Indian School of Business continues to thrive and improve the career prospects of its graduates. The class of 2015 received 20+% more job offers this year compared to just 2 years ago, with the largest percentage of the class entering the consulting industry (28%) with global firms such as McKinsey, Accenture, A.T. Kearney, and KPMG. The e-commerce industry was the second strongest, with 15% of the class entering this field with companies such as Amazon and Flipcart. For applicants interested in consulting, general management/strategy, and sales/marketing, ISB certainly offers strong career placement upon graduation.
ISB has changed its application essay questions slightly this year, reducing the required essays to just 2 and eliminating their own guidance in how to answer essay 1. No longer are applicants offered an explicit opportunity to describe their risk-taking or exposure to diversity – though applicants may still choose to share one of these in the 200-word optional space.
Here are this year’s questions with my advice in blue:
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)
Last year’s essay prompt started out similarly but then guided applicants to share the personal or professional achievement that they were most proud of to earn that coveted seat in the class. This year, the applicant gets to decide what evidence will best persuade the admissions committee of their worthiness. Frankly, your greatest leadership experience or largest impact are most likely still the ideal way to win the adcom’s attention here.
Describe your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those? (300 words max)
MBA programs ask this question to make sure that your goals are reasonable: can their program prepare you for them and has your career so far positioned you to achieve them? If the answer to either of these questions is no, then they cannot accept you – you will simply be unhappy when you graduate – so speak with recent graduates about their recruiting experiences and take the initiative to speak with post-MBA professionals with 10 or more years of experience about longer-term career options. In particular, ISB’s recruiting for the finance function has certainly shriveled over the years – down to just 4% of the class in 2015 – so anyone with a mediocre GMAT score and no experience in this field would best not discuss an aspiration in finance.
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 is not necessary 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)
It is difficult to believe that 700 words allowed for the required essays is enough to capture who you are and why ISB should admit you. If possible, I recommend using this space to share evidence of your initiative, risk taking, or international experience (bonus points if your story can cover more than one!). And be sure to use all of the characters allowed in the Professional Experience section of the application (since ISB does not even allow a CV upload with your application!): five 100-character lines describing your job responsibilities and – even more important – five 100-character lines describing your initiatives and achievements for each role.
The only comfort in such a short application is that your fellow applicants are just as limited in how much they can share!
If you would like professional guidance with your ISB PGP application, please consider Accepted’s MBA essay editing and consulting or our application package which includes advising and editing of all of the application materials plus interview coaching.
Jennifer Bloom has been a consultant with Accepted for 17 years and is an expert at crafting application materials that truly differentiate you from the rest of the driven applicant pool. If you would like help with your ISB application, Jennifer can suggest a number of options that work with any budget.