ISB essays 2012 ( for class of 2013)

The deadlines for the two rounds of admission are as follows:

Cycle 1 Cycle 2
Application Deadline September 15, 2011 November 30, 2011
Offer Date By November 15, 2011 By February 15, 2012
Acceptance Date 15 days from the date of the offer 15 days from the date of the offer

All deadlines are 23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time.

These deadlines are for Indian passport holders. For international applicants (those holding non-Indian passport), ISB follows a rolling admissions process, the timeframe to apply for which is from April 8, 2011 till January 15, 2012. The application fee for the program is INR 3000 or USD 60. For re-applicants, the application fee is INR 1000.

ISB Essays 2012
There are 3 mandatory essays, as usual and one additional essay for re-applicants. The essay topics for 2011-2012 application have also been published and are as follows:

ISB Essay 1
Please detail, your two most significant achievements. These could be either professional or personal but relevant to your application to the ISB. (300 words max)

Essay tips:

Remember to focus on the two underlined words: significant and relevant. When we say significant we’re talking about something that you are really proud of, something that stands out in 25 or so years of your existence. The second word ‘relevant’ is a little bit tricky. ISB would get thousands of applicants for a few hundred seats every year. By mentioning the word ‘relevant’ the admission committee wants your help in making its lives simpler. Relevant means something that showcases the qualities that the Adcom looks for in an ISB admit (leadership, analytical, sharp etal). For e.g.

a) Single handedly managing an important company project reflects leadership, people’s skill

b) 800 on GMAT (yes, it is possible!) shows tremendous analytical prowess

Having said that the fact that you won the gully cricket player of the tournament isn’t too important for the ISB Adcom. It’s important that you filter your achievements on both these parameters: significant and relevant. Additionally it is important that you do not repeat an achievement, which is apparent from your application, unless you think it worthy of occupying another 300 words, in which case make sure you really bring the experience live.

ISB Essay 2

Where do you see yourself three years after you graduate from the ISB? (300 words max)

Essay tips:

Most of the people I know from ISB, are doing fairly good for themselves three years after they graduate, but none of them is running a successful hedge fund, or running a 1000 crore company (except may be if they were already doing so pre ISB). The point is you need to be realistic when responding to the essay. At no point will the Adcom be impressed with the size of your aspiration, what they are looking for is how sure you are of what you want from ISB and convincing are you in you in your story to reach that end goal. It is important you think for several hours, even days to what you really want from ISB and then realistically extrapolate where you are currently (in terms of career, skills) to a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound) goal.

ISB Essay 3
Please provide additional information, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (300 words max)

Essay tips:

This is your chance to speak about something that you have not been able to talk about in the application. Your best bet here is to pick up a compelling story about an event or achievement that has defined you. The filters remain the same ‘significant’ and ‘relevant’. This essay may also be used as a bridge to bring back the reviewer to the foundation of your personality. So essentially this essay serves either of two purposes:

a) To help you reveal a part of you that has not been mentioned anywhere. Some candidates try and justify a weakness (say two JEE attempts or really poor grades). But be careful, in that way you may bring unwarranted attention to your weak point that the Adcom may not have considered. In that sense it is a double edged sword.

b) To reinforce to the Adcom certain strength of yours.

In both the cases try not to repeat, what the Adcom already knows.

Ideally the first two essays are the big hurdles. The third essay in most cases would not be the deal breaker; it would be an interesting point for the interview stage. Nevertheless if used wisely, the third essay can help you significantly strengthen your application.

All the 3 essays are required essays and exceeding the word limit is strictly not allowed.

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