ISB’s Early Entry Option: Q&A with the ISB Admissions Team

Recently. we had a chance to chat up with Sanjay Dhingra, Senior Manager in the admissions team at ISB and incharge of the Early Entry Option 2015. He gave us some sound inputs that will help Early Entry Option applicants make their application stronger.

Here is the interview:

1. Who should apply to the Early Entry Option? What qualities do you look for in an applicant who applies to Early Entry Option?

Graduates with less than 24 months of work experience by March 31, 2016 are eligible to apply to the ISB PGP through the Early Entry Option 2015. The Early Entry Option is not a separate programme at ISB, but just a deferred admission to the PGP. Consequently, we judge a candidate applying through the Early Entry Option on the same parameters as we judge the regular PGP applicants – Academic & Analytical Ability, Leadership Potential and other Personal Attributes.

To know more about what ISB looks for in applicants, click here

2. Other than knowing that he/she will definitely study at ISB, what is the advantage for a candidate to apply to Early Entry Option?

While there is no additional incentive to apply through the Early Entry Option, the benefit of early career clarity is tremendous. With their PGP admission secure, admitted candidates can completely concentrate on their job and enhance their learning from the work they do.

3. As in the case of YLP, are Early Entry Option candidates mentored by ISB before they start their course at ISB?

Early Entry Option is not a separately run programme, but just a deferred admission offer to the PGP for high potential candidates who do not have the 24 months of minimum work-experience required for enrolling in the next starting PGP Class. Such admits will join the PGP class after completing their 24 months of work-experience, which is a standard for the PGP and hence no additional mentorship is provided.

4. What is the selection criterion? Is any factor such as GMAT, GPA, extra curricula activities that has more importance than the others?

Early Entry Option applicants are evaluated on the same criteria as the regular PGP applicants. No factor has enhanced importance. However, since Early Entry Option applicants have less than 24 months of work-experience at the time of application, many may not have significant achievements at work to showcase in the application. Consequently, they may focus on highlighting their Leadership Potential and Personality strengths through examples from other (non-work) areas like extracurricular initiatives at or outside of work or at college level.

5. Is the academic component, comprising GPA and GMAT more important for the EEO applicants than it is for the regular cycle applicants?

As mentioned earlier, academic credentials and GMAT are an important component of the overall evaluation but not the sole criteria that would decide the final selection. Whether it is an Early Entry Option or the regular PGP application, the application evaluation is holistic in nature. However, given the competitive nature of selection, it is advisable that Early Entry Option applicants aspire to do well in the GMAT to enhance their prospects.

6. As the EEO applicants don’t have enough work experience, from where can they draw their examples for the essays?

Early Entry Option applicants can quote examples from their college, internship or volunteer work. The essay questions are structured in such a manner that the examples from workplace are not necessary. For example, one of the topics this year asks for a defining moment in the applicant’s personal or professional life when the applicant had to make a risky decision.

7. Anything else you would like to mention about the Early Entry option?

Early Entry Option is a great opportunity for fresh graduates to secure their admission to the ISB PGP well in advance. It is an answer to frequently asked questions like “Shall I accept an admission offer from a lower ranked B-school or wait to apply to ISB”, “Shall I go for a MS programme without work-experience or wait to apply to ISB after getting work-experience”.

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