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ISB Essay Analysis- Essays for 2014-15

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ISB Essay Analysis- Essays for 2014-15 [#permalink]

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ISB Essay Analysis 2014-15

The biggest change in ISB’s essay line-up this year is that they require substantial self-awareness and analysis. ISB clearly wants serious contenders in the game – people who have spent time pondering over their strengths and weaknesses, gaps and opportunities; and they are now raring to make a year-long investment in themselves.
Another change is that ISB has given candidates flexibility to select from professional or personal examples in essay 1 & 3. Last year they had asked for professional anecdotes in essay 1, but this time, you are left free to make that decision. As applicants, you should make a judicious selection between both personal and professional stories so that you are able to create maximum impact.


Q1. Innovation or doing things differently it is said is a key to future success. Could you substantiate or negate this idea based on your experience. Please provide examples from your own experience – either examples of your own innovation or examples of others whom you have worked with. (300 words max)

Do you have an ‘argument’ in you? Because that’s what ISB seeks. Make a case either for innovation as the key to future success or for innovation not being the most important factor in achieving success. Either way, you should give an example from your own life to support your belief.

‘Innovation’ & ‘challenging the status quo’ are the hottest buzz words in the b-school circles. An MBA education grooms budding leaders to take on the mantle of businesses in the future. Conceiving and doing new and different things is imperative to achieve success in this role. This forms the premise of a ‘pro-argument’ answer.

Focus your example upon the time when you led change ( by doing things differently) or you initiated a new process either at work or in your personal life. ISB has given you leeway to talk of situations where you were not the protagonist, but an observer or a team member. In either situation, present the problem briefly, then go on to explain the actions you or the others took. Specify what was the innovation/ change and why did it work. Don’t just stop there, go ahead and give your analysis of the situation. Why do you think the innovative/change solution worked? As we mentioned, ISB wants a deep dive into your thought process, so give them some hard thinking and analyzing here.

Then link this example back to your initial argument and conclude. One, at the most two examples will be sufficient to consume your 300 word limit.

If your argument is against the premise, then give your opinion on the other factors you believe to be precursors to success. Support your answer with apt examples in a similar way.

Q2. Applying to and enrolling in a Business School is an important career decision. Critically look at your career to date, the choices you have made, the key influences behind those choices, your goals for the future and how you expect to benefit from the ISB experience in achieving your goals. (300 words max)

Although this question is worded differently from the last few years’, yet its essence largely remains the same: What are your career goals and how can ISB help you to achieve them? A new element is the word “critically”. ISB wants you to get into deep introspection and offer some reflections on the choices that you have made so far. For example, what were your thoughts behind taking up your first job (as obvious, don’t say that it’s the only job you got) or for moving into sales after spending two years in a technical function. What was your vision for yourself? What direction were you giving to your career? What factors influenced your decisions? This part can easily consume your 300 words, so be careful to stress only upon the milestones and inflection points. Also, go beyond stating ‘common facts’ to giving deeper insights- a large part of the ISB class always knew it wanted to become engineer and had an undying love for computers/machines/ electronics- now, what extra can you add to this statement?

Once this ground is covered, define your career goals –both short term (3-5 years after MBA) and long term(5 years after MBA). Explain what skills and knowledge do you currently lack that are keeping you from achieving your career goals? How will an ISB MBA help you cover this gap? Specifically mention 3-4 features of the ISB program that are going to benefit you.

Q3. Any One of the following (200 words max):
A). This experience completely changed my way of thinking.
B). An instance when you went out of the ordinary to achieve something significant, but in hind sight feel you could have done better.
C). Tell us about your role in a team that made a significant contribution to the organization
D). Contribution to peer learning and engagement with the ISB student body are important aspects of the ISB experience. What contribution do you expect to make in this direction during the one year at ISB.


The first two questions are in line with ISB’s requirement of deep analysis and retrospection. We’ll handle each one separately:

A). This experience completely changed my way of thinking: There are many possibilities here. To give you examples, you can talk about a situation where you were initially skeptical and resistant, but due to certain factors, your outlook changed slowly and eventually you became a firm believer. Another situation could have exposed you to new thoughts or ideologies, which impacted your thinking. Or, you could have experienced a drastically unfavorable situation, which changed your mindset irreversibly.
Mention this experience briefly, explaining the circumstances that led to changes in your thought process. Elaborate on what were these changes were and how did they impact you. How have you changed as a person because of this experience? What have you become now? Is that good or bad?

B). I achieved something significant, but…..: This is a tricky one. You persisted and achieved something significant but your effort could have been more. What could the adcom possibly want to hear? That you have the ability to reflect upon your actions and you are willing to keep striving, keep learning, keep bettering. That you are always evolving.

Oftentimes, we toil really hard to achieve an outcome, but we become complacent towards the end and slacken up. Take the adcom through one such instance in your life. Describe the situation, emphasizing upon how you went out of the ordinary to achieve the result. What impact did you create? What were your feelings at that time? Proceed to the next part- what led you to realize that you could have performed better and how? A nice ending would be to describe another instance where you applied learnings from this dissonance and achieved the result to your maximum potential.

C). Your significant contribution to a team: Throughout your personal/professional life, you will be required to work as part of many teams. How do you conduct yourself in a team? How do you contribute to your teams?

Describe a situation where impacted your team significantly. Give some description of the team and define your role within it. What were you collectively set out to achieve? What were your responsibilities? How did you deal with others in the team? What role did you play in keeping the team motivated and working cohesively? Did you go beyond what was expected of you to make an impact? Finally, how did this experience enhance your team skills?

D). Contributing to ISB: This question is meant for those applicants who have some praiseworthy talents or skills or some unique experiences, which they can use to enhance the experience of their ISB classmates. Talk about your talent/skill and then go on to say how you will contribute at ISB. A reality check is necessary out here. Talk to current ISB students and recent alumni and figure out whether what you plan to contribute is required at all. If you want to start a Golf Club for instance, its going to be wise to know that the b-school already does not have a Golf Club.

Q4 (optional): Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (200 words max)
Is there anything else that you would like to tell the adcom? Use this space to mention a unique fact about you which you have not covered elsewhere in the application. Do not use this essay to supplement similar stories- if you already have 1 achievement covered in essay 1, don’ try to force fit a second one in this essay. Lastly, don’t feel compelled to write an essay, just because it has been given to you. We are aware of many applicants who were admitted without writing this essay.

- See more at: http://mbadecoder.com/isb-essay-analysi ... hBBb1.dpuf
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Featured among the top 25 Women CEOs in India, in the CEO Magazine

Kudos [?]: 151 [0], given: 51

Expert Post
Admission Consultant
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Joined: 16 Jan 2012
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Kudos [?]: 151 [0], given: 51

Re: ISB Essay Analysis- Essays for 2014-15 [#permalink]

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New post 05 Sep 2014, 00:33
READ OUR ANALYSIS OF THE RECOMMENDATIONS, WHICH YOU CAN FORWARD TO YOUR RECOMMENDERS:

Under what circumstances and for how long have you known the applicant? (50 words maximum)

Mention the time period for which the applicant and you have known each other; Your designation; designation of the applicant; working relation between both of you

Please rate the applicant's achievements when compared to those of his or her peers and mention the reference group with which you are making these comparisons. (100 words maximum).

Give an idea of the characteristics of the group in which the applicant works; what have the applicant’s achievements been within this group? ; How would the recommender compare the applicant with the rest of the group? You can give a scaled rating.

Please describe, in brief, situations where the applicant displayed signs of leadership abilities and team skills. (200 words maximum)
Give examples of situations where he displayed these strengths. Please be sure to give details of the candidates working style so that the reader gets a fair illustration of the strength for which you have given the example.

Please mention two consistent strengths of the applicant and if possible provide instances where she/he demonstrated these strengths. (200 words maximum)

These strengths could be anything- communication skills, analytical skills, intelligence, diligence, mentoring abilities, compassion, CSR initiatives etc. Give examples to support your answers.

Please indicate two areas where the applicant has shown learning and improvement which would add
value to his application to the ISB. (100 words maximum)


Mention 2 areas of the candidate’s weakness. What were the steps he took to improve upon them? Has he improved on those fronts now/ is improving now?
Alternatively, you could give an area where he does not have a weakness per say, but has shown considerable improvement.

Please provide any other comments that you consider are relevant to the applicant's admission to the ISB, especially regarding the applicant's career in business/management. (200 words maxim)

Here you can mention the candidates overall career progress, as you have seen it; his future potential and why you agree that he needs the MBA
_________________

Namita Garg,
http://www.mbadecoder.com
+91 9901566772

Contact us at: contact@mbadecoder.com

Ask for a FREE profile evaluation HERE


Featured among the top 25 Women CEOs in India, in the CEO Magazine

Kudos [?]: 151 [0], given: 51

Re: ISB Essay Analysis- Essays for 2014-15   [#permalink] 05 Sep 2014, 00:33
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ISB Essay Analysis- Essays for 2014-15

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