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Status: Strategist & Coach
Affiliations: Vibranture
Joined: 30 Nov 2014
Posts: 225
Location: India
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ISB Essay ANALYSIS and TIPS  [#permalink]

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New post 13 Jun 2016, 22:08
What does ISB look for?

Before you start writing answers for ISB essays, understanding that ISB Admissions Committee evaluates your candidature on three parameters will help:

1. Leadership potential: Have you consistently stretched yourself and tried to take initiatives to make an impact in your career and your organization? ISB finds this in your career progress as well as what you recommenders say about you
2. Diversity: What diverse background, viewpoints, perspectives, experiences can you bring to ISB that will enrich their community. This is reflected in your professional experience and your essays.
3. Academic ability: One year MBA is a rigorous academic program and ISB needs to know that you will be able to handle the intensity of the program and come out successful. They gauge this through your academic and GMAT scores

Vibranture Essay Tips

ISB PGP 2016-2017 Essays: This year sees further cut in the essay package. It's unfortunate because essays provide a wonderful opportunity to reveal your personality and perspectives and helps you stand out. Now that we have only two essays, let's make the best use of them!

Essay 1: 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)
The real question that is asked here is - why should Indian School of Business bother with you when there are a hundred other applicants with a comparable GMAT score or work experience or academics or whatever.

The ISB is seeking your 'USP' in this essay. Your primary aim in this essay will be to explain to the ISB Adcom the factors that make you different, unique and distinct. Your task in this ISB Essay is to answer this question effectively and within 400 words.

This essay repeats itself in one form or another most years because it is a simple method for the ISB admissions committee to assess how desirable a candidate you are for the ISB. The essence of the prompt in this essay can be better understood through previous ISB application essay questions.

2015-2016: If we were to admit just one more student, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you by describing an (only one) achievement in your personal / professional life that you are most proud of. What did you do that sets you apart from others? What did you learn?

2012-2013: Please make a strong case to differentiate yourself from an exceptional set of applicants applying for PGP

2013-14. You could cite personal/professional achievements to present your case.
2010-2011: If we were to admit one more student to the class of 2012, make a compelling argument as to why that student should be you? 2009-2010: Give 3 reasons as to why you should be selected to the class of 2011. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from the applicant pool and should be backed with some data.

2008-2009: Please give three reasons why ISB should admit you into the class of 2010. These reasons should ideally differentiate you from your competition.

2007-08: The ISB culture stresses on a diverse mix of students; life at the ISB is a unique experience for the students. How will your candidature contribute to this culture at the ISB?

This essay tells the admissions committee how desirable a candidate you are for ISB. To write credibly about the differentiation you bring and the value you add to the Indian School of Business will require some knowledge of ISB and the average ISB student profile (research time!). Then, ask yourself what genuinely sets you apart. What are your greatest strengths? What are your greatest achievements? What are the characteristics that you believe will differentiate you in a group of high-reaching professionals? What are the skills and attitude that have driven your greatest personal/professional accomplishments? Choose two examples that credibly sell your candidacy. Whether you want to go with a single theme across both essays or multiple themes across each story is entirely your choice.

While the examples you provide could be professional or personal, choose them based on their overall significance in your life/career, their relevance to the ISB application and most importantly on what it says about YOU. Choose stories that would convince the ISB admissions committee that your qualities, attitude, experience, and knowledge make you different, unique and distinct.
As always, remember that this essay is part of a bigger package and so please ensure that the qualities/achievements mentioned in this essay complement the content in the other parts of your application.

Essay 2: Describe your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those? (300 words max)

This is a shorter version of the last year's essay: "What are your post ISB career plans and how will your past experiences and the Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) contribute to taking you there?"

To get started, think about why you are writing this ISB essay and taking all this trouble applying to ISB. Ask yourself: WHAT kind of career path you want, and HOW will ISB help you get there and WHY do you expect that?

ISB places great importance on your work experience and desires to understand how you envision your career. Although in the current essay, ISB isn't explicitly asking you about how your past experiences will contribute to your future, a good, logical goal essay always does that. So find and express a logical, credible link between your past, present and future. Also, uncover other motivations that have made you choose your particular career goal.

"Why ISB/PGP" is an important part of the question, so handle it with moderation and realism. This section of your answer must be very specific to your career goals. For example, if you write about school’s diverse culture, opportunities for global exchange, top-notch faculty, tie them in with why they are critical for your context and are better aligned with deeper themes running across your professional journey.

Be also specific, both about the industry and the role you are seeking and why. If your goals are more than ordinarily ambitious write credibly about those qualities/skills from your past experiences that qualify you to make these goals a reality.

Go for it!

Optional Essay
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) 

You have to seriously address this essay even if you don't write it. The main question in optional essays is to decide whether it has to be written at all.
In the ISB application, attempt the optional essay only if you feel that it will improve the factual and material strength of your application. Do not submit your ISB optional essay as an addendum to any of your essays.

You could use the optional essay to address areas in your ISB application which you feel are detrimental to your candidature. Areas of underperformance (academic or professional or GMAT) or resume areas which stick out (gaps in your employment/academics or earlier MBA) can be commented on if you have an explanation that is intelligent, interesting and credible.

One other situation when the optional essay is acceptable is when you need to describe at length some extraordinarily positive information that CANNOT be accommodated anywhere else in the ISB application. In case you find any of the above applicable, note down the options and then consider again if the optional essay is a strong constructive addition to your candidacy. If yes, then start working on the essay.

2016-2017 Deadlines:
Cycle 1: 15th Oct 2016
Cycle 2: 15th Jan 2017

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ISB Essay ANALYSIS and TIPS &nbs [#permalink] 13 Jun 2016, 22:08
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