Essay Tips: Indian School of Business

The Indian School of Business has become one of the strongest graduate business programs in Asia: it ranks 13th in the Financial Times’ MBA rankings – only two Asian programs surpass it according to FT, more than 98% of its graduates secure job offers within 3 months of graduating, and the salaries those graduates receive are high – 187% above their pre-ISB earnings! Competition for seats in this esteemed 1-year program is steep and the admissions process is highly competitive for native Indians.


Life to me is……………………. (Please complete the following statement in your own words on Video) 90 Secs/15 MB in the format specified below.  

An increasing number of programs are requesting audio or video submissions from their applicants. These “essays” enable admissions committees to get a strong sense of the applicant beyond the written word – does he make eye contact, have good stature, appear poised, speak clearly, and with confidence? While in the past these qualities were only revealed via an in-person interview, a video submission serves as a simple screening tool for these qualities. Choose a topic and a supporting example that has special meaning to you so that you can concentrate on your delivery in this addition to the application.


1. Please make a strong case to differentiate yourselves from an exceptional set of applicants applying for PGP 2013-14. You could cite personal/ professional achievements to present your case. (300 words max)

Last year’s essay prompt was to detail your two most significant accomplishments. The difference this year is that the admissions committee is guiding you to tell about accomplishments that most other applicants cannot also describe. This is a tip that we at are always recommending: if someone else can tell the same story, don’t write about it. A team-leader role in a traditional IT consulting gig is probably not going to catch the admissions office’s attention, so if you do find yourself in a highly populated pool of applicants, take yourself out of that box by describing unique situations and impacts. In your essay, focus on the unique challenges you faced and how you overcame them. Do not make the mistake of listing only the awards you received without explaining what you did and how you did it. This error would make your application generic, not genuine.

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

ISB’s Admissions Director has listed “Clarity of thought in terms of career aspirations and goals” as one of the three most important qualities sought in the ISB application essays. The goals essay is your opportunity to show that you possess that clarity. If entrepreneurship is in your future, it should really appear in your past as well. If you aim for a technology or consulting role, you’ll need to demonstrate that you know what qualities you will need to succeed in these and bring some proof as to your readiness for this career. You do not need an exact map of your future, but you do need to reveal a thought process, reasoning, and evidence of your ability to reach your goals.  

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

The open-ended nature of this question causes infinite hand-wringing, but it should really be viewed as a gift: here is your opportunity to share whatever makes you special.

This could be from your work, community service, education, or travels, so take some time to reflect and perhaps even ask your friends, relatives, or mentors their thoughts on what differentiates you.

Then, go the extra step of sharing how this   quality has shaped your past and future at ISB and beyond.

By Linda Abraham, founder and president of and author of MBA Admission for Smarties. If you would like professional guidance with your Indian School of Business MBA application, please consider Accepted’s ISB MBA Packages or our MBA essay editing.

*This blog post originally appeared on Accepted Admissions Consulting Blog.


Round 1 September 15, 2012 23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time
Round 2 November 30, 2012 23:59:59 Hrs Indian Time


*International Applicants: ISB conducts rolling admissions until January 15th

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