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.
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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: a brief overview
The ISB YLP stage 2 essay is as follows:
In today’s world, learning and unlearning are equally important. Demonstrate with specific examples the instances where you have unlearned in order to learn something. (300 words max)
This is a tricky topic to write on, to be sure. Some of the things that applicants should keep in mind when addressing this are:
- Keep in mind that unlearning and ‘non-learning’ (i.e. not knowing something) are two different things. Some of the initial approaches to this question that we frequently see to be wrong are those that focus only on the learning part without much emphasis on unlearning. Show ISB that you have the capability to adopt new approaches and shed old ones and that you can learn from failure.
- Don’t show the process of unlearning to be spontaneous. The thinking that goes behind it is equally important. Why did you decide to unlearn something? What was the trigger? This is important.
- Similarly, when you demonstrate (re)learning, be sure to point out what was different in your approach the second time round, rather than simply treating the later approach as better because it worked as opposed to the earlier one.
- Remember to use specific, rather than generic, examples, and if possible, use more recent ones. Examples that stretch back to your school days are best avoided.
- 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.
- Make sure that you work on your application and essay well before the deadline. Many people make the mistake of not working on these till only after the GMAT. If you are taking your GMAT any time after the end of July, that approach can be dangerous.
Overall, the YLP selection process is rigorous and detailed. Work hard to ace it and excel.