PGP & EEO Application Deadlines:
R3 – Sunday, January 29, 2023
Essay 1: Peer Learning is a major building block of PGP at ISB. Help us in understanding how will you be able to add value to the PGP peer group through your personal and professional qualities/capabilities? (400 words max)
What a broad canvas ISB has handed over to the applicants, through this essay! Applicants to ISB PGP need to appreciate that there is a reason why ISB admits only people with experience. The expectation is that the learning imparted in the classes, is not a dreary one-way monologue delivered by Professors to students; what is expected is a lively two-way dialogue between the Professors and the students. These interactions inject life to the classes, contributing significantly to the learning outcomes of ISB students.
The question is: Would you be merely a recipient of this learning environment or would you actually contribute to this learning environment as well. ISB is clearly looking for students who can contribute to this collective learning experience.
Think about this essay topic in any of the following ways:
(i) How will you contribute to ISB’s learning environment or
(ii) What do you bring to the table or
(iii) What differentiates you from the pool of applicants
Introspection is what this essay needs. Following are some of the themes that qualify to be mentioned in this essay:
(i) Diversity of educational and professional experiences
(ii) Challenging Projects/tasks that you executed and your learning from them
(iii) Your specific behavioral attributes, substantiated with well-developed examples
(iv) Any failures that you have endured and what you learnt from those failures
(v) Perspectives gained by participation in co-curricular activities outside of your work and education (sports, cultural activities, and social-work)
There are numerous opportunities in ISB, to share your learning/experience with peers, namely by way of contributing to in-class discussions, bringing real-life perspectives in case-study discussions, and working on group-projects. In fact, there can be so much to write that you need to make sure that the essay does not end up with content that ends up being “all over the place”.
Essay Tip #1 You have already appeared in GMAT/GRE. Treat essays no differently from critical reasoning: There should be a logical flow of ideas and coherent cause and effects. Statements loosely "hanging in the air" disrupt the flow of the entire essay.
Essay Tip # 2 Even if you are not seeking professional editing services for your essays, make sure you send across your essays to at least two people, whose judgment and expedience you trust. Essentially it is important to get an Independent third-party view of your essays.
Essay Tip # 3 Applicants should be wary of mentioning philanthropic activities or stipulate ambitions of Entrepreneurship, just in the hope of winning favor with Admissions committee. Unless you have a strong case to make, such claims actually have a reverse effect, making your entire application weak.
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.