ISB YLP Essays 2016 – Round 1
Applicants can choose any one essay topic from the following:
Option 1: Write about an incident or set of incidents in your life that had the most profound influence on you. While writing this essay, briefly mention the incident and the impact it has had on your life. (300 words max)
Option 2: How would you describe yourself as a person and what are the two qualities / skills / attributes that you wish to further develop in yourself through the ISB Young Leaders Programme? (300 words max)
What has changed in the ISB YLP application process in 2016?
This year (2016), ISB has changed the essay set for its esteemed YLP programme, lending candidates an additional essay option. The YLP selection process has changed too, and now YLP applicants in the final year of their bachelor’s programs can apply too (till last year, only candidates in the pre-final years could apply).
This means that those of you who missed applying to the YLP last year (or could not make it last year) have another chance to apply and be selected. The selection process, apart from the essay changes, remains largely similar to previous years’ – three rounds of selection, with the first involving one essay, the second a GMAT score, two essays, and a recommendation, and the third an interview.
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Changes in the ISB YLP essays 2016
Till last year, YLP candidates in Round 1 had to answer a mandatory essay question – no choice had been provided. This year, ISB provides a choice – applicants can either write on an incident that impacted them (the traditional choice that was present last year as well) or describe the qualities or skills that describe them along with the ones they would like to hone through the YLP.
The new option is refreshing. It allows candidates to also position their candidature from a forward-looking perspective (i.e. what they wish to be in the future) rather than only dwelling on how they have been shaped by past events.
The change this year reflects a further evolution of the Round 1 YLP essay set – the year before last (2014), applicants had been asked to make an argument on why they should be selected for the program. The second choice introduced this year is a modified version of that essay, but with a stronger realization of the unique nature of YLP applicants.
ISB YLP essays 2016 analysis
Write about an incident or set of incidents in your life that had the most profound influence on you. While writing this essay, briefly mention the incident and the impact it has had on your life. (300 words max)
Analysis: When first thinking about this essay, it is important to understand that the essay topic stresses on the word ‘most’. While applicants may have a number of incidents to talk about that would have affected them in some way, the one(s) to be discussed have to be truly impactful.
Think ‘transformation’, not ‘influence’. How have these incidents given you qualities that you today value and cherish? If it had not been for this incident, would you be a much lesser person? Thinking along these dimensions will help bring out a preliminary first story, which will then need to be shaped further and presented impactfully as your final essay.
How would you describe yourself as a person and what are the two qualities / skills / attributes that you wish to further develop in yourself through the ISB Young Leaders Programme? (300 words max)
Analysis: Many applicants would certainly think that this is the easier option to go for as it involves simply describing oneself. Think again. It is not easy to come up with the right set of parameters (that must certainly be unique to you – generic stuff will not work here) that define you (from among the many available).
Again, think specific and impactful – not generic. Brief examples that back these qualities up would be useful too. Further, think of how the ISB YLP can help you transform – what can the YLP help you learn that a job/some other program would not? Research into the program and its mechanics is critical to help you answer this one.