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Collection of Important Posts from ISB Class of 2015 Discussion!!

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Collection of Important Posts from ISB Class of 2015 Discussion!! [#permalink]

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New post 20 Apr 2015, 07:36

GMAT Club’s Best of the Best
Collection of Important Posts from ISB Class of 2015 MBA Applicants’ discussion.


GMAT Club’s MBA Resources
All MBA Rankings || All MBA Deadlines || All School Stats
Live Chats with Adcoms of leading B-Schools || Application Experiences of Applicants || MBA Admission Consultant Reviews – 2015
2015 MBA Applicants’ Profiles || MBA Applicant Blogs || Current Student Blogs


ISB (Full Time MBA) Class of 2015: GMAT Club Application Stats


ISB (Full Time MBA) Class of 2015 application and decision dates / time
  • R1 Application Submission Deadline September 15, 2013
  • Interview Invitations to R1 applicants from September 28, 2013. First invite reported at 1.34 PM Pacific Time
  • R1 Decisions on November 14, 2013. First call reported on 3.31 AM Pacific Time
  • R2 Application Submission Deadline November 30, 2013
  • Interview Invitations to R2 applicants from December 13, 2013. First invite reported at 00.15 AM Pacific Time
  • R2 Decisions on February 13, 2014. First call reported on 5.10 AM Pacific Time


Applicant | Essays
Hi all,
Below are the essay topics, let’s start a healthy discussion here which can help all of us in becoming future classmates

ISB Essay 1: Attitude, skills and knowledge differentiate people. Elaborate with two examples on how you would differentiate yourself. (300 words max)

ISB Essay 2: How does the ISB PGP tie-in with your career goals? (300 words max)

ISB Essay 3: Pick the most significant achievement (professional or personal) you have had and elaborate on the key learning you took away from it. (300 words max)

ISB Essay 4 (Optional): Please provide additional information, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (300 words max)

ISB Reapplicant essay : How has your profile changed from the time you last applied to the ISB? (300 words max) - ankurgupta03


Applicant | School info
Attended the info session at kolkata. I have been attending it for quite some time. It was totally different this time. In all previous info sessions Mr Kanan said they just want a valid gmat score, but this time he clarified that GMAT is not the most but one of the most strongest factors for getting through ISB.

There was no mention about ISB ranking on a continous landslide from 15 to 25 to 38 now on ft.....I mean the should come fwd and explain the reason behind that and what measures are being taken to correct the downward trend. - Archit143


Applicant | School Info | Rankings
Archit143 wrote:
There was no mention about ISB ranking on a continous landslide from 15 to 25 to 38 now on ft.....I mean the should come fwd and explain the reason behind that and what measures are being taken to correct the downward trend.

I have an explanation about that ...
I asked it during my interview, and the panel consisting on one adcom and two alums said that rankings give a high weight age on salaries and that too salaries in dollars, something around 40% weight-age.

So due to the ever sliding rupee, the average salary in dollars has decreased and hence the rankings.
There might be some other factors also, but if the info provided to me was correct, then this is a big contributor to the downfall in the rankings ... - ankurgupta03


Applicant | Application
Dreaming wrote:
I tried filling up the "employment" section of the application form today.....there is space for FIVE achievements....for God's sake....if I were a corporate superman I wouldnt be needing an MBA would I? :/

Haha ... last time around there was a space of 3 :)
So i think we would have to do a lot of thinking this time.

You can write things which you achieved as a team, for example ... blah blah project was rated the best at my company or my team was rated the best team or probably something about your appraisal ... where you were rated best or among the best :)

Or probably you can cite en accolade for your work forma very senior person or your client ...

Its not about juts the major achievements.
its all about recounting those small things and i am sure you will be able to list down 10-15 achievements - ankurgupta03


Applicant | Interview Debrief
I was the last one to be interviewed in the year. So the panel was chilled and greeted me very well. Made me confortable
The members:
ME, ADCOM (around 40), ALUM1 (28-29years), ALUM2(28-29 years)

1) Tell me something interesting about yourself which is not written any where
Me: Well i will tell you something very interesting :)
Not the primary reason, but one of the reason for me doing an MBA from ISB is that my fiancee wants to stay in the ISB campus :D
laughters all around.
ALUM1 says ... thats a pretty expensive marriage :P
Laughters all around, told to myself that i am on the right track

2) You are a quality assurance guy. What all will you look for before launching a tooth brush.
I asked the age group it was catering to, information gathering and told some points.
Was grilled too much(around 15 mins) on this and finally they were unconvinced.
ALUM 2 said, you have written about details all over your essay and you are making so broad test cases :(

3) ADCOM: What do you want to talk about.
ME: Extra curriculars
Told them everything about what i have done in MAD and teach for India
they said that its good what you have done, but how ISB will benefit from it.
Then i told the learning from all this.

4) What will you brig to ISB
Told my strengths in detail and how i got them. Linked them to professional and extra curricular.
How i was rejected by NMIMS last year and then i worked upon my weaknesses and converted it the following year.

5) Why ISB
Told that i did not join NMIMS as it was a two year program and i am looking for a one year program only.

6) Why MBA
Told them the future plan about becoming a consultant, but they were not at all convinced and said that you can achieve this by experience and some certification. they even gave me some websites for that :)

There were two questions which doomed my interview and both of them were very easy ones.
The ordeal lasted for about 35 40 minutes. - ankurgupta03


Applicant | School Info
Hello Everyone,

After being a silent observer in this wonderful community for few weeks now, i have finally decided to break my silence.
Attended a Webinar with Mr Kannan today and wanted to share with you guys a few key points he mentioned:
1. ISB usually gives 20-25 percent of weightage to the GMAT score, so i believe there is a lot more focus on your application. Although, he did not mention individual weights to different parts.
2. No difference between R1 and R2, please submit your application when you feel you are ready.
3. Break for studying for GMAT needs to be justified, he clearly mentioned in the pool that they get there will be applicants who are working as well as preparing for GMAT, then what is so special about you, they already have a upper hand, tough one here.
4. No difference in selection process total number of students selected 770.(Hyd and Mohali).
5. For your career goals and aspiration essay always focus more on immediate goals, they want to know what you want to do 2-5 years after your ISB degree, so all those entrepreneurial dreams/long term goals for a distant future should be mentioned but not detailed.
6. If you are someone who has an MBA from a tier 2(someone like me basically) and want to get in, don't get disheartened by sheer number of bright and fresh MBA aspirants. 5 % of the current class at ISB are people who are pursuing a second MBA degree at ISB and some from Tier 1 as well.
7. GMAT cut-off : he mentioned very clearly that anything below 600 is avoided and they have people with a 650 and strong background in their current batch.( One of the alumni told me he has friends who have scored a 750 and have been rejected at ISB.) don't get too disheartened by a low score, keep your wits for those applications/ if you are comfortable with a better score then retake(personally I would do that.)
8. Grammatical errors in your application don't matter so much, make sure the content is outstanding.
9. He mentioned something very good which got me thinking, everyone knows what they want from their bschool,( A consulting job, placement records, foreign exchange programs) but you should also know what you are bringing to ISB.(would love to hear your two cents on this guys). What will you be bringing to ISB?
10. Last but not the least for placements it doesn't matter which ISB(Mohali/Hyderabad). Since, ISB doesn't mention this to the companies coming for placement, last year they flew 400 students for first round of placements to Mohali and then again from Mohali to Hyderabad for second round.

Hope this information was somewhat helpful to you guys. Looking forward to interact with you guys more often. - farhanc85


Admission Consultant | Essays
ankurgupta03 wrote:
Attitude, skills and knowledge differentiate people. Elaborate with two examples on how you would differentiate yourself(300 words max)

How have you people tackled this question?
Do we need to write about all the three characteristics or can we give some other traits also?

Attitude, skills and knowledge differentiate people. Elaborate with two examples on how you would differentiate yourself from other applicants to the PGP. (300 words max)
A: ISB has been asking applicants a question on their differentiating factors for many years now. This year, they have added a slight twist to it. They have specifically asked applicants for differentiating attitudes, skills and knowledge, and unlike last year, when this question was an open field for the number of examples you could quote, this year there is a limit of two examples. We think it is justified, because in 300 words, you can do justice to only about two examples.
So what could these attitudes, skills or knowledge be?
Your attitude can be of sincerity, perseverance, creativity etc. Your skills could be related to communications, problem solving, organizational, networking etc. And you could be knowledgeable about anything under the sun (the context has to be relevant to your application)
How should you structure the essay?
Besides mentioning the two differentiating factors, talk about supporting incidences where you demonstrated these qualities. Roughly, these are the pointers you can include in your answer:
1. The situation.
2. What was your role in this situation?
3. What were the challenges?
4. How did you overcome them applying the mentioned attitudes/ skills / knowledge?
5. What was the end result?

MBA Decoder’s tip: Oftentimes applicants assume that their description of the situation is enough for the reader to decipher the attitudes/ skills / knowledge in question. However, this is not the case. Therefore, do not leave it for the reader to draw their inferences about takeaways from the story. Instead, categorically mention the attitude/ skill/knowledge that you are promoting. - MBADecoder


Applicant | Why MBA
biyania wrote:

whats a wrong move ? isb or xl or either ? well, I am not inclined for an mba for a salary increase but as a long term "no growth path" avoidance mechanism. I have had both IT and analytics consulting experience. But that was not core management consulting experience.

I think mba from a premier school can pole vault into the consulting space.
what do you think ? ankur ?

Yes it surely can. I have seen many IT people move into consulting domain after an MBA.
Just that you need to be prepared about why specifically an MBA is required to pole vault you into the consulting domain.
You could have directly joined some consulting firm like deloitte, accenture etc.

I was asked the same question and was not able to give them a convincing answer.
So please be prepared for such question sin the interview, and if you figure out why ... then please share your ideas with me too :)

All the best :) - ankurgupta03


Applicant | School Info
I attended the infosession in mumbai yesterday, had 4 alums and Mr Menon from the admission committee taking a 2 hour session. Very informative and nicely done.

A key takeaway mentioned during the session for shortlisting of candidate.

There is a 3 bucket criteria, within a bucket you can compensate for an individual performance parameter but you cannot do it amongst the bucket. Let me explain with mentioning what these buckets are.

Bucket 1 Academic performance, your scores from 12th grade ,graduation, transcript and GMAT, now you can compensate lower grades in your acads with a very good gmat score, or if you have an ok gmat score and very high academic performance then you will be a potential candidate depending in your other buckets.

Bucket 2 : Leadership Qualities, now if you cant describe a role wherein you have portrayed leadership qualities, describe a situation where you used some qualities you consider can be equivalent to a leadership quality.the individual parameters in this bucket are Roles and Responsibilities, LOR, accolades, now if you feel the role played by you is not significant enough, this can be compensated by LOR or some rewards etc.

Bucket 3 personal attributes, now this one is tricky,interest, extra curricular, social work, varied interest. Now remember people if you haven't done social work till now don't start it 3 months from ur applications time and mention it cuz then it wont matter, it will reflect an attitude of doing social work with an end goal of mba degree, that is not a personal trait of someone who wants to gives back to the society. But with your varied interest and extra curricular activities you can compensate if you haven't done any social work.

Now, coming back to the point you cannot compensate among the buckets. If you have a low overall acad bucket you cannot compensate with your brilliant leadership bucket, so hopefully its clear now.

Moving on, start working on your essays immediately even if you are an R2 candidate have not given your gmat, i know gmat studies are more important but daily you can give 30-45 minutes to collect your thoughts for the essays(i am not able to do it yet :( ). Anyways that was the key thing according to me for applications.

Besides if there is an infosession in your city please ensure you do attend it. Website information is nowhere equivalent from what you learn at an infosession. - farhanc85


Applicant | Interview Debrief
Hello Everyone,,

Done with my interview, first interview of the season....

Wrote an essay on "Happy" on arrival.. I was called by pannel for interview at 10:55

Panel consisted of:
Mr Kannan and Mr Rupesh (Alumni, Also Associate Director Admissions, ISB)

Mr Kannan: When are you joining next ship and from where?
Mr Kannan: Any promotion?
Rupesh: Essay 1, explain about the incident, mentioned in essay?
Answered, 10 mins
Rupesh: Why NUS, exchange programme?
Answered, know more about the market there
Kannan: Debate on port development, what model u like?
Answered , nd he looked satisfied
Kannan: Questions for us?
1. My Business plan, which part of the prog does it resonate with?
we had discussion, then he told plan is fine, but needs research......"This could both ways against n in favor" I told dats why i want to join ISB, diversified class profile.

Dats all!!! It was good I think lasted around 35 - 40 mins..... Long wait starts!!!!! - Archit143


GMAT Tutor | School Info
Hi all,

We recently hosted ISB on e-GMAT platform. We had their senior director of placements and a couple of alumni answer student's questions. We had about 200+ egmat students who asked 250+ questions. Here is a recording of the session:

Let me know if you find the recording useful. - egmat


Applicant | Interview Prep | Interview Attire
pratikac9 wrote:
Guys what is the dress code that you suggest? Is a suit preferable or is it alright in formal shirt and trousers with a tie?

Anything and everything that matches your personality and gives confidence, credibility, and authority is good. Remember, you are projecting yourself for a future management position.

Here is the dress code that I would recommend:

Formal dress code - Shirt (white, blue, checks, self, or striped). Avoid too dark or too colored shirts; Pant - pleated (prefer it if your are not planning to wear jacket, I mean coat/blazer). If possible avoid tees. If suits you, and max, wear polo t-short. However, avoid one with messages. Do not flash "Jockey" or "Calvin Klein" (Boys will understand this)

Suit is recommended, if you are comfortable wearing it. Weather in Hyderabad, these days, is good and pleasant to wear a suit.

Office casuals or formal dress code. Avoid, if possible, the combinations with too much of contrast.

Any good deo or mild EDT or cologne is sufficient.
Avoid slippers or sports shoes (preferably boys if not planning to wear jeans)
Petite people should select petite dressing that fits properly.

Other helpful tips for those who are travelling from other cities
Those who are travelling from other cities, make sure that you select a hotel nearby ISB (ask me if you need any help - Hyderabad only). My office is adjacent to ISB, at walking distance. If you reach too early, you are welcome to spend time in my office and relax.
If planning to stay at other end of the city, prefer to book Meru Cab or Yellow Taxi (in advance) rather than taking auto.
If reaching Hyderabad through morning flight, you can take AC bus (ask if it will pass through Gachibowli, take a drop at Gachibowli Circle underneath bridge, and hire a auto to ISB. Auto will take 5 minutes max and 20 rupees) or Meru Cab. Avoid other taxi service.

Good luck. - sapling


Applicant | Interview Invitation
MOE48 wrote:

What about the status if the application has not been shortlisted? Will this status also be updated? And will the applicants recieve a mail for rejection as well?...

They send a rejection mail only after they have sent the mails to all the successful candidates i.e. one day after 15th of nov (R1) or 15th of feb(R2).
If one does not gets a mail 5 to 7 days before the last interview date (10th of nov or 10th of feb), then it can be assumed that the applicant has not been shortlisted for the interview round.

So in the case of R1, if the interview selection mail is not received till 3rd or 4th nov, then it can be assumed that the applicant was not selected for the interview stage. - ankurgupta03


Applicant | Interview Debrief
Got done with my IV today morning at Delhi.
My panel was out of phase with the others, was delayed by an hour and a half but it was worth the wait :)
Upon reaching I was asked to write 50-100 words on SYMBOLIC.
This seems to be just an English test of sorts since they give you ample time and nobody really monitors this. However some people were asked questions on what they wrote.
The interview was very straight forward one and my panel consisted of three alumni. Being from a shipping background I had a very few industry related questions and more of essay based and post MBA goals related questions. They started by asking me to walk them through my application which I was prepared for, then followed what I would bring to the class, why an MBA, a couple of essay specific questions along with the leadership qualities and skills involved in my line of work and how I am looking to use them post the MBA if I am to make an industry switch. They asked me for instances where I have demonstrated leadership skills and initiatives I have taken to see the world outside of the ship.
Finally they asked if I had any questions for the panel, this is sort of tricky as I had previously thought not asking them is the intelligent thing to do but apparently this is a test of curiosity so I was ready with a twister.
All in all a very stress free interview.
All the best to everyone preparing for their interviews :) - siddarthkadan


Applicant | Interview Debrief
Got my interview done at Hyd yesterday evening! I was all bleary eyed since I was running from morning 8! So landed cot hyd at 12.30, went in directly to ISB at 1.30. Interview was at 3. Had ample time. I was asked to write an essay on "Shallow" . Wrote a really really good piece. I got into chit chat mode with the other candidates and their accompanying friends. Was really strange since I always will keep to myself.
Was call in at 5-10 min before the schedule. Now the interview.
Panel was of 3 members. 2 alums and 1 from adcom I guess.
1) After all the intro, I was asked to elaborate about my Start-up and what kind of work happens. Was asked to quantify in numbers.
2) Then was asked about a particular point in essay
3) Post MBA Job expectations.
4) Past job roles.
5) Challenging role in work.
6) Questions for them.

Was strange since I was not asked any of the usual questions. Why MBA, Why ISB, no EC activities.. Nothing. No expressions in the panel's faces too! :( So hoping for the best! All totally it lasted for almost 25 min. - bullzeye


Applicant | Hyderabad Hotels
My friends who are travelling to Hyderabad for interview, here are a few hotel options that you might want to check before landing in Hyderabad:
Quality Inn
Aditya Sarovar (very near but costly too)
Ella Hotel
Red Fox Hotel (rates are better; around 3 to 4 KM; in hitech city)
Swagath De Royal (around 4 kms; quite economical; many facilities around; easy to access transport like auto, bus, etc.; make sure you select the one in Kondapur; they have many hotels around)
Sheraton Suites (never heard any of my friend booking this one)
Luxor Park (nearly 6 km from ISB; difficult to get any transport)

Then many suites (guest houses) are available around Gachibowli.

Be safe and good luck. - sapling


Admission Consultant | Essays
Worried about the 'one-word' essay before the ISB interview?
It indeed seems difficult when you are given to write/speak about a random word, but think about it as a game where you have to match the given word with as many different things as you can. Then start building on it.

Take Apathy for example. Connect Apathy to everything around you can, right from the apathy that is shown by parents these days to the emotional needs of their children to the apathetic nature of the management in schools and colleges towards the holistic development of students. The apathy that the common man faces from the government it voted for with very high hopes. The apathy that the doctors show when they ask you to first fill in the hospital registration form before they attend to you. Our own apathetic nature to all these anomalies around us and the 'chalta hai' attitude.
Elaborate on these and there will be so much to write that you can go on and on.

Of course the idea of this exercise is just to test your English, but if you are stuck with content, then this technique should help. Someone try 'Oranges' if you can.

All the Best! - ISBmantra


Applicant | School Info | Interview | Application
A must read for all the applicants
For all the topics, you can visit the ISB blog,
I have mentioned a few which i felt were important for an applicant.

Should you go to B School? ... -b-school/

Faculty at ISB ... ty-at-isb/

Essays explained ... explained/

Evaluations ... aluations/

How to showcase your awards and achievements ... ctivities/

ISB Myth Busters? ... h-busters/

Interview Preparation ... interview/

ISB vs Studying abroad ... ng-abroad/

Enjoy Reading and All the best! - ankurgupta03


Applicant | Interview Debrief
I am done with my interview at Mohali campus. Interview lasted for 20-25 minutes although all the others before me were in the room for more than 30 minutes. Below are the questions:
1) What kind of person is Ankit Bhargava?
2) What is your daily life like? After coming from office, what you do?
3) What all serials you watch on TV, name them with Channel names and timing? Then a few verification questions of the serials?
4) Why MBA at this point of your career? I have 6.5 years of exp so they asked me if i know about PGPMAX course
5) Asked about my part time business which i am involved in? Statistics about the business? Quantitative analysis?
6) Was asked to point out atleast 3 negative points of my business?
7) Dream job after ISB?
8) Why only ISB and not going for MBA in US?

There were only 5 candidates today.

The panel was pretty cool and we exchanged few statements in Hindi. They did not particularly dig into my application. I mentioned my achievements, extra curriculars etc.

Hope that helps!!!

Edit: I was asked to write one word essay on "Hypocrisy" - ankitspeaks


Admission Consultant | Essays | Admission Tips
Less than 10 days to go for the R2 deadline. Anxiety levels must be high. Based on our experience with numerous applications till now, here are a few 'Do's & Dont's' for the essays that may be your biggest concern at this point:

1. Essay 1 is looking for proof of your skills/knowledge/attitude. It is easy to make tall claims. If you are strong at something, you must have used/shown it couple of time. Provide us at least 1 instance. It is not required to spell out that you have awesome Team Skills. Tell us a story that proves it.

2. Essay 2 talks about your Career Goals and how ISB will help you fulfill them. It is impractical to know what exactly you will be doing 10 years from now. But you need to know the direction you want to take your career to. And your short term goal will be decided based on that, which will ultimately tell you if you need an MBA or not.
To justify why ISB is the best place on earth for your MBA, it is not enough to pick an "ELP" or a "Wadhwani Centre" or some fancy electives from the ISB website. Put the reasons in the context of your needs. eg. If you think that the 1-yr advantage that ISB provides is really exciting to you, don't stop there. Tell us how a 1-yr MBA fits perfectly in your scheme of things vis-a-vis a 2-yr program.

3. Essay 3 is about your most significant achievement indeed, but it's not about the certificates or the awards you won. Put it in the perspective of a B-school and try to figure out if your story translates to a differentiating factor that ISB will be interested in. It's great to captain the state football team and receive an award for the best player from the CM, but it's greater if you can tell us about a team conflict that you managed well, which helped the team regroup.

4. Essay 4 is optional, alright. But it is also an opportunity for you to let the adcom know more about you. Use it to show the kind of person you are, the kind of things you do, any instance that helps the adcom develop a connect with you. With close to 4000 applicants, there are at least 12000 essays to be read. It is tiring for the team. If your can write something that makes them feel good, nothing like it. But don't overdo it. This can be a double edged sword. So play safe and leave the space blank if you get the slightest doubt about the usefulness of what you are writing.

All the Best! - ISBmantra


Applicant | Application
ankitspeaks wrote:
So how many candidates were offered admission in R1? I think that can help to assess the number of seats available in R2.

Usually 45%-50% of total seats are filled in R1.
The facebook group has more than 280 members (some of them are existing students though). So at least 300 admits is a safe number to assume. - skp0402


ISB Blog | School Info | Alumni Network
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: The Value of the ISB Alumni Network
This past weekend, we hosted our alumni at Equinox, the annual alumni learning and networking event at our Mohali campus. I thought this may be a good time to share some thoughts on what you can look forward to if you become part of our rapidly growing alumni network.

Long after our students graduate from ISB, the network that they became a part of continues to play an important role in their lives. Whether one is looking for valuable business leads or exclusive job opportunities, is settling into a new city and building a circle of friends, or for just about anything else, the alumni network is almost always the first port of call.

With over 5200 alumni spread across 32 countries, the ISB alumni network is vibrant, engaged and growing rapidly. They are an active lot and passionate about helping one another. Many of the alumni report that their career growth post graduation has come directly through alumni referrals and job postings on the network. If you thought job opportunities are available only during placement season, think again – the alumni email group sees high-level jobs and opportunities being posted almost on a daily basis! A lot of alumni also reach out to the network for information, guidance or ideas on solving challenges that they grapple with at work. The collective input from them leads to faster and more effective solutions – something that organisations have come to deeply appreciate in their employees. It is no surprise that many organisations encourage the ISB alumni in their employment to recruit more ISB graduates, from the alumni network as well as from the school directly through placements.

Apart from helping corporate careers, the alumni network is also proving to be a great resource for the growing pool of entrepreneurs in the ISB community. Whether they are trying to recruit good talent, looking for top professional services like designers, developers, subject matter experts, lawyers, etc, trying to get publicity for their ventures and build a client base, or even generating investor interest, the collective network often has great references and advice to share, based on personal experiences with these. An encouraging trend at ISB is the ever-increasing number of alumni coming together to co-found businesses.

Of course, the network is not only about work and business. The community is socially active and meet often, in small groups as well as large ones. Movies, get-togethers, and weekend getaways provide a welcome break from work and are especially enjoyable in the company of individuals one shares a pleasant history with. If an alumnus is visiting a city on work and finds that he/she has some free time at the end of the day, fellow alumni are a phone call away – definitely a better option than killing time in the airport lounge. Alumni relocating to a new city also find that the network is there for them – anything from finding a house and suggesting good schools for the children to showing them around town and helping them build a social circle. With such a support system in place, transitions become a lot more comfortable.

Apart from the informal interactions and events, the school and the various chapters of the ISB Alumni Association (ISBAA) also organise official alumni events in different cities. Every year, we celebrate our two alumni reunions, Solstice and Equinox, at our two campuses. These help alumni reconnect with the school, meet old friends and make new ones. They also get to relive their student days by returning to the classroom for learning sessions at these events. In fact, such “Lifelong Learning” sessions are conducted throughout the year at different cities, organised by the elected ISBAA representatives of the different chapters.

All this sharing of resources and opportunities, social interactions and a strong support system are not only rewards in themselves, but also serve a higher purpose. They build a strong sense of belonging and promote a mindset of helping the fraternity. Today, this habit helps make life a little more comfortable. Tomorrow, with a critical mass of alumni in leadership and decision-making positions, this translates to opening up of exclusive opportunities and social circles comprising of CXOs and influential individuals. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out the immense value that such a network has to offer.

However, to reach that critical mass of ISB alumni in key positions is not easy. We do have an advantage because our graduates start higher up on the corporate ladder, as indicated in my earlier blog post on Career Advancement Services at ISB. And as they have shown, they will scale heights quickly from there. We are a young school, but while most other schools with several years of heritage are adding between 200-400 alumni to their fold every year, we are adding about 800, while maintaining the most stringent admission criteria. At this rate, the day is not far when a critical mass of our alumni will be leading global companies and be the foremost decision makers influencing business, economy and society. Consequently, the reach and influence of each alumnus in the network will also increase manifold.

I will point out a simple, present-day indicator of how the ISB alumni network increases reach. In fact, some of you may already have noticed this: An ISB alumnus’ Facebook or LinkedIn account generally has a significantly higher number of connections/followers than those of the average social media user. They also happen to be connected with fairly influential individuals in their areas of interest. Safe to say this effect is going to grow faster and faster from here on.

Let me leave you with a little anecdote about how the alumni network tends to go above and beyond when help is needed, even in the simplest of things. This is from the personal experience of our alumnus Subramani Ramachandrappa (PGP ’04), CMD of Richcore Lifesciences:

We were putting up a manufacturing plant and my engineering consultant said we needed X units of steam and therefore needed Y kilowatts of backup power, etc. On the look of it, I felt it was too much, but I was not the expert here. So I sent a mail to the alumni network with my concerns and I got six replies almost immediately from alumni who were experts in the energy space, having spent years in the best consulting firms and industry. They each offered to take look at this, and I did not even know any of them! It was just because of the email id that we all had in common. In two days, somebody actually flew down pro bono, sat with me and ran through the program, suggesting changes and helping me understand the system. I could trust him because he was an expert, a fellow alumnus and was not going to steer me wrong. We went with the new recommendations, and even today, my plant has been running great with what we implemented. In fact, the engineer who suggested the original specifications to me also wanted to collaborate with my friend on future projects!

That is the kind of support you can get from the alumni network. Any request for help never goes unanswered, anything from a simple request for information all the way up to support during medical emergencies. We are not looking at it as a transaction, but saying that we all belong to the same family.

All the best!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors


ISB Blog | Admission Tips | Round 2
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Applying to ISB PGP in Round 2
Each year, applicants have to take a call between applying in Round 1 Vs Round 2. For a particular individual, any number of reasons could make it better to apply in one round than in the other.

There are some advantages of applying in Round 1. For example, getting an offer of admission early gives applicants more time to get prepared for the changes coming up – planning the resignation from their job and handing over responsibilities, terminating home lease, making travel arrangements, organising finances, looking for a new job for the spouse in the new city, looking for good schools for kids in the new city, etc. It also allows them to take a break before joining the programme. Travel seems to be a popular option with many of the students admitted in Round 1. Even in the case where one doesn’t receive an offer of admission, it still helps to know it early so that they can get a head start on addressing any weaknesses in their profile before reapplying next year.

Applying in Round 2 has its own unique set of advantages:

  • More time is available to evaluate options and figure out if B-school is the right avenue for improving your careers (Related: Should You Go to B-school?). If the choice to go to B-school has already been made, then you may use the time to decide on which schools and programmes would be right for you (Related: Studying at ISB Vs Studying Abroad).
  • If you are ready to apply, the additional time gained by applying in Round 2 can help you prepare and submit a stronger application:
    • You may be completing an important assignment shortly, which would go towards improving your overall profile and ability to add value to class discussions.
    • A significant increase in responsibility through a promotion or profile change could be on the horizon and you can showcase that in your application.
    • If you are not happy with your GMAT score, you can try and improve your score. Note that for those who have taken GMAT more than once, we consider only the best score while evaluating applications.
    • You can use the additional time to complete any certifications or courses that you had taken up.
    • Most importantly, submitting in Round 2 allows you to iterate a little more on your application and articulate your story better through essays, CV, etc. Get friends and colleagues to review them, incorporate helpful feedback and try to present a stronger application.
  • Applying in Round 2 allows you more insights into the application process. You can benefit from the greater collective intelligence of the community, which has had a few extra months to analyze the procedure, essay questions, etc for the year. Input from Round 1 applicants about their experience is also something that you may find very useful.
  • And finally, if you had other engagements or business travel during Round 1 and couldn’t really concentrate on your application effort, Round 2 gives you another opportunity to apply to B-school and take the next step towards improving your career. Make the most of it and put your best foot forward.
At this point let me make it clear that submitting your application in Round 2 has, by itself, no effect on your likelihood of acceptance. For e.g., one myth is that most seats are filled up in Round 1, leaving very little for Round 2 applicants. Another common myth is that the number of applications is lesser in Round 2 and hence admissions are less competitive than in Round 1. I assure you that both of these are incorrect. We see a similar mix of students applying in both the rounds, and the number of offers made in each round is kept proportional to the number of applications received, guided by historical data and prevailing trends. So applying in a particular round, by itself, will neither improve nor hurt your chances of admission.

To those of you who were considering applying in Round 1 but decided to submit your applications in Round 2 instead, congratulations! You have rightly followed the first rule of submitting a winning application – “Apply when you are ready.”

All the best!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors


ISB Blog | Admission Tips | ReApplicants
FROM ISB Admissions Blog: Application Tips for Reapplicants to ISB PGP
In the ISB PGP application pool, we get a large number of re-applicants who have unsuccessfully applied to ISB once or more before. This is a key demographic for us and we value these candidates greatly, simply because they persevere when others in similar situations don’t.

There may be several reasons for not making it through ISB’s admissions process in the first attempt. Many may have applied in the previous year even though they had not spent enough time to build and present their most compelling argument. Or they may not have done sufficient homework to understand what the school looks for in prospective candidates. Perhaps they may not have been ready for business education at that time, and that came through in their application or interview. It is even possible (and is often the case) that they may have done everything right and submitted a great application, but may not have made the cut in a very competitive application pool. Whatever the reason, a candidate’s unsuccessful attempt can sometimes discourages him/her from reapplying to ISB next year, and may even lead to dropping the idea of going to B-school altogether. For those who do reapply, however, not getting an acceptance letter from ISB becomes a source of motivation to improve themselves, find out what needs to be done to make it next year, and then put in the necessary effort to get that letter. These are the candidates we seek.

So if you are keen on making it to ISB and have decided to reapply in spite of being unsuccessful previously, here are some of the things you can do to improve your chances this year:

  • Identify what was lacking – Ideally, you did this exercise soon after learning that you did not get an offer of admission. Request feedback from us about your application. While we may not provide point by point feedback on your application, we do give detailed pointers on how to prepare a good application. For those who have been interviewed, it would be a good idea to work on presenting oneself better at interviews. We will try and provide inputs to everyone who seeks them, but sometimes it may not be possible to respond to all requests. Even then, share your application with friends, alumni, colleagues, mentors, admissions experts, etc. and figure out where you need to improve.
  • Figure out your purpose – If your previous attempt failed to make a convincing argument, it could be because you yourself were not very clear about why you needed to go to B-school. Ask yourself, should you go to B-school? The answer might provide the clarity, direction and conviction you need.
  • Showcase your strengths – By now, you must have realised that ISB focuses on applicants’ strengths rather than weaknesses. Strengths demonstrate to us that you are capable of becoming very good at things you take up (or at least, some of the things). So understand your strengths and differentiators, highlight them in your essays, and present your case better the next time.
  • Be honest about your weaknesses – This is related to the previous point. While we focus on strengths, we also acknowledge that all our applicants have some areas where they need to improve. If not, why would they even need to come to B-school? In fact, you will notice from our online application portal that we do not ask about candidates’ weakness anywhere in the application. So do not be unnecessarily nervous about any weakness. Instead, understand it, figure out how ISB can help you address it, and communicate that to us clearly. If there are areas where you have proactively taken steps to overcome a weakness, we’d love to hear about them and also the results of such actions.
  • Focus on improvement made since your last application – This is something that we do not compromise on. Once you have applied to ISB but not made it, you know that there is work to be done. You need to show us how much effort you have put in over the last year to improve yourself and what results you have achieved. In fact, there is one full essay dedicated only to this, and it is mandatory for reapplicants. You should also highlight any awards and achievements received. We will be looking at all this in the context of your previous application.
  • Finally, prepare and present a strong case for why you should be part of the next PGP class. I have blogged in detail about several different aspects of the application procedure, so you have a great amount of information available at your fingertips. You can get started here.
In conclusion, my advice to you is this: If you have applied to ISB PGP before and not made it, do not lose heart. It is an opportunity to demonstrate perseverance and a never-say-die attitude. We value those candidates who can show tenacity and stay in the game long enough to succeed. So understand your strengths and weaknesses, put in the necessary effort to make critical changes, and be smart about putting your best foot forward. In fact, this is exactly what will be expected of you when doing business in the real world too.

All the best!
ForumBlogs - GMAT Club’s latest feature blends timely Blog entries with forum discussions. Now GMAT Club Forums incorporate all relevant information from Student, Admissions blogs, Twitter, and other sources in one place. You no longer have to check and follow dozens of blogs, just subscribe to the relevant topics and forums on GMAT club or follow the posters and you will get email notifications when something new is posted. Add your blog to the list! and be featured to over 300,000 unique monthly visitors


Applicant | Interview Prep
There is almost always a question which is asked
"Do you want to ask anything?"

This is a very important question and should be prepared thoroughly.
The last 5-10% of every interview is perhaps the most important. You need to leave a strong final impression by asking good questions. You must ask at least one question. I you do not, your interviewer might assume that you are not very interested in attending the school.
You must, must, must finish strong!!!

Also the questions should be something relevant and not something which is:

1. not easily answered by checking a website
2. directly related to you and your goals
3. A desperate attempt to ask anything.

This is a great opportunity to showcase that you have done good research about the college:

You can prepare something from the following or may be add on to the list:
1. You can ask them a bit of detail about the courses which suit you or are in line with your experience.
2. You can ask them about the different committees in the college.
3. You cant tell them that you have read the things on the net, but want an in depth explanation.
4. About the alumni base
5. About the cultural and business events happening in the college.
6. How easily accessible are the professors to the students after the lectures.
7. Listen the answer carefully and may be ask a followup question to the answer
8. Do not ask for a feedback. You will come to know it sometime later. (Totally my opinion, people may agree or disagree)
9. May be gain some in depth knowledge about the grading system
10. Ask something about the exchange program

These are the few questions which I could come up with. Will try and add on to the list.
The fellow applicants also, please feel free to add on!
Happy preparing - ankurgupta03


Applicant | Interview Debrief
ISB Interview Debrief – Kaustubh Joshi

Place : ITC Sheraton, Saket, New Delhi
Date : 12-Jan-2013
Time : 4:30 PM

I reached the venue an hour early, on reaching the floor, I was asked to sign on an attendance page. At first I was perplexed and my hands were shaking while signing, but then I got better of my nerves, hell yes I was nervous. The essay topic that I got was "Drubbing". I moved from my chair which was near the door to a more comfortable sofa. I was just gauging others in the room, and believe me every one was looking at their smart phone screens.

So I also looked up the meaning for the word, and thought about it for a minute. Then I wrote the essay about the drubbing that India got from Australia in 2001, and the learning about how a resurgent India won the next match and then the series. Essay done, now the wait for the real thing started. There was a few interactions between the candidates sitting there in the waiting room.

When my name was called, one of the panel members was standing outside and escorted me to the room. Panel number 2, was my panel, there were two guys (both alums I guess). The guy who received me made me comfortable, while I was just taking my seat, the other one asked me about one of the instances that I had mentioned in my essays (the first one), as to why I was reluctant at first to go for the UATs at the beginning. I told him all the difficulties I had faced in the project, and I knew beforehand about all these difficulties. Then more question followed about the project, the technicalities and what was the whole project about. I guess I handled this pretty well.

The second person then asked me about why MBA, as he was not able to gauge the same from my application material. He also told me to switch companies. In response to that I told him, it is because I want to change my job profile that I want to do an MBA. He told me to switch to Alstom, and asked me whether I know the company. I told him that Alstom is one of my vendors (I forgot to mention that Alstom has one of the worst ratings as per L&T's procurement department, with poor past records).

Now again the one who asked me about the UATs, wanted to know about the management trainee scheme, which I had mentioned in my essay. The details, which I told them in detail, what all difficulties I faced and the stages that I liked the most. I gave the answer and it was ok. Now came the guesstimate, to which I was able to arrive at a figure, with help from the panel member, he gave me hints all the way till I was able to arrive at a certain figure.

Apart from this, they asked me where I am from, I told them from Dehradun, to which, the other guy said "lo kar lo baat". After that, he started taking to me in Hindi (I think he noticed my weakness of speaking hindi words in between a lot). So from then the whole interview was in Hindi and English.

In the end, they told me if I had any questions, to which I asked "if selected, what kind of preparation I will have to do before joining ISB (pretty lame question in my opinion)", to which both of them gave their opinions.

The interview lasted for around 25-30 minutes, with the whole process taking about one hour. That was it, nothing fancy, the panel made me comfortable throughout but still was probing. I guess the situation is very dicey, with very bleak chances of converting the call. My fingers are crossed, let’s hope for the best. - jkaustubh


Applicant | Interview Debrief
Just had my interview at Mohali. Here's how it went.

I showed up more than an hour early and was greeted by the coordinator in the CCD on campus. After signing in, I was told to wait a half hour. There were very few people for the interview today. I think only about 17 people were scheduled to be interviewed in the whole day. Anyway, I whiled away time by attending some official calls.

Half an hour before the interview timing, I was given my word for the essay. "Drubbing". I know that the word has been reported earlier as well (And interestingly enough, 2 more people got the same word today... at least that I know of... I glanced at their sheets :wink: ... but no cheating... they started after I had finished my essay). I wrote about 130 words on the topic even though I tried to keep it short. But seemed that the words wouldn't stop from flowing out of my pen :lol:

The atmosphere was overall very relaxed. I chatted with 3 other applicants in the warm sun in the sitting area outside the CCD while awaiting my turn. I even spoke a bit with some of the current students.

I had panel no 1. They called me in 10 minutes later than the scheduled time. There were 2 interviewers. Both seemed to be Adcom members (though one might have been a senior alum). The room was a small meeting room with a table for 8 people and they were both seated on the far side of the table opposite eachother. They asked me to sit at the head of the table. I agreed cracking a small joke about it being OK as long as I didn't have to foot any bills. I think that one of them might have smiled a little at this wisecrack.

Then we started off with walking through my resume. Where I am presently working, where I stay etc. A little joke a Delhi traffic commutes. Then asked me "Why MBA?". Then the follow up question "Why ISB?" Then they tried rattling me by asking me what would happen if I didn't get into the role I was looking for post MBA (I am looking for a role change). Both interviewers asked me this on separate occasions. Then they again asked me to give 3 reasons why I wanted to come to ISB (I gave 3 reasons, which I think are pretty good, but stupidly forgot to mention that its a 1-yr program - this is actually a very important reason for me). Then asked me why MBA after 5 years of experience and why not earlier (I mentioned that I am a reapplicant and that they were the ones who had very nicely handed out rejections the previous 2 times, both times without interviews :eh: ). Then they asked me about other schools that I have applied to. Followed up by other schools that I applied to in the past and the result. Interesting follow up question was about why I did not attend the school (SPJ exec prog) I was admitted to previously (I had a good reason - I would not be able to make the role change that I was looking for, as recruiters at SPJ didn't recruit for the roles that was looking for).

No questions on guesstimate, puzzle, case etc.

Concluded by asking me if I had any questions for them. I asked them 3. Global consulting practicum, a question about opportunities for spouses at ISB and about the CLIC (center for leadership, innovation and change).

Then I thanked them for their time and after shaking hands, left the room. Grabbed quick sandwich from CCD :) (hey, no lunch today cause of the timings)

I thought that the interview was very short, lasting only about 20 minutes. Initially I though that they had decided to ding me, but then I found out that they were interviewing everyone for about the same time. The whole environment was quite stress free (at least I felt that as I had prepared for almost every question that they asked me).

I can't say if it went well or not. Though I am not happy that they gave me only 20 minutes. But, I guess I'll find out in 10 days time.

Though I think that almost all interviews might be over for us GMATclubbers for this year, I am still posting this in the odd chance that it might help someone. All the best in case someone is still interviewing. - gmatbugsme84


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