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:
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.
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.
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.
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.