ISB Alumni Speak-The most important factor(s) to be kept in mind while writing essays for ISB

When it comes to seeking the best advice for writing essays in you MBA application, alumni provide the most genuine, candid and practical tips. While individual components of essays such as language, content, storyline, flow and fit with the b-school are important, there is something else which makes a set of essays stand out from others.

Here is a compilation of what some ISB alumni say as answer to “The most important factor(s) to be kept in mind while writing essays for ISB is……..”

“1. Be yourself. Different people will give different suggestions. But the essay should say clearly what you are…. and not what you wish to be.

2. Give the essay to an 8th standard student to read. If he can understand exactly what you wish to say, means it is a good essay”

By, Varun Kumar Jain, ISB Co 2008

“The most important factor to be kept in mind while writing essays for ISB is to make sure that the personality attributes and traits that you want to showcase come out very clearly and unambiguously. Also, essays should flow like a short story that can influence the reader in a much more impactful manner and leaves him with a desire to know more about you as an individual….”

By, Mohit Sharma, ISB Co 2008

“The most important factor is that each essay should highlight a particular strength in your personality, which should be in sync with what your overall story.”

By,Varun Khullar, ISB Co 2008

“I believe it’s important use the essays to position oneself as an achievement-driven and unique individual with integrity and the ability to make a difference in challenging environments. It is important to ensure that the essays are articulated in a lucid manner without exaggerating skills and achievements. A well structured essay which avoids spurious achievements, demonstrates clarity of thought and showcases relevant skills and experiences can go a long way in impressing the admissions committee.”

By,Kunal Soni, ISB Co 2008

“I am not sure of the most important but I can think of a few important criteria. If you have to select one, pick the topmost.

1. Qualities – I think the GMAT, past academics and work exp shows your intelligence. Use the essays to bring out your personal qualities through the essays – your leadership skills, your team work, your fun side, etc which will sort of differentiate you as well as make the admissions committee feel good about you and give enough to talk to you about during interview.

2. Truth – I think it’s a very bad idea to lie about the facts or portray yourself as someone who you are not. I think it would be evident in the interview process anyway. If not during admissions, by recruitment time it will. A small stupid lie can destroy your application.

3. Confidence – The essays should show some sense of confidence in yourself as well as the content. The same should follow in the interview. Make sure it doesn’t come off as arrogance. Some of the “what you will do in a particular situation” essay questions are more about your thought process and point of view rather than the “right” answer.”

By,Samir Desai, ISB Co 2008

“…….to make the essays look natural. Do not make them look like they are artificial. Do not lie or make up facts while you are writing the essays. Use your vocabulary skills to the right extent and don’t overdo it. “

By,Abhinav Jain, ISB Co 2008

A few things that you should do if ISB is your dream school

MBA application process is a high involvement and demanding process. This requires a lot of planning, research, studies (for GMAT) and conscious efforts to strengthen one’s profile. Considering the highly competitive environment within the applicant pool, one should not leave out any opportunity that helps you directly or indirectly in the entire application process.

Here are a few tips on what you should do as you get into ISB application mode. These tips are subsequent to the step of short-listing b-schools. I am assuming that you have done enough research and found a fit with the ISB PGP.

1) Participate in ISB information sessions: ISB conducts information sessions at numerous locations in India and abroad. Most of the cities in India are covered by via these sessions. The time and the nominal fee that you spend on such a session are definitely worth it. YOu get a chance to interact face to face with the representatives who may include Adcom members and alumni. Remember this is the ideal place/ event for genuine information.

Please have a look at http://www.isb.edu/pgp/IndiaLocations.Shtml for detailed schedule

2) Talk to ISB alumni: Alumni are probably the most candid and genuine source of information.They can also share the perspectives of student life at ISB as they have lived through it. goISB.com also provides you such opportunity through a number of alumni on its panel.

Through ISB alumni you can get information on the applications, what GMAT score should you target, how to go about writing essays, your fit with ISB, your prospects at ISB and fundas on life in general.

3) Visit the campus: ‘One needs to see it to believe it’. If possible, visit the campus. ISB conducts some sessions for aspirants. Also, you can look for an opportunity to actually sit through a classroom session at ISB (and hence get the real experience).

4) Research, read and discuss: Read about ISB, know about the activities and clubs, read through some blogs, be a part of some online communities. All of these activities will help you get perspectives and knowledge which will help you build up your case in a better way when you write the essays.

5) Devote sufficient time : Please note that essays form an important part of the profile and you must take it seriously. You have to devote sufficient time towards the essays in order for them to reflect your persona well. Options for professional review may also be explored as some direction and tips from experienced people always help.

Essay tips for ISB 2009-10

[vc_row full_width=”” parallax=”” parallax_image=”” bg_type=”” parallax_style=”” bg_image_new=”” layer_image=”” bg_image_repeat=”” bg_image_size=”” bg_cstm_size=”” bg_img_attach=”” parallax_sense=”” bg_image_posiiton=”” animation_direction=”” animation_repeat=”” video_url=”” video_url_2=”” u_video_url=”” video_opts=”” video_poster=”” u_start_time=”” u_stop_time=”” viewport_vdo=”” enable_controls=”” bg_override=”” disable_on_mobile_img_parallax=”” parallax_content=”” parallax_content_sense=”” fadeout_row=”” fadeout_start_effect=”” enable_overlay=”” overlay_color=”” overlay_pattern=”” overlay_pattern_opacity=”” overlay_pattern_size=”” overlay_pattern_attachment=”” multi_color_overlay=”” multi_color_overlay_opacity=”” seperator_enable=”” seperator_type=”” seperator_position=”” seperator_shape_size=”” seperator_svg_height=”” seperator_shape_background=”” seperator_shape_border=”” seperator_shape_border_color=”” seperator_shape_border_width=”” icon_type=”” icon=”” icon_size=”” icon_color=”” icon_style=”” icon_color_bg=”” icon_border_style=”” icon_color_border=”” icon_border_size=”” icon_border_radius=”” icon_border_spacing=”” icon_img=”” img_width=”” ult_hide_row=”” ult_hide_row_large_screen=”” ult_hide_row_desktop=”” ult_hide_row_tablet=”” ult_hide_row_tablet_small=”” ult_hide_row_mobile=”” ult_hide_row_mobile_large=””][vc_column width=”1/1″][vc_column_text]Essay Writing is a skill. I wouldn’t call it a direct fall out of Creative Writing skills. Cretive writing

leaves a lot for room of aberrations that can be camoflaged under ‘creativity’, essay writing and especially for ISB essays leaves you with little room and few words for that.

ISB usually has 3 main essays, 1 optional essay and 1 scholarship essay.

While the optional essay and scholariship essay have remained the same for the last few years the main essays are presented with slight variations with almost the same intent. This time the 3 essays are –

1. 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. (300 words max)

2. Describe a challenging assignment you have handled (at work or outside) to date. What were the challenges and how did you handle them. What were the personal learnings you derived from this assignment. (300 words max)

3. Briefly assess your career progression till date along with your assessment of your future career goals. Discuss how your career goals will be met by the ISB’s one year program.

We must not only understand but believe that these essays are asked to be written not for testing a candidate but for knowing the candidate to judge the fitment.

ISB Essay 1 tips: For essay 1, introspect and truly figure out what makes you a unique individual. The uniqueness in you may stem from purely abstract things such as ‘Taking Responsibility for my actions’ or from quantifiable things such as ‘Excellent record as a sales person’. Whatever it may be, I should be evident in some of the activities that you have undertaken and it should also translate into something valuable for your colleagues to learn from you.

ISB Essay 2 tips: Essay 2 is about how you distinctly you can define the challenge you faced. ‘Challenge’ is relative but your essay should adequately justify why you thought of a situation as one. The challenge could be in our professional or personal life. You may also like to identify the consequences the challenge could have on people associated with you or the society or the larger group in general. The idea is to show that you have analysed all the aspects of the situation. Mention how you met the challenge and what was your learning in the process.

ISB Essay 3 tips: Essay 3 is the key essay. You have to be clear on why you want to do MBA – why at this point of time in your career, why from ISB and what is it that you are looking to change in your profession by doing an MBA. This essay will be really critical for your selection in ISB.

Please drop your queries related to essay writing for ISB application on goISB.com.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Life at ISB

It is next to impossible to pen down the experience of life at ISB. However, let me try to give you a sketch of what it looks life and feels like to be a part of the ISB community.

Key participants of the ISB community include the students, the spouses and the faculty. ISB is an ideal example of a mature, hardworking and fun loving close knit family. Let’s try to understand the experience from the viewpoint of various stakeholders of this community

Students’ view

One year as a student at ISB is probably one of the most hectic times a person would ever go through. Academics at ISB do create some pressure and/ or stress. However, the best part is this all comes along with a lot of fun, parties, social and professional events and networking.

The list of assignments is never ending. Exams and quizzes may bounce on you from anywhere and anytime. You never know what time you would go to bed and also if you would be able to watch the next movie of your favorite actor. The schedule is very demanding but the best part is that you would learn that everything is manageable. Well, things don’t stop at just managing academics because another significant part of MBA at ISB is yet to be stated.

Before stating what life is beyond academics, let me mention another important fact – ISB pampers its students (in a very positive way). The apartments are fully furnished and come with a kitchenette. Sarovar Hotels maintain the premises and also provide catering services. They also help a lot in various arrangements in general, including parties. It can be easily compared to staying in a resort. Hence ISB pampers you so that you can focus on what you have come for – Education!

Parties! Yes, one of the lifelines at ISB, parties are both good and frequent and also reasonable here. You would love to dress up for a theme party on campus, at a pub or in an apartment within the campus. Irrespective of the place, you would enjoy. Next important part is the bonding one develops while working with people in various study groups. You can really make some friends for life at this place. Numerous events are conducted on campus throughout the year. This includes, talk sessions, seminars, b-plan competitions, festival celebrations and the list goes on.

Various social clubs on campus (Fine Arts, Dramatics, Photography etc) organize a wide range of events. In addition to this, activities on campus range from Salsa classes to Yoga.

So what you would see, at ISB, is a perfect blend of studies and fun. Of course, the learning that you get of this combination is incomparable.

Spouses’ view

Many spouses say that one year stay ISB was one of the best times of their life. What spouses enjoy is all the fun and facilities on campus minus the studies. SFA (Spouses and Family Association) is very active and is also a big contributor to the fun element on campus. Of course, they add to the family environment. So, you can get some homemade food at your married friends’ house.

Faculty’s view

The faculty on campus (both resident and visiting) is very open and friendly with students. You would find them in various parties, in events like Dandiya and of course in and around your classrooms. They are always open to guide you and provide inputs – on academics or on life in general.

ISB vs IIM 2 yr program

Choosing the b-schools is probably one of the most important steps in the entire application process. This is an important step not only because it impacts probability of success in getting admits but also because it will have an impact on your life for years to come.

With global recognition, ISB and IIMs are key options considered by Indian MBA aspirants. While both schools have their own merits, the choice involves some personal preferences. You will find below a list of key features and benefits of ISB and IIM 2 year programs.

ISB PGP

This 1 year program has gained popularity at a rapid pace and the reasons are evident. ISB provides world class education in a world class environment. ISB’s USP(s) include renowned faculty, brand name (FT 15) and tie ups with Kellogg, Wharton and London Business School. One year duration, a highly diverse and experienced peer group and state of the art facilities on campus are some other benefits of ISB.

ISB’s admission criteria include GMAT, post graduation work experience of 2 years or more (preferable) and a bachelor’s degree.

IIMs

IIMs’ flagship program is the 2 year PGDM (Post Graduate Diploma in Management). IIM brand name is globally recognized and held in very high esteem in India. 2 year program allows an opportunity for deeper dive into management education and also fair amount of time to people looking for changing their career track. Strong alumni network and presence in India and abroad is another positive factor.

IIMs’ admissions process includes CAT exam followed by Group discussions and Personal interviews (conducted separately by each IIM)

Comparison

Admission requirements: As ISB has 2 years or more (as preferable) work experience requirement, fresh graduates cannot consider ISB as an option. Also the exam (GMAT and CAT)is another big difference in requirements.

Fee: IIM Fees vary from 9 lacs to 11 lacs (depending on the IIM you choose), ISB charges Rs 16.5 lacs. This is only the academic fee (both for IIMs and ISB). Accommodation and food needs to be added to this to make the right comparison. Hence we are comparing 12-15 lacs for IIM with about 20-21 lacs for ISB.

Pls note that if you add the opportunity cost of 1 year that you save, ISB fee would seem less than that of IIMs.

Duration: Many people see 1 year saving (with respect to career/ life in general) at ISB as a big advantage

Placements: Both ISB and IIM(s) have been almost equally renowned for a phenomenal placement record

Life on campus: This is something difficult to compare, IIMs have their own positives and ISB has its own. One key such factor is presence of senior batch at IIM(s) while ISB’s infrastructure clearly stands out.

Which one to choose (general tips, individual choices will vary)

IIMs is typically better for people with experience of 0-1 year (though people with higher work experience are also present)

Post completion of 2 years, choice of ISB vs IIMs depends on:

a) Individual choice for 1 year/ 2 year program

b) Some people have an opinion that 2 year program prepares you better for changing your career path (say from General management to Finance)

c) ISB provides a very good platform for NRIs who wish to come back and explore work opportunities in India

d) Brand name: Brand recognition of ISB is growing at a very rapid pace across the world

e) Diversity – Diversity at ISB provides a different level of exposure (years of experience of people as well as variety of people)

f) Faculty: Internationally renowned faculty at ISB has been a big decision point for many

Placements at ISB for Class of 2009

The last placement season at ISB was quite tough given the economic scenario. Lets look at some statistics first.

CTC Data of 2009 Compared to 2008

Particulars 2009 2008
Average International CTC USD 119, 022 USD 144, 812
Average Domestic CTC INR 15,05,000 INR 19,00,000

Source: http://www.isb.edu/pgp/Placement_Highlights.Shtml

If we just look at the top level numbers the average domestic CTC (cost to company or package as some may call it) when t down by 4 lacs or more than 20%.

According to sources, as compared to last few years when all ISB students were placed comfortably, make students from the ISB class of 2009 didn’t had jobs at the time of graduation.

Many people raised doubts and questions on ISB’s ability to place students especially given the fact that the Class of 2010 will have more than 570 students as compared to 430 or so in Class of 2009. Also, people question whether investing 18 lacs makes sense if you can’t get great jobs.

We say that considering the overall market and the hit placements have taken at top US B schools, ISB managed the show really well. All thanks to the CAS (placement body at ISB which works regularly with various recruiters) alumni body and other interested stakeholders.

ISB announced many scholarships like repayment of loans for students to incentivize budding entrepreneurs to start their ventures. In out option this is a great initiative by ISB.

The recession is temporary and can’t wither away the brand of B school like ISB. Even in terms of direct impact in career compare ISB with other B schools. It’s a one year programme so your opportunity cost is less and you return to the work force earlier. The fees is much less than any top MBA program anywhere in the world. The brand is great ( FT 15 ) and much better for those who want to stay in Indiain the long term.

So, stick to the basics, the foundation of ISB is strong and a dip in placements can make ISB a not so good B school.