Tag Archives: essay

ISB Admission Essays – some thoughts and some good resources.

I have had a couple of friends etc asking about how and what to write in the ISB application essays. While I do NOT claim to be an expert on the ISB admission essay, I have attended a fair share of info-sessions for prospective students held by the admissions team. Here are a few pointers followed by 2 excellent resources for more.

  • Take some time first to think about some points on what you want to write in the essay, don’t just start writing directly. Some of those essays really make you think about your life. Whats unique and special about you, what do you want to achieve in life (NO, a fat paycheck is not the goal you want to put down!).
  • Make sure you write your own essays. I can’t underscore this fact enough. I have had some friends asking me for sample essays and what not. Essay topics change every year. The admission committee wants to see what you are, what your personality is like, what and where you want to be. This is stuff only you can write about yourself.
  • Sure, you may be able to get someone to write an excellent essay for you, but it can never show your personality, and thats something that will come out from a lot of related things, be it your GMAT essays, a 100 word para, the interview.
  • The Adcom does NOT have a specific list of things they want to see. A friend (who shall remain nameless, of course) wrote how he/she wanted to get into management consulting in her essay because thats what she ‘thought’ and had ‘read’ on some forums that people interested in consulting is what ISB is looking for. Nothing can be further from the truth. Sure, we have our fair share of people who want to get into consulting, but is that a factor for admissions, ABSOLUTELY NOT!
  • The funny part, this friend actually wanted to move from an IT background into fashion! Now thats something you can write about which shows what you want to do with your life.
  • Syntax. This is very very important. MS Word is not really very good at spell check. Make sure you go through your essay multiple times and correct any mis-spelling, punctuation, grammar mistakes etc. An error here can really cost you dearly as it shows that you didnt spend enough time on your essay.
  • Once you have written the essay, send it for reviews. Show it to friends, asking them for feedback. Ask your seniors for help. Look for friends in other B-Schools, or even someone you may know through a contact in ISB. Incorporate feedback, only if you think it is meaningful.
  • Essay review/writing services: Your mileage may of course vary, but I personally don’t feel that these are required. As mentioned earlier, you should make sure you write your own essays. If you want to get them reviewed from a professional service, by all means, your call.
1. The ISB Admission Director’s blog, here, for information and some takes/advice on the admissions process. Two good posts on Essay analysis and admissions are ‘Essays. How to go about it.‘ and ‘Application Evaluation Process by the ISB.
2. A blog run by a batchmate of mine, Nitin Pulyani, is pretty popular for both GMAT as well as ISB Essay analysis. Find the blog and this years essay analysis here.
3. For information about student life at ISB, Hyd, there are a lot of blogs around:
  • The official school blog run by students is at www.isbweblog.com
  • The unofficial blog that was started by the batch before we came to ISB is at isb-mmx.blogspot.com The blog also has multiple links to different personal blogs from the batch of 2010 on one side.
For admission queries, you can get in touch with the pretty responsive admissions team at the following email id: pgpadmissions a t isb d o t edu
Hope this post helps.
DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here at mine and mine alone. They in no way represent the views of my school.

Great article / Essay on ‘Who do you want to be?’

A friends essay for his MBA application on what he wants to be. I just loved the way this particular essay is written, especially the theme and the way it begins, so couldn’t resist posting it here.

I want to play God. As did Steve Jobs when he created iPhone. As did Steve Horovitz when he created Android. As did Akio Morita when he created Walkman. And as did Lee Iacocca when he created the Mustang.

I intend to do this by making a career in product development. My short term goal, on passing out from XXXX would be to join a technology company as a product manager. And in long term I would like to set up a product development division for my company, XXXX.

I aspire to be counted amongst the likes of people I mentioned above. These people are not mere creators of new products; they are the conceivers of the business ecosystem where the product would flourish. That is why I believe, for that product, they were God. And that it is this amazing insight in conceiving the business ecosystems that I strive for.

My current experience with XXXX, as a Firmware Lead and Product Integrator gave me a very good exposure to the business aspect of technology. But it left me more thirsty than quenched. It got me thinking of how I can make a bigger difference. What qualification can I gain, which gets me bigger and more central roles in product development environment? That I wanted to be a manager of technology, and not a technologist, made MBA the obvious answer for me.

When I started looking for MBA schools, I had two prerequisites:
1> I wanted to go for a General Management School. I want to be a technical manager. I know technology, I want to learn management.
2> I wanted a school which encourages multi-disciplinary learnings. And I think XXXX, is by far, the pioneer in that. With credits available for learning in other schools in the XXXX campus and incubation projects with the engineering and medical schools, I am not able to find a school which fits into my multi-disciplinary mindscape so well.

Since I am not a citizen of the USA, and I intend to return to my motherland once my education and financial obligations are over, I need a degree which is globally recognized, which has a brand value beyond the geographical border. A degree like XXXX MBA.

All this is what attracts me to XXXX. The interplay of learning disciplines, the opportunity to graft your own curriculum, the exacting standards borne out of the best peer fraternity in the world and gods of management telling you how to hold the spear and how to strike at the heart of the problem, what more could an aspirer like me ask for?

To end, it may sound like blasphemy on my part when I say I want to be God. For that I apologize. But I do feel very passionately about creating something which exists and evolves long after I am gone.

– Supratibh Srivastava, ISB Class of 2010

PS: Some information removed 🙂