Isb Sample Essay

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Indian School of Business
Average GMAT Score711GMAT Range680 - 750
Total Applicants

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Acceptance Rate

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Class Size774 (Hyderabad: 556 and Mohali: 218)Average Work Experience60 Months
Applicant DeadlinesR1:15-Oct-2017
R2:15-Jan-2018
Decision DatesR1:05-Dec-2017
R2:05-Mar-2018
Length of Program12 MonthsPlacement Information

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Note: ISB Essays 2017-18 remains the same as previous year and there’s no additional essay required for the re-applicants.

ISB Essays Questions 2017-18 (For Class of 2018):

Essay Question – 1:

If we were to admit just One more candidate to the Postgraduate Programme (PGP) at the ISB, why should it be you?(400 words max)

The objective of this essay is to gauge the value-add the candidate will do to the classroom, peer group and enhance the value of ISB community at large.The candidate must showcase his/her individuality demonstrating how it stands out and differentiated from the rest by highlighting one’s accomplishments, which reflect qualities of leadership potential, problem solving skill, perseverance etc. A direct link between the qualities one choose and ISB’s academic or non-academic resources elaborating how exactly he/she will contribute to experiences of the student body has to be substantiated. For instance,

  • An HR professional can help CAS (Placement committee) in organizing Pre-placement talks and campus interviews for the school in a smooth manner.
  • An Economics or Finance major can take part in leading Finance club and driving its activities

Thisis the platform for the applicants to best persuade the admissions committee of their worthiness from their personal/professional experiences. Key qualities/traits looked at are penchant to learn, management ability, leadership quality, initiative, collaborative mindset, and achievement orientation.

Other points to be considered for this essay

  • Given that it’s a 400 word limit essay, one can articulate 2-3 attributes with examples.
  • The experiences should focus be more on impact, challenges, learnings, showcasing drive – pushing the limits and challenging the norm with determination.
  • Can write about something significant/ consistent extracurricular (Quizzing, Social Work, Sports) which one is truly passionate about and can speak volumes about and how he/she can contribute to the various professional and social clubs of ISB.
  • Good if there is a demonstrated consistent upward trajectory of the aspect being mentioned.
  • Not to repeat the mere facts which are covered in other part of the application unless there is a need to elaborate in this essay.

Essay Question – 2

Describe your your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those? (300 words max)

The purpose of this essay is gauge the clarity of goals and purpose of an MBA. The applicant has to weave a compelling theme that suits his/her career vision with gaps identified between one’s previous professional experiences and future goals and it should all be knit very logically with an MBA from ISB serving as a bridge. While articulating how ISB fits the whole scheme of things, he/she has to be specific about the industry and type of role looking forward to immediately after graduation from ISB. It is very important from perspective of both the Admission & Career advancement councils of ISB, as they bear big onus of placing 900+ students.

Key things evaluated are

  • How the candidate has developed this goal?
  • Why it appeals to him/her?
  • How ISB PGP will contribute to achieve the stated goals?
  • Is the applicant prepared well enough?

Other points to be considered for this essay

  • Can mention some of the uniqueofferings of ISB that would be relevant to his/her aspiration.
    • How ‘One year MBA’ suits your career (Stating its benefits)
    • Extensive ISB Networking opportunities
    • Faculty model, academic services
    • Professional and Social Clubs – Picking one or two clubs
    • Specific electives, ELP and FIRP
    • Industry Specialization – Healthcare/Manufacturing/Public Policy
  • Mention of personal interaction with the school’s alumni, ISB’s Information sessions, do highlight– Has to be justified if asked during interview
  • Avoidance of general mention of great faculty, interactive classes, good peer group, etc
  • Particularly applicants with 8+ years of work-ex has to justify a clear career path with methodical explanation of career progression from the present to the planned future

Essay Question – 3 (Optional)

Please use this space to provide any other information not covered elsewhere in the application that could significantly impact your candidature at ISB.

Note: It isnotnecessary for you to write this essay. Please use this space only if there is something really significant that you would like us to know.(200 words max)

ISB Essay Questions 2015-16(for Class of 2017):

Essay 1: If we were to admit just one more student, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you by describing a (only one) challenging experience you’ve had in your personal / professional life. How were you tested? What did you do that sets you apart from others? What did you learn? (up to 400 words)

Analysis:Candidate should grab this opportunity to highlight a challenging experience. A special mention should be made as to why the applicant thinks that the situation was challenging (e.g. did the situation demand going against certain personality/behavioral traits, values, professional ethics, norms?). The underlying theme of this essay is to see what unique traits a candidate brings to the table by looking at his/her logical yet creative thinking. One should also mention few takeaways from this experience and conclude by talking about how the learning could benefit his/her peer group.

Essay 2: Describe a (only one) defining moment in your personal / professional life when you had to make a risky decision, and explain what you did and why? (up to 300 words)

Analysis:Risk, by its definition, means uncertainty or probability of danger. The candidate should emphasize on a life event where s(he) was exposed to a vulnerability and how s(he)approached this situation. If possible, quantify the risk. One should focus on one's ability to take calculated risks by talking about a well-laid down path. What were the alternatives and which was chosen, how the problem was broken down, what were the milestones/controlling mechanisms put in place and how was the success/failure defined? are some questions that one should be thinking of while writing this essay. Another important aspect that one may like to touch upon is the stakeholder buy-in since risky decisions do involve some bit of convincing others who are directly impacted by its outcome.

Essay 3: What are your post-MBA career plans and how will your past experiences and the Indian School of Business programme contribute to taking you there? (up to 300 words)

Analysis:This essay gives an opportunity to the candidate to define his/her career (short+long) goals and be clear about what s/he is looking to achieve professionally. One should showcase one's long-term planning abilities to achieve his/her career goals and mention about how ISB would fit in the scheme of things (you may like to talk about specific courses/clubs).

Essay 4 Optional: Please use this space to: Explain any career breaks / provide any other information not covered elsewhere in the application that could significantly impact your candidature at ISB. Note: It is not necessary to write this essay. Please use this space only if there is something really significant that you would like us to know. (up to 200 words)

Analysis:If you do attempt to write this essay, then please choose max. of 2 pieces of additional information not highlighted anywhere in the above essays. This information should bring out your versatility.

Most Indians aspire to make it to a business school like ISB. Are you one of them? To achieve that goal, you need to write that perfect essay that will impress the AdCom.
 
This sample essay will tell you how to write and how not to write in order to get that prestigious admit.
 

Essay Prompt:

 
If we were to admit just one more student, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you by describing an (only one) achievement in your personal / professional life that you are most proud of .What did you do that sets you apart from others? What did you learn? (400 words max)
 

Client Profile:

 
– 2 years of experience in the IT industry.
– Post-MBA Short-term goal – Product Management
 

Initial draft:

 
I work as a consultant and my team is involved with internal and external clients. For a project in healthcare domain, under the office of CTO, I was sent as a core java developer to create a remote health monitoring application for elderly patients. On reaching the client team, I discovered that the project was at an incubatory stage with a lot of uncertainty and no clear roadmap to achieve the desired outcome. In this scenario I had to take a leadership role and collaborate with the new team to first settle down on a technological backbone.
 
Second, we collaborated to make design decision and set deadlines to achieve the same. I also had to convince the stakeholders about the roadblocks and challenges faced by the team and also had to set their expectation accordingly by giving compelling arguments. These requirements were out of my profile as a core developer. However, I took a step forward to face these challenges upfront. Although I was the youngest member of the team, I took the complete ownership of the module and apart from talking about the technology I was the one who sat down and implemented the same. As a result of the hard work, the module that I created is now live in hospitals across India with 99 % uptime and the product we developed as a team has earned revenue for the company as it has been accepted by healthcare giants. I was awarded a silver award for this effort along with personal appreciation from the CTO of my company.
 
The above achievement shows my commitment and sense of responsibility for work. It made me understand the full project lifecycle. Also, I grew in confidence and I found myself ready to face any further challenge I was to face in my career ahead.
 
I believe I have gained the ability to envision the final goal and the process required to achieve the same. I also realized that I can make quick decisions based on practical learning. This achievement made me realize that I have the ability to quickly perceive the requirement of leadership roles and I can take a step forward to share such responsibilities. These qualities come naturally to me and I believe this is what that sets me apart.
 
 

Our take on the Initial Draft:

 
I work as a consultant and my team is involved with internal and external clients.
 
A more impactful opening line would benefit this essay. The above line is a little too factual and dry.
 
For a project in healthcare domain, under the office of CTO, I was sent as a core java developer to create a remote health monitoring application for elderly patients. On reaching the client team, I discovered that the project was at an incubatory stage with a lot of uncertainty and no clear roadmap to achieve the desired outcome. In this scenario I had to take a leadership role and collaborate with the new team to first settle down on a technological backbone.
 
The client would do well to explain why he had to assume a leadership role, considering that he was very young at the time. Were there no senior people in the team?
 
Second, we collaborated to make design decision and set deadlines to achieve the same. I also had to convince the stakeholders about the roadblocks and challenges faced by the team and also had to set their expectation accordingly by giving compelling arguments. These requirements were out of my profile as a core developer. However, I took a step forward to face these challenges upfront. Although I was the youngest member of the team, I took the complete ownership of the module and apart from talking about the technology I was the one who sat down and implemented the same.
 
There is some repetition of ideas. The client has mentioned twice that he took ownership though he was actually not required to. The writing needs to be tauter.
 
As a result of the hard work, the module that I created is now live in hospitals across India with 99 % uptime and the product we developed as a team has earned revenue for the company as it has been accepted by healthcare giants. I was awarded a silver award for this effort along with personal appreciation from the CTO of my company.
 
The above achievement shows my commitment and sense of responsibility for work. It made me understand the full project lifecycle. Also, I grew in confidence and I found myself ready to face any further challenge I was to face in my career ahead.
 
I believe I have gained the ability to envision the final goal and the process required to achieve the same.
 
Since this is an ability that is honed over many years and can be improved continuously, it would be better to rephrase ‘I have gained the ability’. As it is now, it sounds a little too grandiose.
 
I also realized that I can make quick decisions based on practical learning. This achievement made me realize that I have the ability to quickly perceive the requirement of leadership roles and I can take a step forward to share such responsibilities.
 
The above sentences could be made a little tighter.
 
These qualities come naturally to me and I believe this is what that sets me apart.
 
Since the question is about what would set the client apart at ISB, the client would do well to mention ISB at this point, and talk about what strengths he brings to the ISB campus.
 
 

Final Cut (after multiple rounds of reviews and drafts):

 
At company ‘X’, I work as a technology consultant for various client-facing projects. I joined this organization fresh out of college and showed promise throughout my training days and initial projects. Hence, in my first year of work, I was handpicked to work directly under the prestigious office of CTO for a CSR initiative in the healthcare domain. The initiative aimed at using technology to facilitate remote health monitoring of elderly patients. When I joined this team, I discovered that the project was at an incubatory stage, with no clear roadmap to achieve the intended outcome. Although the final goal was predetermined by the management, the feasibility of the idea from a technological stand point was still uncertain. In this ambiguous scenario, I assumed an unofficial leadership role and collaborated with the team to settle on a technological backbone. I worked to make design decisions and set deadlines for the same. I also worked to convince the senior management, which included the CTO, about the roadblocks faced by the development team, and thus tempered their expectations.
 
These activities were not part of my responsibilities as a developer. However, that did not deter me from stepping up to fulfill the need of the hour. Although I was the youngest member in the team, I took ownership of one module and was responsible for the entire cycle of its development from ideation till launch. The product we developed exceeded expectations and is now live across hospitals in India. For my hard work and successful delivery, I was awarded a silver award along with a personal note of appreciation from the CTO. This achievement established my reputation in the organization as a committed, reliable professional. More importantly, it set the ground for what I expected from myself in future endeavors. Having proved my mettle at an early stage in my career, my confidence grew by leaps and bounds. I believe that this early display of leadership sets me apart and makes me a worthy member of ISB’s prestigious student pool. I am confident that I can add significant value to ISB by assuming positions of leadership in clubs such as the Consulting and Business in Technology clubs.
 
 

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