The applications for ISB Hyderabad and Mohali PGP & EEO are open. For Round 1 the deadline is 20 Sep 2020 and many candidates are still wondering, how to write an essay that gets them the interview invite.
Each year, ISB gets around 5500 applications for its 900 seats, so you can imagine the competition is tough. To make matters more complex, the average GMAT score of the class is around 710 with average experience of 4.2 years.
An average Joe with a GMAT score of 660 with less than stellar work-experience is already at a disadvantage while competing with the applicant pool. To make the matters worse, if you are from the Indian Male IT candidate pool, your chances with less than average GMAT score would be bleak (unless you code at Google or Facebook, then it’s a different ball-game).
So what is the one thing that can make your essays stand-out from the crowd and help you get an interview invitation? If you do a Google search for it, you’ll be surprised by the non-sense that floats around. All the “experts” want you to focus upon your potential to become a great leader and how you’re different from the rest of the applicants. How does that help you in writing your essay!
Here’s my secret sauce:
I like to think about problems in mathematical terms:
If what you bring to ISB = X
What you expect out of ISB = Y
Then your chances of selection would be a function of X,Y with a fine balance between both X and Y. I have seen two types of people make it to ISB every year.
- Those who bring in a Habit of Leadership
- Those who have Clarity on Career Goals
1: Habit of Leadership:
If you’re one of those candidates who led probably one project in 4 years, that too with unclear outcome metrics, you’ll struggle with ISB admission process. Habit of leadership is something that is deeply ingrained in you and has become a character trait that you bring to your experiences.
People who have the habit of leadership show it in all aspects of their life, not just their job. You can find stories of leadership in their family, friends, peer group in college, community and of course in their job. These are the kind of people who think “How can I make this happen”, as soon as they see a chance to do something positive. It is natural for them to assume responsibility for an outcome.
It is very rare for someone with no leadership stories to get ISB interview invitation. Even rare for someone to clear the admission process. ISB is known to be a place for self-starters and if you don’t have leadership stories yet, then start grabbing opportunities around yourself to make it happen.
Do you have interesting stories and opinions to contribute to the ISB class and case discussions?
2. Clarity on Career Goals:
This is where majority of applicants tumble. Often, their career goals would be vague, too ambitious or simply something they haven’t given a deep thought on.
The long term goal: The long-term goal is your “big picture” vision. It’s what you see yourself accomplishing probably ten years down the line after your MBA. From your current vantage point, this long term goal should be the culmination of your life’s work. At the same time, you don’t want your long-term goal to be something too vague as “saving the world.”
The ISB adcom, like all adcom out there, want to select a level headed person who can achieve what they have written. So your vision needs to have an implementation plan. Not to forget, MBA from ISB needs to be crucial part of your plan as you would be slogging the next 10 years after your ISB MBA to achieve that goal.
The short-term goal: What would be the thing that you would do the day after you graduate from ISB? That is precisely your short-term goal. ISB adcom is known to select people who don’t make the placement cell’s life hell in getting placed. In this regard, your essay becomes a vital tool to convey your research ability. Talking to current students and alumni can help you gauge the kind of job offers students get after their MBA from ISB.
This part is about precision. The short-term goal showcases your ability to plan and be precise about how you’ll position yourself to accomplish your long-term goal. MBA admissions committees aren’t looking for wilful dreamers. They are looking for future leaders who know the steps between their short-term and long term goals. Don’t forget how ISB fits into the picture.
As I said before, getting into ISB is really an intense competition. You can’t let your chances fall through the cracks by not giving your essays a good thought. Your essay is not a list of things you’ve done in your life. It is a story about you.
Each year, I help students secure their dream spot in ISB. My process involves working directly with the applicant to uncover the right story that brings out their genuine and creative self. With my proven brainstorming techniques, you’ll surely find a better defined version of yourself.
Write to me on [email protected] or book an appointment directly.