Healthcare 3%

Media/ Entertainment/PR 3%

Govt/PSUS/NGOS 3%  15%

ISB STUDENT'S ADVICE TO PROSPECTIVE STUDENTS

Sunil Narendra Albal As a prospective student, one should be ready not only for the Academic rigors at ISB, but also to learn from all possible avenues available here. One should come her with an open mind, a sponge ready to absorb all that ISB has to offer. While academics has its place of importance, it is equally important to participate in various activities which take place on campus and take up responsibilities to ensure a holistic learning experience.

Ramanathan Lakshmanan: No two individuals have the same experience here – ISB offers something unique for every student. It is true that ISB attracts some of the best talent in the world. Access to individual experiences of 770 students across campuses (Hyderabad & Mohali) and a world-class faculty will mean an unparalleled strategic insight on how to think rather than what to think. When I considered ISB last year, I did not look at the price of joining, I looked at the cost of not. Come, experience ISB!

Rohini Prasad: I would recommend to a prospective student that he/ she have a clear idea of WHY they want to do an MBA. An MBA is not an easy program and ISB makes a conscious effort to select the very best. When one knows why they are here, the rigors of a one year MBA seem manageable and worthwhile. The opportunities (academic, networking, collaborative, professional, you name it!) at ISB are limitless. Have your priority list ready so that you can make the most of this 51 week rollercoaster.

Riddhi Kapoor: Research, Research Research! Speak to alumni, faculty, current students. Grill us with your questions. We’re only happy to help! 

ISB PGP Academics   

CORE COURSES

TERM 1

FINANCIAL ACCOUNTING AND DECISION MAKING

MANAGERIAL ECONOMICS

MARKETING MANAGEMENT

STATISTICAL METHODS FOR MANAGEMENT

DECISIONS

TERM 2

COMPETITIVE STRATEGY

DECISION MODELS AND OPTIMISATION

GLOBAL ECONOMICS

MARKETING DECISION MAKING

TERM 3

CORPORATE FINANCE - I

MANAGERIAL ACCOUNTING AND DECISION MAKING

MANAGEMENT OF ORGANIZATIONS

OPERATIONS MANAGEMENT

LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT

ELECTIVES

TERM 4

CORPORATE FINANCE-II

RESPONSIBLE LEADERSHIP

BUSINESS COMMUNICATION

Consumer Behaviour (Mandatory Elective)

Creativity and Leadership (Mandatory Elective)

Entrepreneurship (Mandatory Elective)

Financial Statement Analysis

Global Strategic Management (Mandatory Elective)

Logistics and Supply Chain Management (Mandatory Elective)

Marketing Research (Mandatory Elective)

Technology Strategy Consulting
 

ELECTIVES

TERM 5

Corporate Control, Mergers and Acquisitions (Mandatory Elective)

Corporate Development: Mergers, Acquisitions and Alliances

(Mandatory Elective)

Entrepreneurial Decision Making

Health Care Entrepreneurship

The Indian Health Care Services System

Marketing Services

Managing Health Services Organizations: Quality and Performance

Negotiation Analysis

Options and Futures (Mandatory Elective)

Portfolio Management (Mandatory Elective)

Pricing

Project Management

Strategic Performance Management

Strategic Procurement

Strategies for the Digital Economy (Mandatory Elective)

Total Quality Management & Lean Production

ELECTIVES

TERM 6

Advanced Corporate Finance

Business Analytics using Data Mining

Business to Business Marketing

Business Valuation Using Financial Statements

Change Management (Mandatory Elective)

Economics and Management of the Biopharmaceutical Industry

Experiential Learning Programme (Credit 1)

Financing and Paying for Health Care

Fixed Income Securities

Indian Financial System

International Finance

Investing in Private Equity

Managing Risk in Global Operations

Managing Strategic Partnerships

Negotiation Analysis

Operations for Consultants

Product and Service Design

Strategies for the Digital Economy (Mandatory Elective)

The Economics of Health Care Service Delivery

ELECTIVES

TERM 7

Asset Management

Capital Raising Strategies in Corporations (Mandatory Elective)

Customer-Focused Product Planning

Digital and Social Media Marketing

Economics of Strategy

Forecasting Analytics

Infrastructure and Private Sector

Leveraging Web 2.0 – Social Media, Online Advertising and Web Analytics

Managing Complexity

Manufacturing Pro Seminar

Marketing Strategy and Economic Analyses

Microfinance

Planning an Entrepreneurial Venture

Pricing and Revenue Optimization

Retailing

Service Operations Management

Strategic Talent Management

Transaction Analysis and Modeling

Transaction Analysis and Modeling (TURBO)

ELECTIVES

TERM 8

Course Name

Business Law

Contemporary Film Industry

Data-Driven Customer Management

Designing and Managing Effective Healthcare Delivery Systems

Digital Game Design Techniques for Businesses

Experiential Learning Programme

Global Sourcing of IT Enabled Services

Government Performance Management

Health Information Technology

Information Economics

Managing Teams

Marketing Analytics

New Product Development and Marketing

Operations Strategy

Real Estate investment Analysis

Strategic Innovation Management

Strategy, Leadership and Resource Management in Family Business

Sustainable Manufacturing and Operations

Read more about the course descriptions

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PRACTICUM COURSES

Experiential Learning Program (ELP) consists of a consulting assignment students take as part of their elective curriculum. As part of this program, students get the opportunity to work directly with companies in real-time and gain additional hands-on experience. This is also a good avenue to get face time with companies for future recruitment because many companies might use these engagements to screen candidates.

A team of 4-5 students guided by a faculty advisor and industry experts, work on the consulting assignment over a five month period from July to November. This is a primarily a remote engagement but teams can travel up to 15days for field work. The cost associated with different aspects of the field work are covered by ISB. This two credit course is graded by the client, faculty advisor and the Student Engagement and Applied Learning (SEAL) department.

Planning an Entrepreneurial Venture (PaEV) is another elective that offers a chance to apply the theoretical business principles to a real-life venture. As part of PaEV, students get to identify an entrepreneurial opportunity and create a business plan. Students are guided by the faculty advisors on the different aspects of idea commercialization.

Faculty Initiated Research Project (FIRP) includes short-term research projects designed and supervised by the faculty. As part of FIRP, you will work with a resident or a visiting faculty/scholar and gain cutting-edge insights in latest business research areas. This is a two-credit elective.

Global Consulting Practicum provides an opportunity for all students to take part in Wharton Global Consulting Practicum (WGCP). In this two credit course, a team of five students from ISB and Wharton, work with Indian companies and help them enter the North American market and help them to enhance their positions. Though all students are eligible to apply, a competitive process determines the selection of participants.

INTERNATIONAL EXCHANGE PROGRAMS

The ISB has partnered with 42 leading schools from countries such as the U.S., France, South Africa, Israel, Germany, China, Pakistan, South Korea, Singapore and the U.K, Canada, Italy, Australia, Spain, Switzerland, Chile, Netherlands, Germany and Taiwan. Students from international schools visit the ISB campus, which adds to the diversity and peer-learning experience on campus.

List of Schools Participating in Exchange Programs
Bocconi University National University of Singapore
Bond University Stephen Ross school of  Management, University of Michigan
Cape Town GSB Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile (PUC)
Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business Queen's Business School
China Europe International Business School Recanati School of Management
Chinese University of Hongkong Rotman School of Management
Darden Graduate School of Business Rotterdam School of Management
ESADE Schulich
Haas School of Business SDA Bocconi School of Management(MBA)
The Hongkong University of science and technology Sung Kyun Kwan (SKK) Businesss School
IE Business School The Fuqua School of Business - Duke
IESE The Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Kelley School of Business Thunderbird School of Global Management
Kellogg School of Management Tsinghua
Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) Tuck School of Business
London Business School Tufts- Fletcher School
London School of Economics UNC Kenan Flagler Business School
Melbourne Business School/Melbourne univ University of St. Gallen
National Chengchi University / NCCU Wharton School
Nanyang Technological University WHU-Otto Beisheim School of Management

Campus Life at ISB   

PROFESSIONAL AND SOCIAL CLUBS

Business Technology Club

Consulting Club

Emerging Markets Club

Energy Club

Entrepreneurship & VC Club

Finance Club

General Management Club

Healthcare Club

Manufacturing & Operations Club

Marketing Club

Media Club

Net Impact Club

Srei Infrastructure Club

Senior Executive Club

Retail Club

Women in Business Club

Arts & Creativity Club

Dance Club

Golf Club

Music Club

Photography Club

Radio Club

International Club

Quiz Club

Theatre Club

Sports Club

Toastmasters Club

Wine & Brew Club

STUDENT-LED INITIATIVES

Numerous events are conceived, launched and organized by ISB students throughout the year. Many of these events provide unique and valuable opportunity to get familiarized with different industries, learn about real-life challenges in those fields. These events also provide avenues to build professional contacts in new fields which is especially valuable for career changers.

Social Responsibility Conclave hosted by the Net Impact Club

Media Conclave

General Management Conclave

Hospitality Conference

Talent Management Conclave

Retail Conclave

Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital Conclave

Business Technology Club Conclave

Energy Conclave

Real Estate and Infrastructure Summit

Women in Business Conclave

Photography Club

Radio Club

International Club

Quiz Club

Theatre Club

Sports Club

Toastmasters Club

Wine & Brew Club

INTER-SCHOOL COMPETITION

IFLA 10 - 11 Competition

Novartis Biocamp 2010

‘Become Indra’s Advisors Contest’, organised by Pepsico

AIMA National Student Management Quiz

ET (Economic Times) in Campus Quiz

Quiz at Spectrum - The Annual Fest of NIFT

IFLA 10-11 Competition

McKinsey’s Consulting Knights at IIM C

Deloitte ERS Campus Case Challenge 2010

Metamorphosis 2011 Results

'Rachna’- Article Writing Contest at Ensemble 2010

‘Brighter Case Study Challenge’

Ăhvăn’10 - Ashwamedha

Global eProcure Case Competition

NTPC Electron Business Quiz

Corporate Combat at IIM-A

IIM-A Master Plan Competition

ENVIDEA (JNJ) Case study contest 2010

B-plan contest at NITIE Mumbai

Innovation Challenge at SJMSOM

‘Mudra’ (the M&A contest) @ Avenues

IIMB - B-plan Competition

Google Case Challenge

‘Exchequer 2010’ at IIM-A

AIMA 7th National Competition for Management Students.

Toastmasters Club

Wine & Brew CluB

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ISB PGP Career Placements    

PLACEMENT STATISTICS

No. of Students 759

No. of Companies 350

Total offers 884

International offers 68

Average Domestic Salary (in Rs.) 18.16Lakhs

By Function %

Consulting 24

Finance 8

General Management 20

Technology 2

Sales & Marketing 18

Others 12

Operations 8

By Industry %

Consulting 20

Banks/Financial Services 8

FMCG/Retail/ Consumer Durables 2

IT/ITES 28

Chemical/Fertilizers/ Pesticides 1

Real Estate/Infrastructure 3

Education/Training/Teaching 1

Manufacturing 3

High Technology Electronics/Service 1

Oil/Energy/ Petroleum 2

Pharma/Biotech/Hospitals 9

Advt/Media/Comm/PR/ Entertainment 5

Telecom 2

SOME OF RECRUITING COMPANIES

A T Kearney

Collabera

Goldman Sachs

Kirloskar Oil Engines

Abbott India

Coupondunia Media

Google India

Kirusa

Accenture

Dalberg Global Development Advisors

HCL Technologies

Kolte Patil Developers

Ace Creative Learning

Deloitte

Hero Motocorp

KPMG

Adani Group

Deutsche CIB Centre

Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories

Honeywell

Loylogic

Ambit Corporate Finance

Driptech

Hospira Healthcare 

Luxottica Group

And Designs India

E I DuPont India

SOME OF RECRUITING COMPANIES

Housing

MAQ Software

Apollo Health & Lifestyle

HSBC

Max Healthcare Institute Ltd.

Apple

Edifecs Technologies
HT Media Ltd

Atria Convergence Technologies

Mckinsey & Company

IBM China

Mindtree 

Bharti Walmart

Estee Advisors

IBM India

Mphasis

Boston Scientific India

EXL Services

Idea Device Technologies

My Home Industries 

Facebook

Inautix Technologies India

My Smart Price

Brigade Enterprises 

Flipkart Internet

Indegene Inc

For a complete list of employers click here

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ISB PGP Financials   


COST OF ISB MBA

HOW TO FINANCE YOUR ISB MBA

There are multiple ways to finance your MBA education and student loans are an easy and popular option. Many Indian banks provide loans upto 95% or full cost of attendance with a suitable collateral.

  Amount in Indian Rupees (INR)
  Shared Stay Studio Stay
Admission Fee –non refundable 2,00,000 2,00,000
Tuition Fees-Payable on or before the date of registration 17,44,000 17,44,000 Bank Name Maximum loan amount (INR)
Living Fees 1,68,000 2,79,000 Andhra Bank 23 Lakhs or 95% of the cost whichever is lower
Onetime fee for ISB Alumni for use of ISB Library & Recreation Centre 3000 3000 Axis BANK 95% of the total course fees
Total Fees 2,115,000 2,226,000 Avanse 25 Lakhs without security; upto full cost of attendance with security
Add: Service Tax at prevailing rate (Present rate 12.36%) 261,414 275,134 Bank of India 20 Lakhs
Total Fees 2,376,414 2,501,134 Bank of Kathmandu NPR 6.0 Million or 90% of the total cost, whichever is lower
ISB Alumni Association Membership Fee 15,000 15,000 Canara Bank Upto 30 Lakhs
Interest free Refundable Security Deposit 15,000 15,000 Cosmos Bank Up to 30 Lakhs
Total Payable 2,406,414 2,531,134 Credila 25 Lakhs (Above 25 lakhs with suitable collateral)
Other Estimated Expenses for PGP 2014-15 per Student IDBI Bank 20 Lakhs or 95% of the cost whichever is lower (inclusive of insurance cover on the loan amount)
Particulars Approx. Amount in Indian Rupees (INR) Indian Bank 25 Lakhs with No restrictions/ cap with regard to other expenses 
Books 20,000 State Bank of India 20 Lakhs without Collateral; Up to 30 Lakhs with Collateral
Laptop 50,000 Union Bank 25 Lakhs or 95% of the cost whichever is lower
Meal Plans 100,000 Vijaya Bank Maximum up to 20.00 Lakhs
Total: 1,70,000    

Scholarship Opportunities available at ISB

Name of scholarship Amount NO. Criteria Selection Process
ISB Tuition Waiver (Merit) INR 5  - 10 Lakhs 50 to 60 Merit based.  No separate applications
ISB Tuition Waiver (Need) INR 5 Lakhs 40 to 50 Need based. family income less than INR 10 lakhs/year Application required. Part of PGP application. 
AIESEC - ISB Scholarship INR 5 Lakhs 3 Merit based. Only AISEC alumni are eligible Application, shortlist and personal interview
PGPMAX Class of 2012 Scholarship INR 5 Lakhs 1 Need based. family income less than INR 10 lakhs/year Application, Shortlist and Personal Interview
Societe Genarale Full Tuition 2 Need based. family income less than INR 5 lakhs/year Application, Shortlist and Personal Interview
Alumni Endowment fund Diversity scholarship INR 4 lakhs 1 Need based. family income less than INR 10 lakhs/year Application, Shortlist and Personal Interview
Class of 2011 Scholarship INR 4 lakhs 1 Need based. family income less than INR 10 lakhs/year Application, Shortlist and Personal Interview
Novartis INR 4 Lakhs 3 Merit and need based. Women who completed schooling from non 'A' class towns Novartis choose candidates from eligible profiles
Nurture India Scholarship INR 6 - 7 Lakhs 1 Need Based Granted to sole bread earner of his/her family with dependant parent /siblings

Scholarship opportunities are also available for International (non-Indian) students. For a complete list click here

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The best and most comprehensive Archive of ISB PGP Essays and Tips

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2013-2014

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2011-2012

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2010-2011

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2009-2010

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2008-2009

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2007-2008

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2006-2007

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2013-2014

Similar to the last three years, the ISB PGP application essays package includes three standard essays. The mandatory third 'optional' question has thankfully given way to a fully formed achievement prompt. The Video essay has been dropped. Though the essays still lack the envelop-pushing ISB questions of yore, the Differentiation Essay, Goals Essay and Achievement Essay collectively offer ample scope for presenting a convincing case to the ISB admissions committee. These essays are a good canvas for presenting your self and your career/MBA dreams.

ISB Essay 1

Attitude, skills and knowledge differentiate people. Elaborate with two examples on how you would differentiate yourself from other applicants to the PGP.  (300 words max)

ISB Essay 1 Tips

Over the years the Differentiate Yourself essay has become the staple essay opener for the ISB application. This essay repeats itself in one form or another most years because it is a simple method for the ISB admissions committee to assess the desirability of your candidacy. An excellent preliminary exercise to understand the essence of this year's opening essay would be to peruse these older essays.

2012-2013: Please make a strong case to differentiate yourself from an exceptional set of applicants applying for PGP 2013-14. You could cite personal/professional achievements to present your case. 2010-2011: If we were to admit one more student to the class of 2012, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you? 2009-2010: Give 3 reasons as to why you should be selected to the class of 2011. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from the applicant pool and should be backed with some data. 2008-2009: Please give three reasons why ISB should admit you into the class of 2010. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from your competition. 2007-08: The ISB culture stresses on a diverse mix of students; life at the ISB is a unique experience for the students. How will your candidature contribute to this culture at the ISB?

One key difference this time is that the essay has to be held together by 'two examples' that show how your 'attitude, skills and knowledge' differentiate you. Since the real question is - why should the Indian School of Business bother with you when there are thousands of other applicants with comparable GMAT scores or work experience or academics or whatever? - the two examples should convince the ISB admissions committee that your 'attitude, skills and knowledge' make you different, unique and distinct.

Differentiating yourself within the context of the ISB class profile will be critical. To write credibly about the differentiation you bring, the value you add to the Indian School of Business and where/why you fit in at the ISB you will require some knowledge of the ISB and the ISB student profile. Then, ask yourself what genuinely sets you apart. What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest achievements? What are the characteristics that you believe will differentiate you in a group of high-reaching professionals? What are the skills and attitude that have driven your greatest personal/professional accomplishments? Choose two examples that credibly sell your candidacy. Whether you want to go with a single theme across both essays or multiple themes (attitude, skills and knowledge) across each story is entirely your choice.

The current essay prompt combines the historical focus on "differentiation" the spotlight on your achievements. While the examples could be professional or personal, choose them based on their overall significance in your life/career, their relevance to the ISB application and most importantly on what it says about YOU. Choose examples that showcase your qualities, perspectives, skills, attitude, and/or knowledge.

As always, remember that this essay is part of a bigger package and write accordingly. Please ensure that the qualities/achievements mentioned in this essay are complemented by the content in the other essays. Ensure that the chosen examples reinforce your stated goals in Essay 2 while avoiding overlaps with Essay 3.

Go for it!

ISB Essay 2

How does the ISB PGP tie-in with your career goals? (300 words max)

ISB Essay 2 Tips

For the last four years the ISB essay pack has included a career goals and "why ISB" essay. This essay question is even more straightforward than the previous year's goals essay which had an arbitrary three year focus.

2012-2013: Where do you see yourself three years after you graduate from the ISB?

As usual, older ISB essays, will help you realize this essay better.

2010-2011: What are your short term and long term goals? How will the ISB help you achieve the same?

2009-1010: Briefly assess your career progression till date along with your assessment of your future career goals. Discuss how your career goals will be met by the ISB's one year program.

The simplicity of this essay prompt is deceptive. Apart from precisely stating your future plans, you will need to connect them to the ISB, while expressing a logical, credible link between your career thus far (and the skills, experience, knowledge gained) and your goals.

As a first step reflect deeply (if you have not already) on your post-ISB goals. It is essential that you be totally realistic and as specific as possible while detailing your career goals. Be specific, both about the industry and the role you are seeking, and why. This essay is a test of the credibility, practicality and achievability of your dreams and you better construct a multi-point argument that leaves no loose ends. If your goals significantly shift from your earlier experiences or are more than ordinarily ambitious write in detail and with conviction and credibility about those qualities/skills/learning/experiences that (will) qualify you to make those goals a reality.

Convincingly explaining "Why ISB" - why SPECIFICALLY ISB - is critical to your candidature. Showcase the key aspects of the ISB program, community and setting that will help you achieve your goals. The objective is to implicitly and explicitly demonstrate that your application is a reflection of your serious and specific interest in the ISB: so please ensure that the points you mention do not apply equally to other major b-schools as well! Go beyond cutting and pasting info from the ISB website, and personalize your answer as much as possible. Be specific while linking your career goals with the ISB PGP program, alumni, students, faculty, clubs etc. Researching the school, speaking with students and alumni and explaining your fit with the ISB effectively in this essay can make a huge difference to your candidacy.

Having done all of the above your greatest challenge in this essay will perhaps be space - or lack of it. Length is always a challenge with the ISB essays, and we have no choice but to be concise. Keep it short.

Goals, more than most essay topics, are more a matter of credibility and logic than anything else. If you can add passion as well to the mix, you might have the recipe for an effective, successful essay.

Go get 'em!

ISB PGP Essays Review   ISB Hyderabad PGP Essays Review+Edit   ISB PGP Essays Writing Support

ISB Essay 3

Pick the most significant achievement (professional or personal) you have had and elaborate on the key learning you took away from it. (300 words)

ISB Essay 3 Tips

This is a new essay for the ISB application. So let's think afresh!

You have several accomplishments in your roster - personal, professional and academic - and choosing just one might prove daunting. The two key factors that will help you make the shortlist are: overall significance in your life/career and relevance to the ISB application. The final selection criteria for the achievement would not be what but WHY: what you learned from the achievement and how the achievements showcases your qualities, strengths, knowledge, experience and/or attitude.

Elucidate the achievement with special emphasis on how your actions and ideas impacted other people. As usual the story is simple a medium to sell your candidacy to the admissions committee. Some of the obvious qualities that the achievement can reflect on are: Leadership, Initiative, Vision, Courage, Innovation, Teamwork.

The dramatic quality of the essay is essential to grab and maintain interest - as in any narrative. Identify aspects and perspectives connected to the story that will make it interesting and dramatic. Be interesting while being totally credible.

As always, remember that this essay is part of a bigger package and write accordingly. The link with Essay 1 is unmistakable. Ensure that the general themes uncovered in the first essay are reflected here as well. Take care to underscore characteristics, traits, viewpoints and/or skills that enable you to be an effective leader or entrepreneur who can achieve the goals set forth in Essay two.

Go for it!

ISB Reapplicant Essay

How has your profile changed from the time you last applied to the ISB? (300 words)

ISB Reapplicant Essay Tips 

The number of candidates who consider this essay an addendum to the other essays is surprising. So let me say this clearly - if you are a reapplicant this is your most vital essay in the ISB application.

Apart from an extremely low applicants versus accepted ratio, the ISB applicants are almost fully Indian. So the ISB admissions committee is under great pressure to select the best candidates from a limited applicant pool. But there's still a door open for rejected candidates (even more so for waitlisted candidates). If you were rejected (or waitlisted) last time, use these 300 words to tell the ISB Admission Committee that there have been enough changes in your profile to justify a revaluation of your candidature.

Your aim will be to present the professional, academic and personal improvements that make you a stronger candidate for an ISB admission this year. State persuasively why you deserve a second chance.

What steps have you taken to strengthen your ISB application? Stronger work experience, professional achievements, better GMAT, personal achievements, accomplishments on the social front, international exposure or academic accomplishments can all find place in the ISB reapplicant essay. Proactive ISB-specific steps taken by you, perhaps based on direct or indirect feedback from the ISB, might prove a trump card.

Additionally, if required, please use the option of new recommendations and application inputs to support your essays and "bring out different qualities or traits of your personality which may have gone unnoticed earlier".

Go for it!

ISB Scholarship Essay [Optional]

Why do you think that the ISB Scholarship Committee should consider you for scholarship? (300 words max)

ISB Scholarship Essay Tips

Applying for a scholarship is almost always advisable - you have little to lose and something to gain. A scholarship essay should tie in with your application and essay package, without contradicting any part of what you have already written about yourself. As the scholarship process is usually separate from the admissions process in most schools do not be afraid of repeating information that defines your strong candidature.

The ISB scholarship essay can essentially take two approaches - merit based or need based. Though merit based ISB scholarships are automatically considered, the crux of the need based essay would still need merit!

The merit based approach can explain why and how your candidacy is superior to that of the average ISB candidate. It might be a recap of parts of Essay 1 (and possibly Essay 2) with additional points which might tie in with the ISB's stated aims (come on! go refer the ISB website - now!). As the ISB admissions process is separate from the scholarship decision your scholarship essay can repeat information already mentioned in mandatory essays. The need based approach reviews your financial position and explains the strain that the ISB fees would be on you and your immediate family.

If you have more ideas I am waiting to hear them

ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2011-2012

Like last year, the ISB PGP application essays package includes two standard essays and a third that offers unlimited scope for the applicant. Though the essays lack the envelop pushing questions they had till a couple of years back, the Achievements Essay and Goals Essay together with an open ended additional information essay, offer ample scope for presenting a convincing case to the ISB admissions committee. With an early start and clarity of thought this is a great opportunity to present your self and your career/MBA dreams.

ISB Essay 1

Please detail your two most significant achievements. These could be either professional or personal but relevant to your application to the ISB. (300 words max)

ISB Essay 1 Tips

This is a new essay for the ISB application. So let's think afresh!

You have several accomplishments in your roster - personal, professional and academic - and choosing just two might be a testing task. The two key factors that will help you make the shortlist are: overall significance in your life/career and relevance to the ISB application. Also, as I have repeatedly mentioned, the final selection criteria for the achievements would not be what but why, since the purpose of detailing the achievements is to underline your qualities, strengths, experience and/or attitude in such a way as to make your candidature relevant to the ISB.

So, the choice of achievements for this essay should be based on the general importance of the achievements, the extent of your contribution to its success and most importantly on what it tells about YOU. Choose achievements that showcase your qualities, perspectives, attitude and/or knowledge that the ISB admissions committee will find attractive. Underscore characteristics, traits, viewpoints and/or skills that enable you to be an effective leader or entrepreneur who can achieve the goals set forth in essay two.

Leadership skills

Initiative

Vision

Courage

Innovation

Teamwork

These are just some of the obvious qualities that the achievements can reflect on.

Since differentiating yourself within the context of the ISB class profile will be critical to your candidature, ask yourself what genuinely sets you apart. What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest qualities? What are the characteristics that you believe will differentiate you in a group of high-reaching professionals? What are the qualities that have aided most in your past - personally or professionally? What are the standout aspects that drive you? Having evaluated the above, choose achievements that highlight the chosen strengths.

ISB Class Profile: The ISB Post Graduate Programme (PGP) Class of 2011 had 577 students, 72% male and 28% female. The mean age was 27 but mainly ranged between 25 to 31. GMAT scores basically ranged from 680-760 but averaged out at 710. Years of experience remained at an average of 5 and mainly ranged from 2.7 to 7 years. Only 27% of the students had international work experience, compared to an awesome 58% last year.

To write credibly about the differentiation you bring and how your qualities (as reflected in the two achievements) will be valued at the ISB, you will need to build some knowledge of the ISB and the ISB student profile.

The dramatic quality of the stories is essential to grab and maintain interest - in any story. Often, when I say this, an automatic assumption is to spice up the story. Resist the temptation. Without exception, if you think enough, you will find aspects and perspectives connected to the story that make it interesting and dramatic. So be interesting while totally credible.

As always, remember that this essay is part of a bigger package and write accordingly. Please ensure that the strengths/stories mentioned in this essay are complemented by the content in the other essays.

Go for it!

ISB Essay 2

Where do you see yourself three years after you graduate from the ISB? (300 words max)

ISB Essay 2 Tips

For the last two year the ISB essay pack has included a straightforward career goals and "why ISB" essay.

2009-1010: Briefly assess your career progression till date along with your assessment of your future career goals. Discuss how your career goals will be met by the ISB’s one year program.

2010-2011: What are your short term and long term goals? How will the ISB help you achieve the same?

Two quick pointers. One, the simplicity of this essay prompt is deceptive. Apart from the challenge of precisely crystal ball gazing into your future you will need to connect to the ISB and to your longer term future and to your past. These unasked questions might need answering, explicitly or implicitly, for a complete and fitting reply to the asked question. Two, this year, the ISB admissions committee has added a specific time-frame of 3 years at which point your goals essay begins. Changes in essay prompts are often important indicators of what went wrong with the essays the previous year - and how we can improve our own. The specific time period is probably a result of vague timelines and answers in multitudes of essays last year. So, be SPECIFIC - about goals, ideas and actions.

Now, on to the essay! As a first step reflect deeply (if you have not already) on your post-ISB goals. Think about why you are taking all this trouble applying to the ISB in the first place. It is essential that you be totally realistic and as specific as possible while detailing your post-ISB goals. Be specific, both about the industry and the role you are seeking, and why. This essay is a test of the credibility, practicality and achievability of your dreams and you better construct a multi-point argument that leaves no loose ends. If your goals significantly shift from your earlier experiences or are more than ordinarily ambitious write in detail and with conviction and credibility about those qualities/skills/learning/experiences that (will) qualify you to make those goals a reality.

Identifying and expressing a logical, credible link between your career thus far (and the skills, experience, knowledge gained) and your goals is the first of the unasked questions. If possible blend in non-career aspects that are relevant to your story since your career is intricately connected to your personal life/goals.

"Why ISB" and "long term goals" are other important unasked questions that need thought and research - even if you do not write about them explicitly in this essay! The 3-year goals will have to satisfactorily answer "why ISB" and also explain how it will help you reach your longer term goals - not now, but at the interview stage. Thinking about those aspects after you have painted yourself into a corner with short term goals might be disastrous. So be prepared now.

Having done all of the above your greatest challenge in this essay will perhaps be space - or lack of it. Length is always a challenge with the ISB essays, and we have no choice but to be concise. The Goals Essay, which various b-schools expect between 500-1500 words, will have to be completed in just 300 words. Be very stingy with words. Bear in mind that these 300 words will probably be most decisive in your ISB quest this year.

Goals, even more than other essay topics, are more a matter of credibility and logic than anything else. If you can add passion as well, then you might have the recipe for an effective, successful essay.

Go get 'em!

ISB PGP Essays Review   ISB Hyderabad PGP Essays Review+Edit   ISB PGP Essays Writing Support

ISB Essay 3

Please provide additional information, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (300 words)

ISB Essay 3 Tips

This mandatory essay, retained as is from last year, is camouflaged as an optional essay, with wording very similar to optional essay prompts from previous years. For example, 2009-2010: "Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. Please do not repeat information which has already been stated elsewhere in the application."

Your first challenge would be to identify a suitable theme for this essay that complements and enhances the two earlier essays, without simply listing a few accomplishments and awards. Strong candidates for themes are: Career Progression, Out of work and Volunteer Activities, Personal Credo, Vision Statement or a collage of achievements.

Since the second essay is limited to a three-year goals outlook and is further restricted to just 300 words a longer, logical and fitting Goals Essay that encompasses "why ISB?", "career progression" and long-term goals is a possibility here.

A thematic presentation of YOU Unplugged - credo, tastes, passions, hobbies - uncovering you as a human being is another possibility.

A Vision Statement is welcome if you have a credible, impressive longer term goal that begs further elaboration.

A collage of achievements we missed out in the first two essays highlighting qualities that will be attractive to the ISB is yet another option.

These are just a few of the themes I have jotted down. Please do your own homework to uncover the theme/s that best fit your achievements, life and goals. Shortlist the options and go for the best!

Once you have done this, consider if there are other aspects of your candidature - negative or positive - that might need a mention here. You can address aspects potentially detrimental to your ISB candidature. Areas of underperformance (academic or professional or GMAT) or resume statistics which stick out (gaps in your employment/academics or earlier MBA) can be commented on if you have an explanation that is intelligent, interesting and credible.

Go for it!

ISB Reapplicant Essay

How has your profile changed from the time you last applied to the ISB? (300 words)

ISB Reapplicant Essay Tips

The number of candidates who consider this essay an addendum to the other essays is surprising. So let me say this clearly - if you are a reapplicant this is your most vital essay in the ISB application.

Apart from an extremely low applicants versus accepted ratio, the ISB applicants are almost fully Indian. So the ISB Adcom is under great pressure to select the best candidates from a limited applicant pool. But there's still a door open for rejected candidates (even more so for waitlisted candidates). If you were rejected (or waitlisted) last time, use these 300 words to tell the ISB Admission Committee that there have been enough changes in your profile to justify a revaluation of your candidature.

Your aim will be to present the professional, academic and personal improvements that make you a stronger candidate for an ISB admission this year. State persuasively why you deserve a second chance.

What steps have you taken to strengthen your ISB application? Stronger work experience, professional achievements, better GMAT, personal achievements, accomplishments on the social front, international exposure or academic accomplishments can all find place in the ISB reapplicant essay. Proactive ISB-specific steps taken by you, perhaps based on direct or indirect feedback from the ISB, might prove a trump card.

Additionally, if required, please use the option of new recommendations and application inputs to support your essays and "bring out different qualities or traits of your personality which may have gone unnoticed earlier".

Go for it!

ISB Scholarship Essay [Optional]

Why do you think that the ISB Scholarship Committee should consider you for scholarship? (300 words max)

ISB Scholarship Essay Tips

Applying for a scholarship is almost always advisable - you have little to lose and something to gain. A scholarship essay should tie in with your application and essay package, without contradicting any part of what you have already written about yourself. As the scholarship process is usually separate from the admissions process in most schools do not be afraid of repeating information that defines your strong candidature.

The ISB scholarship essay can essentially take two approaches – merit based or need based. Though merit based ISB scholarships are automatically considered, the crux of the need based essay would still need merit! The merit based approach can explain why and how your candidacy is superior to the average ISB candidate’s. It might be a recap of parts of Essay 1 and Essay 2 with additional points which might tie in with the ISB’s stated aims (come on! go refer their website. now!). As the ISB admissions process is separate from the scholarship decision your scholarship essay can repeat information already mentioned in mandatory essays. The need based approach reviews your financial position and explains the strain that the ISB fees would be on you and your immediate family.

If you have more ideas I am waiting to hear them!

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ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2010-2011

ISB: The ISB, Indian School of Business, at Hyderabad has seen exceptional success in a very short time. When we predicted a jump in its ranking in 2008 the ISB had exceeded our expectations by leaping into the top 20 global rankings at FT, then going on to become a top 15 FT global ranker. Given its location and the high number of Indian MBA aspirants the ISB has an exceptionally low applicant v/s intake ratio - and is extremely competitive. The ISB Class of 2011 had 577 students, 72% male and 28% female. The mean age was 27 but mainly ranged between 25 to 31. GMAT scores basically ranged from 680-760 but averaged out at 710. Years of experience remained at an average of 5 and mainly ranged from 2.7 to 7 years. Only 27% of the students had international work experience, compared to an awesome 58% last year. International admits made up 5% of the intake, which is still an area of concern for the ISB.

ISB Essays: The ISB MBA application essays package includes two standard essays and a third that offers unlimited scope for the applicant. Though the essays lack the envelop pushing questions they had till a couple of years back, the Differentiation Essay and Goals Essay together with an open ended additional information essay, offer ample scope for presenting a convincing case to the ISB admissions committee. With an early start and clarity of thought this is a great opportunity to present your self and your career/MBA dreams.

Vibranture Note: ALL THREE ESSAYS ARE MANDATORY. The confusion about the third essay being optional or mandatory was completely avoidable. Halfway through the admissions process the ISB application instructions page changed from "Two mandatory application essays and an optional essay to provide any additional information." to "three mandatory application essays". Greater professionalism would be expected from a b-school that aspires to excellence and leadership.

First get the basic principles right and then move on to the ISB MBA 2009-2010 essay tips.

ISB Essay 1

If we were to admit one more student to the class of 2012, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you? (300 words max)

ISB Essay 1 Tips

The real question that is asked here is - why should Indian School of Business Hyderabad bother with you when there are a hundred other applicants with a comparable GMAT score or work experience or academics or whatever? The ISB is seeking your Unique Selling Proposition in this essay. Your primary aim in this essay will be to explain to the ISB Adcom the factors that make you different, unique and distinct.

This essay repeats itself in one form or another most years because it is a simple method for the ISB admissions committee to assess how desirable a candidate you are for the ISB. The essence of the prompt in this essay can be better understood through previous ISB application essay questions.

2009-2010: Give 3 reasons as to why you should be selected to the class of 2011. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from the applicant pool and should be backed with some data.

2008-09: Please give three reasons why ISB should admit you into the class of 2010. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from your competition.

2007-08: The ISB culture stresses on a diverse mix of students; life at the ISB is a unique experience for the students. How will your candidature contribute to this culture at the ISB?

An excellent preliminary preparation for this essay would be to look at these older essays and formulate rough answers for each.

Since differentiating yourself within the context of the ISB class profile will be critical to your candidature, ask yourself what genuinely sets you apart. What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest achievements? What are the characteristics that you believe will differentiate you in a group of high-reaching professionals? What are the qualities that have aided most in your past personal/professional accomplishments? Choose from your achievements, your hobbies, your academics, your personality traits, your passions, your work experiences, your life experiences, your attitude. Sell whatever you feel can sell well - and credibly. Whether you want to go with a single theme or multiple reasons - be clear, concise (300 words cannot support long stories) and completely credible.

To write credibly about the differentiation you bring, the value you add to the Indian School of Business and where/why you fit in at the ISB you will require some knowledge of the ISB and the ISB student profile. Create a word picture of a person who can add definite value to the Indian School of Business Class of 2012.

Give short examples whenever possible. To build the information base for the essay you should not mind knocking at many doors. Your friends, colleagues and family are excellent sources for giving you obvious answers which you might have easily overlooked. But the person who knows you best will always be the one you see in the mirror.

As always, remember that this essay is part of a bigger package and write accordingly. Please ensure that the strengths/stories mentioned in this essay are complemented by the content in the other essays.

Go for it!

ISB Essay 2

What are your short term and long term goals? How will the ISB help you achieve the same? (300 words max)

ISB Essay 2 Tips

Since last year the ISB essay pack has included a straightforward career goals and "why ISB" essay. Be warned however that the simplicity of this essay prompt is deceptive. Apart from the challenge of precisely crystal ball gazing into your future and connecting ISB to that future, there are several unasked questions that we might need to answer. A look at last year's essay prompt will be a good starting point.

2009-1010: Briefly assess your career progression till date along with your assessment of your future career goals. Discuss how your career goals will be met by the ISB’s one year program.

As a first step reflect deeply (if you have not already) on your post-ISB short term and long term goals. Think about why you are taking all this trouble applying to the ISB in the first place. It is essential that you be totally realistic and as specific as possible while detailing your post-ISB goals. Be specific, both about the industry and the role you are seeking, and why. If your goals are more than ordinarily ambitious write credibly about those qualities/skills that qualify you to make those goals a reality. While credibility, logic and realism are critical the magic element that will transform your essay from a statement into a pledge would be - passion.

Identifying and expressing a logical, credible link between your career thus far (and the skills, experience, knowledge gained) and your goals is the first of the unasked questions. If possible blend in non-career aspects that are relevant to your story since your career is intricately connected to your personal life and personal goals. The main challenge here is length - so be concise.

"Why ISB" is a critical component of the question and should be dealt with application, research and intelligence. Look beyond cutting/pasting info gleaned from the ISB website and make a compelling argument that answers "Why is the ISB PGP the BEST business school program for you?" This unasked question will be critical not only for your online application but also later in your interview. Personalize your answer as much as possible and find as many matches between what ISB specifically (and if possible, uniquely) offers you and your future goals.

Having done all of the above your greatest challenge in this essay will perhaps be space - or lack of it. The Goals Essay, which various b-schools expect between 500-1500 words, will have to be completed in just 300 words. I repeat, be very stingy with words. Bear in mind that these 300 words will probably be most decisive in your ISB quest this year.

Goals, even more than other essay topics, are more a matter of credibility and logic than anything else. If you can add passion as well, you have the recipe for a beautiful and effective essay.

Go get 'em!

ISB PGP Essays Review   ISB Hyderabad PGP Essays Review+Edit   ISB PGP Essays Writing Support

ISB Essay 3

Please provide additional information, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (300 words)

ISB Essay 3 Tips

This mandatory essay camouflaged as an optional one is very similar to optional essay prompts from previous years. For example, 2009-2010: "Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. Please do not repeat information which has already been stated elsewhere in the application."

Your first challenge would be to identify a suitable theme for this essay that complements and enhances the two earlier essays, without simply listing a few accomplishments and awards. Strong candidates for themes are: Career Progression, Out of work and Volunteer Activities/Personal Credo, Vision Statement or a collage of achievements.

Since we had just 300 words in the second essay for the goals and why ISB, a logical and fitting Career Progression story that buttresses our goals statement is welcome here. A thematic presentation of YOU unplugged - credo, tastes, passions, hobbies - uncovering you as a human being is another possibility. A Vision Statement is welcome only in those cases where you have a truly amazing set of goals that begs further elaboration. A collage of achievements we missed out in the two essays highlighting qualities that will be attractive to the ISB is yet another option. These are just a few of the themes I have jotted down. Please do your own homework to uncover the theme that best fits your achievements, life and goals. Shortlist the options and go for the best!

Once you have done this, consider if there are other aspects of your candidature - negative or positive - that might need a mention here. You can address aspects potentially detrimental to your ISB candidature. Areas of underperformance (academic or professional or GMAT) or resume statistics which stick out (gaps in your employment/academics or earlier MBA) can be commented on if you have an explanation that is intelligent, interesting and credible.

Go for it!

ISB Reapplicant Essay

How has your profile changed from the time you last applied to the ISB?

ISB Reapplicant Essay Tips

It is surprising, the number of candidates who consider this essay an addendum to the other essays. So let me say this clearly - if you are a reapplicant this is your most vital essay in the ISB application.

Apart from an extremely low applicants versus accepted ratio, the ISB applicants are almost fully Indian. So the ISB Adcom is under great pressure to select the best candidates from a limited applicant pool. But there's still a door open for rejected candidates (even more so for waitlisted candidates). If you were rejected (or waitlisted) last time, use these 300 words to tell the ISB Admission Committee that there have been enough changes in your profile to justify a revaluation of your candidature.

Your aim will be to present the professional, academic and personal improvements that make you a stronger candidate for an ISB admission this year. State persuasively why you deserve a second chance.

What steps have you taken to strengthen your ISB application? Stronger work experience, professional achievements, better GMAT, personal achievements, accomplishments on the social front, international exposure or academic accomplishments can all find place in the ISB reapplicant essay. Proactive ISB-specific steps taken by you, perhaps based on direct or indirect feedback from the ISB, might prove a trump card.

Additionally, if required, please use the option of new recommendations and application inputs to support your essays and "bring out different qualities or traits of your personality which may have gone unnoticed earlier".

Go for it!

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ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2009-2010

First get the basic principles right and then move on to the ISB MBA 2009-2010 essay tips.

The ISB MBA application essays this time around are perhaps the most conventional in it's short history. Unlike earlier years there is no endeavor to push the envelop and move beyond the usual to force fresh thinking from you. The three mandatory essays are standard MBA essay questions - Differentiation Essay, Challenge & Learning Essay and Goals Essay. With an early start and clarity of thought this is great opportunity to explain (and understand) your career/MBA dreams.

ISB Essay 1 Tips

Give 3 reasons as to why you should be selected to the class of 2011. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from the applicant pool and should be backed with some data. (300 words max)

The real question that is asked here is - why should Indian School of Business Hyderabad bother with you when there are a hundred other applicants with a comparable GMAT score or work experience or academics or whatever? The ISB is seeking your USP in this essay. Your primary aim in this essay will be to explain to the ISB Adcom the factors that make you different, unique and distinct. Your task in this ISB Essay is to answer this question distinctly and within 300 words.

This essay repeats itself in one form or another most years because it is a simple method for the ISB admissions committee to assess how desirable a candidate you are for the ISB. The essence of the prompt in this essay can be better understood through previous ISB application essay questions.

2008-09: Please give three reasons why ISB should admit you into the class of 2010. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from your competition.

2007-08: The ISB culture stresses on a diverse mix of students; life at the ISB is a unique experience for the students. How will your candidature contribute to this culture at the ISB?

To write credibly about the differentiation you bring, the value you add to the Indian School of Business and where/why you fit in you will require some knowledge of the ISB and the ISB student profile. Since this year the question specifically mentions "the applicant pool" applied research to place you within an applicant pool and to differentiate yourself within that pool will be essential.

Ask yourself what genuinely sets you apart. What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest achievements? What are the characteristics that you believe will differentiate you in a group of high-reaching professionals? What are the qualities that have aided most in your past personal/professional accomplishments? Choose from your achievements, your hobbies, your academics, your personality traits, your passions, your work experiences, your life experiences, your attitude. Sell whatever you feel can sell well - and credibly. Even if the Adcom had not requested that your assertions be "backed with some data" you should sustain all your claims with credible supporting information.

Give short (300 words cannot support long stories) examples whenever possible. To get information for the essay you should not mind knocking at many doors. Your friends, colleagues and family are excellent sources for giving you obvious answers which you might have easily overlooked. But the person who knows you best will always be the one you see in the mirror.

As always, remember that this essay is part of a bigger package and write accordingly. While you are trying to convincingly portray a picture of a person who can add definite value to the ISB do not overdo it because we are only at our first essay. Make sure that you leave enough room for the strengths/stories mentioned in this essay to be complemented by the other essays.

Go for it!

ISB Essay 2 Tips

Describe a challenging assignment you have handled (at work or outside) to date. What were the challenges and how did you handle them. What were the personal learnings you derived from this assignment. (300 words max)

The objective of the essay is to demonstrate that you 1. are a good learner. 2. can handle pressure. 3. possess x,y,z qualities that make you quite a catch for the ISB Class of 2011.

From the several accomplishments you have in your roster - personal, professional and academic - choose one based on the general importance of the achievement, the extent of your contribution to its success and what the story tells about you. Your leadership skills, initiative, learning capacity and teamwork are just some of the qualities that the challenge could reflect on. Do not forget for a moment that the achievements and successes within the challenge are what you focus on in this essay.

Ensure that your story includes identifiable and obviously substantive challenges that you successfully tackled (the reader should not feel - "You did that. So??!!") and specific learnings/lessons that you took away from the story.

Irrespective of whether you choose a professional or a personal example stick to stories that are not located too far back in time.

BTW if someone can tell me why "to date" is necessary in the question I'll be the wiser ;-) I get the feeling ISB had this in mind - "Describe the most challenging assignment you have handled (at work or outside) to date." - but got lost along the way. Since this prompt can only make your essay stronger, why not use it?

Go for it!

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ISB Essay 3 Tips

Briefly assess your career progression till date along with your assessment of your future career goals. Discuss how your career goals will be met by the ISB’s one year program. (300 words max)

A straightforward career progression, career goals and "why ISB" essay from ISB! Surprise!

This is a simple and important essay that will put your career - past, present and future - into perspective and explain why you are writing this application to the ISB in the first place. The task here is to clearly delineate your career development in the context of your career goals, while also linking the ISB MBA with your present and future. Finding and expressing a logical, credible link between your career thus far, your goals and the ISB would be the key to this essay. If possible blend in non-career aspects that are relevant to your story since your career is intricately connected to your personal life and personal goals.

Be realistic and be as specific as you need to be while detailing your post-ISB goals. While credibility, logic and realism are critical the magic element that will transform your essay from a statement into a pledge would be - passion. Pour it in!

"Why ISB" is a critical component of the question and should be dealt with application, research and intelligence. Look beyond cutting/pasting info gleaned from the ISB website. Personalize your answer as much as possible and find as many matches between what ISB specifically offers you and your future goals.

Having done all of the above your greatest challenge in this essay will perhaps be space - or lack of it. The Goals Essay, which various b-schools expect between 500-1500 words, will have to be completed in just 300 words. So be very stingy with words.

Go get 'em!

ISB Optional Essay Tips

Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. Please do not repeat information which has already been stated elsewhere in the application. You may use this to clarify any breaks in education/work, inform about any other item which you think has not been covered elsewhere etc. (300 words max) Optional

You have to seriously address this essay even if you don’t write it. The main question in optional essays is to decide whether it has to be written at all. And the ISB is quite emphatic that they do not want their time wasted with repetitive information or insignificant details.

In the ISB application, attempt the optional essay only if you feel that it will improve the factual and material strength of your application. Do not submit your ISB optional essay as an addendum to any of your essays. Do not submit your optional essay because you feel the quality of your earlier essays is improvable – in which case redouble your efforts in the earlier essays and leave the optional essay well alone. Since the ISB has just 3 small essays on which your candidature will be judged, contrary to my usual position I actually encourage you to look for truly enhancing perspectives or information that might make a difference to your application.

Use the optional essay to address areas in your ISB application which you feel are detrimental to your candidature. Areas of underperformance (academic or professional or GMAT) or resume areas which stick out (gaps in your employment/academics or earlier MBA) can be commented on if you have an explanation that is intelligent, interesting and credible.

One other situation when the optional essay is acceptable is when you need to describe at length some extraordinarily positive information that CANNOT be accommodated anywhere else in the ISB application. In case you find any of the above applicable, note down the options and then consider again if the optional essay is a strong constructive addition to your candidacy. If yes, then start working on the essay.

ISB Scholarship Essay Tips [Optional]

Why do you think that the ISB Scholarship Committee should consider you for scholarship? (300 words max)

Applying for a scholarship is almost always advisable - you have little to lose and something to gain. A scholarship essay should tie in with your application and essay package, without contradicting any part of what you have already written about yourself. As the scholarship process is usually separate from the admissions process in most schools do not be afraid of repeating information that defines your strong candidature.

The ISB scholarship essay can essentially take two approaches – merit based or need based. Though merit based ISB scholarships are automatically considered, the crux of the need based essay would still need merit! The merit based approach can explain why and how your candidacy is superior to the average ISB candidate’s. It might be a recap of parts of Essay 1 and Essay 2 with additional points which might tie in with the ISB’s stated aims (come on! go refer their website. now!). As the ISB admissions process is separate from the scholarship decision your scholarship essay can repeat information already mentioned in mandatory essays. The need based approach reviews your financial position and explains the strain that the ISB fees would be on you and your immediate family.

If you have more ideas I am waiting to hear them!

ISB Reapplicant Essay Tips

How has your profile changed from the time you last applied to the ISB? (300 words max)

Apart from an extremely low applicants versus accepted ratio, the ISB applicants are almost fully Indian. So the ISB Adcom is under great pressure to select the best candidates from a limited applicant pool. But there's still a door open for rejected candidates (even more so for waitlisted candidates). If you were rejected (or waitlisted) last time, use these 300 words to tell the ISB Admission Committee that there have been enough changes in your profile to justify a revaluation of your candidature.

Your aim will be to present the professional, academic and personal improvements that make you a stronger candidate for an ISB admission this year. State compelling reasons why you deserve a second chance. What steps have you taken to strengthen your ISB application? Stronger work experience, professional achievements, better GMAT, personal achievements, accomplishments on the social front, international exposure or academic accomplishments can all find place in the ISB reapplicant essay. Proactive ISB-specific steps taken by you, perhaps based on direct or indirect feedback from the ISB, might prove a trump card.

Go for it!

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ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2008-2009

ISB Essay 1 Tips

Please give three reasons why ISB should admit you into the class of 2010. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from your competition. (300 words max)

The real question that is asked here is - why should Indian School of Business Hyderabad bother with you when there are a hundred other applicants with a comparable GMAT score or work experience or academics or whatever? Given a vast (huge number of applicants) but limited (almost entirely Indian, mostly male, many from IT) field of choice ISB is seeking your USP. Your primary aim in this essay will be to explain to the ISB Adcom the factors that make you different, unique and distinct. Your challenge in this ISB Essay is to answer this question with three distinct points and within 300 words.

Ask yourself what genuinely sets you apart. What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest achievements? What are the characteristics that you believe will differentiate you in a group of high-reaching professionals? What are the qualities that have aided most in your past personal/professional accomplishments? Choose from your achievements, your hobbies, your academics, your personality traits, your passions, your work experiences, your life experiences, your attitude. Sell whatever you feel can sell well - and credibly.

Give short (300 words cannot support long stories) example whenever possible. To get info for the essay you should not mind knocking at many doors. Your friends, colleagues and family are excellent sources for giving you obvious answers which you might have easily overlooked. But the person who knows most is always going to be yourself.

This essay tells the admissions committee how desirable a candidate you are for ISB. To write credibly about the differentiation you bring and the value you add to the Indian School of Business will require some knowledge of ISB and the average ISB student profile (research time!).
As always remember that this essay is part of a bigger package and write accordingly. While you are trying to convincingly portray a picture of a person who can add definite value to ISB do not overdo it because we are only at our first essay. Make sure that you leave enough room for the points mentioned in this essay to be complemented by the other essays – most specifically Essay 2 where your leadership skills might be under the spotlight.

ISB Essay 2 Tips

You are contesting the election to be the President of the ISB Student Body. Write a speech you will deliver to the student body on why they should elect you as the President? (300 words max)

The first track you can take in this essay is the ISB Student Body Presidency. Question: What do you know about the "ISB Student Body"? If your answers are on the line of "Nothing", "Its a body of ISB students" or "Its an unidentified non-flying object" etc. read on. Since student bodies and student involvement will be an important part of the ISB MBA experience your extensive research on the Indian School of Business will come in handy now. If you do not know enough, building some knowledge about the ISB Student Body would be in order. To get dope for the essay do not hesitate to knock on many doors. Enough information is available on the web for you to start off. A school visit might help (and not just for the essay). Communicating with alumni, specifically ISB GSB members, would be a good idea (and not just for the essay).

The second track is obviously leadership - this is the first non-case ISB essay in my memory that envisages the applicant in a leadership position. A parallel (or even primary) aim of the essay is to convey the type of leader you are. Showcase your leaderships qualities and add weight to these assertions through well chosen professional or personal leadership experiences. Consider your defining characteristics as a leader and link it with your past achievements accomplishments and with future possibilities at ISB. Similar to the LBS application essay question this is almost a case study. Identify student club or campus activities you will initiate and develop as President of the ISB Student Body. What will you accomplish as the Student Body leader at ISB? Communicate your vision for the future and express credibly why you will make a great choice for leading the ISB Student Body.

The most difficult part of this essay might actually be .. the previous ISB essay. Err.. yes.. all that praise that you heaped on yourself in Essay 1. Can you buttress some of the qualities and skills mentioned in the previous essay without actually repeating them? If you can, in concert with your leadership vision, that should do the trick.

Go for it!

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ISB Essay 3 Tips

CASE: You have been appointed to head the team to build a dam across the River Zumba. Success in this project is critical for your company and would earn you a promotion. Failure would mean that your company would be bankrupt and will take along with it, its investors and its employees. Building a dam across the river would result in deforestation of a portion of the rainforests and would mean relocation of the tribals and destabilization of wild life at Zumba. There is resistance from environmental groups against your project. You are meeting the head of the resistance movement in one hour wherein you would have to explain your decision. Describe what you would do and why? (You will be evaluated on the creativity and practicality of your solution). (300 words max)

Ha Ha! This is fun!

ISB has a penchant for including one essay question each year simply to terrorize the applicants! Last year it was the knighthood versus million dollars essay and this year we have a decision making + dilemma case study.

Do not despair however, as this essay can also be the ace up your ISB application sleeve. As there are very few questions in any MBA essay package that a majority of the applicants are actually afraid of attempting, each such question automatically presents you with a chance to create an advantage for yourself. This ISB essay is definitely one such as it is easy to write a directionless, wavering, indecisive essay that gives no real solutions but just repeats the question. So seize this opportunity with both hands.

I am sure you have several questions. What should my solution be? Which side should I lean to? Can I bribe the head of the resistance movement (creative?! and practical?!). Can I resign?

Actually the solution itself DOES NOT MATTER quite as much, because this essay is NOT about River Zumba but about YOU. The solution you devise should fits your convictions, your personality (as reflected in the the rest of the application) and your thought process. While the creativity and practicality of the solution is important, as important is the maturity, intelligence, reasoning and research that marks your approach to the solution. Unlike the case study situation you actually have much more than one hour to prepare your response - use the time well. Also, while presenting a original, workable solution do not overlook the potential of this essay for effectively presenting your attitude and outlook towards the environment, corporate social responsibility, ethics, ambition, career and success.

Be honest. Be intelligent. Be creative. Be persuasive.

And do you feel 300 words is too, too short to do all this? Well, I agree. But it is 300 words that we have to work with and so we will.

So go get 'em!

Aside: Hey ISB oldies, if memory serves me right this was the ISB case study essay question in 2003. Remember the old Zumba, anyone?

ISB Optional Essay Tips

Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. Please do not repeat information which has already been stated elsewhere in the application. You may use this to clarify any breaks in education/work, inform about any other item which you think has not been covered elsewhere etc. (300 words max)

In the ISB application, attempt the optional essay only if you feel that it will improve the factual and material strength of your application. Do not submit your ISB optional essay as an addendum to any of your essays. Do not submit your optional essay because you feel the quality of your earlier essays is improvable – in which case redouble your efforts in the earlier essays and leave the optional essay alone.

Since ISB has just 3 essays on which your candidature will be judged. So contrary to my usual position, and notwithstanding all that is mentioned above, I would encourage you to look for really (I mean truly) enhancing perspectives or information that might make a difference to your application.

ISB Scholarship Essay Tips

Why do you think that the ISB Scholarship Committee should consider you for scholarship? (300 words max)

The ISB scholarship essay can essentially take two approaches – merit based or need based. Though merit based ISB scholarships are automatically considered, the base of the need based essay would still need merit

The merit based approach can explain why and how your candidacy is superior to the average ISB candidate’s. It might be a recap of parts of Essay 1 and Essay 3 with additional points which might tie in with ISB’s stated aims. The summary you present here can repeat some information from the mandatory essays because the scholarship decision is separate from your admission decision. The need based approach reviews your financial position and explains the strain that the ISB fees would be on you and your immediate family. If you have more ideas I am waiting to hear them!

Go for it!

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ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2007-2008

ISB Essay 1 Tips

The ISB culture stresses on a diverse mix of students; life at the ISB is a unique experience for the students. How will your candidature contribute to this culture at the ISB? (300 words max)

Every leading Business School looks for the factors that make you different, that make you unique, that make you distinct. In fact the primary purpose of the MBA essays is exactly that - to uncover your USP (Unique Selling Proposition, but most B Schools call it “diversity”!) and understand what makes you different.

The question that is asked here is - why should Indian School of Business Hyderabad bother talking to you when there are a hundred other applicants with a comparable GMAT score or work experience or academics or whatever? Your task in the ISB Essay 1 is to answer this question.

Attempt in this essay to “bring in an authentic differentiation, present a genuine face” and then give the admissions committee some solid reasons for wishing to see you. Give short (300 words cannot support long stories) example if possible. To get info for the essay you should not mind knocking at many doors. Your friends, colleagues and family are excellent sources for giving you obvious answers which you might have easily overlooked. But the person who knows most is always going to be yourself; so think about you at work, play and studies, especially team situations, and uncover the salient points that set you apart. Your achievements, your hobbies, your academics, your personality traits, your passions, your work experiences, your life experiences, your language, your attitudes – sell whatever you feel can sell well.

This essay tells the admissions committee how desirable a candidate you are for ISB. The differentiation and the value to ISB both require you to have some knowledge of ISB and the average ISB student profile (research time!). Perhaps your extensive research on Indian School of Business before your decision to apply, will come in really handy now. If you do not know enough building some knowledge about ISB would be in order. Enough information is available on the web for you to start off with a good idea of both aspects. Alumni are another excellent source of information.

As usual keep in mind that this essay is part of a bigger package and write accordingly. While you are trying to convincingly portray a picture of a person who can add definite value to ISB do not overdo it because we are only at our first essay. Make sure that you leave enough room for the points mentioned in this essay to be buttressed by the other essays – most specifically Essay 3 which requires another portrait of your self.

ISB Essay 2 Tips

A million dollars or knighthood: what would you choose and why? (300 words max)

But this essay can also be the ace in your essay package. There are very few questions in any MBA essay package that most applicants will get almost completely wrong. Each such question gives you the opportunity to create a well-defined advantage for yourself. This ISB essay is undeniably one such as it is so easy to write a aimless, wandering essay here, that goes nowhere.

By the way, just so knew it, ISB is not really interested in your fictional million dollars or illusory knighthood. Here too, the essay is all about your most favorite subject in the whole world - YOU. So choose what you are going to focus on. Apart from presenting your own attitude and outlook towards ethics, ambition, career and/or society, thus essay, more than in any other area of the ISB application, allows you scope to exhibit your "depth of analysis" and "unique perspective".

Present your case as fits your personality and your convictions. Present it with passion. Do not try to be facile. Be honest, and seem honest.

And what should your decision be? YOU DECIDE – why should I have all the fun?

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ISB Essay 3 Tips

You have a new manager who has just joined your organisation. As a part of the handover, the outgoing manager is describing each person reporting to him. How do you think the outgoing manager will describe you to the incoming manager? (300 words max)

Take Essay 1 and put a professional/career face to it, and you have Essay 3. Once more the person most qualified to give you clues to this essay is the one you see in the mirror.

Ask yourself what you genuinely consider to be your main characteristics as a professional. Search for past professional situations to identify qualities that you would like to write about. You can actually go up to your manager (outgoing or not!) and ask him to describe your work, attitude and strengths.

Go ahead and scour the archives for old appraisal forms and pick out points that are relevant and useful. Since ISB Essay 1 looks at the same person, albeit from a different perspective, how you blend these two essays is critical to getting an interesting, non-repetitive essay package ready.

Perhaps for the first ISB is actually laying emphasis on your current job. So concentrating on the recent past is advisable, assuming you have enough to write about. At the same time, let your best qualities and traits as a professional come through in the essays, and try to complete the picture by tying them in with your past professional record.

Make maximum use of stories and incidents that link you to professional achievements or awards. Just tell them why you are good - now what could be easier.

Go for it!

ISB Optional Essay Tips

Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. Please do not repeat information which has already been stated elsewhere in the application. You may use this to clarify any breaks in education/work, inform about any other item which you think has not been covered elsewhere etc. (300 words max)

In the ISB application, attempt the optional essay only if you feel that it will improve the factual and material strength of your application. Do not submit your ISB optional essay as an addendum to any of your essays. Do not submit your optional essay because you feel the quality of your earlier essays is improvable – in which case redouble your efforts in the earlier essays and leave the optional essay alone.

This year ISB has just 3 essays on which your candidature will be judged. So contrary to my usual position, and notwithstanding all that is mentioned above, I would encourage you to look for really (I mean truly) enhancing perspectives or information that might make a difference to your application.

ISB Scholarship Essay Tips

Why do you think that the ISB Scholarship Committee should consider you for scholarship? (300 words max)

The ISB scholarship essay can essentially take two approaches – merit based or need based. Though merit based ISB scholarships are automatically considered, the base of the need based essay would still need merit

The merit based approach can explain why and how your candidacy is superior to the average ISB candidate’s. It might be a recap of parts of Essay 1 and Essay 3 with additional points which might tie in with ISB’s stated aims. The summary you present here can repeat some information from the mandatory essays because the scholarship decision is separate from your admission decision. The need based approach reviews your financial position and explains the strain that the ISB fees would be on you and your immediate family. If you have more ideas I am waiting to hear them!

Go for it! 

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ISB PGP Application Essays and Tips 2006-2007

ISB Essay 1 Tips

What, in your opinion, makes you distinct from other applicants to ISB? How will that add value to other students and ISB? (300 words max)

What is your USP (Unique Selling Proposition, but most B Schools call it “diversity”!), what makes you different, why should ISB bother talking to you when there are a hundred other applicants with a comparable GMAT score or work experience or whatever? Your job is to answer these questions in this essay.

This essay tells the admissions committee how desirable a candidate you are for ISB. This is where you “bring in an authentic differentiation, present a genuine face” and then give the admissions committee some solid reasons for wishing to see you. Give short (300 words cannot support long stories) example if possible. To get info for the essay you should not mind knocking at many doors. Your friends, colleagues and family are excellent sources for giving you obvious answers which you might have easily overlooked.

But the person who knows most is always going to be yourself; so think about you at work, play and studies, especially team situations, and uncover what sets you apart. Your achievements, your hobbies, your academics, your personality traits, your passions, your work experiences, your life experiences, your language, your attitudes – sell whatever you feel can sell well.

Even while working out the first part of the essay you should have the second part in mind. The differentiation and the value to ISB both require you to have some knowledge of ISB and the average ISB student profile (research time!). Enough information is available on the web for you to start off with a good idea of both aspects.

In addition to integrating both the essay sections all you need to do (!) is to portray a convincing picture of a person who can add definite value to ISB. Put extra effort into this essay but don’t overdo it because we are only at the first essay in a series. Make sure that you leave enough room for the points mentioned in this essay to be buttressed by the other essays – especially Essay 2 (not difficult) and Essay 4 (difficult but very rewarding if done well).

ISB Essay 2 Tips

What are the three things about yourself that you would like to change? Why? (300 words max)

If you are thinking that this is yet another strengths=0, weakness=100 essay, remember that even a weakness essay does not have to be about weaknesses.

Once again the person most qualified to give you clues to this essay is the one you see in the mirror. Ask yourself what you consider to be your main areas of improvement. Look at personal and professional situations and find out which characteristics or qualities you most desired or lacked. You could refer a few past appraisal forms at work and pick some you felt were relevant.

And ensure that these weaknesses are those that you can eradicate or improve upon, and also that the weaknesses are not severely debilitating: the purpose of this essay is not to convince the ISB admissions committee that you are thoroughly unfit to be a part of the institution.

Perhaps you can tie in parts of Essay 1 into this essay to show the admissions committee that you are already improving in some areas. You can also use Essay 1 to emphasize areas where you passionately committed.

If you are confident (or have the guts) you can look at the question from an entirely different angle and talk not about changing your qualities or traits but about your history and your actions. You could consider revising an action on your part (how doing it differently might have changed your life) or a reaction to an event or even some occurrence. But be warned, this is a risky approach, and if not done extremely well, may end up taking attention from the main aspects.

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ISB Essay 3 Tips

You are applying to your dream job after ISB. Please prepare a cover letter accompanying your CV. (300 words max)

This is a “what is your post-ISB goal” question packaged beautifully. So having a clear goal in terms of job profiles and companies for your first post-ISB job is imperative.

In fact it is preferred that you be very specific, both about the company and the designation, after all it’s your dream! So why don’t you make a good thing of a liability and really write that dream letter as if it were true (maybe it will be).

The purpose of any covering letter is to introduce you as a serious candidate for a particular job. Present your qualifications – experience, skills set, attitude, academics (including ISB) – that make you an ideal for your dream job.

Tell them why you want that job, how long you have wanted it (certainly even before you joined ISB!) and what (and how) you can achieve if given the job.

And last, but certainly not the least, let the cover letter talk about the ISB PGP and how it has been useful in preparing you for the job in question. If possible bring a hint of the difference between your pre-ISB and post-ISB selves.

ISB Essay 4 Tips

You are part of a team which has been assigned a project with a tight deadline that is not extendible. One of the team members fails to deliver on the part of the project assigned to him at the fag end of the project despite his assurance. All the other members of the team have performed flawlessly and completed their parts. There is no way that the project can now be completed even if all the team members provide their utmost help. Appropriate punishment has now to be meted out by the management. The team member is willing to own up his shortcoming and shoulder the responsibility. Should all the team members share the responsibility for failure equally or should they allow that particular team member to get all the blame and punishment? Take a firm position on the issue and support your stand with relevant arguments. (300 words max)

I love this essay question. But none (barred none) of the ISB applicants I know can even look at this essay without distaste, discomfort or sheer terror.

I admire this essay because it forces you to take a stand and there are few things more difficult than to take a call when it could easily swing either way.

But this essay can also be the ace in the essay package: it not only gives you a chance to talk about leadership, failure, teamwork and decision making, but also gives you a context to place them in.

Present your case as fits your personality and your convictions. Do not try to be facile: this is the easiest to be caught out in a false position (probably through a conflict in another essay or perhaps the recommendation letter).

And what should your decision be? YOU DECIDE – why should I have all the fun?

Go for it!

ISB Optional Essay Tips

Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect consideration of your application to the PGP (300 words max) Optional

Use the optional essay to explain shortfalls in your ISB application which you feel are truly detrimental to your candidature. Areas of underperformance (academic or professional or GMAT) or events which stick out (gaps in your resumes or second MBA) or application issues (reapplications) can be commented on if you have an explanation that is intelligent, interesting and credible.

ISB Scholarship Essay Tips

Why do you think that the ISB Scholarship Committee should consider you for scholarship? (300 words max)

Groan! OK, the secret’s out! I do not enjoy writing scholarship essays.

The scholarship essay can essentially take two approaches – merit based or need based.

The merit based approach can explain why and how your candidacy is superior to the average ISB candidate’s. It might be a recap of parts of Essay 1 and additional points which might tie in with ISB’s stated aims. The summary you present here can repeat some information from the mandatory essays because the scholarship decision is separate from your admission decision. The need based approach reviews your financial position and explains the strain that the ISB fees would be on you and your immediate family.

Present your ISB scholarship essay as a combination of the above two.

Go for it! 

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