Interested in ISB? Indian School of Business MBA Admissions Q&A This Thursday!


Indian School of BusinessAre you considering applying to the Indian School of Business? Do you have questions about this top Indian MBA program’s admissions process or curriculum? If so, you won’t want to miss Accepted’s upcoming Q&A on Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 8:00 AM PT/11:00 AM ET/8:30 PM IST with Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Hima Bindu. During this interactive chat, you will learn the how, the when, and the why of applying to the ISB. Come prepared with questions about the ISB’s curriculum, student life, the experience in India for non-Indians, scholarship opportunities for international applicants, and more—Hima Bindu has the answers at her fingertips and is excited to share her extensive knowledge with you.

Register now to reserve your spot for the ISB’s MBA Q&A.

What time is that for me? Click on the link to find out the exact time for your location. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

MBA Admissions News Roundup


  • MBA Crystal Ball recently interviewed founder, Linda Abraham, on admissions and how to choose the right business school.  MBA applicants who are interested should read the informative interview here.
  • 2012 MBA applicants should definitely look at US News’s article on financial aid options.  Tuition for some of the top programs can swell to over $100,000, and having to pay that amount is never an easy pill to swallow.  The article suggests that you research the resources your target program offers for merit-based or need-based scholarships.  The programs may also help with loans or lines of credit, especially for international students. Finally, the article urges students to also examine general sites like FastWeb, Peterson’s, and FinAid.
  • The Financial Times announced that London Business School has received a gift of about £10 million from the Deloitte accounting firm.  This is the largest gift ever given to the school, and it will go to sponsor a research center in innovation and entrepreneurship over the span of 10 years.  Most of the money will go towards research funding, but it will also help create a new core course in entrepreneurship, which will hopefully also increase the study of entrepreneurship amongst LBS MBA students.
  • Zoom Interviews has launched a new area on its site to help students prepare for job interviews. This section provides videos with expert interviewers and gives great advice for students about to enter the job market.
  • The Indian School of Business (ISB) announced that it will increase the size of its class from 560 to 770 when its new campus in Mohali is commissioned next year. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Indian School of Business Essay Questions, Deadlines, and Tips

The 2013 ISB tips are now available.  Click here to check them out.

This Indian School of Business PGP Application tip post is one of a series of posts providing application and essay advice for applicants to top graduate business programs around the world. Check out the entire 2012 MBA Application Tips series for more valuable application essay advice. 

ISB’s instructions and question are in black below; my comments and tips are in blue:

Indian School of Business

The Indian School of Business has become one of the strongest graduate business programs in Asia: it ranks 13th in the Financial Times’ MBA rankings – only one Asian program surpasses it according to FT, more than 98% of its graduates secure job offers within 3 months of graduating, and the salaries those graduates receive are high – 187% above their pre-ISB earnings![i] Competition for seats in this esteemed program is intense, especially among native Indians.


The Admissions Office recently released the application deadlines and questions for the 2012-2013 academic year. Two of the three questions are new, and my recommendations are in blue beneath each question.


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)


Unlike most other graduate business programs that allow applicants to exceed their word limits by up to 10% without penalty, the ISB application will not allow even one additional word! Three-hundred words to describe 2 accomplishments is going to be a tight fit. I highly recommend focusing on accomplishments that not many other applicants are going to be describing – a team-leader role in a traditional IT consulting gig is probably not going to catch the admissions office’s attention. However, you can detail the unique challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Do not make the mistake of just listing awards you received as your achievements: you need to explain what you did to earn that recognition.


Essay 2


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


ISB’s Admissions Director has listed “Clarity of thought in terms of career aspirations and goals” as one of the three most important qualities sought in the ISB application. This essay is your opportunity to show that you possess that clarity. If entrepreneurship is in your future, it should really appear in your past as well. If you aim for a technology or consulting role, you’ll need to demonstrate that you know what qualities you will need to succeed in these and bring some proof as to your readiness for this career. You do not need an exact map of your future, but you do need to reveal a thought process, reasoning, and evidence of your ability to reach your MBA goals.  


Essay 3


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


The open-ended nature of this question causes infinite hand-wringing, but it should really be viewed as a gift: here is your opportunity to share whatever makes you special, whatever you are most proud of. This response could be from your work, community service, education, or travels, so take some time to reflect and perhaps even ask your friends, relatives, or mentors their thoughts on what differentiates you. Then, go the extra step of sharing how this quality or event has shaped your past and will influence your future at ISB and beyond.


ISB eliminated its former optional essay, so applicants have only these three required 900 words to prove their worthiness to this top Asian graduate business program.


Key Application & Decision Dates


This year’s Cycle 1 deadline for Indian applicants allows two additional weeks over last year’s:


Particulars Cycle 1 Cycle 2
Application Deadline September 15, 2011
23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time   
November 30, 2011
23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time         
Offer Decision On or before
November 15, 2011
On or before
February 15, 2012
**Acceptance Decision 15 days from
the date of offer
15 days from
the date of offer



International applicants are granted much more time to submit their applications: ISB conducts rolling admissions for them until January 15th, and liberal scholarships have been awarded to international applicants who choose to attend the program.

If you would like professional guidance with your Indian School of Business application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and MBA admissions consulting or our Indian School of Business  Packages, which include advising, editing, interview coaching, and a resume edit for the ISB PGP application.  


Jennifer Bloom has been helping applicants to the top MBA programs draft their resumes, application forms, letters of recommendation, and essays for 13 years. If you would you like to work with Jennifer on your application, just fill out an inquiry including any information you think will be helpful. Jennifer will contact you ASAP.




ISB Announces Exciting Undergrad Essay Contest!


We recently received an email from the Indian School of Business (ISB) announcing an essay completion for undergraduates. To enter, undergraduate students must submit a 300 word essay, along with a copy of his or her school ID and a recent transcript to by May 25th, 2011. The subject line of the email should read “Experience India Contest Participation.”

The essay question is:

What is your vision about India 10 years from now?

Five winners will be selected who will be awarded a three-day trip to the Indian School of Business, India (including flight expenses).

Good luck! ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Wharton Expands to India


A recent Economic Times article discusses the Wharton School‘s recent plan to expand its presence in India, in either Mumbai or Delhi in the next 1.5 years.

Currently, the Wharton School, along with Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, are the Indian School of Business’s associate schools, which means that the top b-school already has some programming set up and running in India. The 1.5-year plan will not just expand Wharton’s presence in India, but will make the school’s presence more widely known.

“Our students are already coming to India. The difficulty is that the world does not know Wharton is in India,” says Thomas Robertson, Wharton’s dean.

Do you want to go global with your MBA? Download Internationalizing the MBA, a free special report, to explore the increasingly global canvas of leading MBA programs in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

MBA Admissions News Roundup


  • Financial Times ran an interesting article on a social media gaming start-up founded by some Harvard Business School alumni. It details the evolution of the company and states that the founders attribute their success to their experience at HBS. However, they also say that becoming entrepreneurs requires more than just a business degree, mainly the trial and error experience that’s found only outside the classroom.
  • A Chicago Booth press release announced last week the appointment of Kurt Ahlm as associate dean of student recruitment and admissions. “I am delighted to take on these greater responsibilities and continue to help prospective students join our diverse and vibrant community,” said Ahlm.  “In the months ahead we intend to carry the Booth message to an even larger group of M.B.A. hopefuls across the U.S. and worldwide.”
  • Another new appointment was made last week in the world of b-school admissions, but this time across the world in Hyderabad, India, at the Indian School of Business. Adi Godrej will take on his new role as second Charman of the ISB immediately. Dean of the ISB, Ajit Rangnekar, says of Godrej, “Adi has been closely associated with the ISB since its inception. Over the years, he has provided valuable guidance towards making ISB one of the largest management institutions of quality in the world. As the Chairman of the Godrej Group, Adi has a strong reputation as a business leader and is committed to an inclusive India. We welcome Adi as our new Chairman.” ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Indian School of Business: Thoughts After My Visit to Hyderabad

Indian School of Business

Indian School of Business

Teeming, packed, noisy streets connecting the serene, sprawling, park-like campuses of Infosys and the Indian School of Business. Slum hovels just yards/meters away from beautiful apartment buildings.

These are a few of the images from the busy three days I, and roughly 16 other MBA admissions consultants, spent in Hyderabad, India as guests of the Indian School of Business. We made the trip to learn more about this top-ranked business school with a distinctive structure and mission.

Indian School of Business

ISB Hallway

ISB CourtyardDeputy Dean Deepak Chandra addressed us on Tuesday morning and provided a brief history of ISB and clarified its focus. In two words: Emerging markets.  Since ISB’s exceptionally strong partnership with Kellogg, Wharton, and London Business School brings a steady stream of professors to teach in ISB classrooms frequently using HBS cases, students certainly study about developed countries and economies. However, the faculty focuses its research on developing markets. The professors naturally bring that research into the classroom and also offer students the opportunity to assist them. Whether it’s the Centre for Entrepreneurship, the Centre for Leadership, Innovation and Change, the Centre for Real Estate or any of the others, according to Dean Chandra, the research will seek to answer these questions:

  • How do emerging market economies differ from developed economies?
  • How do different emerging market economies differ from each other, and what can they learn from each other?
  • What can developed countries learn from emerging markets?
Indian School of Business

ISB Courtyard

This focus on developing economies was echoed by the international students we met. To paraphrase one Spanish student, Daniel, “I wanted to go where there is growth, and that’s not in Europe or the US, where growth has slowed or stopped.” Articulate and bright, he has been thrilled with ISB and its emerging market passion.  He already has a job at Novartis in Hyderabad and will start working there after graduation. He assumes he will return at some point to Europe and is convinced his Indian experience will only add to his resume and job prospects wherever he goes.

Mr. V. K. Menon, ISB’s Senior Director of Career Advancement Services, provided a solid basis for Daniel’s assumption. He explained that multi- nationals in Asia, like Novartis, the strategy consulting companies, or large financial concerns, love to hire people who have Asian experience and a European or US passport. These individuals have fewer visa issues when continuing their careers in the EU or the US. With their emerging market experience and graduate business education, they are better prepared to be global business leaders.

Throughout our sessions with students and alumni, we asked about the ISB student experience. They are pleased overall with the accessibility of the faculty, the quality of teaching, the professional diversity amongst their fellow students. A few marveled at the spectacular ISB campus, and the level of assistance and support provided to students – all reside on the 260-acre campus, which has its own ATM, grocery store, pool, fully equipped gym, and basic medical facilities.  (We felt like we were in a serene bubble, an oasis, when we returned to campus after an outing in bustling Hyderabad.) A couple of current students actually wished the program was a little longer. They felt it is so intense that they can’t experience it fully or take advantage of as many of opportunities as they would have liked.

When we sat in on a class, I was impressed with the students’ engagement in the class discussion. They asked good questions and had thoughtful responses to the professor’s questions. I didn’t see anyone checking email or Facebook; I can’t say the same for other MBA classes I have attended.

Indian School of Business

ISB Library

A few students and members of the administration expressed regret that the program is not more geographically diverse. Only about 5% of students (not counting those on exchange programs) are not of Indian origin. That statistic reveals opportunity for the non-Indian passport holder interested in emerging markets as the foundation for a global management career.  It also represents opportunity for the student who is well-qualified (ISB has an average GMAT of 710 and climbing), wants a career in management consulting or investment banking, and is interested in experiencing India, but who can’t quite make the cut at the elite US or EU schools where those professions primarily recruit.

Essentially the foreign applicant is an “under-represented minority” on the ISB campus, and ISB wants to increase that representation.  I had the distinct impression that if the foreign applicant shows he or she can do the work, even if the GMAT is a little low or the GPA has some issues, or the applicant is attempting to change both function and industry – the toughest kind of career change – ISB will stretch to consider and accept that applicant. I also inferred that generous scholarships are available for admitted international applicants.

Infosys CampusIn contrast to international students, ISB has been very successful in recruiting top performing Indians in India. For India, a post-graduate, research-based, independent (i.e. not government-funded) program requiring full-time work experience is something new. Its ties to internationally renowned business schools add enormously to its appeal, not to mention its impressive placement record at leading corporations like Infosys, Novartis, Deloitte, McKinsey, Citicorp, Goldman Sachs, and many others.

In addition, as one alumnus – who has been working at Microsoft since graduating from ISB – pointed out, ISB can ease the transition for Indians abroad who want to both change careers/move into management and return to India. Since it is a one-year program, ISB also costs far less than the traditional US two-year program both in out-of-pocket expenses and opportunity cost.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that I decided to accept ISB’s invitation to this conference. It was intense – probably mirroring the intensity of the program. Like all top MBA programs, ISB is a great fit for the right people — not for all people. I am convinced that more applicants should consider ISB than I believed when I left Los Angeles last Sunday at 6:00 AM.

If you would like to discuss whether ISB, the top Indian MBA program with a commitment to the study and service of emerging markets, is a fit for you, please feel free to contact me and write “ISB” in the comments box.

Linda Abraham By , president and founder of and co-author of the new, definitive book on MBA admissions, MBA Admission for Smarties: The No-Nonsense Guide to Acceptance at Top Business Schools. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Financial Times Global 2011 MBA Rankings

It’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for—the Financial Times published its 2011 ranking of global MBA programs!

First the rankings; then some thoughts.

Top 20 Global MBA Programs (last year’s position is in parentheses)

1. London Business School – UK (1)

1. University of Pennsylvania Wharton – USA (2)

3. Harvard Business School – USA (3)

4. INSEAD – France/Singapore (5)

4. Stanford GSB – USA (4)

6. Hong Kong UST Business School – China (10)

7. Columbia Business School – USA (6)

8. IE Business School – Spain (6)

9. MIT Sloan – USA (8)

9. IESE Business School – Spain (11)

11. Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIMA) – India (unranked)

12. Chicago Booth – USA (9)

13. Indian School of Business – India (12)

14. IMD – Switzerland (15)

15. New York University Stern – USA (13)

15. Yale School of Management – USA (16)

17. Ceibs – China (22)

18. Dartmouth Tuck – USA (13)

18. HEC Paris – France (18)

20. Duke Fuqua – USA (20)

As you see above, this year there are some surprises, although the top 5 haven’t changed much. Among the surprises:

  • Hong Kong UST vaulted to #6 from #16 two years ago and is ranked ahead of MIT Sloan, Columbia, Booth, Kellogg, and Tuck.
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA), grabbed #11 – even though it wasn’t ranked previously by FT.
  • US leaders like Kellogg (#21) and Chicago (#12) and many other prominent US schools did not fare well, and tend not to do well in the FT global rankings.

A bit on the FT methodology: To be ranked, business schools need to be accredited, to have been open for at least four years, and must have at least 30 students in each class. 156 business schools fit this description this year and participated in the school survey provided. The data for rankings is collected from alumni and from the schools themselves.

To determine the top 100 schools, the following three areas are analyzed: diversity and international reach, alumni salaries and career development, and research capabilities. These three categories are then further broken down into 20 specific criteria that are further analyzed to determine the rankings.

For a more detailed description of the methodology, see “Getting to grips with the method.” ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Indian School of Business Offers Bright Students an Early, Bright Future

In a program that the Financial Times likens to the Harvard Business School’s 2+2 program, the Indian School of Business announces the launch of its new Young Leaders Programme (YLP).

The program accepts highly qualified undergraduates who want to study business and requires that they work for a minimum of one year and nine months after graduating college and before beginning their MBA studies at the ISB—participants receive guaranteed admission into the one-year MBA program.

YLP participants will attend “contact programmes” (programs that focus on networking and career opportunities) at the ISB every six months during the work period. YLP students will also participate in the school’s cutting edge learning and mentoring program.

These select students will also be eligible for need- and merit-based scholarships upon entering the MBA program. The participants will account for about 10% of admitted ISB students each year.

Get all your ISB questions answered when you attend’s Interested in ISB? Indian School of Business Admissions Q&A on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT/11:30 PM IST with Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Hima Bindu. ~ Helping You Write Your Best

Interested in ISB? Indian School of Business Admissions Q&A

Are you considering applying to the Indian School of Business? Do you have questions about this top Indian MBA program’s admissions process or curriculum? If so, you won’t want to miss Accepted’s upcoming Q&A on Wednesday, January 19, 2011 at 10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET/6:00 PM GMT/11:30 PM IST with Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, Hima Bindu. During this interactive chat, you will learn the how, the when, and the why of applying to the ISB. Come prepared with questions about the ISB’s curriculum, student life, the experience in India for non-Indians, scholarship opportunities for international applicants, and more—Hima Bindu has the answers at her fingertips and is excited to share her extensive knowledge with you.

Register now to reserve your spot for the ISB’s MBA Q&A.

What time is that for me? Click on the link to find out the exact time for your location. ~ Helping You Write Your Best