Indian School of Business 2013 Essay Questions, Deadlines, and Tips

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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 two Asian programs surpass 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! Competition for seats in this esteemed 1-year program is steep and the admissions process is highly competitive for native Indians.

The Admissions Office just released the application deadlines and questions for the 2013-2014 academic year. This year calls for a video submission of 90 seconds in addition to a new first question. My recommendations are in blue beneath each essay question. 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, so applicants will need to be concise and exact!

Upload Video

Life to me is......................... ( Please complete the following statement in your own words on Video) 90 Secs/15 MB in the format specified below.

An increasing number of programs are requesting audio or video submissions from their applicants. These “essays” enable admissions committees to get a strong sense of the applicant beyond the written word – does he make eye contact, have good stature, appear poised, speak clearly, and with confidence? While in the past these qualities were only revealed via an in-person interview, a video submission serves as a simple screening tool for these qualities. Choose a topic and a supporting example that has special meaning to you so that you can concentrate on your delivery in this addition to the application.


1. Please make a strong case to differentiate yourselves from an exceptional set of applicants applying for PGP 2013-14. You could cite personal/ professional achievements to present your case. (300 words max)

Last year’s essay prompt was to detail your two most significant accomplishments. The difference this year is that the admissions committee is guiding you to tell about accomplishments that most other applicants cannot also describe. This is a tip that we at are always recommending: if someone else can tell the same story, don’t write about it. A team-leader role in a traditional IT consulting gig is probably not going to catch the admissions office’s attention, so if you do find yourself in a highly populated pool of applicants, take yourself out of that box by describing unique situations and impacts. In your essay, focus on the unique challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Do not make the mistake of listing only the awards you received without explaining what you did and how you did it. This error would make your application generic, not genuine.

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 essays. The goals 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 goals.

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. This 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 has shaped your past and future at ISB and beyond.

Key Application & Decision Dates

Round 1

Round 2

Application Deadline

September 15, 2012
23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time

November 30, 2012
23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time

Offer Decision

On or before
November 15, 2012

On or before
February 15, 2013

Acceptance Decision

15 days from
the date of offer

15 days from
the date of offer

These deadlines apply to submission of complete application. Mere online submission of application by the deadline without supporting documents will not be considered complete. All documents have to be submitted online only. Incomplete application will not be considered.

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.

Resume: There is no need for submitting a separate resume. The online application module will generate a resume in the format that we require, with the details you have filled as part of the application. It includes your Academic details, Employment details (along with responsibilities/achievements) and awards & activities.

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

Jennifer Bloom

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.


This article originally appeared on the Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog, the official blog of

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