The ISB applications are now open and the essay topics for admission to Class of 2019 are out. Deviating from previous years, ISB has introduced a change in the essay pattern. There are now only two essays, and the optional essay has now been removed. While the underlying theme for the two essays remains same, it has become more crucial than ever for both first-time applicants and re-applicants to use the word limit optimally to showcase their profile. Here are a few guidelines on how to approach the essays:
ISB Essay 1
If we were to admit just one more candidate to the Postgraduate Programme (PGP) at the ISB, why should it be you? (Max 500 words)
Objective: Simply put, the essay should answer the question ‘Why you?’. The admissions committee expects you to clearly articulate what value-add do you bring to the Class of 2019, both in terms of in-class and beyond class learning.
How to approach:
Look at your resume and identify strengths and attributes that differentiates you from your peers. On the professional side, have you worked successfully in teams? Have you taken initiatives? Were you able to make a business impact? On the extra-curricular side, are you passionate about an activity or a cause? Have you been able to contribute meaningfully to society? ISB, like most top B-schools, looks for candidates with multi-faceted and well-rounded personalities and you should be able to demonstrate these effectively.
The essay should intrigue the reader and make him/her want to know you better. Therefore, each of these attributes should be backed by real-life examples. It is also worthwhile to try and link these with clubs and activities conducted at ISB to demonstrate how exactly you will contribute to the off-classroom learning at ISB.
ISB now gives you an extra 100 words to differentiate yourself. In our viewpoint, this increases the emphasis on the extra-curricular activities and the significance of a well-rounded profile.
Our advice to Reapplicants is that they must use these 100 words to actively address what has improved in their profile since their last attempt.
ISB Essay 2
Describe your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those? (Max 300 words)
Objective: This essay requires candidates to answer the ‘Why PGP’ and ‘Why ISB’ question. The essay should clearly articulate where you are in your career trajectory, what are your post MBA goals and how the PGP will help you achieve those goals?
How to approach:
This is a critical question and we have often seen that it can make or break an application. A well-articulated essay should be able to map your current strengths to your post-MBA goals with ISB clearly serving as a bridge.
The right way to approach the essay is to research about future career options and confirm if they are aligned to your strengths, interests and accomplishments. It is often a good idea to talk to alumni to ensure that you are realistic about your goals. While articulating this essay, it is important to show clarity of thought by narrowing down your goals with respect to industry, role and function.
The last part of the essay is about ‘Why PGP’. Researching on the school’s website can help you find course curriculum aspects that can help you plug skill gaps and initiatives such as ELP and club activities that are well-aligned with your goals.
Few general rules:
Keep it concise: Crisp beats wordy, at any B-school and ISB is no exception. If you can say it in fewer words, you make a better impression.
Define impact wherever possible: Wherever possible, certify examples by defining impact, not only quantitatively but also qualitatively.
Personalize, personalize and personalize: The essays should be about you. Read each line carefully to see if it adds value to you as a candidate.
Results speak: More than 300 admits to ISB in last 6 years.
Vaibhav Verma ISB 2017 Admit
Ishan Mittal ISB 2017 Admit
Ipsita Satpathy ISB 2017 Admit
Anusha Rajagopalan ISB 2017 Admit
Yoganand ISB 2017 Admit
Bhaskar Sanyal ISB 2017 Admit
Harshal Vyas ISB 2017 Admit
Srikant Krishnan ISB 2017 Admit
Saptarshi Barman ISB 2017 Admit
Gundeep Singh ISB 2017 Admit
Mugdha Petiwale ISB 2017 Admit
Deepankar Miglani ISB 2017 Admit
Arpit Garg ISB 2017 Admit
Mohit Singh ISB 2017 Admit
Harshal Vyas ISB 2017 Admit
Sankalp Srivastava ISB 2017 Admit
Arushi Mahajan ISB 2017 Admit
Nikhil Jain ISB 2017 Admit
Sidharth Kataria ISB 2017 Admit
Jyotsana ISB 2017 Admit
Raja Sharma ISB 2017 Admit
Ankur Bansal ISB 2017 Admit
Smriti Salhotra ISB 2016 Admit
Jackson Kailath ISB 2016 Admit
Adesh Midha IISB 2016 Admit
Vaibhav Ahuja ISB 2016 Admit
Janhvi Doshi ISB 2016 Admit
Murali Krishna ISB 2016 Admit
Preeti Chauhan ISB 2016 Admit
Chitrakeeth ISB 2016 Admit
Abhinav Gaiha ISB 2016 Admit
Augustya ISB 2016 Admit
Ammu Rajendran ISB 2016 Admit
Anshul Krishna ISB 2016 Admit
Ankita Sinha ISB 2016 Admit
Tushar Shanker ISB 2016 Admit
Ankit Agarwal ISB 2016 Admit
Anisha Saraf ISB 2016 Admit
Vineet Aggarwal ISB 2016 Admit
Siddharth Garg ISB 2016 Admit
Namrata Sinha ISB 2016 Admit
Deepesh Chandok ISB 2016 Admit
Monisha Vardhan ISB 2016 Admit
Rakesh Kantharajappa ISB 2016 Admit
Nikesh Murjani ISB 2016 Admit
Prakhar Dixit ISB 2016 Admit
Swati Negi ISB 2016 Admit
Akshay Datta ISB 2016 Admit
Harsh Paliwal ISB 2015 Admit
Manas Jain ISB 2015 Admit
Priyanka Pande ISB 2015 Admit
Rahul Karnani ISB 2015 Admit
Shalabh Kumar ISB 2015 Admit
Jyoti Chandan Kumar ISB 2015 Admit
Vivek Upadhayay ISB 2015 Admit
Abhinav Kansil ISB 2015 Admit
Akash Jain ISB 2015 Admit
Ayon Ray ISB 2015 Admit
Nikhil Jain ISB 2015 Admit
Debajyoti Endow ISB 2015 Admit
Kamayani ISB 2014 Admit
Kushal Vidyarthi ISB 2014 Admit
Harshal Chawla ISB 2014 Admit
Ashutosh Walia ISB 2014 Admit
Kunal Sharma ISB 2014 Admit
Sheetal Virmani ISB 2014 Admit
Jasdeep Brar ISB 2013 Admit
Abhishek Banerjee ISB 2013 Admit
Aparna Kohli ISB 2013 Admit
Avijit Chakraborty ISB 2013 Admit
Vineet Jain ISB 2013 Admit
Kanishka Patwal ISB 2013 Admit
Ankur Bansal ISB 2013 Admit
Kaustubh Tripathi ISB 2013 Admit
Amandeep Singh ISB 2012 Admit
Apoorv Vishnoi ISB 2012 Admit
Chintan Shah ISB 2012 Admit
Narendra Singh ISB 2016 Admit
Navjot Chhabra ISB 2012 Admit
Rishabh Sinha ISB 2012 Admit
Shifa Soomar ISB 2012 Admit
Vinay Raju ISB 2012 Admit
Ekta Babbar ISB 2011 Admit
Himanshu Jain ISB 2011 Admit
Aditi Sharma ISB 2011 Admit
Gejoy Kuriakose ISB 2011 Admit
Himanshu Joshi ISB 2011 Admit
Magesh Karthik ISB 2011 Admit
Parveen Sahu ISB 2011 Admit
Sahil Nanda ISB 2011 Admit
Sonali Gupta ISB 2011 Admit
Sumeet Walia ISB 2011 Admit
ISB Essays and Admissions Process 2018 – 2019
ISB essays play a very important role in the overall MBA application process to the Indian school of Business (ISB Hyderabad). Whether you are targetting the new ISB Mohali campus, the admissions process is the same. Admissions committee members from ISB use these essays to evaluate who you are and what you can bring to the class that’ll graduate in 2019.
However, before you start working on your ISB essays, take a step back to create a basic game-plan. Start off with a helicopter view and then drill down into specifics.
Give the Admissions Committee the assurance that you’ve done your homework before writing the essays, and you’ve got a headstart in making a good impression.
For starters, pick up a copy of Beyond the MBA Hype. It’s not about ISB, but it’ll give you a solid grounding on what (not) to expect from a MBA in India and abroad and get your expectations in check.
Once you’ve got an idea of how GMAT based MBA programs work, then move on to the ISB MBA admissions process.
ISB MBA blog posts
We’ve shared several ISB articles in the section below. Start off by reading them to learn more about what happens at ISB that doesn’t get discussed much – including applications, life at ISB (in the classroom and outside) and placements.
All about ISB Hyderabad MBA
How the ISB admission process works
ISB MBA admission with full scholarship
Life at ISB Mohali Campus: Orientation and Studies
ISB Mohali Campus Placements: The story before employment reports are published
How the consulting recruitment cycle works on campus at ISB
ISB Admissions Round 1 vs Round 2 deadlines (Tips from the official ISB Admissions Committee)
ISB Admission with scholarship in third attempt
ISB Hyderabad admission with low GMAT score of 610
International MBA program vs Indian MBA (read ISB Hyderabad)
ISB Hyderabad Placements: MBA jobs at the Indian School of Business
From GMAT score for ISB Hyderabad to interview: Bodhi’s success story
ISB Hyderabad Blues: Indian School of Business MBA admissions
Indian School of Business (ISB) – MBA Application Success Stories
ISB YLP Young Leaders Program
ISB Video Tips: Life to me is… | Unusual MBA Essays (Dropped this year)
ISB Hyderabad Reapplicant’s strategy
Get a free profile evaluation for ISB and free admissions advice on our ISB Hyderabad forum
ISB MBA deadlines and dates
The official site has a calendar that lists the details of ISB MBA deadlines and dates for Round 1 / Round 2. These typically fall in mid-October and mid-Jan.
Applying in the first round makes you eligible to win a full scholarships. If you miss it, don’t worry, you still have the chance to get merit and need based (partial) scholarships in Round 2 as well.
The admissions calendar is broken down into the last date to submit the ISB application, date by which the admissions team will announce the results and by when you are expected to accept the offer.
The page also explains the process if you do not hold an Indian passport.
Click here to see the admissions calendar: ISB site.
Tips for ISB Essays
Irrespective of the number of essays and their wording that may change from year to year, ISB essay topics generally revolve around:
– What you’ve done before the MBA (and why it’s important)
– What you want to do after the MBA (and how ISB can help you get to your career goals)
Or to simply things even further: ‘Why should we select you when there are so many strong candidates falling over backwards to get into ISB?’
Important: These aren’t real questions. For the precise topics in any year that you plan to apply in, check the ISB website rather than relying on external sites which often contain dated information.
While a lot of websites list ISB essays and tips to crack them, it’s best that you visit the official site to look at the overall application first.
We’ll cover the general tips that would be helpful not just for ISB essays, but for other MBA applications as well (since the basic principles don’t change).
Don’t look at ISB essays in isolation and (incorrectly) assume that the tips and sample ISB essays shared on other sites will help you write your own application.
For example, here’s an old one written by a software engineer in Bangalore that you can check out
Too many applicants have fallen in the trap of using ISB essay templates downloaded as PDF or Word Documents from across the web and making minor tweaks to them.
The admission officers at ISB are experts in reviewing applications and sniffing out the good original ones from those who’ve tried to take shortcuts.
Spend time to understand ISB, not just from a procedural standpoint, but also from a cultural angle. This will convince you whether ISB fits well with your personality and aspirations (and vice versa). The ISB blogs we shared earlier should help you do that to some extent.
Additionally talk to current students, if you can. They’ll have a lot of information that we can’t possibly compress into small articles.
Be honest in your approach. Think about your overall positioning strategy first. And then start writing your ISB essays keeping in mind that your storyline has to extend beyond essays to the other application pieces i.e. resume, recommendation and interviews.
Our ISB MBA Success Stories
You can surely manage the process independently, if you have stellar credentials (topnotch undergrad degree like IIT, solid GMAT of 750+, solid differentiation strategy, crystal clear goals after MBA) and are confident about the way forward.
However, for a crucial application like this, many take professional help from ISB application consultants in order to increase their chances of getting into elite MBA colleges like ISB.
We’ve helped tons of folks just like you get into ISB. Here’s what some had to say:
(take it with a pinch of salt though, since successful candidates have a tendency to go overboard with their praise):
“I’d like to thank you for the help and the guidance you have offered me through out the application process. I must tell you that the moment I read the essays after final editing I was so confident about the quality that an interview call, I thought, was guaranteed. I was genuinely pleased with the application I submitted and MBA Crystal Ball did play a big part in it. I think the essays also helped a lot in securing the final admit from ISB.”
“I found the services to be prompt and reliable. I exchanged more than 100 emails with MCB and each time he responded within 2 days. MCB is an expert at finding loopholes in the essays and have excellent suggestions to bring out the best in the essays. I could see a considerable difference between the first drafts and the final application. The team provides good insights about fine-tuning career goals and developing well rounded essays showcasing a holistic profile. Also, they will always keep you on your toes and send reminders if you happen to slack off. Not to mention that MCB maintains a totally ethical approach to admission consulting. They will not write your essays but they will make you work very hard on them and force you to do a lot of research. This approach is very helpful for interviews as I felt very confident because I had done my due diligence. Thanks a lot MCB for my ISB admit!.”
“I got my ISB admission offer yesterday and wanted to thank you guys for all the help during the application process. You are the true master of the ISB application, you not only helped make my essays crisp and effective but also helped me sail through the interview process. I would recommend you guys without any reservations to anyone.”
Read more testimonials on the MBA Crystal Ball reviews page.
How MBA Crystal Ball can help you get into the ISB MBA
The articles and ISB essay tips on this page should give you a head-start as far as the application strategy is concerned. The devil lies in the detail and the implementation. So the crucial part is to execute it well.
Check out our MBA MAP and MBA Essay Editing packages.
Take the first step in the right direction. Drop us an email: info [at] mbacrystalball [dot] com