The ISB Reapplicant Strategy

When one door closes, another door opens. Indeed, a reapplication to ISB is that open door that allows you another shot at ISB, after things did not work out for you the last time around. Reapplicants often have doubts about their chances in the second or subsequent attempts. As the famous English proverb once bitten twice shy!

This post aims to address some of the most common questions that reapplicants to ISB have.

Do my chances diminish as a result of being a reapplicant?

No! Just because you are a reapplicant, your chances do not diminish. The fact is that you waited an entire year, to reapply to ISB. Whatever your profile was the last time, you could have chosen to pursue MBA from some other b-school; but you were clear that ISB was your preferred choice and decided that a year was worth the wait.

This is a signal to the Admissions committee that you are not just interested in pursuing MBA from somewhere; you are interested in pursuing MBA from ISB. This is a great start! So, being a reapplicant should not dampen your enthusiasm to reapply.

How do I know the reason I was not selected to ISB the last time I applied?

The reason for rejection the last time is actually important to know, because unless you know why you were not selected the last time, how would you specifically improve upon your profile as a reapplicant?

Generally if there is a very evident reason (such as low GMAT/GRE score) for rejection, then you do not really need any explicit feedback to understand why you could not make it to ISB in the last attempt.

If you did make it to the interview round last time but could not make it to the final list, you should write to ISB for feedback on your rejection. ISB does normally provide feedback/reason to the interviewed candidates, for their rejection. The reasons could be many: perhaps your GMAT/GRE score was low; perhaps your essays were not well-articulated; perhaps you were not able to defend your goals during the interview and so on.

This feedback would enable you to specifically work on those specific aspects of your profile, to present a stronger candidature as a reapplicant. In other words, each of these weaknesses in your profile the last time, is actually now an opportunity for you to present as a strength as a reapplicant (assuming that you have worked on those weaknesses since your last application to ISB).

How do I project the improvement in my profile since my last application?

ISB has always had a reapplicant essay, which is for the sole purpose of giving reapplicants requisite opportunity to let the Admissions Committee know what has changed in their profile since the last application.

It has just been a few months since I received my rejection and now I am applying to Round-1 as a reapplicant. What possibly can I show as an improvement in my profile within these few months?

This is often a question that reapplicants struggle with; what could have changed so significantly in their profile within a few months that would make them a strong candidate for ISB this time around. If the reason for your rejection was something as evident as a low GMAT/GRE score, then you obviously know that this is the aspect that you need to significantly work on.

However, apart from score improvement, presenting quantifiable improvement in the profile does seem a bit of a challenge; after all, it is very likely that you did not get a promotion or significant change in responsibilities during the last few months. The thing is that the project that you might have perhaps completed in office over the last few months, an additional certification that you might perhaps have acquired online, an initiative you would have taken at work, or additional responsibilities that might have been given at office will all qualify as good candidates to be mentioned in the reapplicant essay.

We would like to highlight that there is some debate in terms of whether an improved GMAT/GRE score should be mentioned at all as part of the reapplicant essay, especially since the application anyway requires candidates to mention their GMAT/GRE score. We are of the opinion that especially in cases where ISB has highlighted a candidate’s low GMAT/GRE score as a reason for rejection as part of the feedback to the candidate, it is best to mention the improved GMAT/GRE score in the reapplicant essay.

Can my goals change during the reapplication?

Absolutely! Note that change in goals is very acceptable and can even show that you have evolved and matured in your thinking over the last one year, leading to refinement in goals.

Can my essays remain the same as they were last year?

Yes. ISB has clarified this multiple times on various platforms that reapplicants do not have to change their essays, especially if the essay prompts (questions) have not changed since the last time. However, we suggest that reapplicants do add at least a few points in the essays they submitted last time, to make the essays reflect your most current profile.

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