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Sample ISB Essays

If we were to admit just one more candidate to the Postgraduate Program (PGP) at
the ISB, why should it be you? Word limit: 400 words

If you were to ask me what skill is likely to help me the most in my professional life, I
would say that it is my ability to get a headstart.
Growing up, I instinctively knew the importance of being proactive and starting early.
At college, I had my hands full with extracurricular activities while many others were
just settling in. At my first workplace, Philips, I worked hard throughout my training
days and began to be noted as a fresher of promise. In my very first year at work, I was
given an opportunity to work in the prestigious office of CTO for a cutting-edge
project in the healthcare domain. Before I decided to join this project, I checked with
colleagues and came to know that there was a substantial degree of ambiguity in this
project. A healthy appetite for high-impact roles and a certain disregard for the safe
route caused me to celebrate this fact rather than worry about it.
When I joined this team, I discovered that the project had no clear roadmap to achieve
the intended outcome. Although the final goal was predetermined by the
management, the feasibility of the idea from a technological stand point was still
uncertain. I dove right in and assumed an unofficial leadership role. I collaborated
with the team to settle on a technological backbone. I also worked to communicate
the issues faced by the development team to senior management. Although I was the
youngest member in the team, I took ownership of a module and was responsible for
the entire cycle of its development from ideation till launch. The product we
developed exceeded expectations and is now live across hospitals in India.
My ability to sense an exciting opportunity, to leap at it early in the game and to
sustain a spirit of pioneership has always given me a few inches of advantage. I
believe that this quality sets me apart and makes me a worthy member of ISBs
prestigious student pool. I am confident that I can leverage this strength to tread
uncharted territory at ISB. I expect to contribute actively to the Emerging Markets club
and the Business Technology club, as they align closely with my post-MBA goals.
However, I am even more excited by the possibility of pioneering an initiative that
could leave a lasting mark on ISB and on my life!
Describe your short and long term career plans. How does the PGP fit in with those?
Word limit: 300 words

After graduating from ISB, I see myself donning the role of an associate product
manager in a technology company such as Google or LinkedIn. In this role, I will learn
the fine art of balancing the expectations of customers, investors and internal teams
with regard to product specifications. Once established as an associate, I see myself
moving into the role of Product Manager. This role will provide me with opportunities
to own the complete product development life cycle, from conception to product
launch. Eventually I see myself setting the strategy and vision of a product company
as Chief Executive Officer.
At Philips, I have worked in projects across all stages of technological development.
Working in client-facing projects, I have gained perspective of market demands in real
life scenarios. Taking up unofficial leadership roles has helped me to visualize the
end-to-end implications of a project. Such exposure has enabled me to identify loop-
holes at early stages, and mitigate risks. Although I believe I have the required skills to
work on the technological backbone of a product, I need the holistic perspective of a
business education to perform as a product manager. The electives offered by ISB in
consumer behavior, project management, brand management and pricing strategy will
help me learn how to provide inputs for synchronized and directed product
Although my preferred work location is India, it is essential for me to gain a global
perspective of business in todays tightly connected world. ISB will help resolve this
need by dint of its international faculty, exchange programs and diverse peer groups. I
look forward to being an integral member of the Business Technology Club and the
Emerging Markets club. Overall, I see ISB as the ideal training ground to help me meet
my career aspirations.
Please use this space to provide any other information not covered elsewhere in the
application that could significantly impact your candidature at ISB. Note: It is not
necessary for you to write this essay. Please use this space only if there is something
really significant that you would like us to know.
Word limit: 200 words

The reject from ISB last year prompted me to introspect and zero in on three areas of
improvement in my application. Firstly, despite a rigorous schedule at work, I
prepared for the GMAT again and improved my score from 680 to 730. Secondly, I
realized that I needed better interviewing skills. I started preparing in a systematic
manner this time around. I read debriefs on forums, got my friends to conduct mock
interviews for me, and spoke to ISB alumni and students to understand more about
the course curriculum, life at ISB, post-MBA opportunities and fitment for a candidate
like me.
Thirdly, I made a promise to myself that I would push the bar much higher in my
professional life, and make it a year of achievements. I picked up major
responsibilities - including successfully leading a cross-geography initiative that has
become a milestone in my career at Philips. I stayed almost entirely out of my
professional comfort zone this year, and I believe that I have accelerated my learning
curve by doing so. Overall, I am more prepared now than I was at any other time in my
career so far, to pursue an MBA at ISB.