Essays of ISB for 2013-14 explore applicant profiles along new dimensions
ISB essays are a critical component of the application to Indian School of Business, Hyderabad / Indian School of Business, Mohali. The essays are used by the admissions committee at ISB to go well beyond your resume, to evaluate not just what you say but also how you think and express yourself. While the ISB essays are not the only critical component of the admissions process, as the ISB interview also carries significant weight, the essays are important determinants of whether you will get invited to an interview. Here are some tips and some advice for applicants about to create their ISB essays for 2013-14 (intake year 2014):
ISB essay 1
Attitude, skills and knowledge differentiate people. Elaborate with two examples on how you would differentiate yourself. (300 words max)
Essay 1 analysis and tips
The differentiation perspective has been part of the first ISB essay for long now. This year, ISB gives you three particular dimensions on which you can base your essay and differentiate your application from those of other applicants.
Does this mean that these are the only three dimensions you should stick to? Not really. As you read the essay prompt, the one thing that jumps out is that ISB has not mentioned the one dimension which a majority of applicants use to differentiate themselves – achievement! The achievement theme is implicit here, and is the unmentioned part of the essay question.
Use these dimensions to paint a picture of what is different about you. Note also the key word in this essay – ‘differentiate’. The essay is not asking you for things that you do well.
It is asking you for things that you do well that others may not be as good at. Keep this in mind and take your best shot at this essay.
Looking for the essays for 2014-15?
This post is about the ISB essays for 2013-14. The essays for the application year 2014 are different. Click here to see the essay topics and read a very detailed analysis of the 2014 ISB essays.
ISB essay 2
How does the ISB PGP tie-in with your career goals? (300 words max)
Essay 2 analysis and tips
A simple and straightforward Goals essay question. The first important thing is to have a clear career goal that you can show based on your professional history.
The second important thing is to have a worthy goal that seems neither trivial nor overly ambitious. While the resources at ISB will help you to achieve higher professional aims, don’t paint a picture that seems unrealistic or one that is based on flights of fancy.
The best way to do this is to start from where you are and think about where you want to be. This is not something new – it is something you already thought about when you decided to apply! Now you need to express it impactfully.
The ISB connect is critical here, and you need to also demonstrate how the one year at ISB, and nowhere else, will help you to realize your career goal. Think of what ISB offers and tie it closely to your career goals.
ISB essay 3
Pick the most significant achievement (professional or personal) you have had and elaborate on the key learning you took away from it. (300 words max)
Essay 3 analysis and tips
Note that the essay asks for your most significant achievement, so do away with the trivial ones that you list right away. What you choose must be worthy of being called your crowning moment.
Don’t shy away from mentioning a personal achievement – a lot of Indian applicants tend to do that, for reasons ranging from shyness to humility, and we advise against it if the particular personal achievement is the best example to use.
Make sure you provide enough context for the reader to appreciate what you are talking about. Next, move to the learning. Now, success is a poor teacher, so you will at first struggle to identify the right points. Steer clear of vanity.
ISB essay 4
Please provide additional information, if any, that will significantly affect the consideration of your application to the ISB. (300 words max)
Essay 4 analysis and tips
Key points that you can mention here include gaps in education, an explanation for a low GMAT score, or an explanation for low academic performance, among others.
You can also put across other strong points that were not covered in the other essays. Stay clear, though, of taking on the theme of any of the other essays in this one.
Some applicants feel that this essay is really meant to be a continuation of the elements that could not be covered in other essays, especially further detail on why ISB is the right school for you/why you are the right candidate for ISB.
They feel that pushing the point a bit more will help to cement it further. This notion is simply wrong – the third ISB essay was the space for this. Use this essay to convey unique aspects of your profile not brought out in as much detail in the application or other essays.