This year, ISB has reduced the number of required essays to 2.

ISB Essay One: 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.)

While, this year, the adcom has not used these words, it is quite possible that you will best be able to establish your credentials for the program by giving an account of your most prized achievement(s).

However, the nature of the achievement(s) you describe is important. If you have been a table-tennis champion of some note, for instance, it may be worthy of a mention somewhere in your essay, and perhaps you will be able to use it to enrich ISB’s club life, but by itself it is not the kind of accomplishment that is inherently related to the demands of the PGP programme. Do you have a significant leadership experience to relate? Have there been occasions in your life when you challenged the status quo and successfully carved out a path of your own? Has your career progression been noteworthy? Can you demonstrate your ability to put in some real, real hard work? (The intensive 1-year PGP course will allow you only 4-5 hours of sleep at night).

These are the themes you can choose from. You would also do well to point out what new perspectives you can bring to the classroom, and how you can contribute to the school’s community life through participation in its wide range of professional and social clubs and students’ initiatives. To do this effectively, you will need an intimate knowledge of the programme, which you can gain from attending the school’s admission events, and by visiting the campus and interacting with students, faculty, and admission officers.

Since you have to fit in all this material into not more than 400 words, your writing needs to be succinct, and it is highly probable that you will require to edit and re-edit your piece.

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

It is a good idea to start the discussion of your career plan with the story of how it all started, and what motivated you towards having such a plan. This is a more effective way of getting into the topic than by announcing your plan straightaway thus:

It is my dream of becoming a sustainability consultant that brings me to business school.

Let us, instead, gradually lead up to this sentence by bringing in the factors that inspired you to formulate such as goal in the first place:

I joined Company XXX as YYY Demand Planner. At the end of my first year, I was assigned the Business Waster project, which opened my eyes to the humongous amount of waste business creates. Thanks to my successful handling of the project, I was chosen as a delegate to the 2014 Dublin One Young World Conference, which focused in depth on all aspects related to sustainability. It was a transformative occasion, for it convinced me that sustainability was a cause worthy enough to dedicate my life to; and when, in 2015, Unilever set up a Sustainability Board, I was elected a team member. Thereafter, finding that the USLP Board projects were the ones that excited me the most, I decided to change tack and build my career around sustainability.

It is my dream of becoming a sustainability consultant that brings me to business school.

Your post-PGP goals should be realistic, and spelt out in concrete and specific terms. Which industry, which company, and which position would you like to see yourself in? And, of course, there should be a logical connection between your past experience and skills, and your short term and long term goals.

Next, we come to ISB’s offerings, and how appropriately they address your goals. Comb through the curriculum and the list ISB’s clubs and student initiatives, and correlate specific courses activities with the knowledge and expertise you require to see the materialization of your goals.

ISB Essay Three: 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)

Since the first two questions give you just 700 words to say all you have to say, it is very likely that you will not have got the opportunity to project certain aspects of your personality that can strengthen your candidature. This optional essay gives you the chance to do so, but you must be careful not to repeat anything you have said in the earlier essays, as well as to avoid dwelling on matters that will not impact your candidature in any positive way.

Maybe you have a little child you dote on, and with whom you love to spend much of your leisure, but meaningful as this may be to you, it has no relevance whatsoever in the context of your admission prospects. However, if you have experienced a career break which you have not explained in the other essays, this is where you can do it. Or perhaps you prevented an attempted robbery in your locality with your courage and presence of mind. Such a feat would be worth talking about.

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Sandip Bhattacharya

Founder and Director of MBA Essay Consultant. Author of the best selling books such as “Admission Guide for Indian IT Applicants“, “How to Dazzle Admission Officers in MBA Interview” etc. Guided thousands of applicants globally for Full Time, Executive, Part Time and Online MBA applications.

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DEADLINES

09-SEP-2016

EARLY ACTION

09-JAN-2017

Round 2

06-APR-2017

FINAL DEADLINE

CLASS PROFILE

Applications Received
Class Size
Average Age
717

Average GMAT

3.5

Average GPA

5

Average Work Exp (yrs)

DEMOGRAPHICS

Women

U.S. minorities

International Students

Undergraduate Majors

36 %

STEM

45 %

ECONOMICS/ BUSINESS

19 %

HUMANITIES/ SOCIAL SCIENCES

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