ISB YLP Stage 2 essays and applications

ISB YLP Essays and Applications


Around April 30 each year, ISB YLP Stage 1 results are announced, and the selected few move on to the ISB YLP Stage 2 essays and the rest of the YLP admissions process. While stage 1 of the YLP admissions process is selective, it is less comprehensive as compared to stage 2. In stage 1, candidates needed to submit basic details of their profile, and answer one essay question. This acted as an initial screening phase, where ISB was able to judge candidates on the basic parameters of their profile.


Gauri Singhal

Vaibhav Longani

Madhur Gupta

Vatsal Gupta

Pranav Pandya

Saumya Shrirup

Tushar Diwan

What does ISB YLP stage 2 involve?

In the second stage of YLP admissions, this focus becomes sharper. Candidates also need to submit GMAT scores and answer one more essay question. What are the best ways to plan for and approach this process? GyanOne offers some advice:

– Start preparing for the GMAT (or GRE) early: In earlier years, we have seen candidates who put off starting their GMAT/GRE preparation till the Stage 1 YLP results come in. This is a critical mistake. If you start preparing for the GMAT/GRE around the end of April, you will feel cramped for time. This is because not only must you take the GMAT/GRE and complete the YLP essay and online application in this period, but you must also take your college exams! Cramming all of this into three months is cutting it too close for comfort. Some people tend to procrastinate on this decision because they feel that all the effort they put into their GMAT preparation will ‘go waste’ if they are not selected in YLP stage 1. They forget that GMAT scores are valid for five years, and if they get a good score they have two more opportunities to try and get into ISB: through the early entry option (less than 24 months of experience) and through the regular admissions process (24 months or more of experience). A good GMAT score will also open up possibilities to apply to other top MBA programs around the world. 

– Don’t put off working on the essay to the end: Apart from your GMAT scores, your ISB YLP Stage 2 essay is really important. It is perhaps the most important part of your YLP stage 2 candidature. Make sure you schedule at least 2-3 weeks for fully thinking through the essay, creating the right points of reasoning, and putting them in well. You will not get your essay perfectly right in one shot – it will need revising, changes, and modifications. If you have too little time at hand to do this, the quality of your work may suffer.

ISB YLP Stage 2 essay 2018: a brief overview

In the 2018 application, the stage 2 essay is as follows:

How do you see your career developing and how will ISB help you achieve your goals? (300 words maximum)

While this essay is largely similar to what ISB put out for their regular PGP application, the way a YLP applicant would answer it is significantly different from the way a regular PGP applicant would.  Some of the things that applicants should keep in mind when addressing this are: 

– Remember, career aspirations are difficult to define very clearly and so early into your career. It is fine to be aspirational here, and talk about the things that you hope to do. It is is equally important to talk about ISB and the YLP and why that is important to what you want to do. There should be a strong connection there. For example, if you life’s ambition is to be an outstanding programmer and create great new software, you will need to explain why you want an MBA and how it will help you achieve this. On the other hand, if you aspire to work in Corporate Finance or in Consulting, the fit is more natural (as the career path to these through an MBA is more obvious), so less explaining is needed.

– A good understanding of ISB is critical here. The ISB PGP is more than just a prestigious MBA (equivalent) program. Talk about why it is a great fit with what you hope to do. What is specific about ISB that will lead you to your goals? Think – why can’t you achieve the same goals without ISB or even without an MBA itself? While you don’t necessarily need to provide the entire reasoning in the essay, it is important to think through these points, as it will ultimately lead you to select the right points to put into the essay.

– It is rare to get the essay done perfectly in one go. Revise, improve, and enhance, till you feel you have answered the question in its entirety, and in a convincing manner. Getting everything done in just 300 words will not be easy, but it is a requirement.

Overall, the YLP selection process is rigorous and detailed. Work hard towards meeting it.

This is a post about ISB YLP admissions. In case you are looking for outstanding ISB YLP application help or admissions consulting services, please check out our offering by clicking here or contact us at: info [at] gyanone [dot] com

One Comment

  1. Sumit Bansal
      June 20, 2014 at 12:32 AM

    Can someone who is in the fourth year of college (last year) apply to YLP?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *