PGP & EEO Application Deadlines:
R1 - September 12, 2021
R2 - TBD
Essay 1: Describe with examples the most important personal quality that you possess, which significantly enhances your prospects of being successful as a leader? (400 words max)
What a blank check ISB has given to aspirants! You have a massive 400 words to convince the admissions committee that you have leadership potential. This should also cast aside, any doubts that people with no leadership experience so far have: it's completely fine that you do not have any leadership experiences so far; what suffices is that you have the a personal quality that signals your potential of being successful as a leader; the potential is what you have to prove, in this essay.
This essay needs lot of thought and introspection; after all, this is the first essay and will leave a lasting (if not the last) impression. So, no mincing of words, no nuanced hints, and no subtlety; the thrust on that personal quality of yours, should be categorical and overt.
As important as it is to claim the unique personal quality that you possess, it is equally important for you to prove that you are worthy of this claim; to prove that this personal quality is rightfully yours! In other words, once you've stated the unique personal quality that you possess, give at least two real-life examples that substantiate the authenticity of your claim.
We recommend the following structure for this essay:
i) State upfront, the most important personal quality that you want to highlight in the essay; no beating around the bush, no circumlocution.
ii) Substantiate your claim to that personal quality, by elaborating a maximum of 2-3 examples. Note that a laundry list of examples is neither desired nor warranted. These 2-3 examples should be articulated in sufficient detail, to capture the imagination of the admissions committee.
iii) Conclude the essay by stating why you think that this personal quality enhances your prospects of being successful as a leader.
Dear ISB aspirants, do remember that everyone is unique (sounds cliched, we know). If you are working in the (needlessly much maligned) IT sector, take heart in the fact that merely working in the IT industry does not take away your uniqueness. Some may be working in development, some may be working as Leads, some may be working in pre-sales, and some others may have direct client-handling experience. Think through your experiences in these various roles, and some personal quality of yours will shine through!
Bottomline: This is an opportunity for you to let ISB know that there is more to you than what your resume and your GMAT score suggest. Approach it with enthusiasm, because your positivity will bring the essay to life!
Essay 2: What are your short term and long term career goals? How will Post Graduate Program at ISB assist you in achieving your goals? (400 words max)
This is the good old classical statement of purpose (SoP). ISB wants candidates to be very clear in terms of how they want their careers to shape up, especially in the short term (3-5 years after MBA) and in the long term (8-10 years after MBA).
This essay is best addressed along 3 major points.
a) First what you have done in life so far (primarily on the professional/academic front)
b) Second what you want to do in future
c) Third how does ISB fit into the scheme of things
Clearly there are some experiences, attributes, and interests that you already have. This is your past. You have aspirations in life; you hope this to be your future. What is currently holding you back, from making your aspirations, your future? This is what this essay is all about.
Based upon what you have done in the past, and what you want to do in future, there are certain gaps in terms of skill sets, in terms of network, or in terms of competencies, that you want the b-school to bridge. So, you need to build a case that equipping yourself with these skillsets, network, and competencies will help you embark towards your future goals.
It is also very important that you do a good research on the unique offerings of ISB that would be directly relevant to your aspirations. Please note that mentioning ISB's attributes such as great faculty, good peer group, and interactive classes are in most cases a waste of space in the essay; this is because almost every applicant would mention these, and these attributes come across as generic (almost every b-school can claim to have these); imagine what the evaluator of the essay will go through, reading the exact same words one essay after another.
So, what will pay off are the very specific and unique offerings of ISB. These could be specific student interest clubs, any flagship events in the area of your interest, any centers of excellence and any specific research area that the school focuses on. In fact, if you have had a chance to visit ISB, ISB's Information sessions, or personally interact with any existing student, do highlight it, since this would demonstrate your interest.