Essay 1: At ISB we value diversity as it enhances both the in-class and out of class learning experience. Tell us how would you contribute to the same? (400 words max)
This essay requires you to acquire deep knowledge of the ISB MBA program. You will need to research the MBA program by talking to students alumni and by reading student blogs.
Now which are the areas where you can make a contribution? Typically those, where you have already done some work earlier and/or areas that you are passionate about. To figure this out, look back on your college and professional life. Identify areas where you made a contribution to other people’s learning or knowledge, where you taught them a skill or where others benefited from your expertise. The way to answer the question is to map these areas to the offerings of ISB MBA, and figure out where you can contribute and how you can contribute.
You will have to mention specific areas where you can make the contribution. This could be related to experiential learning projects in clubs such as NET impact or consulting Club (as an example). You could contribute your domain knowledge to class discussions. You could also help a professor in her research about a topic you are passionate about. Or you could help in career networking efforts. You could contribute in sports, in extra-curricular and any other area where you are good at.
Our suggestions on how to go about this and importantly what ‘not to do’: :
1. Know the program. Is your contribution going to be valuable at ISB? Talk to students and alumni and vet your ideas. We would help you get there, but getting first-hand info is extremely important for you to get a ‘feel for’ – which is differentiates a good from a bad response. Our successful applicants typically speak with at least 4-5 students/alumni. Among these there should be at least one student/ alumnus who has the same career goals as you (or has got into desired post MBA career path).
2. Think deeply about what you are really good at. You don’t want to talk about contribution to really common areas.
3. Be truthful. Write what you believe in. Else, it will be difficult to defend yourself in the interview. The ISB interview panel comprises alumni, who have been there and done that. Their BS detecting meters are always on high alert when they read your essays. They are known to hijack your happiness during the interview if they feel that you have not done your research and are just shooting from your hip.
Essay 2: 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 do you think ISB’s PGP can help you in achieving your goals? (300 words max)
1. Evaluate how your career has been to date – what were the good and bad, what was the thought process behind the transitions (job changes)? What milestones did you achieve? How did your career progress? What choices did you make to advance it or give it the right direction?
2. With this in background, how has your career aspiration shaped up? What large scale impact do you wish to create in the long term? In other words, what is your career vision? (while one part is to do something for yourself (rise to a position), the other part is to make large impact for the business/ industry / community at large)
3. What will you do in the short term to achieve this career vision? Mention about:
A. target companies
C. What will you do there? (3 responsibilities that lead to learning something you do not know)
D. How will this prepare you for your long term goal?
4. What will you do in the long term (10 years after MBA) that will help you achieve your vision?
5. What skills do you already have to get on your aspired career path?
6. Which skills do you lack?
7. How will the ISB MBA help you acquire these? This can be expressed in terms of knowledge and skills you will acquire from the curriculum and the personal capabilities you will gain from participating in various activities. So mention the following in your response:
a. specific courses/ concentrations/ faculty that you wish to study from
c. Clubs and other out of class activities
Reapplicant essay: Please use this space to explain significant improvements in your profile since your last application to the ISB PGP. Note: It is mandatory for you to write this essay.
(200 words max)
Your purpose to write this essay will be to tell the adcom how you have IMPROVED over the last time you applied. Given a business school’s (even ISB’s) evaluation criteria of academics (GPA and GMAT), professional experience and leadership, you need to to address improvements in these.
To further break it down :
1. Academics- this could be a new GMAT score, new certifications (only if relevant to your career and/or career goals), academic courses such as MBA Math etc. Don’t go overboard listing Coursera certifications if they are not meaningful to your career goals story. Remember, everyone has access to them, so they are not that exclusive.
2. Professional- this would include promotions, new and higher responsibilities, new achievements, foreign travel on projects (and what you learned there). If your career goals got changed in one year, you should also address what led to the change and how they are better aligned now to your existing skill set and what you ultimately want to achieve through your career.
3. Leadership – this could be both personal and professional. You can mention joining new activities outside of work and how they have helped you grow. Or you could mention about leading new teams, taking initiatives, influencing others etc.
All through this, your purpose will be to tell the adcom how you have learned, grown and improved and due to this now you are a better candidate for ISB. This can get overwhelming for 200 words, so select what you should share wisely.